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Comment Not really that newsworthy (Score 3, Interesting) 96

This type of compounds (HIV fusion inhibitors) is already well known and available on the market e.g. Enfuvirtide

The only hope here is that this inhibitor will be cheaper and perform better in humans than already available ones. However, according to FA, these type of experiments are still way off..

Comment Re:Wow .... (Score 1) 155

Sadly they do not mention any functional tests on the restored protein. Untangling an egg protein and restoration of function by refolding anti-cancer protein (probably enzyme or an antibody) is in a different league since some proteins require specific chaperone accessory proteins to aid in the folding.

Comment Re:Delivery method (Score 1) 64

Solution: Use the HIV virus itself

A possible problem with that approach might be that on cell level, HIV posesses mechanisms such as CD4 downregulation (CD4 is HIV receptor) that are designed to prevent another HIV virus from further infecting already infected cells. This mechanism ensures that idividual cells don't get superinfected and don't die prematurely.

Hence using modified HIV "viral vector" might not be the best option here, but there are lots of other virus vectors although getting them to exhibit exactly same tropism like HIV (T-cells, macrophages) might be a problem.

Comment Re:30,000 years old? (Score 4, Insightful) 121

Well, these viruses may have found a relatively safe niche in a biosphere, where large genome is not a huge disadvantage and simply stayed that way. These giant viruses ( seem to have acquired a large number of metabolic genes from their hosts, which in case of human viruses would be very disadvantageous, since in this environment large = easier to detect and eradicate.

Comment Please listen to the feedback! (Score 4, Insightful) 135

I have been reading Slashdot since 2001, although mostly anonymously. Over the years, this site has exposed me to enormous wealth of knowledge outside my area of expertise. This was only possible thanks to the great community of people whose comments have expanded each post much beyond the scope of original submission. It is this community that makes this site and makes me come back here daily.

Now this community has clearly stated that proposed BETA changes are not wanted and even worse will drive many of the old users away from this site. Others have clearly outlined the faults of the new BETA and the effect it will have on commenting and moderation. This feedback should not be ignored.

Hence, please reconsider BETA or at least listen to the community feedback on how to improve it!

Comment Re:Whatever... (Score 1) 85

You realize that lowering your blood sugar by whatever means will not cause you to loose weight? Rather, your body will have a more of a tendency to go into the "survival mode" where it will hold on to any of the fat that you have and as soon as you eat all nutrients will be stored for your own good. Not to mention feeling of fatigue and hunger caused by the low blood sugar.

Comment Re:Viral Wars (Score 1) 754

This concept and its outcomes were nicely explored in the story "King of Pain" by Jacek Dukaj. (I think English translations of the Polish original are already available).

Basically, when every nut and terrorist is able to brew a super-plague, the outcome is dissolution of all forms of government, which simply must cave in to the demands or face genocide. This results in formations of small anarchy states. No larger govt. structures exist, since even if terrorists' demands are met, they become well known and hence they can become the targets themselves and the vicious cycle continues.

Comment Too late (Score 5, Insightful) 754

"A genetic study showed that new virus strain presented five mutations, and all could be also observed in nature - but only separately, not all five combined."
With this sentence, they have practically gave it away already. All one has to do now is to scan the scientific literature for the appropriate five mutations that confer increased airborne transmissibility, perform site directed mutagenesis and voila.

They should follow the footsteps of Australian researches (who inserted IL4 gene into the mousepox creating a very lethal strain) and publish this anyway.

Comment Re:HeLa (Score 3, Interesting) 43

Not to mention, she can be regarded as a first truly genetically immortal human being in a sense of her cells (or whatever is left of her original DNA given that these cells have been passaged so many times). Someone here has once mentioned her mass if they put together all cells from all the labs in the world. I recall it was ranging into tonnes..

Comment Re:And some people still wonder why... (Score 1) 673

And some people still wonder why the public are opposed to nuclear power.

People oppose the nuclear power because they are fed over-exaggerated headlines by sensation seeking media. "We are facing the next Chernobyl! BOOM!!!" is going to generate many more views than "Humanitarian crisis in Japan caused by widespread flooding."

Comment Ouch... (Score 1) 164

"the 6990 'punches all other GPUs in the nuts." ...and steals your wallet at the same time. Aside from the epeen factor, realistically which currently available games require such a hardware. AFAIK, all the currently released games (e.g. Bulletstorm) run comfortably on the Nvidia 260, 280 cards at the highest settings (1920x1080 resolution) So a simple question, why bother...

Comment Badly written (Score 2) 180

"...In any immunology textbook you will read that once a virus makes it into a cell, that is game over because the cell is now infected. At that point there is nothing the immune response can do other than kill that cell,..."

What a load of crap. Cells have a plenty of methods to fight virus infections. For example viral RNA silencing or interferon alpha/beta response. Moreover, killing of the infected cells is also a viable immune strategy.
So it is not a game over... In addition, where is the link to the original publication? (article or it didn't happen!)

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