Category Archives: Science

NASA reboots its role in fighting climate change

Nature reports: NASA is best known for exploring other worlds, whether that’s sending astronauts to the Moon or flying helicopters on Mars. But under US President Joe Biden, the space agency intends to boost its reputation as a major player in studying Earth — especially with an eye towards fighting climate change. “Biden made clear… Read More »

India’s massive Covid surge puzzles scientists

Nature reports: The pandemic is sweeping through India at a pace that has staggered scientists. Daily case numbers have exploded since early March: the government reported 273,810 new infections nationally on 18 April. High numbers in India have also helped drive global cases to a daily high of 854,855 in the past week, almost breaking… Read More »

The blood-clot problem is multiplying

Roxanne Khamsi writes: For weeks, Americans looked on as other countries grappled with case reports of rare, sometimes fatal blood abnormalities among those who had received the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19. That vaccine has not yet been authorized by the FDA, so restrictions on its use throughout Europe did not get that much attention in… Read More »

The mRNA vaccines are looking better and better

Sarah Zhang writes: A year ago, when the United States decided to go big on vaccines, it bet on nearly every horse, investing in a spectrum of technologies. The safest bets, in a way, repurposed the technology behind existing vaccines, such as protein-based ones for tetanus or hepatitis B. The medium bets were on vaccines… Read More »

Kati Kariko helped shield the world from the coronavirus

The New York Times reports: She grew up in Hungary, daughter of a butcher. She decided she wanted to be a scientist, although she had never met one. She moved to the United States in her 20s, but for decades never found a permanent position, instead clinging to the fringes of academia. Now Katalin Kariko,… Read More »

Has the era of overzealous cleaning finally come to an end?

The New York Times reports: When the coronavirus began to spread in the United States last spring, many experts warned of the danger posed by surfaces. Researchers reported that the virus could survive for days on plastic or stainless steel, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that if someone touched one of… Read More »

Sunlight inactivates coronavirus eight times faster than predicted. We need to know why

Science Alert reports: A team of scientists is calling for greater research into how sunlight inactivates SARS-CoV-2 after realizing there’s a glaring discrepancy between the most recent theory and experimental results. UC Santa Barbara mechanical engineer Paolo Luzzatto-Fegiz and colleagues noticed the virus was inactivated as much as eight times faster in experiments than the… Read More »