A starchy substance that drains cholesterol from cell membranes can completely block HIV transmission, reported researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in the July 20 AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.
The researchers, knowing that cholesterol is instrumental in HIV's ability to infiltrate cells, wondered what would happen if the lipid were removed from cells. They used cyclodextrins, chains of sugar polymers that form rings, to eliminate cholesterol, then exposed the cells to virus particles and cells infected with HIV.
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