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Thursday, August 6, 2020
SARS-CoV-2 looks like a hybrid of viruses from two different species

SARS-CoV-2 looks like a hybrid of viruses from two different species

Enlarge / Researchers examine a bat as part of their search for dangerous animal pathogens in the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative Lab in Yaounde, Cameroon. Covid-19 Coverage View more stories One of the longest-running questions about this pandemic is a simple one: where did it come from? How did a virus that had seemingly never…
Early tests of vaccine for COVID-19 pass peer review, look promising

Early tests of vaccine for COVID-19 pass peer review, look promising

Enlarge / Test doses of another potential SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. MLADEN ANTONOV / Getty Images Covid-19 Coverage View more stories We still don't know how well a robust immune response protects people from SARS-CoV-2 infection. But we've got a further indication that vaccines can induce a strong immune response. Just prior to the holiday weekend, a…
A fidget spinner to detect urinary tract infections

A fidget spinner to detect urinary tract infections

The diagnostic spinner in action. Urinary tract infections have been called the “canary in the coal mine” of global antibiotic resistance. With more than half of all women having a UTI in their lifetime and men increasing in susceptibility as they age, UTIs are one of the most common bacterial infections in the world. Because it’s…
Survey of patients correlates COVID-19 severity with immune system changes

Survey of patients correlates COVID-19 severity with immune system changes

Enlarge / Warning sign outside a lab doing coronavirus testing.Bloomberg/Getty Images Why do some people appear to handle a SARS-CoV-2 infection without developing symptoms, while it's fatal to others? Some factors, like age, have been easy to identify, but there's still a broad spectrum of responses among younger individuals that remains unexplained. Is there something…
Fired scientist back to peddling anti-vaxx COVID-19 conspiracy theories

Fired scientist back to peddling anti-vaxx COVID-19 conspiracy theories

Enlarge / After her research career effectively ended, Dr. Judy Mikovits has re-emerged as an anti-vaccine activist.YouTube Back in 2011, we covered the strange story of biochemist Judy Mikovits, who co-authored a controversial (and subsequently retracted) paper in the journal Science and eventually lost her prestigious position with a research institution. Now Mikovits is back in…
Researchers engineer photosynthetic bacteria to produce hydrogen

Researchers engineer photosynthetic bacteria to produce hydrogen

The price of photovoltaic power has plunged, making it competitive with fossil fuel-powered electrical generation. But there is still a range of applications, like ships and aircraft, where electrical power doesn't help much. And storing the electricity produced by solar power so that it can be used at night remains an unsolved problem. For those…
Coronavirus Monday update, May 4

Coronavirus Monday update, May 4

Enlarge / Travelers wearing protective face masks stand around social distancing floor markers at "Gare du Nord" railway station as the lockdown continues due to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) on May 04, 2020 in Paris, France. During the pandemic, Ars has done its best to keep you on top of the most important news. But…
First drug known to work against SARS-CoV-2 imaged in action

First drug known to work against SARS-CoV-2 imaged in action

Enlarge / The RNA being copied is in dark blue; the copy is in turquoise; the enzyme is in pale green; and the drug is in pink. Covid-19 Coverage View more stories Just this week, we had the first promising report of a drug that appears to improve the recovery time of patients suffering from…
There seems to be no pattern to where humans pick up new viruses

There seems to be no pattern to where humans pick up...

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Enlarge / A colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of an Ebola virus virion. A virus that normally infects animals makes the jump to humans, whose immune systems have never seen it before. It suddenly sweeps across the globe, leaving death and chaos in its wake. We're living with that reality now and have gone through…
How turtles use temperature to figure out their sex

How turtles use temperature to figure out their sex

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Enlarge / A red-eared slider. There's a global pandemic happening on a scale that hasn't been seen in roughly a century. So we decided it would be the perfect time to talk about turtle sex. Not turtles having sex, which is undoubtedly an interesting geometry problem, but rather the process by which turtles develop as…

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