Are we ready? Understanding just how big solar flares can get

Recasting the iconic Carrington Event as just one of many superstorms in Earth’s past, scientists reveal the potential for even more massive, and potentially destructive, eruptions from the sun

Christopher Crockett • knowable
Sept. 17, 2021 ~16 min

The two sides of envy at work

When workers feel envious of their peers, it can undermine collaborations — or inspire them to do better on the job. Can organizations harness the green gremlin to boost productivity?

Lesley Evans Ogden • knowable
Sept. 11, 2021 ~13 min

Salmonella: Why it’s a chicken and egg thing

Eliminating this food-poisoning bacterium from poultry is tricky — not least because rapid, precise tests are still unavailable. Researchers are looking at vaccines, probiotics, prebiotics and even essential oils as ways to reduce contamination on the farm.

Maureen O'Hagan • knowable
Sept. 10, 2021 ~14 min

To understand airborne transmission of disease, follow the flow

Viruses and bacteria travel in fluids, such as the air we breathe. Studying exhalations, toilet flushes and rain drops, with math and modeling, can sharpen the big-picture view of how to prevent infections.

Anil Ananthaswamy • knowable
Sept. 4, 2021 ~24 min

Why don’t kids tend to get as sick from Covid-19?

Some children have been hospitalized and some have died, but at a tiny fraction of the adult rate. As children head back to school, scientists are hoping that research will provide answers.

Sara Reardon • knowable
Sept. 2, 2021 ~15 min

Can statistics help crack the mysterious Voynich manuscript?

The meaning of the cryptic text has eluded scholars for centuries. Their latest efforts include computational analyses seeking new insights into the medieval enigma.

Greg Miller • knowable
Aug. 20, 2021 ~13 min

Speaking in whistles

Dozens of traditional cultures use a whistled form of their native language for long-distance communication. You could, too.

Bob Holmes • knowable
Aug. 16, 2021 ~12 min

Tackling the growing problem of overmedication

Polypharmacy — taking five or more meds at a time — leads to side effects, unnecessary hospitalizations and premature deaths. Researchers and pharmacists are seeking solutions to this serious public health problem that disproportionately affects older adults.

Helen Santoro • knowable
Aug. 12, 2021 ~17 min

Do wild animals get PTSD? Scientists probe its evolutionary roots

Many creatures show lasting changes in behavior and physiology after a traumatic experience

Sharon Levy • knowable
Aug. 9, 2021 ~13 min

The case for ocean optimism

With the health of the ocean under threat, a rallying cry for marine conservation goes global. Here are some of the good news stories.

Eric Bender • knowable
Aug. 5, 2021 ~17 min