Stef (firecat) wrote,

Convalescent linkspam

Gene editing might cure HIV (eventually)
The study has its roots in something that scientists discovered in the 1990s: A small percentage of people are resistant to H.I.V. thanks to a lucky mutation that causes their immune cells to lack CCR5, a protein that gives the virus a foothold. In people with one copy of the mutated gene, the infection progresses more slowly than in those who have normal CCR5. People who have inherited two copies of the mutated gene, one from each parent, are highly resistant to H.I.V. and may never become infected despite repeated exposure.
One man, known as “the Berlin patient,” was apparently cured of AIDS after he developed leukemia and had bone-marrow transplants in 2007 and 2008. As luck would have it, his bone-marrow donor had two copies of the mutated gene for CCR5. His immune system rebounded, the virus disappeared and he was able to stop taking antiviral drugs. But bone-marrow transplants are too arduous, risky and expensive to be used as a treatment for H.I.V.
Why a woman who was an award-winning organic chemist left science, and what we can do to support women in science. Lots of good links to follow.
Textbooks don't tell you everything. They don't tell you that organic synthesis has been a cutthroat boys’ club for a century. They don't tell you about the suicides in Nobel Laureate E. J. Corey's group. They don't tell you about flat NSF and declining NIH funding. They don't tell you that you'll never get far as an organic chemist without a PhD -- and certainly not that you'll need more stubbornness than brilliance to get one.
They don't tell you about the grind of the tenure track or the two-body problem. They don't tell you how your boss/academic adviser (your lab group’s principal investigator, or PI) can take advantage of the fact that your visa status depends on your employment to work you harder and pay you less -- that they might delay filing your paperwork as they drop hints that you’re not working hard enough, or just fire you and send you and your family back to your country of origin. They don't tell you about the common perception that a scientist should be 100% devoted to “his” work (or her work, if she is single or has a "supportive spouse," as it's usually put).
In other convalescent news, there has been binge-watching of a TV series called Arrow. I was amused to recognize John Barrowman as a recurring character.

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