News Brief: Researchers have Successfully Edited HIV Out of T-Cells

by Aaron Shepard
in News
Hits: 735
News Brief HIV Removal

News Brief HIV Removal

News Brief:  Researchers have Successfully Edited HIV Out of T-Cells

Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia say they have found a safe way to eliminate the HIV-1 virus from CD4+ T-cells through a gene editing system.

“The findings are important on multiple levels,” Kamel Khalili, professor and chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Temple, says in a statement.  “The demonstrate the effectiveness of our gene editing system in eliminating HIV from the DNA of CD4+ T-cells and, by introducing mutations in the viral genome, permanently inactivate viral replication.”

“Further,” Khalili continued, “they show that the system can protect cells from reinfections and that the technology is safe for the cells, with no toxic effects.”

The findings were published in Scientific Reports this past month and mark the first time researchers at Temple have actually been able to remove HIV from an infected T-cell, opening the door for even more in-depth research.

Read more

News Brief: Saudi Man Arrested for Flying Rainbow Flag

by Aaron Shepard
in News
Hits: 694
News Brief Saudi Pride

News Brief Saudi Pride

News Brief:  Saudi Man Arrested for Flying Rainbow Flag

A man in Saudi Arabia has been arrested for flying the rainbow flag at his home.  The doctor, who lives in Jeddah, apparently didn’t know the flag represented LGBT pride.  He says he bout the flag online after one of his children said they liked the “pretty” design, reports CNN.

The religious police in Saudi, known as the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, came to the man’s home after he raised the flag three meters on a pole.

Read more

News Brief: Vatican to Replace Diplomat Who Set Up Kim Davis Meeting

by Aaron Shepard
in News
Hits: 771
News Brief Vatican Diplomat

News Brief Vatican Diplomat

News Brief:  Vatican to Replace Diplomat Who Set Up Kim Davis Meeting

The Vatican is replacing its controversial ambassador to the U.S., who arranged the meeting between Pope Francis and antigay Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis last fall.

Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò will leave the position of apostolic nuncio, the equivalent of an ambassador, and will be replaced by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, a French-born clergyman who is currently the nuncio to Mexico, Catholic magazine Americareports.

The Vatican is not expected to confirm the news until the Obama administration has agreed to the new nuncio’s appointment, the magazine notes, but it adds that “reliable sources” expect an official announcement before Easter, which falls on March 27 this year.  

Read more

News Brief: Calvin Klein Ad Accused of Breaking "Gay Propaganda" Law in Russia

by Aaron Shepard
in News
Hits: 672
News Brief Calvin Klein Russian Gay Propaganda Law

News Brief Calvin Klein Russian Gay Propaganda Law

News Brief:  Calvin Klein Ad Accused of Breaking "Gay Propaganda" Law in Russia

The new Calvin Klein ad is being accused of “gay propaganda” in Russia.

The new ad for the perfume CK2, which features two opposite-sex and two same-sex couples, has been reported to the authorities for containing “elements of propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia.”

Complaints have been made to authorities in Arkhangelsk after someone watched the advert on YouTube.  Arkhangelsk authorities have announced they are investigating to see whether it has broken the law.

Read more

News Brief: Italy’s Senate Approves Same-Sex Civil Unions… With a Catch

by Aaron Shepard
in News
Hits: 640
News Brief Italian Civil Unions

News Brief Italian Civil Unions

News Brief:  Italy’s Senate Approves Same-Sex Civil Unions… With a Catch

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s political gamble paid off, with his nation’s Senate voting overwhelmingly to approve a bill to legalize nonreligious civil unions for same-sex couples, reports the BBC.

In an attempt to force the bill’s passage after weeks of delay, Renzi called a confidence vote in his leadership and his legislative agenda Thursday.  Had the motion failed, he would have been forced to resign.  The vote was successful, passing by a margin of 173-71, an outcome that Renzi has hailed as “historic.”

Read more