Top stories: Florida’s HIV problem, ancient skull surgery, and corrections to a flawed diet study

‘We’re in a mess.’ Why Florida is struggling with an unusually severe HIV/AIDS problem

In 2016, Miami, Florida, was first on the list of new HIV diagnoses in U.S. cities. Florida also has more cases of AIDS than any other state. The problem is complex, but it differs significantly in urban and rural regions. Miami, for example, is a diverse community full of immigrants who cannot be reached with a one-size-fits-all message. Rural Florida is in the conservative Bible Belt in the deep South, which can be homophobic and looks askance at sexual education. Now, new efforts are underway to try to solve Florida’s AIDS crisis by squarely looking at these shortcomings and confronting them—one by one.

South America’s Inca civilization was better at skull surgery than Civil War doctors

Cranial surgery without modern anesthesia and antibiotics may sound like a death sentence. But trepanation—the act of drilling, cutting, or scraping a hole in the skull for medical reasons—was practiced for thousands of years from ancient Greece to pre-Columbian Peru. Not every patient survived. But many did, including more than 100 subjects of the Inca Empire. A new study of their skulls and hundreds of others from pre-Columbian Peru suggests the success rates of premodern surgeons there was shockingly high: up to 80% during the Inca era, compared with just 50% during the American Civil War some 400 years later.

Following charges of flawed statistics, major medical journal sets the record straight

One year after a damning review suggested that many published clinical trials contain statistical errors, The New England Journal of Medicine is correcting five of the papers fingered and retracting and republishing a sixth, about whether a Mediterranean diet helps prevent heart disease. (Spoiler alert: It still does, according to the new version of the paper.) Despite errors missed until now, in many ways the system worked as intended, with the journal launching an inquiry within days of the accusations.

Sexual harassment isn’t just about sex: Groundbreaking report details persistent hostility female scientists face

Ask someone for an example of sexual harassment and they might cite a professor’s insistent requests to a grad student for sex. But such lurid incidents account for only a small portion of a serious and widespread harassment problem in science, according to a report released this week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Two years in the making, the report describes pervasive and damaging “gender harassment”—behaviors that belittle women and make them feel they don’t belong, including sexist comments and demeaning jokes. Between 17% and 50% of female science and medical students reported this kind of harassment in large surveys conducted by two major university systems across 36 campuses.

Artificial intelligence can predict how you’ll look decades from now

Police searching for a long-lost person or fugitive sometimes have little more to go on than an old photograph. Artists or computer programs can attempt to predict what these individuals look like today, but both approaches have flaws. Now, scientists have harnessed advanced artificial intelligence to render artificial aging that’s more realistic (and depressing) than ever.