International Intonation – Jan. 30, 2013

Mark Hendricks, Contributor Ω

Cure for AIDS?

AIDS virus modelAustralian scientist David Harrich may have found a potential cure for the AIDS epidemic.

Harrich’s breakthrough works by preventing the process in which HIV transforms into AIDS. By modifying a protein in the HIV virus that is responsible for self-replication, it is possible to render the HIV virus inert and prevent it from spreading to other cells. This process is called Nullbasic.

“With money running out, I had my PhD student try one more experiment in late 2007. The experiment was to test if Nullbasic could render HIV non-infectious,” Harrich told the Australian Times. “The student came back and said it worked, so I told him to do it again and again and again. It works every time.”

Nullbasic involves creating an HIV-resistant culture of stem cells through a specially designed HIV therapy and then introducing the stem cells into the body.

Harrich believes that by preventing the spread of HIV within the body it would be possible to prevent all symptoms of the disease.

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Lance Armstrong comes clean about history of doping and performanceenhancing drugs

For the past 10 years Armstrong has battled allegations of steroid use. On Jan. 18, in an interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admitted to a worldwide audience he used performance-enhancing drugs in all seven of his Tour de France victories.

Prior to this confession Armstrong denied and was even outwardly hostile towards allegations of doping.

“If you consider my situation: a guy who comes back from arguably, you know, a death sentence, why would I then enter into a sport and dope myself up and risk my life again? That’s crazy,” Armstrong said to talk show host Larry King in 2005. “I would never do that. No. No way.”

A full transcript of the interview with Oprah Winfrey can be found on BBC’s website.

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Wind turbines to become bigger

Offshore wind turbines are about to get a lot bigger as the world’s largest wind turbine blades are being produced for the U.K.-based Energy Technologies Institute.

These new blades measure up to 328 feet long, the length of two Olympic-sized swimming pools. The largest turbine blades currently in use are 246 feet.

“Offshore wind has the potential to be a much larger contributor to the U.K. energy system if today’s costs could be significantly reduced,” said Paul Trinick, offshore wind project manager at ETI, in a press release.

The new blades are being manufactured out of carbon fibre and will be assembled in multiple sections instead of one large piece. This has the dual advantages of the new blades being up to 40 per cent lighter than current blades but also being cheaper for manufacturers to produce.

The project is currently in prototype phase but could see commercial use by late 2014.

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