The T-Cell

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The T-Cell

Post  Church1ll on Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:10 pm

Here's something I found while bored:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27633307

Now, anyone that's experienced Resident Evil in movie or video game form will find something eerily familiar here. I'm not saying that the zombie apocalypse is upon us, but really they could have picked a better name for their potential cure to HIV. Obviously T-cells and T-virus are different, but they do essentially the same thing, thus creating a bit of paranoia for the sci-fi crowd (but then again what doesn't nowadays?).

Now that's out of the way I would like to mention that this is an incredible medical breakthrough. If these modified cells do as well in humans as they do in lab dishes, there may be a cure to HIV and possibly AIDS in the near future. That could in turn lead to many more major breakthroughs and possibly silence opponents to genetic engineering with solid proof it helps people.

I could be wrong here, though. Perhaps these "assassin cells" will turn on us and cause a zombie outbreak...in which case I will be strapping a chainsaw to one arm and a metal plate to the other and going on a zombie killing spree.
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Re: The T-Cell

Post  Gustavus_Adolfus on Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:17 am

actually it is known that chlorine kills AIDS and almost any other disease....if scientists are able to morph the molecular structure and make it non lethal to humans we could potentially inject chlorine into our blood veins to kill AIDS Smile
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Re: The T-Cell

Post  Church1ll on Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:36 am

Chlorine is one of the elements and thus can't be altered...however a chemical compound could me made that utilizes chlorine as the reacting agent, although it would be extremely difficult to create a medicine that targets the virus without doing severe damage to the body should it involve chlorine. Unfortunately, some damage to the body is inevitable since the reacting agent is fatal to essentially everything it touches. Chemotherapy is a pretty good example of a medicine that damages its target, but also damages the body along with it so maybe it could be made in this fashion.

However, the T-cell idea is actually a very good one in that a specimen from the human body itself is slightly altered to target disease and viruses and destroys them. Essentially you could think of it like injecting white blood cells with steroids like Barry Bonds does (sorry couldn't resist), making them far stronger than they are naturally. Also, you could consider it like giving them an advanced radar detector since the new T-cells can find the HIV-infected cells even when "disguised." This is essentially great news for HIV and AIDS victims, since this could be the path to the cure.

Note: I know the T-virus is fictional but the parallels exist...and after all you never know.
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Re: The T-Cell

Post  ExoticWhiteMan on Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:24 am

That's pretty exciting stuff. Just imagine if these T-Cells could be programmed to aggressively attack cancer cells. In my engineering class at Drexel, we went to some seminar where some guy talked about programming nanobots to go and kill cancer cells, but this t-cell idea sounds a lot easier :-).
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Re: The T-Cell

Post  Church1ll on Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:28 am

The only thing I have against nanobots is that they can malfunction, which could then cause them to attack the body rather than help it. There is no medicine short to stop rampaging nanobots from destroying the body. These T-cells seem to be a safe alternative, although there is the risk of them mutating in a similar manner. However, there can always be a medicine available to suppress the T-cells.
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Re: The T-Cell

Post  PokerFace on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:41 am

That's pretty interesting! This reminds me of an article that I had read this morning on my phone. I don't quite remember the specifics because I was drinking some juice and reading it half asleep, but it was similar from what I gathered.

There was this man that had AIDS for many years and he had also developed leukemia. One of the ways that they were looking to cure this leukemia was to do a bone marrow transplant. After doing this bone marrow transplant, they found that a few months later the man showed no traces of the AIDS virus. They attributed it certain things, like the fact that there are some people that are just naturally immune to the virus and therefore their bone marrow would be helpful in ridding the bodies of others of this harmful virus. I don't quite remember everything about this article, but I do know that there were a lot of people that were skeptical about it. Some people thought it was just luck, because bone marrow treatment has been used experimentally to look for a cure for AIDS but only a few people were freed of the virus completely.

While I'm not really going to swing in favor of any of the treatments I've heard at this moment, I will say that I'm very hopeful about the future of AIDS research and the hunt for a cure.

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