Warming Can Still Be Curbed, Scientists SayWrenching worldwide climate changes can no longer be avoided, but there is still time to stave off the worst consequences of global warming, an international research team said yesterday.

The scientists from 11 countries urged broad conservation measures to hold the expected increase in global temperatures to no more than an average of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit -- less than half the expected increase if emissions of greenhouse gas and soot continue unabated.

Based on two years of study, the scientists called for dramatic actions ranging from carbon taxes and a ban on conventional coal-fired power plants to an end to all beachfront construction worldwide. The researchers were funded by the nonprofit U.N. Foundation and the 60,000-member research society Sigma Xi.

2 Drugs Show Promise For Treatment of HIVTwo new classes of drugs have been found to block replication of the human immunodeficiency virus in patients resistant to existing drugs, researchers said. Some hailed the announcement as the most important development in HIV therapy in a decade.

Closest to federal approval is maraviroc, a CCR5 inhibitor developed by Pfizer. CCR5 inhibitors target the human immune system rather than the virus itself, a first.

Researchers also hailed the imminent arrival of integrase inhibitors, which block an enzyme used by the virus to copy itself in human immune cells. Merck is readying such an inhibitor named raltegravir for FDA approval.

Eric Daar of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, who was not involved in the research, estimated that 20 percent of his patients are resistant to the existing HIV drugs.

Panel Seeks Approval Of Bird Flu VaccineA federal advisory committee recommended approval of the first bird flu vaccine for humans, despite concerns about its safety and evidence that the shots will not protect most people.

The panel said that while the vaccine has significant shortcomings, it is safe and effective for use during a pandemic or in high-risk situations, such as military deployment to regions facing an outbreak.

The vaccine, produced by the French drug company Sanofi Aventis, will not be sold commercially. The government plans to buy and stockpile enough doses for 20 million people, including health-care workers and emergency personnel.

In clinical trials, a two-shot series of the Sanofi vaccine provided protection in 45 percent of adults who received the highest dose, an FDA analysis said.

-- From News Services