BRAZIL

Online requests for abortion pills spiked dramatically this year in Brazil, Ecuador and other Latin American countries that ban or restrict abortions, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine. The uptick suggests that women may be choosing to end pregnancies rather than risk birth defects caused by the Zika virus.

U.S.

The National Institutes of Health approved the first clinical trial that involves the gene-editing technique CRISPR. The trial will evaluate whether CRISPR is safe to use in humans as it applies to a cancer therapy that relies on the patient's own cells. It is set to begin by the end of this year.

ANTARCTICA

Researchers reported the first clear evidence that the ozone layers above Antarctica are replenishing. They expect the current ozone hole, which was created by the use of now banned chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), to close by 2060.

FRANCE

Paris instituted a city ban on all cars built before 1997 in an effort to combat its growing smog problem. A regulation from earlier this year allows even- and odd-numbered license plates within city limits only on alternating days.

CHINA

The world's largest radio telescope, built in a natural basin in the Guizhou province, is scheduled to begin operations this month. The Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, has a dish the size of 30 football fields and will be used to hunt for gravitational waves, among other tasks.