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HIV properties

  1. Mar 23, 2007 #1
    Suppose you fill up a beaker with 1 mole of isolated HIV.
    What would be the consistency of this collection of HIV? Slimy? Liquid? What color would it have? If you would put your finger in it, would it infect you if you have no open wounds on your finger, i.o.w. does it penetrate through your finger skin?

    Are all viruses of a certain species totally identical (considering no artificial manipulation and no mutation)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2007 #2
    I don't know about the first part. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be liquid... slimy/greasy is my best guess considering the chemical makeup of a virus, but i could be way off.

    for the second part, my understanding is that they would not be identical -- there are always some mutations when anything reproduces... if viruses didn't keep changing we wouldn't need to keep coming up with new vaccines for the same virus.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2007
  4. Mar 24, 2007 #3
    if HVI could soak into your bloodstream via skin contact, all workers in the hospital were already infected. HIv is not Herpatitis, it can't live long outside, when you put your naked finger in the beaker, they might be already dead :cry:. I don't know about virus culture anyway.
    Study glycoprotein. gp120, 41 are cool tools for HIV research.
  5. Mar 26, 2007 #4

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    FWIW - HIV doesn't survive intact outside of a host for very long.

    For viruses that do survive well outside the host (mostly plant viruses) consider:

    tobacco mosaic virus can be crystallized.

    Like other complex molecules that better fit our conventional notion of "chemical". eg., sucrose. Crystallized TMV stored away from light for years can still infect tobacco plants.

    I would guess that dry HIV would form some type of dry sludge or possibly a dusty powder based on tiny crystalline forms.
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