A Microsoft researcher is using his expertise in creating computer spam-blocking software to analyze HIV, identify infected cells and track viral mutations, reports BusinessWeek.  

David Heckerman spent years creating software to attack pesky spam messages that often multiply and bypass spam filters

In 2003 Heckerman, who is both a physician and PhD in computer science, realized that he could use some of the same tools to examine how HIV replicates and mutates in the human body.

Heckerman, who works with two other colleagues at Microsoft, hopes that their research will lead to vaccines that can be tested on humans in the next three years.