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Harnessing Honey's Healing Power
June 7, 2010
The biochemist Professor Peter Molan has identified one particular type of honey made by honey bees Apis meliifera with extraordinary healing qualities. Professor Molan has shown that honey made from the flowers of the manuka bush, a native of New Zealand, has antibacterial properties over and above those of other honeys. But he has given it a name: unique manuka factor, or UMF. He said: "We know it has a very broad spectrum of action. "It works on bacteria, fungi, protozoa. We haven't found anything it doesn't work on among infectious organisms.""And that includes the antibiotic resistant strains - the MRSA - which is just as sensitive to honey as any other staphylococcus aureas."

Clinical trials at the Waikato Hospital have shown that even out of the lab, UMF manuka honey has amazing healing properties. Cancer specialist Dr Glenys Round has also found honey to be an effective treatment."We've been using honey to treat fungating wounds, where the cancer has broken through the skin," she said. The honey is rigorously tested three times during production for that elusive unique manuka factor; only then can it carry the label "UMF manuka honey"."It just seems that manuka from a few areas within New Zealand produces a nectar that has this special property," said local beekeeper, Bill Bennett."There is a lot of manuka honey out there that doesn't have this special property. That's why it's so important to look for the name UMF."
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A Twist on Mimicry Can Be Scary
In the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Costa Rica, a site supported by SaveNature.Org, Dr. Daniel Janzen and a team of researchers have discovered hundreds of species of moths and butterflies whose caterpillars or chrysalises display false eye and face patterns that mimic those of snakes, lizards and other animals. They propose that these counterfeit patterns has evolved to exploit birds' innate instinct to avoid potential predators.

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