Clam cancer, mass extinction and other science stories of the week

Welcome to your weekly science update – a curated list of this week’s most interesting stories in science.

Powerful new weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS. A cutting-edge antibody therapy has been developed that enables the human immune system to fight HIV infections.

Speaking of immunotherapy, this breakthrough technology is also taking the big pharma world of cancer treatment by storm.

Brontosaurus lives again! A new study has revived the beloved dinosaur, vindicating palaeontologists (and children of the 80s) who never supported the decision to strike its name from the dino family tree. (Next stop, Pluto!)

Mass extinction culprit named. Two-hundred and fifty million years ago, almost all of Earth’s life forms on land and sea were wiped out by an environmental calamity. New evidence suggests acidification of the oceans was to blame. Sound familiar?

Ultrafast bendable long lasting battery. Researchers demonstrate a prototype for an aluminium ion battery which could be used in flexible or foldable devices, lasts longer, is safer and recharges in 1 minute.

Contagious clonal cancer claims coastal clams. Scientists are tongue tied over a new study showing epidemic scale transmission of a leukaemia-like cancer among a species of clam important for U.S. East Coast fisheries. Here’s what this knowledge could mean for cancer in humans.

Head transplant moves ahead. Momentum is building as a volunteer steps forward to try the controversial first ever attempt of transplanting an entire human head onto a donor body. These are still early days and the question remains, will he change his mind?

To sequence, or not to sequence? Breast or bottle? Disposable or reusable diapers? To swaddle or not to swaddle? New parents are faced with many decisions and sequencing their baby’s DNA at birth may be the next big thing.

Lasers and the Future high-speed Internet. Have you heard of Li-Fi? It might be the next Wi-Fi. Researchers believe using light from lasers to achieve wireless communication between devices and networks could take current Wi-Fi data rates of 7 GB per second to over 100 GB per second.

Climate change denial in decline. Op-ed explores political back peddling as more lobby groups finally start accepting the science behind human driven climate change.

Where did the moon come from? Ever hear this question or recall asking it yourself? Well, now we know. It is Earth’s long lost twin.

Author: David Gleicher is Senior Programme Manager, Science and Technology, at the World Economic Forum.

Image: An airplane is silhouetted against a full moon in the sky over London January 1, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

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