Medicine: A Virus as a Rosetta Stone

AIDS cases increase, but new research shows some signs of hope

When the disease first appeared five years ago, it seemed an impenetrable mystery. The best minds in medicine could not explain the cause of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or why it mainly struck homosexual men, intravenous drug users, Haitians and hemophiliacs. Nor could they begin to cure it. Six months ago came news of a breakthrough: scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Md., and the Pasteur Institute in Paris had discovered a virus that seemed to be closely related to, if not the cause of,...

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