Coronavirus

A Science Reader for COVID-19

What pandemics often do, in addition to causing debilitating illness and profound loss, is expose: the gaps in our scientific knowledge, the limitations on our abilities to respond, and the...
Illustration of a woman walking with a book

The Library That Walked Across Belgium

Need a good, long walk? Don’t forget to pack a book or two. It’s not just a tradition, it’s also the basis for a recent traveling performance. In 2012, theatre...
Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc, for Fascists and Feminists

A minor irony of 1920 was that the Roman Catholic church canonized a teenage peasant girl it had burned back in 1431. This was the short-haired, armor-plated, sword-wielding, horse-riding, saint-voice-hearing,...
T helper cells and interleukin molecules

Cytokine Storms: The Cruel Irony of an Immune Response

In John M. Barry’s book on the 1918 flu pandemic, The Great Influenza, one of the most striking passages concerns what actually killed many of the young, healthy victims of...
A series of torn up academic papers against a blue background

Preprints, Science, and the News Cycle

In 1991, a preprint server went online at Los Alamos Laboratory, famous home of the Manhattan Project. ArXiv was an electronic repository where physicists could share papers with their colleagues...
Shayla Lawson

Shayla Lawson: All of Us Came from the Same Root

...being black women is our joy. That’s one of the things that people are accepting about Lizzo that Lizzo didn’t necessarily learn to accept about herself—because all of a sudden...
Kate Moennig in The L Word

What’s Behind the Very Real Butch Quarantine Hair Crisis?

A specter is haunting the mirrors of the world—the specter of rapidly growing hair. With COVID-19 closing barber shops and salons, the short-haired people of the world have been brought...
An image representing mutating virus

Viral Mutation for the Perplexed

Imagine a game of Telephone, where a phrase or sentence or short story is passed, one person to another, until the last person is reached. They then say what they’ve...
Quaran, the official quarantine mascot of Japan

There’s a Mascot for That? Cute COVID-19 Education

In Japan, there are many mascots for many things. They are yuru-kyara (or yuru-chara), “loose” or “wobbly characters,” rooted in and evolved from traditional religious deities, and now ubiquitous in...
A golden retriever on the beach

Dogs and Cancer

Cancer, at its simplest, begins with DNA mutations that cause uncontrolled replication of abnormal cells, resulting in tumors and illness. There is no single “cancer”: each is dependent on the...