HIV Surface Proteins Finally Caught Going Au Naturel

Jon is a staff writer for Science.

Following in the footsteps of recent advances against respiratory syncytial virus, the HIV field hopes that a better understanding of its surface proteins will reveal novel ways to block infections. Now a team of structural biologists and immunologists have taken what they believe is a major step toward that goal by engineering a "near native" version of the surface proteins, a technical feat that has taken decades to accomplish. They both hope near-native proteins will serve a component of a vaccine and help clarify the precise interactions between the virus and human cells during the infection process.

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