Disease and Illnesses

Some fungi can take over ants' minds, killing the host and using its body to spread spores to other victims.

The Real Zombie Fungus That Inspired HBO's 'The Last of Us'

Humans will probably never face a fungal apocalypse, but in the insect world, mind-controlling fungi can pose a serious threat

Ants don't have noses, but they detect scents using antennae atop their heads.

These Ants Were Trained to Sniff Out Cancer

In just ten minutes, an ant could learn to identify urine from mice with cancerous tumors, a new study finds

A grizzly bear in Glacier National Park in Montana

Three Grizzly Bears Tested Positive for Avian Flu in Montana

The current outbreak has led to the deaths of more than 52 million birds in the United States

Moderna is one of several companies currently working on a vaccine for RSV.

Experimental RSV Vaccine Prevents Illness in Older Adults, Moderna Says

In a large clinical trial, the vaccine was 83.7 percent effective at preventing two or more symptoms of respiratory illness in people over the age of 60

Gas stoves emit air pollutants, including heat-trapping gasses.

Should the U.S. Ban Gas Stoves?

While the White House opposes an all-out ban, a federal safety agency is studying the health and environmental hazards of the kitchen appliances

A Covid-19 testing site in New York City on December 9. An estimated 27.6 percent of cases nationwide were caused by the XBB.1.5 variant this week, according to the CDC's most recent data.

What to Know About the 'Most Transmissible' Covid-19 Variant

XBB.1.5 is the fastest-spreading variant in the country, but it is not known to cause more severe illness than previous ones

Residents of Washington, D.C. wait in line to get Covid-19 test kits in December of 2021. The United States lagged behind other nations in testing during the first few months of the pandemic.

Six Lessons We’ve Learned From Covid That Will Help Us Fight the Next Pandemic

Public health experts weigh in on the steps America needs to take to stem a future outbreak

A growing movement is underway to halt chronic disease by protecting brains and bodies from the biological fallout of aging.

Could Getting Rid of Old Cells Help People Live Disease-Free for Longer?

Researchers are investigating medicines that selectively kill decrepit cells to promote healthy aging

China has eased its Covid testing with the relaxation of zero-Covid policies.

Covid Surges in China, Reaching an Estimated 37 Million Cases Per Day

The country abruptly relaxed its zero-Covid policy earlier this month

Aedes aegypti can carry Zika, dengue, chikungunya and other viruses.

‘Super-Resistant’ Mosquitoes Can Survive Insecticides in Southeast Asia

Researchers found high numbers of a genetic mutation linked to this resilience in Cambodia and Vietnam

Singer Celine Dion on stage during the 2016 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. 

 

What Is Stiff Person Syndrome? Celine Dion Announces Diagnosis of Rare Disease

The neurological disease affects about one to two people in a million

Only a quarter of American adults have received their flu shot this year. 

U.S. Flu Hospitalizations Highest in a Decade

The CDC estimates that 120,000 people have been hospitalized since October

The highly contagious virus is airborne and can spread through contaminated surfaces like kennels and leashes.

Dogs Are Impacted by an Intense Flu Season, Too

A surge in canine influenza cases has likely resulted from changes in human behavior due to relaxed Covid-19 guidelines

A brain scan of a person with Alzheimer's disease

Second Death Tied to Experimental Alzheimer’s Treatment

While the new drug is seen as a breakthrough, these deaths highlight a possible risk to patients on blood thinners, experts say

The current outbreak has led to the first case of avian flu in humans in the United States.

More Than 52 Million Birds in the U.S. Are Dead Because of Avian Flu

Many domestic birds have been culled to contain the disease, which is also spreading in wild flocks

This year's titles include I Was Better Last Night, Accidental Ecosystem and Winslow Homer: American Passage.

The Best Books of 2022

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2022

This wide-ranging list offers context for our rapidly changing world

Male great bustard (Otis tarda)

These Giant Birds Might Self-Medicate Their STIs

During the breeding season, great bustards consume two plants that may combat common pathogens

Histoplasma under a microscope

Fungi That Cause Lung Infections May Be Spreading Across the U.S.

Doctors are likely to misdiagnose cases due to outdated maps of these fungi’s ranges

Angel Blue performing in the 2021 production of Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Met.

Covid-19

Can Pathogens at the Opera Haunt a Performance?

New results show performers’ breath control can prevent disease from spreading

The final facial reconstruction depicting John Barber, 55

Art Meets Science

Scientists Reconstruct Face of 19th-Century Man Accused of Being a Vampire

He was a victim of tuberculosis—and a target of the vampire panic that swept through New England

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