Any Way You Slice It

A leading researcher unsheathes a new weapon in the fight against AIDS

DESPITE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND THE EFFORTS OF some of the best minds in medicine, the search for an AIDS vaccine has yet to yield an effective cure. Now one of the world's leading AIDS researchers wants to try a new weapon: a "molecular knife" that disables the virus by slicing up its genetic code.

Flossie Wong-Staal, who rose to prominence at the U.S. National Cancer ) Institute, reported last week that a hairpin-shape enzyme derived from a plant virus has shown a remarkable affinity for the virus that causes AIDS. Like the chemical scissors used in gene splicing, the hairpin...

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