Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Medicine on the March: “Yoghurt against HIV”

As I previously announced, I wasn’t planning to do any real blog posting this week – too much “serious” writing to do, plus a fair bit of “real” work at my day job. But every so often, something comes up that must be blogged about. Today’s blockbuster story is from the Jerusalem Post, and is entitled “Yoghurt against HIV?”. (The original, more detailed article is here in news@nature.com; but the Post’s version is more fun to write about.)

The story is that scientists have succeeded in genetically altering Lactococcus lactis bacteria – the “good” bacteria in yoghurt – to produce cyanovirin, a new drug that shows promise in preventing HIV from infecting cells. According to the Post, the researchers say that

…the bugs might one day be incorporated into yoghurts that would deliver drug-producing bacteria straight to a woman's vagina, providing a week's worth of protection from a single dose.

Now, this is a family blog – at least in the sense that some of my close relatives read it – so I can’t delve into all the implications of the preceding paragraph. I’ll leave it to my ever-so-tasteful readers to follow my line of thinking; after all, as Vaguely Sinister Wife says, great minds travel in the same gutters. (I’ll also mention that the news@nature.com article doesn’t actually mention the dosing method suggested by the Post. Strangely, neither publication makes any mention of using the new technique to prevent the spread of AIDS among men; I don’t know quite what to make of that rather glaring omission.)

I hope you’ll agree that I’ve handled this story with some delicacy; when science advances so dramatically, I would hate to be tasteless.

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2 Comments:

At Wed Jan 18, 06:05:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger Debra said...

umm, very tasteful

 
At Wed Jan 18, 06:57:00 PM GMT+2, Anonymous Vaguely Confused Mother said...

Nicely done, and ever so tasteful.

 

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