A toxin found in bee venom has been found to be successful in killing HIV, raising hopes for a gel that could deliver it to infected cels via nanoparticles.
"Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use this gel as a preventive measure to stop the initial infection," says Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhD, a research instructor in medicine. The study appears in the current issue of Antiviral Therapy.
Bee venom contains a potent toxin called melittin that can poke holes in the protective envelope that surrounds HIV, and other viruses. Large amounts of free melittin can cause a lot of damage. Indeed, in addition to anti-viral therapy, the paper's senior author, Samuel A. Wickline, MD, the J. Russell Hornsby Professor of Biomedical Sciences, has shown melittin-loaded nanoparticles to be effective in killing tumor cells.
The new study shows that melittin loaded onto these nanoparticles does not harm normal cells. That's because Hood added protective bumpers to the nanoparticle surface. When the nanoparticles come into contact with normal cells, which are much larger in size, the particles simply bounce off. HIV, on the other hand, is even smaller than the nanoparticle, so HIV fits between the bumpers and makes contact with the surface of the nanoparticle, where the bee toxin awaits.
"Melittin on the nanoparticles fuses with the viral envelope," Hood says. "The melittin forms little pore-like attack complexes and ruptures the envelope, stripping it off the virus."
How does one collect bee venom?
A helpful video, AFTER THE JUMP...
Like Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck is reportedly leaving The View. However, it may not be of her own volition.
US Weekly reports:
According to the source, the show's resident conservative voice is being ousted after market research revealed that she isn't popular with TV audiences.
"The viewers they polled all said she was too extreme and right wing," the insider tells Us. "People did not watch the show because of Elisabeth. So they told her yesterday her contract would not be renewed."
When reached for comment, a rep for the show told Us in a statement: "Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a valued member of The View and has a long term contract."
Meanwhile, Brooke Shields is rumored to be joining the table.
Some Saturday laughs for you.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
(via ed kennedy)
Writer Recalls Childhood Friendship with 'Bright-Eyed' Maggie Gallagher Before She Was NOM's 'Notorious Homophobe'
Maggie Gallagher wasn't always the wicked witch of NOM, according to Kevin Mims, who describes living across the street from her when she was approximately 7 years old, in a piece in Open Salon. Gallagher wasn't the only "notorious homophobe" with whom Mims had a close encounter. Sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card, in the headlines recently for the controversy over his DC Comics Superman gig, was at one time, one of Mims' writing teachers.
You'll be interested in his tales of both of them.
But I was wrong. The Maggie Gallagher in Oppenheimer’s article and the Maggie I grew up with turned out to be one (and) the same.
In 1967, when I was nine, my family moved into a nice home in an upper-middle class neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. The block I lived on looked as though it might have been just around the corner from the Cleaver household on Leave It To Beaver or the Anderson household from Father Knows Best. Across the street from us, and one house to the right, lived the Gallaghers, another moderately large Catholic family like mine. Maggie’s brother Billy soon became one of my best friends. Billy was a year younger than I, so we didn’t spend much time together at school. But after school we were best pals. We were both chess fanatics. We would often play a dozen games of chess against each other in the hours between our arrival home from school and the arrival of dinner time. Billy’s little sister, Maggie, younger than me by about two years, was a beautiful, bright-eyed little girl and a jewel of the neighborhood, one of those smart, articulate children that even the most curmudgeonly of adults cannot help but like.
And Mims had NOM board member and sci-fi bigot Orson Scott Card as a writing teacher whom he describes as one of his most generous, yet, like Gallagher "deranged on the subjects of homosexuality and gay marriage":
Orson Scott Card, on the other hand, may espouse toxic opinions on gay marriage and other topics, but you would be hard-pressed to find a more caring and generous writing instructor than he is. Fred has produced a tiny handful of books, each one smaller and less substantial than the previous one. I feel fairly certain that Fred prefers literary celebrity to the actual work of writing. Not Orson Scott Card. He works like a demon at his writing. He writes novels, short stories, histories, reviews, newspaper columns, comic books, poems, and plays. In addition to the mountain of work he has published under his own name, he has also produced work under at least seven different pseudonyms, according to Wikipedia. If you are seeking a work-ethic role model for writers, Card is your man. If you are looking for a model writing instructor, Card is your man. If you are looking for tolerant and progressive views about gay marriage, look elsewhere; Card isn’t your man. Like Maggie Gallagher, he seems to be somewhat deranged on the subjects of homosexuality and gay marriage.
I believe that the homophobia of both Maggie Gallagher and Orson Scott Card is rooted in their religious beliefs, and I doubt that either of them enjoys demonizing an oppressed minority. Some rightwing commentators seem to relish sticking their fingers in the eyes of feminists, gays, eubonics supporters, welfare queens, and other standard conservative straw men. I don’t get the sense that speaking out against gay marriage is something that Card and Maggie Gallagher do for fun. Something in their religious upbringing makes them feel obligated to express an opinion that they must know is rapidly growing as out-of-fashion as 1950s style opposition to integrated schools and racial intermarriage.
Read his whole piece here. If you're like me, you'll be glued.
If you feel like getting swept away in the new clip for the Mariah Carey Oz anthem "Almost Home", here you go. The video was directed by David LaChapelle. Stargate co-produced the track.
Carey has a new album coming out in May in which she's collaborating with Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox, Big Jim Wright, Hit-Boy, The-Dream, and Rodney Jerkins.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
The FBI is investigating the murder of gay mayoral candidate Marco McMillian. In the meantime, the local news is not clearing up any of the murkiness of the story:
In Clarskdale, everyone's taking a side. Reed's roommate, Kamillia Evans, told abc24.com just days after the murder, "If he did do it he was defending himself."
Lamar Kearney is a Clarksdale resident who doesn't believe the claim, "That don't sound like self defense to me."
However, the sisters say Reed told them everything. Just after midnight on February 26, their youngest sister received a panicked call from Reed. One sister says, "He called at 12:11am and he told her that the dude (McMillian) was trying to rape him. He was exposing himself to him, playing with himself, telling him to do things and then he'll take him home."
He told the girl he was on a back road and couldn't get away. A few minutes later a bruised, bloody and broken Reed showed up at their back porch. "He just looked like he had been through war..." one sister describes, "He was standing in the back, back here, telling God to forgive him. He didn't mean to do it, and he was saying that he just wanted to die."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...