Icarus 94.1

James Lyons-Weiler LYONSW%UCONNVM.bitnet at YALEVM.YCC.YALE.EDU
Thu Mar 24 08:54:56 EST 1994


Dear Fellow Netters,

I know there are a pile of thinkers out there who have generated wonderfully
inventive, perhaps unorthodox, even untestable ideas or unique perspectives
on what the world of science holds in store for the future.  Once in a while
(in a VERY prestigious research journal) someone will publish such thoughts
under a column entitled Daedalus, who was definately NOT a technophobe, more of
a basic research scientist, but whose son was the epitome of the applied
researcher.

I propose that this forum offers the biological community an opportunity
unique to a communication-linked world: namely, to transmit, evaluate,
transform and adopt ideas and information about what might be possible.
Topics can range from the mundane (longevity - immortality) to the
exigent (a cure for HIV infection).  It is hoped that those with the time,
ability and resources to investigate these possibilities might pick up an
odd twist and make a breakthrough.  Imagine if...

This is Icarus 94.1

Icarus 94.1     James Lyons-Weiler
A cure for HIV infection was found in 1999 by researchers at the International
University of Common Good.  The method involves some archaic technology
(gene therapy).

It was found that when the genomes of patients were inoculated (via standard
gene therapy protocol) with a sequence for insulin-sequence DNAase that the
virus genome was spliced and therefore rendered untranscribable by the
host's transcription factors.  The breakthrough came after researchers
discovered that a major portion of the HIV sequences paired with an section of
the insulin-coding region in humans.

A strain of the common cold was genetically altered with the codes for
an arsenal of molecular weaponry and a strategem for pinpointing HIV-
infected cells.

First, the cold virus was given a 5' splice-site primer sequence which
is idential to that found in HIV.  This means that the virus competes
with HIV for locations in the human genome to splice into.  A second
virus was prepared which did not compete with HIV for transcription
sites.  Second, each virus was given a sequence which it would
(via reverse transciption) cause th host's cells to produce a sequence-
specific DNAase (an enzyme also known as a cutter).  The sequence that
this enzyme works on is very similar to that portion of the DNA
sequence that HIV shares with the human insulin sequence.

300 HIV-positive individuals were exposed repeatedly to the cold virus












 (via inhalants spray) over the course of six months. T-cell counts and
competitive PCR amplification estimates of the amount of HIV
sequences wihtin each patient's blood were sampled weekly.

  mean  |  *
  % HIV |   *
    .30 |   *                 R = 1.0; p = 0.000001
        |     *
        |      *
        |       *
        |        *
        |          *
        |            *
     0  |____________ **************************************
                        Week of study

After six years, no patient tested positive for HIV. Recovery was
complete.

The study included individuals at all stages of the development of
AIDS and AIDS-related symptoms.  Other than the damage wreaked on
their bodies, no-long-term side effects were noted.  Except one.

Each individual is now a diabetic and takes insulin daily.


END OF ICARUS 94.1 (FICTION)

Ok, you biochemists, molecular biologists,and health-care types.  Add to it,
tell us why not, but remember: what if?


james



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