Disease

Wild boars are causing major issues in Italy.

Wild Boars Are Ransacking Rome

The Italian government plans to cull the population after at least one animal tested positive for a contagious swine fever

Many Americans struggle with risk assessment when making decisions during the pandemic.

The Future of Mental Health

Why It’s So Hard to Make Risk Decisions in the Pandemic

Our brains weren’t built to do public health calculus like this, but following a few pieces of advice from the experts will help as you weigh your options

A person receives a Covid-19 nasopharyngeal swab at a testing site in Los Angeles International Airport on December 21, 2021. 

More Than Half of Americans Have Been Infected With Covid-19

The percentage of the population with Covid-19 antibodies resulting from infection rose significantly in recent months

Spotted tree frogs are critically endangered in New South Wales.

Critically Endangered Spotted Tree Frogs Released Into the Wild in Australia

Bushfires, fungal disease, predation and other threats have pushed these amphibians to the brink of extinction

A 19th-century illustration of two yellow fever victims in New Orleans

Race in America

How Yellow Fever Intensified Racial Inequality in 19th-Century New Orleans

A new book explores how immunity to the disease created opportunities for white, but not Black, people

Aedes aegypti can carry several diseases, including yellow fever, dengue and Zika virus. 

Why a U.S. Company Plans to Release 2.4 Billion Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

The insects, created by biotech firm Oxitec, will be non-biting males engineered to only produce viable male offspring, per the company

Neural data are decoded and analyzed in real time to control the speller software.

Good News

Brain Implants Allow Paralyzed Man to Communicate Using His Thoughts

This study marks the first time a completely paralyzed patient regained the ability to communicate at length, researchers say

Alice Ball was just 23 years old when she developed a method of making chaulmoogra oil—an early treatment for leprosy—more easily injectable.

Women Who Shaped History

The Trailblazing Black Woman Chemist Who Discovered a Treatment for Leprosy

After Alice Ball's death in 1916 at age 24, a white man took credit for her research

Medical professionals agree Pfizer’s current three-shot vaccination schedule still provides strong protection for healthy, young people against getting very sick with Covid-19. 

Pfizer Seeks Authorization of a Second Covid-19 Booster for Older Americans

The request comes after mounting evidence that protection from three shots has faded with time, especially against the Omicron variant

For many behind the so-called anti-vax movement, faith is the ultimate protection. At an anti-shutdown rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a protester painted the hood of his truck with the motto “Jesus is my vaccine.”

What the History of Science and Religion Reveals About Today's Divisive Covid Debates

A new Smithsonian book and exhibition explores the ongoing conflicts and reconciliations between faith and technology in American life

A first grade student receives a Covid-19 vaccine in Chicago, Illinois

Six Important Things to Know About Covid Vaccination in Children

Experts share the latest research and advice about protecting kids

Bones communicate in varying ways with other parts of the body.

How Bones Communicate With the Rest of the Body

A new vision of the skeleton as a dynamic organ that sends and receives messages suggests potential therapies for osteoporosis and other problems

Over the past decade, scientists have debated how often overdiagnosis occurs in screenings, with the most widely cited estimates at about 30 percent. New research suggests overdiagnosis occurs in 15 percent of breast cancer screenings.

Breast Cancer May Not Be as Overdiagnosed as Previously Thought

New research finds overdiagnosis occurs in 15 percent of cases detected using mammograms

Flea-ridden rats in crowded medieval cities were the primary cause of Black Death infections in the 14th century, which historians believe killed off nearly half the European populaton. A new study argues, however, that the death toll may have in fact been way lower. 

New Research

The Black Death Wasn't as Deadly as Previously Thought, Research Suggests

Ancient pollen deposits reveal that some areas of Europe may have experienced a 'much lighter touch' of the disease, according to the study

ONE Condoms become the first condoms approved for anal sex by the FDA. 

FDA Approves First Condom for Anal Sex

Health experts say FDA authorization may increase condom usage during anal intercourse and reduce sexually transmitted infections

Black-legged ticks, also called deer ticks, carry a variety of diseases that can be passed to humans.

Scientists Edit Tick Genes for the First Time

Altering tick genomes could bring scientists closer to managing ticks and tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease

This seven-foot statue of Pearl Kendrick, center, and Grace Eldering, left, was unveiled in Grand Rapids in 2019. Lab assistant Loney Clinton stands to the right with a microscope.

Women Who Shaped History

The Unsung Heroes Who Ended a Deadly Plague

How a team of fearless American women overcame medical skepticism to stop whooping cough, a vicious infectious disease, and save countless lives

A woman who is six months pregnant receives a Covid booster shot in Los Angeles. The CDC advises pregnant women to get vaccinated.

Covid-19

Seven Things to Know About Covid-19 and Pregnancy

From the effect of vaccines on a baby's immunity to whether Covid-19 can cause stillbirths, experts weigh in with helpful information and advice

Though current variants don't appear to jump from deer to humans, monitoring how the virus spreads through deer populations could be critical for public health.

Discovery of Omicron in New York Deer Raises Concern Over Possible New Variants

White-tailed deer could become a reservoir for Covid-19, putting people and animals at risk

Properly fitted N95 masks should filter 94-95 percent of viral particles.

Covid-19

What You Need to Know About Covid Masks in the Age of Omicron

From what to wear to how to avoid counterfeits, experts weigh in on the latest advice about masks and Covid-19

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