BY Neal Broverman
December 07 2009 5:00 PM ET
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, made a stunning announcement Monday: Stem cells can be engineered to kill HIV.
The results, published Monday in the online journal PLoS ONE, demonstrate that human stem cells can be engineered into the equivalent of a genetic vaccine.
"We have demonstrated in this proof-of-principle study that this type of approach can be used to engineer the human immune system, particularly the T-cell response, to specifically target HIV-infected cells," lead investigator Scott Kitchen, assistant professor of medicine in the division of hematology and oncology at the Devid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said in a release. "These studies lay the foundation for further therapeutic development that involves restoring damaged or defective immune responses toward a variety of viruses that cause chronic disease, or even different types of tumors."