Issue Date: January 5, 2009
Innocentive Posts Vaccine Challenge
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has thrown open to the public the challenge of finding an HIV vaccine. The nonprofit has offered a $150,000 reward on the Innocentive website for the scientist who successfully designs a stable, functional trimer that mimics the portion of the HIV envelope that human antibodies first encounter. The envelope trimer has been shown in animal models to evoke an immune response that keeps HIV from entering the cell. Unfortunately, in its natural state it is quickly broken down in the body. The winning researcher could be eligible for a bonus of up to $1 million if the trimer is sufficiently immunogenic.
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