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The New Biology and its Impact in Biomedical Strategies Against HIV/AIDS

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The sequencing of the human genome and the initiation of the structural genomics projects have ushered in a new age of biology that involves multi-lab, high-cost projects with broad task-oriented goals rather than the more conventional hypothesis-driven approach of the past. The new biology has led to the development of new sets of tools for the scientist to use in the quest to solve mysteries of human disease, biomolecular structure-function relationships, and other burning biological questions. Nevertheless, the impact of the new biology on the field of AIDS investigation has been minimal, predominantly because many of the tools in the HIV field of study were developed before the full advance of the new biology was felt in the biomedical community. Many of the high-cost megaprojects that involve large technological advances and are marketed as projects of promise to the biomedical community are not likely to significantly impact the field of HIV/AIDS research and cannot serve as a substitute for direct funding to the HIV/AIDS scientists working for vaccine development, an understanding of mechanisms of disease causation, and new tools for therapeutic intervention.

Keywords: AIDS and ethics; AIDS and scientific inquiry; Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS); Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); ethics and decision making in AIDS patients

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Radiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago

Publication date: June 1, 2004


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