Independent Study Outcomes
1. The general mechanisms by which vaccines protect against
-create a cache of weapons that you can deploy when needed
-modify a pathogen, to help you fend off something you don't have
natural immunity to
2. Why developing a vaccine against HIV is relatively challenging,
compared to other diseases.
-increased genetic variation, mutates furiously, hides itself in your
3. Why people are encouraged to get a flu vaccine each year (as
opposed to one time only).
-many different strains of flu
-vaccine protects you against a few of the most common predicted
strands each year
1) General global distribution of HIV infections.
-almost 60% of HIV infected individuals live in South Sub-Saharan
2) General temporal trends in HIV infection rates.
-number of people living with HIV continue to increase
-death is beginning to plateau due to anti-viral therapies
3) Factors that explain why no cure or universal vaccine has been
developed for HIV/AIDS.
-HIV is a retrovirus, that uses reverse transcriptase, instead of
-in reverse transcriptase, RNA is reverse-transcribed into DNA, and
inserted into the host cell's chromosomes
-unlike transcription, reverse-transcription has no proof-reading
mechanism, which makes mutations inevitable
-with more mutations, it become more difficult to target the virus,
since it's genetic variability is so great
4) Reasons why viruses are not considered “alive”.
-no metabolic/physiological mechanisms, uses host cell machinery to
sustain it's metabolic functions 5) Reasons why anti-viral drug therapies often have serious side
-virus' need to use the host cell machinery to sustain it's
-in order to target the virus, you often have to target the host cell, as
well, which leads to collateral damage to the host cell, hence there are
serious side effects
6) Major steps in life cycle of HIV
-virion attaches to the nuclear envelope of host cell
-enters cell though endocy