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The challenge of conducting clinical research during a pandemic

Drug treatments and vaccines for Covid-19 are needed fast. But developing them in mid-outbreak is logistically hard and ethically tricky. A veteran vaccine researcher explains.

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Quest to secure the world’s vanishing ice

Glaciologists dream of a cold-storage vault in Antarctica to preserve key samples of the paleoclimate

How we make decisions during a pandemic

From mask wearing to physical distancing, individuals wield a lot of power in how the coronavirus outbreak plays out. Behavioral experts reveal what might be prompting people to act — or not.

The time of trials: Waiting for a coronavirus vaccine

An infected and impatient world needs protection from Covid-19, but rushing it won't be easy. How can we speed up a complicated process?

Could gut microbes be key to solving food allergies?

New therapeutics are testing whether protective bacteria can dampen harmful immune responses to food

Data viz experts explain Covid-19 graphics | Things to Know

VIDEO: Scientists break down what some popular visualizations of the pandemic can and cannot tell us

Loss of smell, confusion, strokes: Does Covid-19 target the nervous system?

Reports of patients with neurological symptoms have emerged during the pandemic. Scientists don’t yet know whether these are a direct effect of the virus or part of the body’s response to infection.

Keys to coping with lockdown

Studies on astronauts and Antarctic crews reveal how extreme confinement affects small groups. Scientists are racing to figure out isolation’s impact on the rest of us.

The single-cell life

Three ways that studying cells individually — instead of by the thousands — is revolutionizing our understanding of biology

How predictable is evolution? An ant-loving beetle holds answers.

Dozens of times over the eons, rove beetles have made complex, independent adaptations to live inside the nests of ants — the phenomenon of convergent evolution. Biologists want to know if this shows patterns at work in natural selection.

Covid-19 antibody testing: Tougher than true/false

Antibodies should indicate if someone has had an infection in the past. But the promise of “immunity testing” is plagued by uncertainty about how the immune system responds to the coronavirus, as well as concerns about the tests’ accuracy.

Could Covid-19 usher in a new era of working from home?

Millions of people have been forced to work remotely — but experts say the practice won’t necessarily stick

Treating sleep apnea with pills instead of machines

The disorder has several different causes, researchers are learning. That finding opens the door for personalized therapies — and perhaps even effective drugs.

Pollution evolution: The little fish that could

Where other species succumbed, the killifish survived contaminated habitats. It’s a finding that could help researchers understand environmental risk factors for humans.

The tides they are a-changin’ — and it’s not just from climate change

Dredging rivers, filling in wetlands and other human acts of engineering have shifted coastal ebbs and flows worldwide. Add rising sea levels, and the threat of storm surges and floods will worsen in some places.

How disease sleuths are using genomics to track the coronavirus

Rapid sequencing of viral genomes can help public health officials figure out the origins, spread and nature of quickly moving epidemics

Under-diagnosed and under-treated, girls with ADHD face distinct risks

It took a long time to figure out how attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder presents in girls and women and the problems it can create. A pioneering study helped change that, but the condition is still often missed.

The 2020 census has arrived. Here’s why the population count matters.

COMIC: Written into the US Constitution, the decadal tally has always started arguments. But it is also fundamental to governing.

When courtroom science goes wrong — and how stats can fix it

COMIC: Bite marks, shoe prints, crime-scene fibers: Matches to suspects are often far shakier than courtroom experts claim. Better statistical methods — among them, a little beast known as the “likelihood ratio” — can cut down on wrong convictions.

The monarch’s stupendous migration, dissected

COMIC: The feisty orange-black butterfly uses a toolbox of biological tricks to find its way down to Mexico for winter and flap north again in spring. Here’s how scientists figured out those tricks — and what they don’t yet understand.

Inside the fertility clinic for frogs | Things to Know

VIDEO: How scientists are using assisted reproduction technology to help amphibian species in trouble

What is a cytokine storm?

An immune reaction gone wild seems to be linked with the most severe cases of pandemic Covid-19. Here’s what happens.

The silence of the owls

No one knows exactly how the nocturnal hunters manage their whisper-soft flight, yet it is inspiring the design of quieter airplanes, fans and wind turbines