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Covid-19 Immunity May Rely on a Microscopic Helper: T Cells

That makes it difficult to know if vaccine developers are really on the right track. Their hunch is based, primarily, on how the immune system responds to other pathogens. But some viruses evade the typical patterns. They short-circuit the immune response. The most infamous example of that is HIV, Wherry says, which attacks the very […]

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How a ‘Heat Dome’ Forms—and Why This One Is So Perilous

For many vulnerable Americans, that climactic hellscape isn’t approaching—it’s already here, and it’s colliding with the Covid-19 pandemic. Cooling centers, where folks without air-conditioning can go to chill, are shuttered. Public pools, too. And wandering malls is certainly out of the question. Skyrocketing evictions could mean more people are forced onto the street, completely exposed […]

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Covid Kills More Men Than Women. Experts Still Can’t Explain Why

Other scholars think the overall pattern of greater male death is more meaningful. “You still see this one phenomenon make it through all that variability,” says Stefanick. “It’s passing my consistency test.” Of course, a consistent state-to-state pattern could still be primarily caused by social factors, since the states are culturally similar in many ways. […]

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How to Read Covid-19 Research (and Actually Understand It)

A typical study has six major parts. They generally begin with an abstract, which briefly describes the question the researchers were trying to answer, what data they collected, and what the results were. Then the introduction and literature review sections set the stage and tell readers more about the ideas the researchers were exploring and […]

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How Masks Went From Don’t-Wear to Must-Have

“There was very strong pushback that the evidence was too weak,” says Lidia Morawska, a leading aerosol researcher at the Queensland University of Technology, who organized the meeting with WHO officials after seeing large numbers of Italian health care workers dying despite adhering to all the available recommendations regarding hand-washing and protective gear. She found […]

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How Masks Went From Don’t-Wear to Must-Have During the Coronavirus Pandemic

“There was very strong pushback that the evidence was too weak,” says Lidia Morawska, a leading aerosol researcher at the Queensland University of Technology, who organized the meeting with WHO officials after seeing large numbers of Italian health care workers dying despite adhering to all the available recommendations regarding hand-washing and protective gear. She found […]

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Your Firework Smoke Could Be Tainted With Lead

The holiday pyrotechnic smoke can be so thick, in fact, that historically, epidemiologists studying ambient levels of metal in the air actually throw out the data around these two dates. Those aberrations are just too big. But perhaps that’s not surprising, as Americans bought 249 million pounds of fireworks in 2019, according to the American […]

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Where Should Covid-19 Vaccines Be Tested? It’s a Moving Target

A word about how clinical trials work. Candidate vaccines and potential drugs spend years progressing through lab studies, then animal studies, and then tests in humans. The current trials are able to move so fast because the National Institutes of Health is permitting vaccine-makers to skip or delay animal testing. Instead, vaccine-makers are taking their […]

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Vaccine Makers Turn to Microchip Tech to Beat Glass Shortages

In June, BARDA finally signed contracts worth $347 million with two American vial makers. The first, New York-based Corning, has a long history of working with vaccine makers. Its Pyrex glass was used to bottle the first polio vaccines in the 1950s. Today, it manufactures “millions of vials per month,” a company spokesperson told Business […]

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Covid-19 Vaccine Makers Turn to Microchip Tech to Beat Glass Shortages

In June, Barea finally signed contracts worth $347 million with two American vial makers. The first, New York-based Corning, has a long history of working with vaccine makers. Its Pyrex glass was used to bottle the first polio vaccines in the 1950s. Today, it manufactures “millions of vials per month,” a company spokesperson told Business […]

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Dexamethasone and the Recovery Trial’s High-Speed Science

Last week, a British research team announced that a cheap, safe, widely available drug called dexamethasone makes a huge difference in saving the lives of people severely ill with Covid-19. Perhaps no one was more surprised than the people on the research team. That group, the United Kingdom’s Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 Therapy (Recovery) Trial, […]

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5 Weird Concepts to (Theoretically) Supercharge Mask Fabrics

Zinc Zap Israeli startup Sonovia created tech—derived from research done at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University aimed at reducing disease spread in hospitals—that uses ultrasonic waves to mechanically insert nanoparticles of zinc oxide into textiles, including masks. The particles give off ions that the company says interact with the protein envelope surrounding the virus, deactivating it. When […]

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Shelter In Place Works—If You Can Afford to Stay Home

Among hard-hit essential workers, the precise dynamics of how infections spread are hard to pin down, Havlir notes. Had transmission actually occurred at work? Or maybe on transit? Perhaps the disparity reflected differences at home. Essential workers, she notes, are more likely to live in crowded conditions, or lack housing security, or live with other […]

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Sheltering in Place Works—If You Can Afford to Stay Home

Among hard-hit essential workers, the precise dynamics of how infections spread are hard to pin down, Havlir notes. Had transmission actually occurred at work? Or maybe on transit? Perhaps the disparity reflected differences at home. Essential workers, she notes, are more likely to live in crowded conditions or lack housing security or live with other […]

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