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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.

Pollution evolution: The little fish that could

Where other species succumbed, the killifish survived contaminated habitats. It’s a finding that could help researchers understand environmental risk factors for humans.

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.

The complexities of a universal basic income

It’s a hot topic under political debate: providing cash grants as a social safety net. Small programs hint at how it might work — or not — on a national scale.

What makes food ‘local’?

More people are choosing what to eat based on where it was grown, made or created. An anthropologist looks at the myriad ways we link food to place — and whether it really could make a difference.

Why real-life places still matter in the age of texting and Twitter

Interactions in physical spaces, whether around the watercooler or at the neighborhood bar, are crucial to forming social ties

Out of the mouth of babes

Learning a language is child’s play, but linguists are still trying to understand how children do it so easily

Robots designed to self-construct

Robot researcher Mark Yim offers a look inside the promising field of modular reconfigurable robotics — bots that can shift form to tackle an array of tasks

Treating the growing trauma of family separation

War, disasters, trafficking and immigration are tearing millions of children from their parents all around the world. A psychologist explores how to help them recover.

Why green energy finally makes economic sense

Solar and wind generators have suddenly become just as cheap as other ways to produce electric power

The human hand in fish evolution

Fishery practices that go for the big ones may be counterproductive when mostly the small survive

Living with chronic illness: Why some cope and others don’t

What helps some people diagnosed with cancer, heart disease or diabetes stay relatively happy and healthy, while others are devastated? Psychologist Vicki Helgeson explains the traits and mindsets that can make the difference.

Getting the microbe story, straight from the mouth

A trio of researchers has mapped the living things that make the tongue, gums and palate home

Profiling the perpetrators of past plagues

The ancient pathogens in old graves are as dead as the people they once infected. Still, they tell a vivid tale.

Measuring surgical quality

Not all surgeons are equally skilled with a scalpel. Doctors are developing new ways to test — and improve — operating room performance.

Revenge is bittersweet at best

Research is starting to reveal how the urge for vengeance may have evolved, when it can be useful and what could prevent the violence it can provoke

Lessons from scorching hot weirdo-planets

Hot Jupiters were the first kind of exoplanet found. A quarter-century later, they still perplex and captivate — and their origins hold lessons about planet formation in general.