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The race to be first to develop a vaccine for AIDS could have dire consequences, argues John P. Moore, who says that the competitive mentality of US federal agencies is leading to the wasteful duplication of effort.

Despite claims to the contrary, the present generation of AIDS vaccine candidates will in all probability be of little benefit to populations in the developing world.

The price of failure in a string of trials will be costly — the erosion of public confidence in science’s ability to deliver an effective HIV-1 vaccine.

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Reference: Nature 415, 365 (2002)

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