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Health & Disease

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?

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.

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.

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

Women and girls with ADHD

VIDEO: The disorder can present differently in girls and boys, and holds different challenges for women who live with it

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.

Infectious disease: Making — and breaking — the animal connection

We know pathogens from other species can endanger us. Scientists are better equipped than ever to do something about it, but political buy-in is crucial.

Chasing the genes behind pain

New treatments for chronic pain face a long road despite promising developments. Research in people with rare diseases is pointing the way to genes that influence how we experience pain — and might lead to new medications.

An old problem: How immune responses weaken with age

The body’s defenses lose flexibility and diversity over time, and protective responses to vaccines weaken as well. Scientists are working on ways to boost seniors’ protections against influenza, the novel coronavirus and other pathogens.