Spotlight On... Scripps team IDs 'teenage' HIV antibody that could lead to an AIDS vaccine; Wistar Institute's novel vaccine strategy protects mice from Chikungunya; Purdue scientists map the Zika virus; and more...

HIV has been difficult to defend against because of its ability to hide itself in human cells and to mutate quickly. Because of this, scientists can't use conventional methods to create a vaccine and instead "reverse engineer" candidates using effective antibodies from HIV-positive patients. A Scripps Research Institute team has visualized for the first time an immature or "teenage" antibody found in a class of immune molecules that are effective against HIV. "This is actually the first example of how we can go back to the really early stage to see how this antibody lineage was born and can develop," said Jiang Zhu, a Scripps biologist, in a statement. The discovery could help researchers design a vaccine against AIDS. Release

> Research from the Wistar Institute has shown that a nonviral, vector-based monoclonal antibody delivery method caused rapid and long-term protection against Chikungunya virus in mice. Release

> A Purdue University team has mapped for the first time the structure of the Zika virus. Abstract

> Geneva-based cancer vaccine maker Amal Therapeutics raised 3 million Swiss francs ($3.1 million). Its lead candidate is for colorectal cancer. More

> A team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis created a mouse model for the testing of Zika vaccines and therapeutics. Release