Have we found the key to eradicating viruses like HIV or herpes?
来源：未知 作者：卜栉 时间：2017-09-05 03:01:10
By Michael le Page Every human has viruses lying low within them. It’s highly likely that you have been infected with a human papillomavirus at some point, for example. HPV inserts copies of its DNA into the genome of cells, allowing it to hide away for decades, ready to activate and infect more cells if your immune system slips up. The consequences can be lethal: HPV can cause neck, throat, anal and cervical cancer. The herpes simplex virus does a similar thing, adding one or more copies of its DNA to sensory nerve cells around the mouth or genitals. And several other common viruses also exploit this dastardly trick to hide away within you. Until recently, the best we could do was help the immune system suppress any viral activity. With the development of the first gene-editing tools, researchers began to explore the possibility of destroying the viral DNA inside our cells, but progress has been slow and results mixed. Now, with CRISPR, the field is racing ahead. Several groups have shown that it is possible to target and destroy viral genes in human cells growing outside the body. “We are all brimming with excitement,” says Bryan Cullen of Duke University, whose team is working on treatments for several viruses, including herpes. “There will be a huge demand if a cure is possible.” It should be easiest to target viruses that integrate themselves into specific tissues in a small area of the body, such as herpes simplex. Could it also work for HIV? The problem, Cullen says, is that HIV hides in memory T-cells,