Team Tries to Render Cells Deaf to HIV

By Cronin, Mike | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 4, 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Team Tries to Render Cells Deaf to HIV


Cronin, Mike, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


An anti-HIV drug might someday work by simply telling cell proteins to ignore the virus, researchers theorize.

Judith Klein-Seetharaman, a research scientist at Carnegie Mellon University Language Technologies Institute, heads a team using statistical computer methods that analyze languages to identify which proteins might listen to that kind of drug and not the HIV virus.

"We want to find a way so HIV is not the dominant communicator among proteins," Klein-Seetharaman said. "If the virus is telling the cell not to divide, the drug would say, 'Cell, do divide! It doesn't matter what the virus is telling you.' "

Klein-Seetharaman won one of 104 grants for $100,000 each that the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded last month. The money is part of a program to fund research into innovative approaches to global health problems. Researchers from 22 countries and five continents earned grants. About 4,000 applied.

If the team can show the foundation proof the concept works by July, it could win a $1 million grant to pay for five years of research, said Klein-Seetharaman, 37, who also is a neuroscience professor at the University of London and heads the Centre for Biomedical Sciences there.

By using computational linguistics, the scientists will try to understand the language of proteins by viewing gene sequences "like texts in human languages" and find out which "words" are used by proteins that interact with one another, as opposed to those that don't, Klein-Seetharaman said.

How many proteins interact is unknown, said Oznur Tastan, 27, a doctoral student at CMU who has worked on the project for more than a year.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Team Tries to Render Cells Deaf to HIV
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?