Man’s best friend may be a dog. But as some researchers would have it, our best hope for an AIDS cure includes all walks (and slithers) of life.
In 1995, PWA activist Jeff Getty got a baboon bone marrow transplant in the hope it would produce HIV-proof immune cells (the primate’s cells lasted only two weeks in Getty’s body). More recently, researchers continue to raid the animal kingdom as news reports revel in believe- it-or-not headlines.
Vanderbilt University researchers have asserted that Australian frog sweat killed HIV in a test tube. An Australian-American duo discovered that alligators are nearly resistant to bacterial infections, citing research implications for HIV. And in Florida, an investigator is looking at human applications for feline immunodeficiency vaccine research.
Two-legged buyers beware: In Philadelphia, supplement makers Lane Labs were fined $8 million for bypassing FDA approval to peddle rice-bran extract as a treatment for HIV and a shark cartilage product for cancer.
Snake oil, anyone?