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HIV-1 vectors: How can you convert a pathogen to a therapeutic vehicle?

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Sir Peter Medawar has once very successfully said that viruses are bad news wrapped up in protein. Imagine if we could convert these bad news into therapeutic ones! Gene therapy is the process via which genes are introduced into patient cells in order to treat diseases caused by genetic disorders. Viruses like HIV -1, have been engineered in such a way that genes can be safely introduced into cells by exploiting the clever and powerful viral mechanisms. These engineered viruses, called vectors, are not as efficient as the infectious strains, and thus more research is focused on improving the production and efficiency of these agents for patient treatment on the DNA level.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Sciences Group series.

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