Ever since college biology class, when she first prepared DNA from a cell, Anne Marie Skalka has been fascinated by its structure and function. Her main interest is in how cells maintain the structure of their genes and how they alter it to influence gene function. She recently has been working on viral systems, specifically the HIV retroviral system. Skalka has been trying to discover ways to develop therapies for HIV. She has been working with an enzyme of the virus called integrase. Integrase splices viral DNA into the host chromosome, a process that is essential for an active infection. The virus maintains itself in the chromosome for the life of the cell, genetically programming the cell to produce more virus. Skalka says of THE SCIENTIST: "Scientists can't live in ivory towers and do just scholarly work anymore. We must be in tune with public policy, and we have...

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