UCF scientists revived a dormant gene found in humans and coaxed it to produce retrocyclin, a protein that resists HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Lead scientist Alexander Cole used drugs commonly used to fight bacterial infections to trigger the production of the sleeping protein.
“It could make a huge difference in the fight against HIV,” Cole said. “Much more work would be needed to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of this approach. We would certainly have to have human trials, but these findings represent a promising step in that direction.”