Scientists reveal HIV weakness

Development of an HIV vaccine has been seriously hampered by the fact that the retrovirus mutates so rapidly.  In a new finding that may allow vaccine designers to sidestep part of that obstacle, researchers at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard University have identified sections of an HIV protein where mutations would actually undermine the virus’ fitness — its ability to survive and reproduce. Vaccines that prime immune cells to specifically target those vulnerable regions could prove much more effective than previously tested vaccines.   Read these latest HIV research findings in PNAS Early Online.