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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?

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.

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

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.

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.

Fighting fire with fire ... and fauna

Climate change is aggravating the seasonal burns that Australia has always known. They won’t be snuffed out, but new ecological strategies may help.

The tricky task of tallying carbon

To slow or stop global warming, the world agrees it must cut carbon dioxide emissions. But monitoring each nation’s output of greenhouse gases is not always straightforward.

Twilight of the eye

Our bodies and abilities deteriorate with age, and sight is no exception. Physical changes to the visual system cloud it in multiple ways.

Thar she blows: The what, why and where of geysers

Scientists make progress in mapping the hidden force behind the watery eruptions

Bumpy air boosts wind power

Turbulence regenerates gust strength between turbines, influencing design of arrays that can pull energy from the sky

Getting it ripe

From meh to wow: The science of fruit maturation reveals new paths to better flavor

How snowflakes grow

The cold, finicky science of ice crystal formation