• Safely 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.

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

    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.

  • Was 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 Vaccines Offer Lasting Protection against Reinfection: Studies

    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.”

  • Speed and Surprises: Decline and Recovery of Global Electricity Use in COVID’s First Seven Months

    The unprecedented plunge in electricity use around the world at the beginning of the global pandemic was tied to shut-down policies and other factors. Surprisingly, the recovery to pre-COVID levels was quite fast and not linked to those same factors.

  • It Costs Far Less to Prevent Pandemics than Control Them

    Investing tens of billions of dollars now in programs that enhance environmental protection and boost early-stage wildlife disease surveillance could reduce the risk of future animal-to-human pandemics by up to half and save millions of lives and trillions of dollars in losses annually.

  • COVID Tests May Leak Personal Data

    In Sweden, when you take a PCR test to have a certificate issued – and last year, 14 million PCR tests were performed — your personal data are handled by private companies. Researchers have discovered a critical security weakness at such a company that handles these certificates in all major cities in Sweden.

  • Pandemic-Related School Closings Likely to Have Far-Reaching Effects on Child Well-Being

    A global analysis has found that kids whose schools closed to stop the spread of various waves of the coronavirus lost educational progress and are at increased risk of dropping out of school. As a result, the study says, they will earn less money from work over their lifetimes than they would have if schools had remained open.

  • Why Homicide Rates Spiked 30% During the Pandemic

    The number of homicides in the United States spiked almost 30% during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a phenomenon seen in both cities and rural areas, and in Republican and Democratic-leaning states. While there have been calls from some quarters to abolish or defund the police, the vast majority of Americans oppose getting rid of police departments.

  • Disaster Expert Testifies in Congress Regarding Future Pandemics

    “The severity, the disruptions, the politicization of the response, the inequities, and the pandemics’ persistence were all predicted in various reports, studies, and historical records of prior pandemics. The shortage of ventilators, personal protective equipment, and healthcare system capacity was the subject of numerous reports, including from the federal government…. We didn’t want to spend the money on what was needed, so we are dealing with the consequences now. And our response is a lot more expensive and a lot less effective as a result”: Colombia University’s Jeffrey Schlegelmilch.

  • Low-Cost Radio System Could Help Trace Disease Spread

    In efforts to limit the spread of disease while preserving privacy, an interdisciplinary research team at NIST has designed and tested low-cost devices and methods that can detect when people or animals come into close contact with each other.

  • Support for Populist Politics “Collapsed” During the Pandemic: Report

    Support for populist parties and politicians, and agreement with populist sentiment, has fallen amid the pandemic, according to a “mega-dataset” taking in the attitudes of over half a million people across 109 countries.

  • Competition and Collaboration: Understanding Interacting Epidemics Can Unlock Better Disease Forecasts

    A new algorithm increases scientists’ abilities to accurately model mutually dependent spreading processes, from virus outbreaks to disinformation on social media.

  • Lockdowns During Early Pandemic Saved Lives, but Not a Go-To Strategy Moving Forward: Study

    The U.S. pandemic lockdown in 2020 caused a $2.3 trillion economic downturn and split the nation politically, and now some European nations are locking down again as Omicron surges through the global population. But do these drastic measures save lives? Are they worth massive job and income losses?

  • Home for the Holidays? The Global Implications of a State-Level Cyberattack

    The 4 December 2021 cyberattack on the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) appeared, at first blush to be a local-to-Maryland problem. Maggie Smith writes, however, that “the MDH hack points to a concerning development at the nexus of cybercrime and data supply chains,” as it “shows how fragile data supply chains can be and signals how easy it is to disrupt even the most critical data flows by stopping the upstream flow of data that provides the insights and statistics on which the nations’ decision-makers rely.”