Don't use this as an excuse to avoid using condoms, but scientists have found 1% of the population is naturally resistant to HIV and other deadly diseases like malaria, leprosy and hepatitis.
How's that for a genetic mutation? Professor X would be so proud! Ha!
Out of 234 people participating in the study at the Stanford University School of Medicine, 3 people's cells were unaffected by the toxin, while others' were a hundred times more sensitive.
Much like anthrax bacteria infiltrating and killing host cells in the bloodstream, the same research shows that other lethal pathogens — including all the nasty disease mentioned above — interact with host genes to infect and replicate within human cells. Immune cells called lymphocytes in 3 individuals of European ancestry were thousands of times more resistant to anthrax toxins and possibly other pathogens.
While the study pertained mostly to anthrax, it showed that 1 out of 100 people may hold the key to preventing or treating HIV infection! That's always good news in our book, even if it's just a chance!
[Image via AP Images.]