Lemur Genome May Provide HIV Insights

ScienceDaily (Dec. 2, 2008) — The genome of a lemur from Madagascar may provide new understanding how HIV-like viruses coevolved with primates.  The discovery published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could provide insight into why non-human primates don’t get AIDS and lead to treatments for humans.  Rob Gifford, PhD, researcher in infectious diseases and geographical medicine is lead author of the new study.   Gifford searched primate species DNA for strings of nucleotides that matched the modern lentivirus genome and found one lurking in the DNA of the tiny gray mouse lemur.  Gifford’s work on lentivirus-primate interaction might open doors for HIV/AIDS research.