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Why solar geoengineering should be part of the climate crisis solution

The controversial technology of reflecting sunlight away from the planet could help blunt the worst impacts of climate change

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Viruses that come to stay

Some linger in the body for a lifetime. The one causing Covid-19 probably isn’t one of them, but it and others can create mischief long after the immune system appears to have banished them.

How algorithms discern our mood from what we write online

Researchers and companies are harnessing computers to identify the emotions behind our written words. While sentiment analysis is far from perfect, it manages to distill meaning from huge amounts of data — and could one day even monitor mental health.

I tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies — what now?

As immunologists struggle to understand the immune response, psychologists want to know how infected people will think and behave after they recover

Rodents in space: Keeping bone and muscle strong on the ISS

Researchers helped mice stay mighty with an experiment to counter the effects of microgravity. The gene treatment might also enhance muscle and bone health on Earth — and in humans.

Racially biased policing: Can it be fixed?

Start with real-world data. Team up scholars and law enforcers. Focus on behaviors and situations. A coalition’s anti-bias work sheds light on a way forward.

Blood clots: A major problem in severe Covid-19

Out-of-control clotting can endanger some patients even after the virus has gone. Clinicians and researchers are trying to understand why it happens and how best to manage the problem.

Caring for the carers

More than 17 million Americans are looking after disabled elders they love, and many of them pay a steep price in stress, frustration and depression. What can be done to improve their lives?

The race to develop paper-based tests for coronavirus

Scientists are working at breakneck speed to develop inexpensive tools that take only minutes to tell if someone is infected — a feat that could pave the way for a safer return to normalcy

Making and breaking connections in the brain

The links between nerve cells, called synapses, allow us to learn and adapt, and hold clues to conditions such as autism, schizophrenia and more

The origin of mud

For most of Earth’s history, hardly any of the mucky stuff existed on land. It finally started piling up around 458 million years ago, changing life on the planet forever.

Microbial secrets of sourdough

It all starts with a community teeming with yeasts and bacteria — but what’s really happening? Scientists peer into those jars on the kitchen counter to find out.

Why jobless payments serve the public good

Amid political debate over benefits during the pandemic, a researcher explains why unemployment insurance and other government measures are crucial for the economy and employees to survive troubled times

The fragile state of contact languages

These linguistic mash-ups are at high risk of extinction. The race to save them is a matter of time, with more at stake than words.

Seeking a better test for Alzheimer’s

New blood assays and brain scans are among the biomarkers revolutionizing clinical trials and changing the way researchers think of the disease. They may soon change the way patients are treated as well.

The life that springs from dead leaves in streams

A crunchy brown leaf may seem like an ending. But the food webs it supplies can be far more expansive than the ones it nourished when it was young, green and in its prime.

Getting a Covid-19 vaccine — quickly and safely

Researchers around the globe are working with unprecedented speed to find the vaccines we need to find our way through the pandemic. What’s the bar for safety and effectiveness?

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.

Less toy, more workhorse: Drones get functional

Airborne autonomous vehicles could soon be dropping off your Amazon packages, delivering your food and even ensuring that the infrastructure around you is safe and sound

The trouble with medicating mental illness

Psychotropic drugs have severely narrowed how we treat psychiatric disorders — to the detriment of patients and society as a whole. A look at the past suggests a better way forward.

How viruses evolve

Pathogens that switch to a new host species have some adapting to do. How does that affect the course of a pandemic like Covid-19?