HIV Vaccine Trial Underway
So it was with much fanfare that South Africa recently kicked off a trial of an improved version of a vaccine called HVTN 702 designed to prevent HIV infection from taking hold in the first place.
The trial consists of 5400 individuals, two thirds of whom are women.
South Africa has had an epidemic of HIV infections for years. Nearly 7 million individuals have an HIV infection, with a thousand more becoming infected each day. Each year, 180,000 South Africans die of AIDS.
An earlier version of the vaccine was implemented in Thailand in 2009, with a success rate of 30%. The South African trial is shooting for a 50% success rate.
The South African trial is set to finish in 4 years time.
Why The Donald
If you are looking for answers as to why Donald Trump was elected president, you may wish to consult the above video.
How Are We Doing?
For educators in mathematics and the hard sciences, the New TIMSS results are out, and the US is definitely slipping.
TIMSS stands for trends in International Mathematics and Sciences, and is a study conducted once every 4 years by the TIMSS and PIRLS International Study Center of Boston College. A standardized test is given in 57 countries worldwide to see how each country is doing in mathematics and sciences in comparison to the other 56 countries. The regular test is given in 4th and 8th grades, and an advanced test is given in 9 countries for high school seniors.
For 4th grade, in 2011, the US was 11th worldwide, with a score of 541 (where 500 in the mean or average score). Singapore was #1, with a score of 606.
By 2015, the US 4th grade score of 539 was 14th worldwide, with Singapore again #1 with a score of 618.
For 8th grade, in 2011, the US was 9th worldwide, with a score of 509. South Korea was #1, with a score of 613.
By 2015, the US 8th grade score of 518 was 10th worldwide, with Singapore #1 with a score of 621.
For more information on the 2011 TIMSS assessment, see here.
For more information on the 2015 TIMSS assessment, see here.
The above video talks about learning environments that produce positive outcomes, but I would only add South Korea and Singapore have significantly greater peak internet connection speeds than the US.
Pac Men In The Brain
In the video above, we learn about the exciting work in neuroscience being done by 2015 MacArthur Fellow Dr. Beth Stevens of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Stevens is studying human brain cells called microglia that in early brain development properly prune excess synapses, but turn off thereafter. She is investigating whether the microglia somehow get turned on again in adult brains, leading to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases, as well as Schizophrenia and Autism.
When You’re Feeling Sad and Lonely
or want to, consider vacationing in one of the locations mentioned above.
This particular you tube channel, Real Life Lore, is chock full of delightful and scientifically accurate videos.