Toronto Diary
1 min

Can bee venom kill HIV?

The short answer: it’s highly plausible, but there’s still a shitload of medical tests they need to do before they can come up with a unanimous “yes."

The long answer: according to researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine, bee venom — which is apparently some sort of wonder drug for all of the many wonderful things it does for the — can potentially be used to kill HIV cells. Specifically, nanoparticles infused with the cytolytic melittin peptides found in bee venom are specialized enough to destroy the protective membranes around HIV without killing surrounding cells.

For the experiment, Wickline’s team prepared free melittin and melittin-loaded nanoparticles and set them against various strains of HIV (CXCR4 and CCR5 in particular). The researchers then showed that melittin, when delivered in these large and free accumulations, can make life miserable for the disease.

[…] Unlike other approaches, which work to prevent HIV from replicating, Wickline’s technique involves the degradation of the virus’s structure. “We are attacking an inherent physical property of HIV,” said Joshua L. Hood through a university statement, and a co-author of the study. “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.” [SOURCE]

Somewhere between the baby cured of HIV last week and this breakthrough, science is kind of kicking HIV’s ass here. Granted, the practice still needs to be refined for widespread medical use, but still, way to pick up the pace there, science. You guys do not fuck around. 

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