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A capacity crowd of teens with their enthusiastic, engaged conversation amazed a scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory during his presentation at Café Scientifique in the Bradbury Science Museum Thursday evening. “Before giving this talk, people told me the kids wouldn’t pay attention but that’s not true, they were amazing,” said Ruy M. Ribeiro. “This was excellent, the kids asked very good questions, they paid attention, it was very rewarding.”Ribeiro works in the Theoretical Biology & Biophysics section of the Laboratory’s Theoretical Division. In his talk, The Race for an HIV Vaccine, he explained Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).“Today, 33 million people are infected worldwide and more than two-and-a-half million die every year,” he said. “In the country where I was born, Mozambique, one in six adults is infected. In neighboring Botswana, life expectancy is only 36 years; in 1985 it was 65. Many young adults in these countries die of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), leaving behind a rising number of orphans.”Even in the United States, there are more than one million people infected with HIV, Ribeiro said. “We urgently need an HIV vaccine, yet, it has remained out of reach after 25 years of research,” he said.
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