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What Has the Pandemic Taught Us About Vaccines?
Should Covid-19 vaccines be judged by how well they prevent disease or how well they prevent death? Anna Durbin, a public health expert and vaccine researcher, talks with Steven Strogatz about the science behind vaccines.
Global Microbiome Study Gives New View of Shared Health Risks
The most comprehensive survey of how we share our microbiomes suggests a new way of thinking about the risks of developing some diseases that aren’t usually considered contagious.
Mobile Genes From the Mother Shape the Baby’s Microbiome
Tiny genetic sequences in a mother’s bacteria seem to hop into the infant’s bacteria, perhaps ensuring a healthy microbiome later in life.
The Gut Microbiome Helps Social Skills Develop in the Brain
New research in fish suggests that gut microbes can have a crucial early influence on the brain’s social development.
Ocean Bacteria Reveal an Unexpected Multicellular Form
Marine bacteria normally seen as single cells join together as a “microscopic snow globe” to consume bulky floating carbohydrates.
How Genes Can Leap From Snakes to Frogs in Madagascar
The discovery of a hot spot for horizontal gene transfer draws attention to the possible roles of parasites and ecology in such changes.
Bacteria’s Immune Sensors Reveal a Novel Way to Detect Viruses
A new study reveals that bacteria can fight viruses in a surprisingly elegant way that has no known counterpart in more complex life.
An Immunologist Fights Covid with Tweets and a Nasal Spray
Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist who became a lifeline for the worried and the curious during the pandemic, thinks that nasal spray vaccines could be the next needed breakthrough in our fight against the coronavirus.
‘Social’ Mitochondria, Whispering Between Cells, Influence Health
Mitochondria appear to communicate and cooperate with one another, both within and between cells. Biologists are only just beginning to understand how and why.