“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would have only four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination, no more men!” — Albert Einstein
Ever wonder what the big deal about bees is anyway? I mean we know they make honey which has incredible health benefits, but why are these little insects so important to our survival?
Formerly the reason why was primarily because they pollinate flowers which when spread allows other plants to reproduce and grow, and of course we eat the plants and so do the animals. In other words, if bees didn't do this, our entire food chain would be thrust into chaos.
Now, there is another reason why, and it's a revolutionary medical breakthrough that could change everything.
Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have discovered that by poking holes in the protective envelope that surrounds the HIV virus, melittin – which is a toxin found in bee venom – literally kills the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). And it does this without any harmful side effects whatsoever!
This breakthrough is giving hope to millions across the globe. Last year, in 2015, nearly 40 million people were living with the lethal virus globally.
A research instructor in medicine at Washington University, named Dr Joshua L. Hood, explained the following;
“Melittin on the nanoparticles fuses with the viral envelope. The melittin forms little pore-like attack complexes and ruptures the envelope; stripping it off the virus… We are attacking an inherent physical property of HIV. Theoretically, there isn’t any way for the virus to adapt to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane that covers the virus.”
Dr Joshua L. Hood says, this discovery has the potential to not only prevent and stop the HIV infection, but even cure existing infections!
“Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use the vaginal gel as a preventive measure to stop the initial infection… We are attacking an inherent physical property of HIV. Theoretically, there isn’t any way for the virus to adapt to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane that covers the virus.
“The basic particle that we are using in these experiments was developed many years ago as an artificial blood product. It didn’t work very well for delivering oxygen, but it circulates safely in the body and gives us a nice platform that we can adapt to fight different kinds of infections.”
Hood also hopes this will be beneficial for couples where one partner is infected, but the other is not;
“We also are looking at this [therapy] for couples where only one of the partners has HIV, and they want to have a baby. These particles by themselves are actually very safe for sperm, for the same reason they are safe for vaginal cells.”
More recently, researchers at Philadelphia’s Temple University employed CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to expel the presence of HIV-1 DNA from the human genome. Then, when they reintroduced HIV to the edited genomes, the cells were no longer infected with the lethal virus! You can view their study HERE.
This is very exciting and makes you wonder what else Nature has waiting to be discovered!
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