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* Analysis of the molecular structure of AIDS virus DNA shows it mutates up to a million times faster than the standard mutation rate for DNA from other organisms. The high rate of mutation, the researchers suggest, could be what allows the AIDS virus to escape attack by the immune system. Beatrice H. Hahn of the University of Alabama in Birmingham and colleagues report in the June 20 SCIENCE on a comparison of AIDS DNA taken over the course of one or two years from three people. Each person had been infected with only one AIDS virus, although one man had had sexual encounters with about 1,000 men between 1980 and 1985. The exclusivity of infection, the researchers suggest, implies that infection by one AIDS virus may protect against infection by another. Figuring out how that happens, they note, "could be important in developing methods for the treatment and prevention of AIDS."

* The rate of ectopic (extrauterine) pregnancies in the United States more than tripled from 1970 to 1983, according to the May 9 MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WEEKLY REPORT. In 1970, there were 4.5 ectopic pregnancies for every 1,000 reported pregnancies; in 1983, there were 14 per 1,000. The increase is probably due to improved diagnostic technology and the increase in pelvic inflammatory disease, the report notes.
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Title Annotation:high mutation rate of AIDS virus, ectopoic pregnancy statistics
Publication:Science News
Date:Jun 28, 1986
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