Caucasians more resistant
to HIV infection, study says
The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 17, 1996 - 7
BALTIMORE - Genetic resistance
to HIV infection is relatively common
n people of Caucasian descent and vir-
'tually nonexistent in people of African
descent, the National Cancer Institute's
, i. Steven O'Brien has announced.
Based on a study of more than 1,900
American men and women who have
--been in AIDS-related studies for more
:than a decade and who have been
ekposed to the human immunodeficien-
cy virus repeatedly without becoming
jnfected or who are HIV-positive but
fter years of infection haven't pro-
gressed to AIDS, O'Brien made anoth-
et finding: There is a state of partial
genetic protection that slows the course
- The Caucasian people who have this
gene are far less likely to progress
rapidly to AIDS after infection and they
live AIDS-free lives an average of two
years longer than
Is who don't
carry the gene. t
ings are so strong eXufiara
- the statistical
evidence so pow- pace
erful - that the j-
odds that this U$sc oer
genetic protective - Dr
effect is a matter
of coincidence or
ther factors are
in 40 million. In
the statistical world of biology, that con-
stitutes virtual certainty.
O'Brien's findings were announced
last week in Baltimore at the annual
meeting of the Institute' of Human
Virology. Startling as his findings may
seem, they are merely one piece of a
constellation of revelations that during
the past six months has turned AIDS
"It's been exhilarating, the pace of dis-
covery;" Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of
the NIH's National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda,
Md., told his assembled colleagues. "But
it also gives me a migraine headache
because of the difficulty of keeping up.
We're at that stage that is both very excit-
ing and frustrating."
O'Brien's findings amplify work in
the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research
Center's discovery of three genetically
resistant New Yorkers. The Manhattan-
based center's study, reported last
month in Newsday, found that the men
were missing 32 bits of genetic infor-
mation involved in the production of a
cellular receptor called CKR-5, the
most important receptor used by H IV as
a doorway to human white blood cells.
Ned Landau's laboratory at the Aaron
Diamond Center showed that people
who had genetically defective CKR-5
also had nonfunctional "doorways," so
HIV couldn't get inside cells. This
genetic protection is absolute if individ-
uals are homozygous, meaning they
inherited the trait from both parents.
Just one month
ago, fewer than
five such indi-
en viduals were
rng, the O'Brien and
an n o u n ce d
of dozens -
Anthony Fauci perhaps hun-
.Io .ia dreds - more.
NIH of ficial Curiously, no
one has found
an African indi-
vidual who is either heterozygous or
homozygous for the anti-HIV gene.
(Heterozygous individuals inherit a nor-
mal CKR-5 gene from one parent and
the abnormal, protective gene from their
other parent.) A Belgian study described
at the meeting looked hard, and found
none. And O'Brien found that even
among blacks, many of whom have
some Caucasian ancestors or parents,
fewer than 2 percent carry the gene (vs.
24 percent of whites).
So why does this gene exist? It has to
be relatively new because of its racial
segregation. Scientists speculated the
mutant form of CKR-5 protected
against some scourge that afflicted
Europeans but not Africans. The obvi-
ous candidate would be the Black
Death of 1346, or plague. If the mutant
CKR-5 blocked plague bacteria, the
survivors would be more likely to carry
Why are heterozygotes slower to get
AIDS? They have HIV "doorways," so
their cells clearly can be infected. It
turns out that when HIV attaches itself
to the CKR-5 "doorways" a series of
helpful chemicals is blocked. These
chemicals, called chemokines, help the
immune system fight off HIV. Several
European laboratories, as well as that of
Richard Koup of the Aaron Diamond
AIDS Research Center, reported at this
meeting that people who have the
mutant CKR-5 genes make more of
those protective chemokines. Dr. Ed
Berger of the National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Diseases was
among those who discovered CKR-5
and another HIV doorway dubbed
fusin. "Are these the only two co-fac-
tors that are important?" he asked.
"Clearly they are not."
Knowing some people are capable of
battling HIV through these receptors
and chemokines has fueled a long-
standing debate: Is it the amount and
type of virus in the body that dictates
whether an individual will live years of
disease-free life or succumb months
after infection? Or is it something in
that individual's immune system? If the
virus is the key, the new triple-combi-
nation drug treatments that knock down
HIV levels could eventually be curative.
But if the immune system's weaknesses
are key, there is little hope these thera-
pies will work.
The evidence is contradictory. Dr.
David Ho, director of the Aaron
Diamond AIDS Research Center, says
the body of an infected person makes 10
billion HIVs every day and 100 million
CD4 lymphocytes daily to combat the
virus. If the viral "factory" is shut down
with drugs, Ho says, the immune system
ought to be able to rev itself up.
Mexican children watch a tank roll past the Angel of independence monument during the Independence Day parade in
Mexico City yesterday.
Minor usedin federal anlti
Smokin sting oerations
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a little
publicized provision, President
Clinton's crackdown on youth smok-
ing encourages states to use minors in
sting operations to detect illegal
tobacco sales - or risk losing federal
The government says its new rule did
generate a healthy dose of responses
from citizens about the physical and
psychological safety of undercover
children and their ability to understand
legal issues like entrapment.
But it says examples around the
country - including an Illinois town
where stings using junior high school
students have had a dramatic impact -
show that such problems can be solved
with proper adult supervision.
"We took into consideration the
impact on youth in any of these sting
operations," said Mark Weber,
spokesperson for the Department of
Health and Human Services agency
that implemented the rule.
"We are working with the states to
do it in a way that is acceptable to us
and that is acceptable to them."
The rule was issued in January by
the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration,
which distributes $1.2 billion a year
in drug treatment and prevention
It mandates that all states have
mandatory inspection programs by next
year to catch businesses that illegally
sell tobacco to children. Those that
don't comply risk losing federal drug
The rule leaves it to the states to
determine how to catch illegal sales, bUt
strongly urges the use of undercover
stings with children at least two to three
years younger than the 18-year-old
legal smoking age.
"The department believes that-the
use of minors in inspections is very
effective," the rule states.
For states where officials are consid-
ering alternatives, the government
warns, "The department has not identi-
fied evidence of any other workable or
Election politics endangers bill
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Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Despite broad bipartisan support for a
crackdown on illegal immigration, legislation before
Congress to do just that has become so ensnarled in election-
year politics that its prospects for passage are in doubt.
Imperiling the measure is a GOP strategy partially aimed
at denying President Clinton a signing ceremony in the weeks
preceding the Nov. 5 election, lawmakers in both parties say.
Today, House and Senate lawmakers are to decide whether
to include in the final bill a controversial provision from the
House version of the legislation to allow states to impose
tuition on illegal immigrant students for public education.
That would set up a confrontation with Senate Democrats
"This strategy is designed to pin down the president," said
Michelle Davis, spokesperson for House Majority Leader
Dick Armey (R-Texas). "He has done an excellent job of tak-
ing credit for things we pass. Not this time."
Indeed, officials with Republican Bob Dole's presidential
campaign - frustrated by Clinton's embrace of many tradi-
tional GOP themes - are among those pushing the current
strategy for the immigration bill.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the con-
gressional conference committee meeting on the bill today,
called that strategy "extraordinarily flawed public policy."
She said the people of California, who have pressed the
immigration issue to the fore, "will see right through it."
The House passed its immigration bill in March by a vote
of 333-87. The Senate followed suit two months later, 97-3.
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GOMBERG HOUSE- Vote April and Binita
for house council in South Quad.
and the White House that is unlikely to
Congress adjourns in a few weeks.
be resolved before
tickets & travel
Continued from Page 1
"The professors never seem to fol-
low (waitlists)," said LSA senior Sara
Miller. "In some classes, if you're not
a senior in that major it doesn't
School of Art junior Sherry Meyer
said she has tried for three terms to take
"Color," and has been on the waitlist
each time. "Last time, I was No. 4 on
the waitlist and the professor said she
would let the first six in," Meyer said.
"After a week and a half, (the profes-
sor) decided that She was going to give
seniority to the seniors who wanted to
take the class (instead of using the wait-
list)," Meyer said.
For students not yet registered in the
course, attending the first day of class is
"I went directly to the first day of
class and got an override," Miller said
of one of her courses. "I wouldn't sug-
gest trying to get overrides over-the
phone. It took going to the professor (to
get into the class)," she said.
But what most students really want to
know is not how to get into Calculus
Does the CRISP voice have a name?
"No, she doesn't," Adelman said.
"We were given a choice of voices, and
this voice was chosen by the majority."
ALUMNI SELLING pair of season football
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Continued from Page 1
Klan and NWROC, but said he would
have more information in a few
"There's no specific date to collect
(the money)," Berlin said. "Time will
determine the outcome."
NWROC members and supporters
considered the issuance of the bill as a
slap in the face to the organization.
"It's the fact that they would have the
gall to further attack us and to punish
the leaders who fought against the
KKK," said LSA senior Jessica Curtin,
an NWROC member.
"Their main reason for trying to sue
us for the money is because they want
to pin the blame on us;' Curtin said.
.NWROC's attorney, George
Washington, asserted that the city's
motive for the billing was to find scape-
goats. Washington also defended sever-
al of the eight people arrested during
the June 22 rallies.
"With all of the people who were
there, how is it that NWROC got a bill
for $34,000?" Washington asked. "The
answer is simple. Somebody in City
Council, the city manager, doesn't like
"It's political vendetta," Washington
Washington compared the billing to
tactics that Southern segregationists
used to crack down on the 1960's civil
rights movement in the South.
"This bill will never be paid,"
Washington said. "We will make the
city of Ann Arbor synonymous with
Selma, Ala., and Biloxi, Miss."
OF THE 21 ST CENTURY
10C" ME A TEUACHiC2
Prospective Teacher Education Meeting
Wednesday, October 2, 1996
Room 1309 School of Education Building
Call 764-7563 for more information.
0 m mm m mI
THE FISH DOCTOR
10 gallon tank $7.99
29 gallon tank $25.99
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NhANNY Vfor.v I &A4oirIs_ 45hrs.. N.E. AA. M