The First Man To Be Cured of HIV?
He's known as the "Berlin patient," and he seems to be the first man to beat HIV.
Many scientists agree: we've already cured HIV in one man, albeit under very unique circumstances. The "Berlin patient," as he's known in the media, went to Germany in 2008 for treatment of leukemia; he was also HIV positive but had been on anti-retroviral treatment for four years, which left the virus undetectable in his blood. As POZ magazine editor Regan Hofmann explains in the video below, German oncologist Gero Hütter treated his patient's cancerous white blood cells with radiation and then transplanted genetically modified stem cells that were immune to HIV. Since then, the Berlin patient has remained healthy and cancer-free, and amazingly the virus has remained undetectable for several years without any treatment.
This is only a functional cure; the virus could still be hiding in reservoirs in the body, as many scientists and doctors are quick to point out. But the fact that his body has suppressed the disease for so long is amazing and gives hope that gene therapy could cure HIV in others without highly toxic cancer treatment.
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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