Dawn beckons as COVID vaccines roll out, but the next few months promise to be the darkest yet, and echoes of the AIDS era

Dawn beckons as COVID vaccines roll out, but the next few months promise to be the darkest yet, and echoes of the AIDS era

One strange aspect of plagues is that they often finish strong. I learned this the hard way last time around ...
Viewpoint on sex and gender: Has the New England Journal abandoned science for woke political correctness?

Viewpoint on sex and gender: Has the New England Journal abandoned science for woke political correctness?

Two years ago, “Titania McGrath,” whose satirical Twitter account regularly skewers the ideological excesses of social-justice culture, suggested that “we should remove biological ...
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Podcast: Brushing your teeth keeps you young? Ageing research uncovers new clues in the quest to live a longer, healthier life

Podcast: Brushing your teeth keeps you young? Ageing research uncovers new clues in the quest to live a longer, healthier life

Dr Kat Arney takes a look at the biological changes that underpin ageing, and how we can use this knowledge ...
The faux argument of natural vs synthetic

The faux argument of natural vs synthetic

There are many confrontations on the battlefield of cyberspace. Vaccine proponents versus anti-vaxxers. Creationists versus evolutionary biologists. Anti-fluoride activists versus ...
Are Trump and Biden showing early signs of dementia? It's time to look beyond arm-chair psychiatry and politics to science

Are Trump and Biden showing early signs of dementia? It’s time to look beyond arm-chair psychiatry and politics to science

In 2020, while the United States was locked in one of the most polarizing presidential elections and post-election period in ...
When the faster-spreading and more virulent COVID-19 mutant came to my home town, it shook up everyone. Here's an explainer of what it foreshadows

When the faster-spreading and more virulent COVID-19 mutant came to my home town, it shook up everyone. Here’s an explainer of what it foreshadows

When a new variant of the COVID-19 virus appeared in the UK as 2020 drew to a close, I didn’t ...
The truth about the COVID vaccines: Everything you need to know about the fastest vaccines ever developed

The truth about the COVID vaccines: Everything you need to know about the fastest vaccines ever developed

The COVID-19 vaccine was developed faster than any other vaccine in history, which has caused some concern to those that ...
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Viewpoint: The unreported dark side of James Watson’s DNA structure discovery

For the past several years, I have taught a seminar called The Literature of Science to a dozen or so honors ...
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Inherited blindness has a new cure, thanks to CRISPR

In recent months, even as our attention has been focused on the coronavirus outbreak, there have been a slew of ...
A dangerous stage in the evolution of the novel coronavirus is upon us with the discovery of "escape mutations". Artificial intelligence may be our best response

A dangerous stage in the evolution of the novel coronavirus is upon us with the discovery of “escape mutations”. Artificial intelligence may be our best response

Real life with COVID-19 is now scarier than anything a sci-fi writer could envision. So-called “escape mutations” that can turn ...
Gattaca or life-saving? Can we—should we—use CRISPR to edit human embryos, sperm or eggs to cure diseases?

Gattaca or life-saving? Can we—should we—use CRISPR to edit human embryos, sperm or eggs to cure diseases?

The startling announcement by He Jiankui [two years] ago that he had created the first genetically modified human beings unleashed a ...
Podcast: How do mRNA vaccines work and why were they developed so fast?

Podcast: How do mRNA vaccines work and why were they developed so fast?

Geneticist Dr Kat Arney takes a look at the discovery of messenger RNA (mRNA) and finds out how mRNA vaccines ...
There is a lot of misinformation about COVID, the available vaccines and their effectiveness. These 7 insights will help clear that up.

There is a lot of misinformation about COVID, the available vaccines and their effectiveness. These 7 insights will help clear that up.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been many thousands of articles and commentaries published on almost every ...
What do 'non-identical identical twins' have to do with COVID-19? Mutations!

What do ‘non-identical identical twins’ have to do with COVID-19? Mutations!

Identical twins Stella and Desiree Vignes were born in 1938 in a Louisiana town so small that it wasn’t on ...
Viewpoint: COVID vaccine successes have made headway in rebutting facile arguments about the dangers of biotechnology

Viewpoint: COVID vaccine successes have made headway in rebutting facile arguments about the dangers of biotechnology

It turns out that, despite the destruction and heartbreak caused by the COVID pandemic, there is a silver lining: Scientists ...
Sketchy vegan-promoting physicians group produces study attacking ‘blood type’ diet - and it’s surprisingly rigorous and convincing

Sketchy vegan-promoting physicians group produces study attacking ‘blood type’ diet – and it’s surprisingly rigorous and convincing

Nearly every sort of diet has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list by now, all claiming to have ...
We are inching towards direct brain control of computers. Here’s when they'll be ready

We are inching towards direct brain control of computers. Here’s when they’ll be ready

Imagine controlling your computer just by thinking. It sounds far-out, but real advances are happening on these so-called brain-computer interfaces ...
Podcast: Unreliable COVID tests; Amazon's creepy Halo health band; Celebrate pesticides?

Podcast: Unreliable COVID tests; Amazon’s creepy Halo health band; Celebrate pesticides?

How do COVID-19 tests work, and are their results reliable? Recent media reports have raised some concerning questions. Amazon's Halo ...
Marketers are beginning to use data mined from consumer DNA tests. Should we be worried?

Marketers are beginning to use data mined from consumer DNA tests. Should we be worried?

A woman lingers at a display of coffeemakers. Soon after, images of the very same contraptions festoon her Facebook feed, ...
Reflecting on ‘The Queen’s Gambit’: Are women genetically hardwired to underperform men in chess?

Reflecting on ‘The Queen’s Gambit’: Are women genetically hardwired to underperform men in chess?

Unlike the wildly popular Netflix chess-themed series The Queen’s Gambit, female players have struggled to climb to the top of ...
How COVID deniers are taking pages out of the anti-vaccine movement's playbook

How COVID deniers are taking pages out of the anti-vaccine movement’s playbook

One of the most notable things about the COVID-19 pandemic has been how fast two science denialist movements made common cause ...
More or less deadly? Which way is SARS-CoV-2 evolving?

More or less deadly? Which way is SARS-CoV-2 evolving?

No lethal pandemic lasts forever. The 1918 flu, for example, crisscrossed the globe and claimed tens of millions of lives, ...
Your personal genetic makeup can determine whether you respond to a treatment, get worse, or even die

Your personal genetic makeup can determine whether you respond to a treatment, get worse, or even die

Henk-Jan Guchelaar knows all too well the serious problems that the side-effects of medication can cause. As a professor of clinical pharmacy at the ...
‘Auto-activation deficit’: The curious cases of people hard wired to react but not act

‘Auto-activation deficit’: The curious cases of people hard wired to react but not act

One day, a lively and successful businessman was bitten by a wasp, triggering an unexpected encephalopathy of the brain. Afterwards, he ...
PEW global survey: Caution about research on gene editing, but wide support for treating diseases in human embryos

PEW global survey: Caution about research on gene editing, but wide support for treating diseases in human embryos

Global publics take a cautious stance toward scientific research on gene editing, according to an international survey from Pew Research ...
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Why humanity will likely be around for a long time

Will our species go extinct? The short answer is yes. The fossil record shows everything goes extinct, eventually. Almost all ...
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