Body's anti-HIV 'training manual' offers vaccine hopes.
This looks promising. Apparently, according to BBC News Health, the body's own "training manual" for attacking HIV has been recorded by US scientists and it is hoped it can be used to design vaccines.
Training manual – sounds like something you'd get if you joined the army, or a self help book, or even a do it yourself book. Wonder if they have any at B&Q?
"HIV mutates in order to survive the onslaught of a patient's immune system. However, some patients develop highly effective antibodies that can neutralise huge swathes of HIV mutants."
Mmmm..... wonder how you do that? You'd obviously need a different kind of book – a cookery book perhaps featuring the best recipes to wipe out mutants. Anti mutant burgers!
"When someone is infected with HIV, their body produces antibodies to attack it. But the virus mutates and evades the offensive, so the body produces new antibodies that the virus then evades and the war goes on. However, after about four years of this struggle some patients hit on to a winner by targeting something the virus finds harder to change - An Achilles heel."
Ah ha – that's the answer then, got to find my Achilles heel whatever it is.
Have a quick look at Wikipedia - "An Achilles' heel is a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength."
None the wiser. Back to the findings.
"This is like a training manual for the immune system." Prof Haynes said: "What we were able to do was map out the arms race of both virus and antibody, and in doing so we have now a map.This is the first time we've been able to see the actual road map."
Well, I wish I could bloody well see it – maybe I could look it up on google maps, or a.a. route finder, or even on the sat nav. If only I'd had an HIV map ten years ago I would have certainly taken another direction. Oh well, there's no turning back now, onwards and upwards, fight the good fight etc.
Achilles is remembered as one of the greatest fighters who ever lived, so I'll follow his example and keep on fighting. Alternatively, I'll just have to buy a copy of the training manual when it comes out - or then again, write my own.