HIV has eluded vaccine-makers for 30 years in part due to the virus’ extreme ability to mutate – but now scientists have identified a promising strategy for a vaccine using a mathematical formula that tracks stock market prices.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Ragon Institute in Cambridge, in the same state, think there’s a way of trapping the virus with two choices – being destroyed by the immune system or destroying itself.
Vaccines prime the immune system to target molecular signatures associated with a particular pathogen.
But HIV’s ability to mutate has made it difficult to identify reliable vaccine targets.
In their search for a new type of target, the team from the Ragon Institute targeted mutating amino acids. These are known to destroy HIV-infected cells.