Doctors Claim Bee Sting Venom Could Prevent The Spread Of HIV

A breakthrough in HIV research has been made, as a group of doctors have claimed chemicals found in bee stings can help prevent the spreading of HIV.
Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving surrounding cells unharmed, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown. The finding is an important step toward developing a vaginal gel that may prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
“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.

US Homeland Security moves to tackle climate change risks

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Protecting the infrastructure of American cities from the effects of climate change is rising on the agenda of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a top agency official.
"Increasingly, we've moved not only from a security focus to a resiliency focus," said Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at Homeland Security, an agency better known for its fight to curb terrorist threats.
Durkovich spoke Thursday on a panel at the Rising Seas Summit, a three-day conference organized by the U.S.-based Association of Climate Change Officers to discuss tools and ideas on building resiliency, particularly against rising sea levels.
In the aftermath of 2012's Hurricane Sandy, which devastated large swathes of the Northeastern U.S and caused over $60 billion in damages, Durkovich said her department reviewed the task of rebuilding with a new focus on "how to think about baking in resilience from the get-go."
To that end, she said, she has assembled a team of specialists, including city planners, in conjunction with the National Academy of Science to develop better tools for planning.

Hollywood to get FAA green light for drones

The FAA will announce exemptions for the use of drones in the television and film industry on Thursday, CBS News has learned. In a precedent-setting decision, seven companies are expected to get the go-ahead to use drones under certain conditions, reports CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues.

The movie industry has been using drones for some time, but only overseas. Now some of Hollywood's biggest studios will be able to use drones legally here in the U.S. The studios see Unmanned Aircraft Systems as a less expensive production option in addition to being safer than using a helicopter.

B.C. First Nation wins bid to challenge Northern Gateway pipeline in court

VANCOUVER - A First Nation from British Columbia's North Coast says the Federal Court of Appeal has agreed to hear its legal challenge of the Northern Gateway pipeline project.
The Gitxaala Nation filed the court action in July over a federal cabinet decision to approve the project that would link the Alberta oilsands with a marine terminal on the B.C. coast.
The Gitxaala say it has now been given the green light for a judicial review of the controversial $7-billion pipeline project proposed by Calgary-based Enbridge (TSX:ENB).

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/b-c-first-nation-wins-bid-to-challenge-northern-gateway-pipeline-in-court-1.2027193#ixzz3EbcY1IP8