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Genetic Scissors

For the first time in human AIDS trials, City of Hope researchers have succeeded in inserting a therapeutic gene against AIDS into "pluripotent" stem cells—the parent cells that "give birth" to the immune cells infected by HIV. If successful, this approach could lead to long-term immunity to the disease. Investigators, led by John A. Zaia, MD, director, Department of Virology, inserted an anti-HIV gene containing two types of ribozymes, or "molecular scissors," into the stem cells of patients with AIDS-related lymphoma. These patients received high-dose chemotherapy as standard treatment for their lymphoma. The chemotherapy killed the patient’s unhealthy bone marrow, making room for the genetically altered stem cells.

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Darrin Joy
1998 Annual Report, Press Release
Suzanne Arriaga