With an arsenal of 17 approved drugs and intricate rules for deploying each one, a physician's battle to shut down HIV replication is like chess against an opponent too strong to be driven from the board, so keeping the game going is the only alternative to losing. Today's best strategy for suppressing HIV calls for using three or four inhibitors in combination. As with a chessboard siege defense, conserving pieces while sealing off each new attack, doctors try to pick drug combinations that preserve as many options as possible should HIV mutate into drug resistance.

To help doctors find the most promising combinations in any situation, software called the HIV Therapy Edge combines bioinformatics with artificial intelligence, a computer science discipline grown up on chess problems. Developed by Intelligent Thera-peutic Solutions of Durham, N.C., the product is in final testing, scheduled for market release sometime this summer. HIV Therapy Edge,...

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