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Health & Disease

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.

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?

Matching meals to metabolism

Genes, microbes and other factors govern how each person’s body processes nutrients. Understanding the connections could help optimize diets — and health.

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.

Speaking of pandemics: The art and science of risk communication

Public health messages should be loud and clear, so that everyone listens and stays safe. But that’s easier said than done — especially with a case as complex as Covid-19.

America the Unhealthy: Inequality kills

Smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise? Yes, but that’s not all. A researcher tells us what really hurts US life expectancy.

Telemedicine’s tipping point

Sheltering in place has pushed virtual health care into the mainstream. Will we go back to doctors’ waiting rooms?

Mini-organs push along Covid-19 and other virus research

While studies in mice and people can be slow, researchers are making fast progress testing medications in miniature airways and guts made of human cells

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.

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

Building a mouse squad against Covid-19

It began with an email from Wuhan, a Maine laboratory and mouse sperm from Iowa. Now that lab is on the verge of supplying a much-needed animal for SARS-CoV-2 research.

Arming immune foot soldiers against cancer

Natural killer cells are born ready to attack the disease. Biologists are developing ways to make these cells tougher and more targeted.

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.

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.

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.