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A HIV vaccine that uses a synthetic gene to trigger an immune response might offer a way to protect against the virus where others have failed. Previous vaccines which aim to stimulate an immune response involving T-cells have largely failed because of HIV's ability to rapidly mutate and escape them. To get around this, Lucy Dorrell at the University of Oxford and her team created a synthetic gene by stitching together 14 regions of the HIV genome that don't tend to mutate because if they do the virus struggles to survive.