"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Monday, March 08, 2004

Immune Intrigue 

As much as they screw up sometimes, I gotta give this one to the Post. They've written up the discovery of how HIV's Vif gene works (go read the article, I'm not explaining here) that very much sounds like a spy novel. Bits of David Brown's writing echo of Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaimain (not spy writers, but hey).

Then there's the content. Discovery of the enzyme on which Vif acts to defeat the innate immune system, and the basics of how it's done.

I remember when we studied HIV in my Genes and Genetic Engineering class at Oberlin (one of the best classes ever!)...it was the coolest topic: this virus, breaking all the rules and with each new discovery, rewriting the Book on virology. Using only nine genes, HIV cripples and destroys humans (with millions of genes) with seeming facility.

I wish I was good enough at calculus to have gone into virology.

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