The first thing that diseases have to do to infect you is gain access to whatever part of your body they affect. In the case of HIV, that is mostly your CD4 T cells. Berkeley researchers announced Wednesday that they found a key
to why some CD4 cells are impervious to HIV but others are not. They found that inactive CD4 cells contained a smaller form of the potent antiviral protein A3G, which is able to deactivate HIV, while activated CD4's contain a larger, crippled version. This is fascinating research, and will hopefully lead to more effective treatments of HIV.
Another nasty little virus, Ebola, also recently gave up its secrets
to cell entry to NIH scientists. An enzyme group critical to Ebola's entry, the cathepsins, are already well known to cancer researchers, which means that development of putative antiviral drugs based on their inhibition will hopefully move more swiftly. It would be nice to have one less easily spread biological weapon floating around with no cure.