Researchers identify antibody that kills 98% of HIV strains

November 21, 2016 by  
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Scientists may be getting closer to finding an effective way to prevent transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). After decades of research, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced a “remarkable” breakthrough in prevention and treatment of the highly contagious disease . They successfully isolated an antibody from an HIV-infected patient that, in lab tests, neutralized 98 percent of HIV strains, including up to 20 that were resistant to other antibodies of the same class. The antibody, named N6, could someday unlock the key to future treatments or prevention methods. The federal health agency’s announcement came last week , and although the discovery is the result of extensive research, it also marks a new beginning. Led by Mark Connors, M.D., the research team is already tracking the evolution of the N6 antibody over time in order to better understand how it developed its strain-neutralizing powers. By understanding its past, scientists hope to pave a quicker path to the design of vaccines that could potentially protect people from acquiring the virus in the first place. Related: 44-year-old British man could be first to receive HIV cure Despite this early stage of discovery, researchers are optimistic that N6 can provide a level of protection that existing treatments cannot. Compared to other treatments, N6’s increased potency may translate into more durable prevention and treatment benefits. It may also be suitable for administering subcutaneously (into the fatty layer beneath the skin) rather than intravenously like VRC01, the current frontrunner in the race for HIV prevention . Because N6 has demonstrated its ability to wipe out 98 percent of HIV strains, it makes for a more aggressive treatment as well. Via NIAID/NIH Images via NIAID and UNICEF/Flickr

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Researchers identify antibody that kills 98% of HIV strains

Beautiful bamboo pavilion in Bali translates the flexibility of yoga into architecture

November 21, 2016 by  
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Resting on the edge of a lush tropical forest in Sayan, the new Yoga Pavilion at the Four Seasons Resort seems to defy gravity. Serene open spaces where guests can practice yoga offer views of terraced rice fields and a river. Bamboo personifies some of the core qualities of yoga – strength, flexibility and vulnerability. Related: Ibuku Constructs Three Bamboo Homes in Bali’s Gorgeous Green Village IBUKU builds their projects-true experiments in architectural acrobatics-using traditional Indonesian building techniques, treating the raw materials with a natural Boron salt solution that permanently protects against insects. Instead of heavy machinery, cranes and bulldozers, the team employs local builders and craftsmen to construct the buildings on-site. + IBUKU Photos via IBUKU and Four Seasons

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Beautiful bamboo pavilion in Bali translates the flexibility of yoga into architecture

More than 100 million California trees dead due to drought

November 21, 2016 by  
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Drought -stricken California is now facing another dire problem: dying trees . The U.S. Forest Service just reported that 102 million California trees have perished due to the drought, and 62 million trees died just in 2016. Officials fear the dead, dry trees could act as kindling as California battles more extreme fire seasons. The number of dead trees in California has increased by 100 percent from 2015, according to the USFS. Lifeless trees can be found across 7.7 million acres, and millions more trees are weak and expected to fall victim to drought. But it’s not just the drought alone that’s massacring trees; climate change and bark beetles have also played a role. The USFS said higher temperatures and a spike in beetle infestation have killed off trees too. Related: California street trees are worth $1 billion, says USFS and UC Davis United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a statement, “These dead and dying trees continue to elevate the risk of wildfire, complicate our efforts to respond safely and effectively to fires when they do occur, and pose a host of threats to life and property across California.” He called for a better budget to not only fight wildfires but also to work towards tree health and restoration. The USFS often has to redirect funds away from restoration work to fight fires, said Vilsack, and without Congress fixing the fire budget, the agency won’t be able to break that devastating cycle. 56 percent of the USFS budget in 2015 went up in flames, consumed by fire management, and the agency expects that by 2025, 67 percent of their funds will go towards fighting fires. California has grappled with drought for five years now, and the USFS reports the state’s wildfire season has only stretched longer and become more severe. Scientists predict in 2017 still more trees will fall victim to harsh, dry conditions in the state. + U.S. Forest Service Images via USFS Region 5 on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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More than 100 million California trees dead due to drought

Police brutally attack DAPL demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, and sub-freezing water cannons

November 21, 2016 by  
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As protests over the in-progress Dakota Access Pipeline continue to grow near Standing Rock, North Dakota, demonstrators seek new ways to carry on a peaceful resistance in the face of brutal police force. Late on Sunday afternoon, self-proclaimed ‘water protectors’ attempted to remove the burned out cars police had previously used to barricade the bridge on Highway 1806, partly in an effort to gain visibility along the roadway. Morton County Sheriff’s Department, still supported by supplemental National Guard soldiers from other states, responded by firing rubber bullets into the crowd at close range, exploding tear gas bombs and concussion grenades, and shooting water cannons at the demonstrators despite the sub-freezing night air. The result was a chaotic scene where dozens of wounded protesters were left to ward off hypothermia after being soaked with icy water in 25F weather.

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Police brutally attack DAPL demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, and sub-freezing water cannons

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