MI weekly selection #235

HIV treatment’s effectiveness affected by type of bacteria in vagina

Unhealthy bacteria colonies in the vagina may hinder the effectiveness of tenofovir, a drug used in gel form to prevent HIV infection. “We went from 60% protection if you have good Lactobacillus to 18% — really no protection at all — if you have bad bacteria,” said study leader Nichole Klatt.

New Scientist

Scientists figure out how brain recognizes faces

How the brain recognizes and encodes faces has been decoded by scientists who electrically recorded macaque monkeys’ face cells as they responded to photos of human countenances. About 200 face cells are needed for face recognition.

The New York Times

Gale Crater lake once offered many habitable environments

A lake that was once present in Mars’ Gale Crater likely provided many varied habitable environments depending on depth, according to data collected by the Curiosity rover. “This chemical stratification might’ve provided a sort of menu of options for any microbes that preferred one environment over the other to take advantage of,” said Joel Hurowitz, lead author of the study published in Science.


Atoms behave like black holes when hit by powerful X-ray laser

Atoms hit with the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser, the most powerful in the world, suck up electrons from neighboring molecules, much like black holes swallow anything that gets too close to them, with one difference. “Unlike a black hole, it does let the electrons out again when the next photon is absorbed,” said Artem Rudenko, a study co-author.

Scientific American

Trump starts process to remove US from Paris climate accord

President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement on Thursday, saying it wasn’t in the country’s best interests and gave other countries a financial advantage over the US. However, many states, cities and businesses plan to continue their own efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions and embrace renewable-energy technologies. Withdrawal from global pact may take almost four years — which could give the winner of the 2020 presidential race the final word.


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