• PANDEMICSClimate Change Could Spark the Next Pandemic

    As the Earth’s climate continues to warm, researchers predict wild animals will be forced to relocate their habitats — likely to regions with large human populations — dramatically increasing the risk of a viral jump to humans that could lead to the next pandemic.

  • TRUTH DECAYFact Checks Effectively Counter COVID Misinformation

    By Jim Hanchet

    New study finds that journalistic fact checks are a more effective counter to COVID-19 misinformation than the false news tags commonly used by social media outlets. “We find that more information may be an antidote to misinformation,” conclude the authors of the study.

  • PANDEMICWHO Estimates Nearly 15 Million Deaths Linked to COVID Pandemic

    The World Health Organization said more than twice as many people died as a result of the COVID pandemic than official data shows, if including deaths of other causes that might not have occurred in more typical times.

  • EPIDEMICSMachine-Learning Techniques for Predicting the Evolution of Epidemics

    Machine learning techniques can provide an assumption-free analysis of epidemic case data with surprisingly good prediction accuracy and the ability to dynamically incorporate the latest data. The techniques used to analyze case data show promise for predicting the evolution of an epidemic.

  • TRUTH DECAY‘Ukraine Biolabs’: How Attempts to Debunk a Conspiracy Theory Only Helped It Spread

    By Daniel Whelan-Shamy and Timothy Graham

    As Russian forces moved into Ukraine on 24 February, stories of U.S.-funded biolabs and bioweapon research in Ukraine began to spread on social media. The false claims spread from right-wing circles but became more wide-spread, and were soon picked up by Fox News host Tucker Carlson. It wasn’t long until the Russian government, which had spread tales of Ukrainian biolabs in the past, adopted the narrative as a belated justification for the invasion. But, ironically, the very effort to debunk the Russian propaganda promoted by Carlson and Russia only gave to story more oxygen.

  • VACCINATIONTrump’s Vaccine Endorsement Moves the Needle on COVID-19 Vaccines

    A team of economists and political scientists that included Stanford’s Brad Larsen ran a large-scale advertising experiment in thousands of U.S. counties showing a video compilation of former President Donald Trump’s Fox News interview recommending the COVID-19 vaccine, leading to a significant increase in vaccinations.

  • PANDEMIC RESPONSESAVE: Pandemic's Urgency Drove New Collaborative Approaches Worldwide

    In January 2021 the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases assembled a team, drawing on experts from around the world who specialize in relevant research fields such as viruses, the immune system, vaccines, epidemiology, structural biology, bioinformatics, virus genetics, and evolution. The team is called SAVE, for SARS-CoV-2 Assessment of Viral Evolution. SAVE team changed how science is done, spanning 58 institutions.

  • PANDEMICDemographics Alone Do Not Explain COVID-19 Mortality Rates -- Place Matters, Too

    Many Americans became amateur data scientists during the pandemic, tracking local rates of infection or vaccination to help them decide what activities may or may not be safe. Researchers examined this collected county-level data, and found that different demographic groups are vulnerable in different ways—often depending on their geographic location.

  • PANDEMICGlobal COVID-19 Deaths May Be 3 Times Higher Than Recorded

    By Stephanie Soucheray

    Today in The Lancet researchers say excess deaths data indicate that the global death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic may be more than three times higher than officially record. Excess mortality was calculated as observed mortality minus expected mortality. The authors excluded weekly death tolls during times of anomalies, such as heat waves, from their calculations.

  • PANDEMICAirports, Airlines Call for Intra-EU COVID Travel Restrictions to Be Dropped

    Airport and airline organizations have called for all remaining COVID restrictions applying to intra-EU and Schengen area travel to be dropped, including all testing requirements, the need to present proof of vaccination, or complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF).

  • PANDEMIC & NUCLEAR SAFETYExploring the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Nuclear Security

    A new study examines measures put in place in the nuclear sector in the U.K. to mitigate risks from the pandemic. The study identifies a series of lessons learnt in maintaining nuclear security. It also provides recommendations for managing the continuing impact of the pandemic and preparing for future crises.

  • INFECTIONSSafely Studying Dangerous Infections Just Got a Lot Easier

    To combat a pandemic, science needs to move quickly. An extremely fast new 3D imaging method can show how cells respond to infection and to possible treatments.

  • PANDEMICU.K. Unveils Game Plan for “Living with COVID”

    By Lisa Schnirring

    In an address to the House of Commons Monday, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a plan for “living with COVID,” phasing out free testing for most people and removing requirements to self-isolate after testing positive.

  • PANDEMICWas the Late 19th Century’s “Russian Flu” Actually a Coronavirus?

    Scientists are increasingly speculating the famous Russia flu that emerged in 1889 may have actually been driven by a coronavirus. They note, among other things, that as with COVID-19 but unlike with influenza, the elderly were severely impacted while children fared much better during the Russian flu.

  • COVID VACCINESCOVID Vaccines Offer Lasting Protection against Reinfection: Studies

    By Mary Van Beusekom

    Two new studies suggest good, durable protection of COVID-19 vaccines against recurrent infection. NEJM editor-in-chief said that COVID-19 survivors can still benefit from subsequent vaccination, although the ideal time to vaccinate is yet unknown: “There is an advantage, and although the absolute risk difference may be small, it’s real. Also, there doesn’t appear to be a safety issue with getting boosted.”