Research NewsGene Therapy

New Role for HIV: A Vehicle for Moving Genes Into Cells

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Science  12 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5259, pp. 195
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5259.195


A big problem that has dogged the nascent field of gene therapy is the lack of an effective means for shuttling genes into target cells. Most current transfer vehicles, or vectors, only work with dividing cells, for example, making it hard to get therapeutic genes into neurons and stem cells. Now a team from the Salk Institute reports on page 263 using a highly modified form of the AIDS virus, HIV, to transfect nondividing cells. The work is a long way from clinical application, but it may point the way to better vectors.