Every month, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN—the longest-running magazine in the U.S. and an authoritative voice in science, technology and innovation—provides insight into scientific topics that affect our daily lives and capture our imagination, establishing the vital bridge between science and public policy.

>> Key information from this month’s issue:

• HIV
A new gene-editing technique, that modifies immune cells to make them resistant to the virus, offers hope of eliminating HIV in other patients. Preliminary results from early clinical trials are the closest scientists have come to fighting HIV in 30 years, but there is still a long way to go. See: Medicine: Blocking HIV’s Attack

• HEALTH CARE
Mental illness is one of our biggest health problems, costing the U.S. more than $100 billion a year in lost productivity. By 2002, 29 states had mandated that health insurance packages cover mental illness on the same terms as physical illness. The Supreme Court, however, will soon hear arguments against a universal form of these plans. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, would require all insurance plans to offer “behavioral health” coverage, including mental health and addiction and substance abuse help. If the act is declared unconstitutional, it is up to Congress to reinstitute its more crucial provisions, ensuring 32 million affected Americans have access to mental health coverage. See: Science Agenda: A Neglect of Mental Illness

• ENERGY
Cheap and efficient methods to store large amounts of energy are needed to make widespread solar and wind power more practical. There are ways of storing energy when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining that can be implemented now. See: Energy: Gather the Wind

• CLIMATE
Climatologist Michael E. Mann became known for his “hockey stick” graph, which shows temperatures bouncing up and down before rapidly rising more recently. In 2006 his research came under hostile scrutiny, culminating in “Climategate” in 2009. Mann defends his science and states that climate changes are taking place faster than models predicted and action needs to happen now. See: Climate: Hit Them with the Hockey Stick

• INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Most Internet users are connected to others only through their Internet service provider (ISP), which means if this link is blocked or sabotaged, Internet access is completely lost. One solution to the problem is to form wireless mesh networks, simple systems that connect end users to one another and automatically route around blocks and censors. But there must be a critical mass of users in the network before it functions, so developers need to convince users of the system’s safety. See: Information Technology: The Shadow Web

• MANUFACTURING
In the 1960s and 1970s high-performance computing (HPC) developed at the national labs changed the manufacturing sector, leading to innovations behind Caterpillar, General Electric, Goodyear and Procter & Gamble. The U.S., however, is no longer a powerhouse in manufacturing, and HPC modeling and simulation is losing its hold. Getting supercomputing technology into the hands of engineers at small manufacturers may be our best chance to compete with lower overseas labor costs and to rescue U.S. manufacturing. See: Forum: Big Computers for Little Engineers