April 6th, 2009

Delayed Opening Day Videos, and More

Some random HIV/ID issues while awaiting a delayed opening day here in cold, rainy Boston:

  • If you enjoy video highlights, check out these of HIV making its way from T cell to T cell.  If you’re short on time, #’s 9-12 are particularly amazing.  Still, I don’t imagine that this video will make it to Youtube anytime soon:

Transfer of an entire synaptic button to the CD4+ target cell. Image is an overlay of brightfield image and green fluorescence in a maximum intensity projection of the acquired stack.

(Hat tip to J Li for the link.)

  • NA-ACCORD lands, to be published in print April 30th.  After a major study has been presented at a meeting twice, discussed extensively and digested, I sometimes wonder, what is the impact of actual publication?  Here I’d suggest reading the fine print, as the published paper does differ in some major ways from what was presented last year at ICAAC and this year at CROI:  the beneficial effect of starting earlier (with CD4 > 500) was even greater than reported earlier, but the groups who did start early differed (significantly) from those who deferred.  The study’s impact on clinical practice?  We’ll see, but I suspect it will be substantial given the other data supporting earlier treatment.
  • Bats have an image problem.  A mysterious illness — white nose syndrome — is decimating the bat population, and no one cares.  Why am I not surprised?  Money quote:

To a public raised on vampire movies, bats are loathsome, frightening creatures – blind, flying rodents that all carry rabies, suck human blood, and get impossibly tangled in long hair.

(They said it, not me.) Turns out that to garner support for animals, “cuteness rules” — which means that causes for polar bears (global warming) and toucans (rain forests) get much more sympathy (and $$$) than bats.

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HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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