Achilles’ Heel

Weak Spots in HIV Found

Forty years after the insidious disease was first officially documented, an Achilles’ heel in HIV may have finally been found. Scientists at the Ragon Institute in Massachusetts used a statistical method called the random matrix theory—a mathematical tool previously used to study the stock market—to hone in on specific areas of the virus that are vulnerable. Researchers have been vexed because the virus mutates so frequently, but they believe they’ve found regions that HIV must keep intact, and it looks promising that vaccines and drugs could target such areas to defeat AIDS.