Cosmos TV, November 26, 2013,
Bees could hold the key to preventing HIV transmission. Researchers have discovered that bee venom kills the virus while leaving body cells unharmed, which could lead to an anti-HIV vaginal gel and other treatments.
Scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that melittin, a toxin found in bee venom, physically destroys the HIV virus, a breakthrough that could potentially lead to drugs that are immune to HIV resistance. The study was published Thursday in the journal Antiviral Therapy.
"Our hope is that in places where HIV is running rampant, people could use this as a preventative measure to stop the initial infection," Joshua Hood, one of the authors of the study, said in a statement.
The researchers attached melittin to nanoparticles that are physically smaller than HIV, which is smaller than body cells. The toxin rips holes in the virus' outer layer, destroying it, but the particles aren't large enough to damage body cells…