Weekly PLoS ONE News and Blog Round-Up

In this week’s PLoS ONE media digest: many Canadian HIV-positive women hope for pregnancy; are stem cells key to the fight against HIV?; decoding the calls of Campbell’s monkeys, and much more.

In their article published in PLoS ONE on Monday, Mona Loutfy and colleagues report the findings of their study, which aimed to understand desire and intention to become pregnant among a sample of HIV-positive women living in Ontario, Canada. The researchers found that the proportion of HIV-positive women of reproductive age living in Ontario was higher than earlier North American studies had suggested and was in fact more similar to the percentages reported among African populations. The study has been covered by the Canadian Press, CTV and CBC.

Another article published on Monday by Scott Kitchen of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues, brings hope for the treatment of HIV infection and a range of chronic viral diseases that are characterized by the loss of immune control. In the study, the researchers demonstrate the ability to genetically modify human stem cells to engineer a specific T cell immune response in vivo. Some of the online coverage of the study includes: the Examiner, NBC and DailyNews.com.

The meaning of alarm calls made by male Campbell’s monkeys can be altered through the addition of an acoustically invariable suffix, according to research published in PLoS ONE last month by Karim Ouattara and colleagues. The call “hok,” for example, is associated with the presence of a crowned eagle while a “hok-oo” call, with the suffix, is made in the context of a range of general disturbances, such as the presence of eagles and neighbouring groups. The same team has a new study in PNAS in which they describe some of the rules of combination of the calls—one of the most complex examples of a “proto-syntax” of an animal communication system to date. The BBC News, Wired Science and the Telegraph have written stories on the two studies, and a ScienceNOW piece summarises the PLoS ONE paper.

And finally, here’s a round-up of some of the other PLoS ONE news stories and blog posts this week:

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