22 July, 2010 – This Week in Science


Our Battles With Viruses, Invisibility Cloaks, Big Stars, Bacteria and MS, Engineering Malaria, And Much More!

Viral News
– A new gel prevents transmission of HIV by up to 50%, and is now available to women.
– A push to increase male circumcision in Africa is based on possibly faulty research that suggest circumcised men are less likely to carry HIV.
– The search continues for a universal flu vaccine and we are getting closer.
– Officials just announced the 6th death in California from whooping cough, needlessly, since it is highly preventative. So vaccinate! The vaccine wears off, so adults, especially pregnant women, should get a booster shot.

Sub-par Servers
What is the worst kind of customer service? A new study aims to answer this question, and the results are surprising.

Mosquito 2.0
Biologists are engineering mosquitoes that can’t carry and transmit malaria, in hopes of repopulating the world with them and preventing malaria.

Just How Big Can a Star Get?
Bigger than we thought, it seems. Previously scientists thought that stars could never be larger than 150 times the mass of our sun. Now, using images from the Hubble telescope, they have found at least 4 stars that are over 300 solar masses.

Buckyballs in Space
First observed in the laboratory 30 years ago, these molecules contain 60 carbon atoms arranged in 3d spherical patterns. These are the largest molecules known to exist in space.

Monty Harper is creating a CD of unique science songs for kids, and using Kickstarter.com to try and raise the money to make a really top-flight recording. Check out his pitch video here!

Invisibility Cloaks
A new step towards invisibility cloaks uses glass resonators to make objects invisible.

Stopping Spraying Zinc in Your Nose!
Studies show that intranasal zinc is not only ineffective in alleviating the common cold, it can also cause you to lose your sense of smell.

Massive Marmots
A study indicates that, due to global warming, marmots are getting bigger and more plentiful. With the melting snow, they hibernate less time and spend more time putting on the weight.

A Gut Feeling About MS
Researchers have found a surprising link between multiple sclerosis and gut bacteria.

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