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Cohabitating-microbes

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Enlisting the AIDS virus to fight cancer

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Can HIV be transformed into a biotechnological tool for improving human health? According to a CNRS team at the Architecture et Réactivité de l'ARN (RNA Architecture and Reactivity) laboratory, the answer is yes. Taking advantage of the HIV replication machinery, the researchers have been able to select a specific mutant protein. Added to a culture of tumor cells in combination with an anticancer drug, this protein improves the effectiveness of the treatment at 1/300 the normal dosage levels. Published in PLoS Genetics on 23 August 2012, these findings (1) could lead to long-term therapeutic applications in the treatment of cancer and other pathologies.

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