default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Snapshots Disney cruise is perfect vacation for Lodi family

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories

Send Us Your Snapshots!

LOS ANGELES—Anybody who’s ever hung from the bars of a playground jungle gym knows it’s easier to latch on with two arms instead of one.

The same might be said of immune system antibodies: The “Y” shaped proteins do a better job of clinging to invader viruses when they use both of their arms, or binding sites, instead of just one.

In research published Thursday in the journal Cell, scientists at California Institute of Technology described how the structure of HIV often prevents antibodies from using both arms.

They also offer a genetically engineered solution to the problem. In fact, researchers say their altered antibodies are, on average, more than a 100 times better at neutralizing HIV than the body’s naturally produced antibodies.

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, uses a variety of methods to evade the body’s immune system.

In the Cell paper, researchers focused specifically on how the number of protein spikes that stud HIV’s spherical surface help it to escape capture. It’s these spikes that antibodies will target and bind to in an attempt to inactivate the virus.

“If you look at a virus like flu ... it’s got 450 or so spikes,” said senior author Pamela Bjorkman, Caltech’s Max Delbruck professor of biology and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “Antibodies can bind to it with both arms because they just cross-link between neighboring spikes.”

But with just 10 to 20 spikes sprouting from its surface, HIV presents a much more difficult target for the antibodies, and they end up connecting with only one arm according to the researchers. The distance between the spikes is too far for both arms to reach.

Bjorkman and lead author Rachel Galimidi, a graduate student in Bjorkman’s lab, attempted to address this situation by modifying the antibodies so that they essentially had longer reaches.

By taking pairs of binding sites, or arms, from a variety of antibodies and linking them with varying lengths of DNA they found that certain combinations of binding sites and certain lengths of DNA worked extremely well—some as much as 1,000 times better than natural occurring antibodies.

The trick however was finding the exact right length of DNA and the right combination of antibodies—a task that required some patience.

“It took four years of graduate school,” Galimidi said.

The next step will be to fabricate an antibody molecule that uses a protein-based link. DNA, the researchers said, was impractical for producing large quantities of reagent.

Once they accomplish this they can test the reagent in mice or other animals.

“We’re open to funding,” Bjorkman said. “We’re open to people who are interested in trying to help us test this clinically.”


©2015 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC


Topics: t000002831,t000002828,t000002827,t000412858



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists