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How we bury our dead during a pandemic

Funerals, burials and other ways of communally commemorating those who have died have always been part of human history. The need for social distancing has upended these psychologically important rituals and fostered creative alternatives.

Why solar geoengineering should be part of the climate crisis solution

The controversial technology of reflecting sunlight away from the planet could help blunt the worst impacts of climate change

Making and breaking connections in the brain

The links between nerve cells, called synapses, allow us to learn and adapt, and hold clues to conditions such as autism, schizophrenia and more

Why jobless payments serve the public good

Amid political debate over benefits during the pandemic, a researcher explains why unemployment insurance and other government measures are crucial for the economy and employees to survive troubled times

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.

Less toy, more workhorse: Drones get functional

Airborne autonomous vehicles could soon be dropping off your Amazon packages, delivering your food and even ensuring that the infrastructure around you is safe and sound

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.

Corporate crime and non-punishment

The legal system makes it easy for big businesses that break the law to escape prosecution and evade reform. There is a better way — and a legal scholar tells us exactly how it could work.

Curbing implicit bias: what works and what doesn't

Psychologists have yet to find a way to diminish hidden prejudice, but they do have strategies for thwarting discrimination 

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.

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.