Monday, March 11, 2013

Bee Venom Kills HIV

I know this sounds silly, but it is not.  It is sound science, and honestly, it is freaking amazing.   Joshua Hood, a scientist at Washington University (St Louis), took bee venom, loaded with the natural toxin melittin, and put it in nano-particles (he's a Phd MD, but we won't hold the "MD" part against him).  Link here.  The nano-particles were so large, that the normal cells could not get affected by the toxic melittin.   The melittin couldn't harm the normal cells, because they were TOO BIG.  But HIV is a sneaky little virus, encapsulated, with it's own little defense mechanism.

Well HIV, meet BEES!   That's right, Bees!  And the melittin in the bee venom stung the hell out of the HIV, poking holes in it, rendering it useless, while leaving the normal cells unaffected.  Hood hopes to develop a vaginal cream that is loaded with these nano particles that can be applied by women in areas rampantly affected by HIV - like Africa, Haiti, and other hot spots.

This is Science at its best.   Nano-particles, geometry, virology, immunology, biochemistry.  I bet none of the researchers who worked on this think the Earth is 6000 years old.  This is awesome.   This is - as my long deceased grandmother used to say "the bee's knees".  =)

I've been stung by bees, twice in my life, once between my fingers, and once on my arm.  No fun either time.   I was sorry to see the poor bee die, but she stung me.   I know bee venom is no laughing matter. I am delighted to see it stinging the hell out of HIV.

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