Hitting the news this week – though not as loudly as some might have thought – was a story about an HIV-Positive patient in Germany who, through the use of stem cells, may have been cured.
The fanfare was a bit muted, perhaps because the ‘Berlin Patient’ had a bone marrow transplant in 2007 after contracting leukemia, perhaps because the experimental treatment is not likely applicable *in its current form* to the larger population. But Mr. Berlin (who is rumored to be an American patient) still shows no signs of having HIV or, for that matter, leukemia. He had received stem cells from a donor who has a rare gene mutation (go mutants!) that makes contracting HIV impossible.
Keep in mind, this transplant was done in 2007, years after the Bush administration had outlawed stem cell research in the United States. So…. how much sooner could someone have come up with this? The good news (and this is hardly news) is that Obama reversed the ban on stem cell research while he was still unpacking his things in the Oval Office almost two years ago. Now, a company in Baltimore is walking happily through the doorway opened up by the German scientists, and using this research to move closer to hopefully pushing HIV into the same ancient history books as the black plague.
Hopefully, someone around the globe takes us to the next step before the Republicans re-gain power and kick logic and science in the nuts once again.