MI weekly selection #188


Studies shed new light on Zika virus brain damage in infants

Nearly 20% of babies infected with the Zika virus had normal head circumferences, which researchers said indicates a focus on microcephaly screening alone is too narrow, according to a study of about 1,500 newborns. Another study showed that brain tissues of infants with Zika had irregular calcium deposits, body deformities and cell death.

ABC News

Ozone hole over Antarctic appears to be mending

The so-called hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic has begun to show signs of healing thanks to the reduction of chlorofluorocarbons over the past 30 years. The discovery of the significant depletion of the ozone layer in the late 1980s spurred global action leading to an environmental agreement to phase out the use of chlorofluorocarbons.

The Washington Post

Male-female valerian plant ratio shifts with climate change

Swiftly changing ratios of male and female valerian plants in Colorado could be the result of climate change. With warmer, drier summers and earlier winter snow melt, more male plants are being found higher in elevation, and scientists have noted this movement along the same timeline as climate change.

Science News

Unusual ripples on Mars may unlock secrets about planet’s evolution

Strange, midsize ripples on the surface of Mars may offer clues about the red planet’s evolution. The dune-like formations resemble ripples made by underwater currents on Earth, but these were made by Martian winds.


Potential gene therapy for latent herpes tested in human cells

Gene editing could help rid people of dormant herpes viruses. In tests involving human cells, the DNA of the virus was cut in two or more places using CRISPR gene-editing technology, and one potential stumbling block is that the virus’ DNA may be tightly compressed during latency.

New Scientist

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