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Building a Small-Animal Model for AIDS, Block by Block

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Science  10 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5532, pp. 1034-1036
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5532.1034

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A few labs have been plugging away for years to develop cheap, malleable animal models for AIDS, say, a rat or a mouse, to help speed up research, but HIV stubbornly refuses to infect animals other than humans and chimpanzees. Recent findings have brought the goal closer, but some AIDS researchers remain skeptical that it can be done. Some even argue that the whole effort is an exercise in futility, because by the time researchers engineer both the animal and the virus to produce a model, it will no longer bear enough resemblance to the actual disease.