Coronavirus

A Science Reader for COVID-19

Covering concepts from spillover to virus mutation, this collection of free-to-access readings provides scientific context around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two men wearing and advocating the use of flu masks in Paris during the Spanish flu epidemic, 1919

What’s the Difference between Pandemic, Epidemic, and Outbreak?

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. What exactly does that mean?
Brain organoid

Is It Ethical to Grow a Brain in a Petri Dish?

Brain organoids could be the key to understanding brain diseases, which is why we should think carefully about how far we are prepared to take them.
Source: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Richard Prum: How Does Beauty Evolve?

Prum speaks on Darwin’s idea of sexual selection, the importance of arbitrary traits, and why he could never choose a favorite species of bird.
Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the Moon

Should the Moon Landing Site Be a National Historic Landmark?

Some archaeologists argue it’s essential to preserve the history of lunar exploration. But would it represent a claim of U.S. sovereignty over the moon?
Untitled by Ann McCoy and Untitled by Larry Bell

The Rise and Fall of Hologram Art

Major artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Louise Bourgeois have experimented with holography, but it has yet to be taken seriously as an art form.
Astronauts Anne McClain during her ASCAN EVA Skills 3 Training. Photographer: Lauren Harnett

How Women Helped to Develop the First Spacesuit

NASA recently cancelled an all-female spacewalk, citing a lack of spacesuits. Ironically, women played a key role in creating the very first spacesuits.
Composite image of Dmitri Mendeleev, a periodic table, and the Milky Way galaxy

How Far Does the Periodic Table Go?

Efforts to fill the periodic table raise questions of special relativity that “strike at the very heart of chemistry as a discipline.”
sargassum seaweed dumped on beach

The Great Seaweed Invasion

In the Caribbean, sargassum deposits have grown to unprecedented sizes, obscuring the sand and turning nearshore waters into seething sargassum soup.