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Using anti-spam tools to fight HIV

June 03, 2005 18:15 IST

Spam-filtering technology may soon prove to be a lifesaver, according to a report on

Researchers are using Microsoft's anti-spam software to create a vaccine that could fight the deadly Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Kevin Schofield, general manager at Microsoft Research in Redmond, said in the report.

According to the report, the project is a joint initiative of Microsoft Research, the University of Washington in Seattle and Royal Perth Hospital in Australia.

Reasearcher's zeroed in on Microsoft's software for the model because of spam and HIV cells work in a similar fashion.

The project will help identify patterns within the genetic mutations of the virus and the patient's immune system, which could be used to create vaccine designs that have more HIV-fighting genetic markers, the report stated.

The World Health Organisation has reported that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome has claimed nearly 30 million lives worldwide. Forty million people today have HIV and close to 5 million are infected each year.

Since the project began two years ago, other research institutions have also signed up to participate, including Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Toronto.

According to researchers, it could take five to 10 years before they begin testing the vaccine on humans.