Optimizing vaccine rollout: Should we be concerned about taking possibly less effective — but easier to distribute — COVID shots like AstraZeneca's and J&J's?

Optimizing vaccine rollout: Should we be concerned about taking possibly less effective — but easier to distribute — COVID shots like AstraZeneca’s and J&J’s?

Yusuff Adebayo Adebisi knows that a vaccine that offers 70% protection against COVID-19 could be a valuable tool against the ...
CRISPR ‘mini-brains’ made from Neanderthal DNA offer insight into the evolution of human cognition

CRISPR ‘mini-brains’ made from Neanderthal DNA offer insight into the evolution of human cognition

Humans are more closely related to Neanderthals and Denisovans than to any living primate, and some 40% of the Neanderthal ...
Could Ethiopia make or break the future of GM crops in Africa?

Could Ethiopia make or break the future of GM crops in Africa?

I have followed with interest the recent controversy around plantings of transgenic crops in Ethiopia. Until 2015, the country took ...
Psychedelics are revolutionizing psychiatry. Here's what we can expect

Psychedelics are revolutionizing psychiatry. Here’s what we can expect

Once dismissed as the dangerous dalliances of the counterculture, [psychedelic drugs] are gaining mainstream acceptance. Several states and cities in ...
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GM, insect-resistant Bt rice unlikely to pose a health risk, study shows

Rice is considered one of the most important staple food crops. Genetically modified (GM) Bt rice [harboring the] cry1Ab gene ...
Crash effort to develop coronavirus vaccines has revolutionized disease treatment

Crash effort to develop coronavirus vaccines has revolutionized disease treatment

The COVID-19 experience will almost certainly change the future of vaccine science, says Dan Barouch, director of the Center for ...
New COVID variants raise spectre of a global health catastrophe. Will they outpace vaccine development?

New COVID variants raise spectre of a global health catastrophe. Will they outpace vaccine development?

Scientists want to understand why SARS-CoV-2 variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa seem to be spreading so ...
How infectious are asymptomatic COVID carriers?

How infectious are asymptomatic COVID carriers?

[E]vidence suggests that about one in five infected people will experience no symptoms, and they will transmit the virus to ...
Facial recognition is growing with COVID – and sparking a burgeoning resistance movement

Facial recognition is growing with COVID – and sparking a burgeoning resistance movement

Facial-recognition technology (FRT) has long been in use at airport borders and on smartphones, and as a tool to help ...
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Infographic: When extremely premature babies grow up, they face chronic conditions that researchers are just beginning to understand

For the first time, researchers can start to understand the long-term consequences of being born so early. Results are pouring ...
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Infographic: How AI facial-recognition research can be misused to target minorities

[A] study, published in 2018, had trained algorithms to distinguish faces of Uyghur people, a predominantly Muslim minority ethnic group ...
Possibility of life on Venus fades after reanalysis of atmospheric data

Possibility of life on Venus fades after reanalysis of atmospheric data

In September, an international team of astronomers made headlines when it reported finding phosphine — a potential marker of life ...
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WHO launches daunting task of tracing COVID’s global path

The search will start in Wuhan — the Chinese city where the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was first identified — and ...
Why COVID death counts are not rising as quickly as confirmed cases

Why COVID death counts are not rising as quickly as confirmed cases

Charlotte Summers, an intensive-care physician at the University of Cambridge, UK, says that data collected by the country’s National Health ...
CRISPR-edited bananas immune to killer pathogens advance toward commercialization in Africa

CRISPR-edited bananas immune to killer pathogens advance toward commercialization in Africa

For more than two decades, I have been working to improve several staple food crops in Africa, including bananas, plantains, ...
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Podcast: GM salmon coming soon? Food ingredients you can’t pronounce are safe; Monsanto patent lawsuit myths

Monsanto never sued farmers because their fields were accidentally contaminated with the company's GM seed. AquaBounty's genetically engineered AquAdvantage salmon ...
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Can lab-grown brains become conscious?

In August 2019, [biologist Alysson] Muotri’s group published a paper in Cell Stem Cell reporting the creation of human brain ...
Viewpoint: ‘Untold human death and suffering’: What could be the impact of the Trump administration plan to reach herd immunity

Viewpoint: ‘Untold human death and suffering’: What could be the impact of the Trump administration plan to reach herd immunity

“Surrendering to the virus” is not a defensible plan, says Kristian Andersen, an immunologist at the Scripps Research Institute in ...
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Hardware modeled on the brain could revolutionize computing

A challenge for researchers developing applications of neuromorphic [or human brain-inspired] hardware is that a formal hierarchy such as Turing ...
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Face masks—Are they critical or ideology-driven overkill? Here’s the science

Face masks are the ubiquitous symbol of a pandemic that has sickened 35 million people and killed more than 1 ...
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Can we use DNA to sketch the faces of criminals?

Most labs studying DNA phenotyping look for relationships between changes to individual letters of a person’s genetic code, known as ...
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Asians and Blacks dramatically under-represented in medical research, distorting drug therapy effectiveness

A 2018 analysis of studies looking for genetic variants associated with disease found that under-representation [of minorities] persists: 78% of ...
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How animals think

Neuroscientists wanting to understand the brain’s coding language have conventionally studied how its networks of cells respond to sensory information ...
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Why is it so difficult to battle antibiotic resistance?

Before COVID-19, antibiotic resistance was estimated to kill at least 700,000 people each year worldwide. That number could now climb ...
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Older coronavirus victims 350 percent likelier to experience symptoms than 10-19 year olds

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown a markedly low proportion of cases among children. Age disparities in observed cases could be ...
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When CRISPR gene editing falls short: ‘Base editing’ might treat disorders on the maternal line in mitochondrial DNA

[A] technique — which builds on a super-precise version of gene editing called base editing — could allow researchers to ...
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Viewpoint: Activist opposition to GMOs fueled by an ‘extremist’ vision of nature

We would like to take the opportunity on #Worldenvironmentday to come back to a problem we have been thinking about ...
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Viewpoint: Anti-GMO groups push ‘natural’ COVID cures, deny pandemic-fighting biotech solutions

One of the primary arguments hurled at proponents of genetic engineering is that the crops, medicines and vaccines produced using ...
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