Genes of AIDS virus Essay

The genes of viruses thought to cause AIDS have now been analyzed in detail, several independent groups of scientists report. These new analyses provide the strongest indication thus far that the two independently isolated viruses linked to AIDS (SN: 4/28/84, p. 260) are basically the same, and that they have few similarities to the other viruses in the group known as retroviruses. Each research team reports the sequence of the more than 9,000 subunits, called nucleotides, that make up the viral RNA, the material that encodes the genetic information in these viruses.

The AIDS-linked virus known as HTLV-o was analyzed in a collaboration of scientists at the Nation Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., Harvard University, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. in Wilmington, Del., and Centocor, a biotechnology company in Malvern, Pa. Their report appears in the Jan. 24 NATURE. The other version of the virus, called LAV, was analyzed by scientists at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. Their results are published in the January CELL. Two California genetic engineering sequences also have analyzed the genetic sequences of AIDS viruses; one report will be published in the Feb. 1 SCIENCE.

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