Also: A robotic thread developed by MIT could be used to save stroke patients, and an early hominin gets a new face

Robotic thread is designed to slip through the brain’s blood vessels

(Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office, 8/28/19)

Engineers from MIT have created a thread that can be magnetically steered through very small passageways, including possibly the brain’s vascular system. The robotic thread could be used to clear up blockages from aneurysm or stroke, improving on current treatment methods that use a thread that cannot be easily guided. This robotic thread is much easier to steer, which could make the procedure easier and faster for surgeons.

CDC: US on verge of losing measles elimination status

(Zack Budryk, The Hill, 8/28/19)

Nineteen years after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared measles eliminated in the US, officials warn that we are on the brink of losing our eliminated status by October. Countries lose their elimination status when it is demonstrated that a disease has been spreading for a year. According to the CDC, the growing anti-vaccination sentiment has contributed to this issue.

A face for Lucy’s ancestor

(Max-Planck Gesellschaft, 8/28/19)

The most intact version of the skull of Australopithecus anamensis, an early hominin, was discovered recently in Ethiopia. Researchers were able to reconstruct facial features of the species due to the exceptional preservation of the skull. A. anamensis lived about 4 million years ago and is a known ancestor of the famous “Lucy” skeleton.

—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker