HIV Research on Biology Workbench


Research the following problems using Biology Workbench for Students.


  1. Find and compare amino acid sequences of HIV envelope protein taken from various patients to determine which portions can be targeted for treatment and which portions mutate too often.  Does the virus mutate predictably so that we can target one area?  Or is it unpredictable so that we need to target several different areas?  What are your treatment recommendations?  What kinds of mutations are occurring?  Substitutions?  Deletions?  Insertions?


  1. We learned earlier that some people can resist infection by HIV because they have a mutation on their CCR5 proteins.  We also learned that HIV has to bind to two different proteins on the surface of T-cells, and that the other protein is called CD4.  Are there significant differences in the amino acid sequences from one person to another that it might be possible that a mutation exists for the CD4 protein that also might make some people resistant?  Are there other species of animals that have a protein similar to the CD4 protein in humans where HIV binds to T cells that we could use for researching treatment options or searching for HIV resistant strains of CD4?  What animals have proteins most similar to us?  How similar are they, and where do they differ?


Prepare a poster to share your findings with the class.  Your poster should contain the following elements.


I.               Title – The most important function of the title is to give the reader a clear picture of what the purpose of the poster is.  A catchy title can be an added bonus.


II.             Introduction – Introduce your project and tell what the purpose of your research is.  This section should give a good overall picture of what you did.


III.           Methods – Explain how you went about your research.


IV.           Data – This should be a large part of your poster.  Include any figures, charts, graphs, data, etc. that are important to your argument.


V.             Conclusions – This should be the other big part of your poster, and this section is possibly most important.  In this section describe the conclusions you drew from the data you gathered (referring to charts and figures from Biology Workbench as needed), implications of these conclusions, and your recommendations.