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Health & Disease

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

The bat-virus détente

Bats cope with myriad viruses, including the one causing Covid-19, with few ill effects. Scientists are probing their immune systems to fathom how they do it. The answers might help infected people, too.

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