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Bee Venom, The Cure for HIV
Transcript of Bee Venom, The Cure for HIV
What is HIV?
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Bee Venom, a
"Cure" for HIV
While most anti-HIV medications stop the virus from making copies of itself, bee venom works differently. A powerful toxin called “Melittin” is found in bee venom. This pokes holes in the protective envelope that surrounds the HIV virus; killing it.
On August 2012 researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, lead by Dr. Joshua L. Hood, discovered that bee venom can destroy unhealthy cells caused by HIV. This is because they main active component, covered in nano-particles, is able to destroy unhealthy cells caused by viruses such as HIV.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the human immune system making the body more vulnerable to infection and cancer. When HIV progresses, it leads to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This usually takes around 10 years. To be infected, the virus has to enter a person’s blood stream through unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles, and pregnancy (if mother is infected with HIV).
How it works
Whats happening next
How it will effect the world
Why Study This Topic?
Since this cure is incomplete, scientists believe that in the future, the bee venom has the potential for 2 types of therapies. These 2 types are a vaginal gel to prevent the spread of HIV infection, and Therapy for existing HIV infections. Since these are only plans, they would take a large amount of time and money to perfect. There is also evidence that this method of curing a disease could work for more than just HIV.
This should be studied as bee venom could be the key to saving millions of people around the world. There are currently more than 34 million people living with AIDS/HIV, and 7000 people contract HIV yearly. With more research, bee venom could reduce these numbers dramatically, by providing a safe and effective way to prevent the disease, and treat it.
There are currently no cures for HIV but there are treatments and medication. Since HIV and AIDS slowly kills, these medicines work to slow the growth of the virus and stop it from making copies of itself. This prevents the disease from progressing quickly. Some drugs that can do this are Antripila, Complera, and Stribild .
If just the toxin were to be applied to the body,
it would poke holes in all cells it comes into
contact with, including healthy human cells.
To fix this, Dr. Hood and his team added
nano-particles and a protective bumper to the
the surface of the toxin.
This protective bumper makes normal cells "bounce" off, and allows them to be unaffected by the toxin. The HIV virus however, is small enough to slip through the bumper, and be killed by the venom.
Our class should study this topic because
curing HIV was once thought to be impossible.
If we use the same techniques Dr. Hood and his
team used, we could solve many problems
evident today. This topic can also lead into many topics, like chemical properties, biology, and inevitably physics. Also, this topic has a lot of research ahead of it. Maybe, someone from our class will unlock bee venom's potential.
The research Dr. Hood and his team has done, will revolutionize the way the world deals with HIV and AIDS. It has the potential to save millions of lives. It will "stop the initial infection in places where HIV is running rampant" says Dr. Hood. Not only this, but it will set an example for us, as the next generation. Ideas like using nano-particle bumpers on bee venom, to save healthy cells but kill viruses, is what will carry us into a future of advanced technologies. If today, Dr. Hood can cure/prevent the incurable HIV, what stops us from curing Cancer or going to Mars? If we had more time with this topic, we would
go into specifics with how they attached the nano-particles,
and research how the current HIV treatments work.
Current Cures And Treatments
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By: Jedri de Luna, and Ram Golfo