Zika Vaccine, Selective Laziness (Abstract Science: August 13 - 17)
First clinical trial of Zika vaccine, can prenatal interpersonal violence affect emotion regulation and how robots of the future might be used for disaster relief.
(Washington Times, 8/16/2018, Tom Howell Jr.)
The first clinical trial of a Zika vaccine in humans has begun, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced earlier this week. The trial will enroll a total of 28 healthy, non-pregnant adults ages 18 to 50 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Immunization Research in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the Vaccine Testing Center at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in Burlington. NIAID is sponsoring the trial. The virus, manufactured by Charles River Laboratories in Pennsylvania, showed promise in earlier tests.
(Neuroscience News, 8/16/2018, Amanda Skofstad)
While it is fairly well-known that pregnant women have an elevated risk for domestic violence, much of the associated research focuses on the negative impact of that violence on pregnancy, labor and delivery. However, a critical new study reports prenatal interpersonal violence can affect emotional regulation by toddlers toward their mothers. Researchers report children of mothers who were victims of domestic abuse during pregnancy, are more likely to exhibit aggression toward their moms in toddlerhood. While this finding aligned with the researchers’ predictions, they were surprised to find that interpersonal violence in pregnancy did not predict children’s aggressive behaviors toward their peers — suggesting that many children are able to exhibit resilience in social relationships outside of the home.
(Washington Post, 8/16/2018, Joel Achenbach)
Researchers have now discovered from the behavior of ants how a busy work flow can be optimized – and surprisingly it’s not by everyone working harder. In fact, laziness might be the way to go. A recent study out of Georgia Tech combines these observations to deliver a lesson that could have implications for such things as how the robots of the future might be used for disaster relief. The researchers found that ants are more successful when they are selectively industrious. They use idleness to their advantage. Quitting has its virtues. The researchers studied groups of 30 color-coded ants digging tunnels in glass-walled containers in a laboratory. About 30 percent of the ants did 70 percent of the work. Some ants did very little or nothing. When the researchers removed the most hard-working ants, some of the previously less-active ants stepped up their game and began working harder. It appears that industriousness is not an individual attribute but a defined role.
—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola