Getting a Covid-19 vaccine — quickly and safely

Researchers around the globe are working with unprecedented speed to find the vaccines we need to find our way through the pandemic. What’s the bar for safety and effectiveness?

Eric Bender • knowable
July 30, 2020 ~17 min

public-health coronavirus society explained health-disease

How we make decisions during a pandemic

From mask wearing to physical distancing, individuals wield a lot of power in how the coronavirus outbreak plays out. Behavioral experts reveal what might be prompting people to act — or not.

Katherine Harmon Courage • knowable
May 26, 2020 ~15 min

coronavirus psychology society explained the-mind

The time of trials: Waiting for a coronavirus vaccine

An infected and impatient world needs protection from Covid-19, but rushing it won't be easy. How can we speed up a complicated process?

Bob Holmes • knowable
May 22, 2020 ~19 min

coronavirus explained health-disease

Covid-19 antibody testing: Tougher than true/false

Antibodies should indicate if someone has had an infection in the past. But the promise of “immunity testing” is plagued by uncertainty about how the immune system responds to the coronavirus, as well as concerns about the tests’ accuracy.

Amber Dance • knowable
May 1, 2020 ~15 min

coronavirus explained health-disease

How disease sleuths are using genomics to track the coronavirus

Rapid sequencing of viral genomes can help public health officials figure out the origins, spread and nature of quickly moving epidemics

Bob Holmes • knowable
April 21, 2020 ~11 min

coronavirus explained health-disease living-world

What is a cytokine storm?

An immune reaction gone wild seems to be linked with the most severe cases of pandemic Covid-19. Here’s what happens.

Amber Dance • knowable
April 10, 2020 ~13 min

coronavirus explained health-disease

An old problem: How immune responses weaken with age

The body’s defenses lose flexibility and diversity over time, and protective responses to vaccines weaken as well. Scientists are working on ways to boost seniors’ protections against influenza, the novel coronavirus and other pathogens.

Jonathan Wosen • knowable
April 1, 2020 ~12 min

public-health coronavirus explained health-disease living-world

Fighting fire with fire ... and fauna

Climate change is aggravating the seasonal burns that Australia has always known. They won’t be snuffed out, but new ecological strategies may help.

Tim Vernimmen • knowable
March 5, 2020 ~14 min

wildfire explained food-environment physical-world

The tricky task of tallying carbon

To slow or stop global warming, the world agrees it must cut carbon dioxide emissions. But monitoring each nation’s output of greenhouse gases is not always straightforward.

Adam Levy • knowable
Dec. 7, 2019 ~15 min

climate-change society explained physical-world food-and-environment