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infectious disease

Lede photo for "How Vaccines Can Drive Pathogens to Evolve"

Vaccines Are Pushing Pathogens to Evolve

Just as antibiotics have bred resistance in bacteria, vaccines can potentially lose their effectiveness over diseases they controlled. Researchers are working to head off the evolution of new threats.

520px illustration for cell incubation time.
mathematical biology

Why Don’t Patients Get Sick in Sync? Modelers Find Statistical Clues

The long, variable times that some diseases incubate after infection defies simple explanation. An idealized model of tumor growth offers a statistical solution.

520px illustration for herd immunity
Quantized Academy

How Math (and Vaccines) Keep You Safe From the Flu

Simple math shows how widespread vaccination can disrupt the exponential spread of disease and prevent epidemics.

White stick figures incased in blue teardrops surround other stick figures on a blue background. They are surrounded by stick figures on a red background.
Quantized Columns

The Unforgiving Math That Stops Epidemics

If you didn’t get a flu shot, you are endangering more than just your own health. Calculations of herd immunity against common diseases don’t make exceptions.

Virus Hamiltonian Path
molecular biology

The Illuminating Geometry of Viruses

Mathematical insights into how RNA helps viruses pull together their protein shells could guide future studies of viral behavior and function.


Wanted: More Data, the Dirtier the Better

The computational immunologist Purvesh Khatri embraces messy data as a way to capture the messiness of disease. As a result, he’s making elusive genomic discoveries.

Illustration: Viruses Find a New Way to Hijack Cells

Viruses Find a New Way to Hijack Cells

A virus that causes crippling birth defects has been shown to do something else: It changes thousands of messages coming from DNA that control normal cellular activities.

Abstractions blog

The Strange Case of Typhoid Mary

The infamous case of Typhoid Mary underscores the importance of tolerance in understanding disease.

infectious disease

A New Way to Predict Infection’s Toll

Scientists have developed new ways to forecast who will bounce back from disease by studying not just the way the immune system fights infections, but how the body repairs itself.