Well, we don't start talking about HIV and AIDS until Tuesday but this weekend saw the publication of two papers in the journal Science that are probably the most hopeful news for an eventual AIDS vaccine for a long time.
Take a deep breath and we have:
Xueling Wu, Zhi-Yong Yang, Yuxing Li, Carl-Magnus Hogerkorp, William R. Schief, Michael S. Seaman, Tongqing Zhou, Stephen D. Schmidt, Lan Wu, Ling Xu, Nancy S. Longo, Krisha McKee, Sijy O'Dell, Mark K. Louder, Diane L. Wycuff, Yu Feng, Martha Nason, Nicole Doria-Rose, Mark Connors, Peter D. Kwong, Mario Roederer, Richard T. Wyatt, Gary J. Nabel, and John R. Mascola. Rational design of envelope surface identifies broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies to HIV-1. Science, 2010.
Tongqing Zhou, Ivelin Georgiev, Xueling Wu, Zhi-Yong Yang, Kaifan Dai, Andres Finzi, Young Do Kwon, Johannes Scheid, Wei Shi, Ling Xu, Yongping Yang, Jiang Zhu, Michel C. Nussenzweig, Joseph Sodroski, Lawrence Shapiro, Gary J. Nabel, John R. Mascola, and Peter D. Kwong. Structural Basis for Broad and Potent Neutralization of HIV-1 by Antibody VRC01. Science, 2010.
Several newspapers summarized this research but the report at ScienceDaily is one of the more comprehensive.
Scientists have discovered two potent human antibodies that can stop more than 90 percent of known global HIV strains from infecting human cells in the laboratory, and have demonstrated how one of these disease-fighting proteins accomplishes this feat. According to the scientists, these antibodies could be used to design improved HIV vaccines, or could be further developed to prevent or treat HIV infection. Moreover, the method used to find these antibodies could be applied to isolate therapeutic antibodies for other infectious diseases as well.