MI weekly selection #242

Cows may help researchers develop vaccine for HIV

Cows’ immune systems show an extraordinary ability to neutralize HIV and may help researchers develop a vaccine for humans. Scientists say cows’ unique digestive system may play a role in their ability to produce broadly neutralizing antibodies in response to HIV in just a few weeks.

BBC

CRISPR gene drives may experience resistance in the wild

Problems have arisen in the use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene drives in an experiment involving fruit flies. Resistance to the gene drives spread quickly among fruit fly populations worldwide, suggesting it may be more difficult to engineer gene changes in the future.

Science News

Huge new species of sunfish found in New Zealand

The massive hoodwinker sunfish, or Mola tecta, can weigh over 1.8 metric tons, and has a slimmer shape and lacks the lumps and snout displayed by other sunfish species.

National Geographic

Cognitive benefits from Adderall may only be a placebo effect

College students without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who took Adderall had slightly higher scores in 2 of 31 cognitive tests on attention and memory, compared with those who received placebo. However, the findings showed improved scores in 6 tests among those who believed they were taking Adderall, regardless of drug intake, prompting researchers to suggest that cognitive benefits from Adderall may only be a placebo effect.

New Scientist

Majorana fermions revealed in a quantum cake

Majorana fermion particles have been detected in a superconductor layered with a topological insulator. The particles detected are chiral, which means they travel in a single direction along a 2D layer’s edge.

Science News

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