Using a two-step method, China has eradicated Asian tiger mosquitoes
Asian tiger mosquitoes are responsible for some of the deadliest mosquito-borne diseases in humans such as chikungunya, dengue and zika. Using a two-step method, China has managed to nearly eradicate the species from two islands. The females were first sterilised using x-rays and then the males infected with a bacterium that prevented them from reproducing and carrying the disease. More on Nature.
HIV’s genome fully sequenced, points to virus first spreading to humans in 1900s
Using a sample of tissue collected from over 1,500 patients who were diagnosed with HIV in the 1950s and 60s, researchers have managed to almost completely sequence the genome of the HIV-1 strain of virus, which causes over 98 per cent of HIV in humans. The sequenced genome also points to its own history, revealing that the disease jumped from primates to humans in the early 1900s. More on Stat.
Mother whales whisper to their calves to evade predators
In what can be considered as complexity of communication, it was discovered that mother whales whisper to their calves in close quarters to evade predators. Normally, mothers move their young ones into murky or cloudy waters to avoid visual detection by predators, but it was a mystery how the calves could see the mothers. Turns out, they whisper. Read more about it on phys.org.
Emergency in Hawaii after increasing protests against Thirty Meter Telescope
The TMT, expected to be one of astronomy’s most potent weapons, capable of revolutionising the field, was expected to begin construction on 15 July. However, the Mauna Kea Mountain, on top of which it is expected to be built, is regarded as pious in the indigenous culture, drawing peaceful protesters from all over the island. More on New Scientist.