"The discovery of antibodies that bind to a hitherto unknown "weak spot" on HIV has revived hopes that a potent vaccine is within reach.
Now that the weak spot – common to many strains – has been discovered, researchers can aim for vaccines that trick people into making their own antibodies to target it.
Vaccine developers have been beset by one failure after another. One explanation for the failures is that HIV rapidly mutates to escape detection by the immune system. As a result, many of the mutated strains are no longer recognised by antibodies.
But lab tests show the new antibodies bind to many more strains and variants of HIV than usual, potentially giving patients protection against any new strains they're infected with, or any new mutants that evolve in their own bodies."