Nano-Bees, Cancer treatment and HIV
Feb 6, 2011
Hi Dr Bob. I just finished reading your article about 20 years with HIV and just happened to watch the PBS special "Making Stuff:Making Stuff Smaller" linked here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/making-stuff.html
In a segment of the program it talks about using nano-particles that encapsulate bee venom to "sting" cancer cells. The nano-particles (nano-bees) are specially coded to only attack cells with specific surface protiens. This allows the nano-bees to only sting/bind to cancer cells and the bee venom that they hold is released onto the cancer cell to kill it. From the program it sounded like the nano-bees could be coded for a variety of cancer types and they are hoping to move this into climical trials in the next year or so. My understanding is that when HIV infects cells it leaves behind a marker or otherwise alters cells that it infects. Going off this assumption, it would seem reasonable that these nano-bees could be programmed to focus in on HIV infected cells through this structural change. My question for you, is do you believe that this is a potential way to attack active or dormant HIV infected cells or potentially HIV itself?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Well, it's a theoretical way to attack infected cells. However, nano-technology is still in its early stages of research and development as a possible treatment for any disease. I'll keep you posted if the noon-bee (or nano-rhinoceros, for that matter) story evolves as an HIV-treatment modality.
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