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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Scientists See a Mysterious Similarity in a Pair of Deadly
Kolata, Gina
May 26, 1998
New York Times (05/26/98) P. C1

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute have discovered that a genetic mutation that protects against HIV infection appears to have developed in Europe around the time of the bubonic plague. Using the method employed to calculate the appearance of the cystic fibrosis gene, the scientists--who reported their findings in the current issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics--determined that the HIV resistance gene emerged some 700 years ago. The gene appears to be common among individuals whose relatives lived in areas affected by the plague, but has not been found among those whose ancestors lived in parts of the world not touched by the disease, such as Africans and Asians.

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