September 6, 2008

September 6, 2008
Welcome to my Saturday and thanks for stopping by to see what is going on in my life.

I was having a lazy morning complicated by a bad headache so I ended up sleeping until around 11am. After Gary got home from work around noon, we decided to bike up to Publix to get some groceries. We only got the small stuff since I am going to rent a car Tuesday because I have a ton of errands to get done that day. It was so hot outside I was glad we were not weighed down with a ton of groceries on the way home. All my friends know how much I love football. After we got home, we watched the Michigan/Miami game with Michigan being the winners. It was great seeing Michigan win after their lost last weekend. Then we watched the Penn State/Oregon State game with Penn State being the winner. Penn State is one of Gary's favorite teams.

There is some more early good news on the fight with HIV and AIDS. The AIDS virus is especially hard to fight because few people develop antibodies to neutralize it, but U.S. researchers said they have found an immunity gene that may offer a new way to fight back. They said the gene Apobec3 helps mice develop antibodies against an HIV-like virus, and they think the same gene in humans could lead to a potent vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. So far, efforts to make a vaccine against HIV have failed. In humans, HIV devotes one of its 9 genes to disabling Apobec3 proteins, which may help explain why people with HIV rarely make antibodies against the virus, he said. HIV is a retrovirus, which means it copies bits of its own genetic code into the DNA of the host. Working with a team at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the researchers conducted a series of experiments in which they genetically engineered mice to lack the Apobec3 gene. the discovery of Apobec3's role in retroviral immunity is exciting because genes in this region are active in people who resist HIV infection, suggesting they are making effective antibodies against the virus. Antibodies are key to warding off viral infections, and most vaccines against viral diseases stimulate the body to make antibodies against the target virus. Efforts at developing an HIV vaccine have largely focused on building up a kind of immune cell called a T-cell to attack the virus. The AIDS virus infects an estimated 33 million people globally and has killed about 25 million since the pandemic started in the 1980s. There is no cure but drugs can suppress the virus and allow patients to lead a near-normal life. Without treatment, the virus destroys the immune system, leaving patients susceptible to infections and cancer. So let's hope the new research on further blocking the virus in it's different stages are forthcoming. Every day that passes is another life lost.

During halftime of the Penn State/Oregon State game, Gary and I decided to groom Harley and Sugar. Both of the dogs were both overdue for a haircut. Now Sugar loves the attention and will basically just sit there while you groom her. Harley on the other hand starts freaking out as soon as she hears the clippers. Then she loses it when you get the clippers any where near her face. So I usually end up doing her face with scissors. But they both look great now and all three dogs get a bath tomorrow. Yeah! They will all have fresh haircuts, bath and flea treatment. Gary ran the vacuum cleaner to get all the stray hairs up after we were finished. I am going to take the dogs to the vet at the clinic on Herschel on Tuesday before the appointment with my doctor. Tuesday is going to be a very busy day. I just received the notice for Harley to get her shots today so I am glad I already had this planned. Sugar and Chipper are both a month or two overdue. But then it is not like they are ever around other animals. Unfortunately my latest health problems started right before they were due for their shots.

Gary and I ended up having fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and green beans for dinner this evening. Tonight I am watching the football game between Florida and Miami as I am working on this blog entry. Tim Tebo has been doing a great job so far and it is still in the first quarter with Florida 7 - 0. I am hoping to stay awake for the whole game but I won't hold my breath on that one. I can always read about it in the morning if I fall asleep. We are still a few days out from knowing where Hurricane Ike is going to end up. Hannah is causing flooding and torrential downpours in the Carolinas and leading up the east coast for the next few days. So I will give you further updates as things develop.

I hope you are having a safe and great weekend wherever you are enjoying this Saturday and Sunday.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab