SciTech News Briefs

Vaccine to be tested in Africa

Sweden and Tanzania have formed a partnership to test a new HIV vaccine. Trials of the vaccine will begin in Sweden in October and will expand to Tanzania next year.
The vaccine is created by isolating a safe constituent of HIV?s DNA. This is then injected into volunteers, who also receive a follow-up immunity-boosting shot.

Source: Wired News

Chemical treaty under review

Over 100 countries have sent delegates to Geneva to discuss extending the Rotterdam Convention on hazardous chemicals. The original convention began over concerns that developing countries were not aware of the risks involved with chemicals they were imported. The convention ensured that a certain amount of expertise in handling the chemicals was present before they could be imported, and currently covers 27 different substances.

Source: BBC

Children invent new language

Nicaraguan children who are deaf have developed their own sign language to communicate with each other. Deaf people had been neglected before the Sandinista government took control in the 1970s. Children had never been taught formal sign languages before the Sandinista government created schools specifically for these children. As a result, children with no formal training learned to communicate with each other by combining their own personal communication systems.
The language is a combination of idiosyncratic gestures and indigenous movements that bear little resemblance to the hundreds of other formal sign language systems in the world. Researchers continue to study this school and the birth of this new language.

Source: Science Magazine

Popular lock picked by pen

Bike lock maker Kryptonite?s famous U-lock can be foiled by a ballpoint pen. On Friday, Paul Dickard, Kryptonite spokesman, offered free upgrades and rebates for current customers. Dickard said that the bike lock sold accounts for less than 1 percent of their $10 billion annual sales, stating that the company also makes other security devices, such as door locks.

Source: USA Today

Software Heist Ends in Arrests

On Thursday, eleven people in California, Texas, and Washington were charged with conspiring to distribute more than $30 million worth of counterfeit computer software and products, including products from Microsoft, Adobe, and Symantec. The two-year investigation was dubbed ?Operation Digital Marauder,? according to prosecutors, who said that this was ?one of the largest seizures of counterfeit software in the United States.?

Source: USA Today

Compiled by
Mark Egerman,
Corinne Pascale,
& John Gross