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In a new finding that may allow vaccine designers to sidestep HIV's rapid mutation rate, researchers at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard have identified sections of an HIV protein where mutations would actually undermine the virus’ fitness – its ability to survive and reproduce.

Scientists reveal HIV weakness

Vaccines that target newly identified viral protein sequences could be more effective than previous efforts

21/Jun/2011

Ever since HIV was revealed as the infectious agent behind the AIDS epidemic, scientists have been striving to develop a vaccine against the disease. However, the task has proven difficult, because HIV mutates so rapidly.

In a new finding that may allow vaccine designers to sidestep HIV's part of that obstacle, researchers at the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard University have identified sections of an HIV protein where mutations would actually undermine the virus’ fitness — its ability to survive and reproduce.

Like to full MIT release.

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