• Pandemic preparednessLockdowns 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?

  • ARGUMENT: FRAGILE DATA SUPPLY CHAINSHome 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.”  

  • CRISIS & PUBLIC HEALTHPublic-Health-Crisis Lessons from the Pandemic

    “Just as the emergency department in a hospital is in a constant state of preparedness and response to the needs of their patients on an individual level - and on a mass casualty level in disasters - public health professionals in emergency preparedness are always at the ready to prepare for, drill, and respond to the community and the disasters that inevitably will affect it,” says UCLA’s Dr. Robert Kim-Farley.

  • WATER SECURITYSafe Drinking Water Remains Out of Reach for Many Californians

    An estimated 370,000 Californians rely on drinking water that may contain high levels of the chemicals arsenic, nitrate or hexavalent chromium. Researchers say that Californians impacted by unsafe drinking water from other compounds for which data are not as widely available.

  • MISINFORMATIONFor Accurate Health Information: Mainstream News More Reliable Than Social, Alternative Media

    New study finds that accurate and truthful health-related information has been found by individuals who rely more on mainstream news. Meanwhile, people who depend on social media or less-established forms of “alternative” health media are more likely to subscribe to false beliefs about health.

  • PANDEMIC & PRIVACYGerman Police Unlawfully Accessed Data on Contact-Tracing App

    Police investigators in the German city of Mainz used the Luca app to search for witnesses in a case they were working on. To get around federal and state laws banning such use of the contact-tracing app, the city’s prosecutor office simulated a COVID-19 infection originating near the scene of the incident under investigation.

  • ARGUMENT: TRUST & TRACING APPSHow Our Outdated Privacy Laws Doomed Contact-Tracing Apps

    Last spring, when the disease first started its rapid spread, contact-tracing apps were heralded as a promising way to control it by tracking diagnoses and exposure through self-reporting and location tracking. Jessica Rich writes that these apps have had mixed success worldwide, but “they’ve been a huge failure in the United States.” He adds: “A key reason for this failure is that people don’t trust the tech companies or the government to collect, use, and store their personal data, especially when that data involves their health and precise whereabouts.”

  • EXTREMISMWhat Prevention and Treatment of Substance Dependence Can Tell Us About Addressing Violent Extremism

    By Ryan Andrew Brown, Rajeev Ramchand, Todd C. Helmus

    Hate, violence, and their co-occurrence—violent extremism—represent increasing threats to society. Experts say that in order to deal effectively with extremism, there is a need for new approaches and frameworks that go beyond the counterterrorism approach that has dominated the battle against global jihadism. They suggest is applying a public health model to understand and counter violent extremism. Specifically, research shows that there is a striking resemblance between attachment to violent extremism and addiction.

  • PANDEMICSThe Battle of the SARS-CoV-2 Variants

    In order to fight the pandemic in the long term, it is crucial to understand why one variant prevails over another. A new study has provided important answers by comparing the spread and transmission of different emerging variants in parallel.

  • PANDEMICSExperts Call on Biden Administration to Change Pandemic Plan

    By Stephanie Soucheray

    On Thursday, members of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 pandemic transition team called on the president to shift his approach to the virus, accepting that it will be endemic and that new variants could emerge and arguing that the country needs a new strategy for living with the virus two years after it was first identified in Wuhan, China.

  • PANDEMICSMore Trusting Societies Have Been More Successful at Reducing Coronavirus Cases and Deaths

    Countries where people have more trust in each other have been more successful in bringing down waves of coronavirus cases and deaths, a new study shows.

  • VACCINESEarly Israeli Findings Show Fivefold Boost from Fourth COVID Vaccine Dose

    By Lisa Schnirring

    Researchers in Israel, who monitored the results of fourth COVID-1 vaccine shots, report that these second booster shots produce a fivefold increase in antibody levels.

  • VACCINESCOVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in the Military Is a Manageable Challenge

    By Douglas D. Jackson

    The military has vaccinated the vast majority of service members, but pockets of hesitancy remain. What’s driving the reluctance, and what should be done to overcome it?

  • NEUROTECHNOLOGYThe Big Promises and Potentially Bigger Consequences of Neurotechnology

    By Elise Thomas

    Neurotechnology is an umbrella term for a range of technologies which interact directly with the brain or nervous system. This can include systems which passively scan, map or interpret brain activity, or systems which actively influence the state of the brain or nervous system. There are growing excitement and growing concern about the potential applications of neurotechnology for everything from defense to health care to entertainment.

  • COVID RESPONSESocial Capital and COVID-19 Response

    Social capital measures how well connected we are to our families, communities, workplaces and religious groups. Researchers found that early in the COVID-19 pandemic, high levels of social capital were associated with a slower spread of the virus.