The Daily Dose: Congenital syphilis worldwide is still unacceptably prevalent; Viewing minorities in STEM differently

Congenital syphilis still a killer: The World Health Organization has published a new report on the state of congenital syphilis around the world. While overall cases have decreased, there were still over a half million cases in 2016, resulting in over 200,000 cases of stillborn babies. Syphilis is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections globally, with approximately 6 million new cases each year. Congenital syphilis is the second leading cause of preventable stillbirth globally, preceded only by malaria.

Reframing the STEM debate: The Roots of Stem Project has published a study addressing underrepresented minorities in STEM. They suggest that current “deficit” measuring approaches to addressing STEM are inadequate. The study asked students whether they felt cared for by STEM teachers. “Only 73% of majors and 57% of leavers answered “yes” to this question. Upon further analysis, we found that white women majors felt much more care from their instructors (80%) than women of color (59%). For comparison, about 75% of male majors, regardless of race, reported feeling their professors cared.”

Humpback mystery: Conservationists in Brazil were stunned to find a dead young humpback whale on the shore of a small, remote, forested island in the Amazon River. While humpbacks are known to populate the ocean off the coast of Brazil, they would have migrated south by this time of the year. Scientists are baffled by the finding.

New Mars rover test run: A robotic rover deployed in the Atacama Desert in Chile, has successfully recovered subsurface soil samples during a trial mission to find signs of life. The international group of researchers were able to isolate specialized microbes, which they linked to the limited water availability, scarce nutrients and chemistry of the soil. The Atacama Desert is considered the most Mars-like area of earth and is often used in research pertaining to the red planet.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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