Discovered: Scary numbers about sleeping while driving; our moon might get its own moon; decoding the malware genome; fighting HIV with HIV.
Who are all these people falling asleep at the wheel? We all know about the dangers of drunk driving. And texting while driving. But new data suggests we might need more PSAs that raise awareness about the issue of drowsy driving. A report from U.S. Centers for Disease Control researchers found that among 150,000 drivers surveyed from around the country, 4.2 percent admit to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in the last month. Not year—month. If you break it down by year, as much as 11 percent have snoozed while driving. It's a wonder that only 2.5 percent of fatal car collisions stem from drowsy driving. If you're nodding off, pull over to any gas station and get yourself some Red Bull, people. [Los Angeles Times]
Our moon might soon get a meta-moon. That giant rock orbiting our planet could soon have its own less-giant rock orbiting it, astronomers with the Keck Institute for Space Studies are saying. They plan to coax an asteroid into orbiting the moon this April so they can study it better. They aim to do these by sending a robotic spacecraft to drag an approximately 500 ton object into the moon's gravitational pull. "Such an achievement has the potential to inspire a nation," the researchers write. [Discover]
Decoding malware "genome" could prevent future cyber attacks. Not all malware viruses are identical, but they often share certain encoded similarities. You might even say they have similar baseline "genetic" structures. Invincea labs' Josh Saxe is trying to crack that code in order to undertand how to prevent future malware attacks. "Our vision is to have a database of the world's malware, which people can use to share insights," he says about his and his colleagues research. His program is funded by the DARPA's Cyber Genome Program. [New Scientist]
Fighting HIV with HIV. There's a saying about fighting fire with fire, but when it comes to HIV the approach might actually work. A new paper in Science Translational Medicine shows that injecting HIV-positive patients with an inactivated version of the virus can boost immune response, making people better equipped to stave off the active HIV in their bloodstream. "It is likely that the person’s immune system is already damaged, and so they cannot mount a sufficiently efficient functional antiviral response," says Statens Serum Institute physician Anders Fomsgaard. "It may be more optimal to vaccinate during antiretroviral therapy." [Science News]