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Future

Australian Researcher Claims Major Breakthrough To Prevent AIDS

THE AUSTRALIAN, SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, QUEENSLAND INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL RESEARCH (Australia)

Worldcrunch

BRISBANE – Australian researchers believe they have found a way to halt the HIV virus from developing into AIDS.

Researchers from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research say they have found a “light switch” protein within the HIV virus that can be effectively turned off to stop HIV from developing into AIDS, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Associate Professor David Harrich, from QIMR’s Molecular Virology Laboratory, has determined how to modify a protein in the HIV virus so that it prevents those infected by HIV from having any of its consequences – without drugswrites the Australian.

For the moment, HIV patients require a heavy array of drug treatments to mitigate the effects of the virus. Without the treatment they develop AIDS.

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Artist's rendition of the AIDS virus, Wikipedia

"Essentially, this cell has the ability to protect the human immune system from the toxic effects of HIV. What it will do is prevent AIDS, " Associate Professor Harrich told the Australian.

“This is like fighting fire with fire,” he said in a press release. “I have never seen anything like it. The modified protein works every time.”

Harrich added that patients would still be infected with HIV. "It’s not a cure for the virus," he explained. "But the virus would stay latent, it wouldn’t wake up, so it wouldn’t develop into AIDS. With a treatment like this, you would maintain a healthy immune system,”

The findings are published Wednesday in the journal Human Gene Therapy.

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Green

The Unsustainable Future Of Fish Farming — On Vivid Display In Turkish Waters

Currently, 60% of Turkey's fish currently comes from cultivation, also known as fish farming, compared to just 10% two decades ago. The short-sightedness of this shift risks eliminating fishing output from both the farms and the open seas along Turkey's 5,200 miles of coastline.

Photograph of two fishermen throwing a net into the Tigris river in Turkey.

Traditional fishermen on the Tigris river, Turkey.

Dûrzan Cîrano/Wikimeidia
İrfan Donat

ISTANBUL — Turkey's annual fish production includes 515,000 tons from cultivation and 335,000 tons came from fishing in open waters. In other words, 60% of Turkey's fish currently comes from cultivation, also known as fish farming.

It's a radical shift from just 20 years ago when some 600,000 tons, or 90% of the total output, came from fishing. Now, researchers are warning the current system dominated by fish farming is ultimately unsustainable in the country with 8,333 kilometers (5,177 miles) long.

Professor Mustafa Sarı from the Maritime Studies Faculty of Bandırma 17 Eylül University believes urgent action is needed: “Why were we getting 600,000 tons of fish from the seas in the 2000’s and only 300,000 now? Where did the other 300,000 tons of fish go?”

Professor Sarı is challenging the argument from certain sectors of the industry that cultivation is the more sustainable approach. “Now we are feeding the fish that we cultivate at the farms with the fish that we catch from nature," he explained. "The fish types that we cultivate at the farms are sea bass, sea bram, trout and salmon, which are fed with artificial feed produced at fish-feed factories. All of these fish-feeds must have a significant amount of fish flour and fish oil in them.”

That fish flour and fish oil inevitably must come from the sea. "We have to get them from natural sources. We need to catch 5.7 kilogram of fish from the seas in order to cultivate a sea bream of 1 kg," Sarı said. "Therefore, we are feeding the fish to the fish. We cannot cultivate fish at the farms if the fish in nature becomes extinct. The natural fish need to be protected. The consequences would be severe if the current policy is continued.”

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