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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.

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The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Stubstance May Halt Spread of AIDS, or... How Yogurt Will Save Us All -- Bio, Soc

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Scientists have discovered that bacteria in yogurt can be genetically modified to produce cyanovirin, an established anti-HIV drug.

Lactococcus lactis, a lactic acid producing bacterium, appears in many dairy products including yogurt and cheese. Additionally, L. lactis is found in the human vagina and stomach, where it fights off harmful bacteria.

The joint study was conducted by Bharat Ramratnam and colleagues of the Brown Medical School in Rhode Island and the Food Research Institute in the UK. The study's results will now be applied to monkeys in order to see if the bacterium truly prevents HIV infection.

Researchers are excited about the recent study because they believe the bacteria can treat peripheral areas of the body, including the mucosal regions of the vagina, to prevent HIV virus from spreading.

Women are known to acquire HIV infection through sex more easily than men. Peripheral use of microbicidesin the form of gels and creams can be effective without causing much burden on other parts of the body.



Needless to say, while this may seem to be more for women than men, taking half the population away as a potential vector for the disease would be an immense step forward. Particularly in regions such as Africa, where AIDS is achieving staggering levels of infection and massacring an entire generation of people.

Researchers believe in the future the new evidence could lead to a pill or yogurt substance that can fight HIV, and be widely distributed among the masses. In addition, this pill could be made affordable to many to fight off the HIV virus, especially in third world countries in Africa. However, Nature also reported that this distribution would not take place until 2007, at the earliest.


Yes, this is going to drive all of the anti-GM foods people nuts. But that's a small price to pay for all those lives, eh? =)


Future Imperative

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great news for the people infected with HIV. When a cure is eventually found though, how bad will the replacement plague be that big pharma cooks up to replace this lost billion dollar industry?

January 27, 2006 1:40 AM  
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