Scientists have discovered a gene that provides a naturaldefense against the virus responsible for Aids. The gene,CEM15, stops HIV if it's slightly modified. Normally, HIVovercomes CEM15 by producing a protein called Vif thatsuppresses its activity. If the HIV virus can be altered sothat it does not contain Vif, the CEM15 gene will interferewith its life cycle. It won't get rid of the old HIV, but itwill stop it from progressing, since any new HIV particleswill not be infectious.
Professor Michael Malim, at King's College, London, and Dr.Ann Sheehy, at the University of Pennsylvania, studied cellsinfected with a form of HIV lacking Vif. Their researchfound that CEM15 made the virus harmless. Malim says, "If wecan find a way to block the action of Vif, it would allowCEM15 to work properly and prevent HIV from spreading."
The HIV virus develops resistance to the drugs used againstit in about half of all patients. Malim says, "It's veryambitious, but we may see Vif developed as a new target fortherapy in the next 10 years."
Meanwhile, British scientists have found a molecule whichcould be the body's secret weapon against cancer. Theprotein, found in the kidney, can starve tumors by blockingtheir blood supply. Dr. Dave Bates and Dr. Steve Harper atBristol University believe the molecule may be effectiveagainst all kinds of cancer, as well as artery disease anddiabetes.
The molecule is a form of a protein called vascularendothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF promotes the growthof blood vessels which feed tumors and are necessary fortheir survival. It?s usually only seen in diseased tissue,but it occurs naturally in healthy kidneys, where it doesnot generate tumors.
This discovery led scientists to discover a new form ofVEGF, called VEGF 165b, which stops the action of regularVEGF and prevents tumors from growing. Bates says, "We arevery excited about this. Theoretically it could apply to anycancer. Every cancer known uses VEGF to make new blood vessels."
The body?s own resources are used in spiritual healing, aswell. Scientist Russell Targ discovered this when healerJane Katra cured his cancer. Read about it in their books?Heart of the Mind? and ?Miracles of Mind?,click here.
To read aboutHIV,clickhere.
To read aboutcancer,clickhere.
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