Less toy, more workhorse: Drones get functional

Airborne autonomous vehicles could soon be dropping off your Amazon packages, delivering your food and even ensuring that the infrastructure around you is safe and sound

John Wenz • knowable
July 23, 2020 ~17 min

robotics technology qa

The trouble with medicating mental illness

Psychotropic drugs have severely narrowed how we treat psychiatric disorders — to the detriment of patients and society as a whole. A look at the past suggests a better way forward.

Katherine Ellison • knowable
July 17, 2020 ~12 min

society qa health-disease the-mind

Speaking of pandemics: The art and science of risk communication

Public health messages should be loud and clear, so that everyone listens and stays safe. But that’s easier said than done — especially with a case as complex as Covid-19.

Bob Holmes • knowable
July 9, 2020 ~12 min

public-health coronavirus qa health-disease the-mind

America the Unhealthy: Inequality kills

Smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise? Yes, but that’s not all. A researcher tells us what really hurts US life expectancy.

Lola Butcher • knowable
June 23, 2020 ~14 min

society qa health-disease

Corporate crime and non-punishment

The legal system makes it easy for big businesses that break the law to escape prosecution and evade reform. There is a better way — and a legal scholar tells us exactly how it could work.

Hal Conick • knowable
June 18, 2020 ~19 min

society qa

Curbing implicit bias: what works and what doesn't

Psychologists have yet to find a way to diminish hidden prejudice, but they do have strategies for thwarting discrimination 

Betsy Mason • knowable
June 4, 2020 ~19 min

society qa the-mind

The challenge of conducting clinical research during a pandemic

Drug treatments and vaccines for Covid-19 are needed fast. But developing them in mid-outbreak is logistically hard and ethically tricky. A veteran vaccine researcher explains.

Vijay Shankar Balakrishnan • knowable
June 2, 2020 ~14 min

coronavirus qa health-disease

Building a mouse squad against Covid-19

It began with an email from Wuhan, a Maine laboratory and mouse sperm from Iowa. Now that lab is on the verge of supplying a much-needed animal for SARS-CoV-2 research.

Anil Ananthaswamy • knowable
May 14, 2020 ~12 min

coronavirus qa health-disease

Pollution evolution: The little fish that could

Where other species succumbed, the killifish survived contaminated habitats. It’s a finding that could help researchers understand environmental risk factors for humans.

Wudan Yan • knowable
April 23, 2020 ~13 min

climate-change qa living-world food-environment

Infectious disease: Making — and breaking — the animal connection

We know pathogens from other species can endanger us. Scientists are better equipped than ever to do something about it, but political buy-in is crucial.

Tim Vernimmen • knowable
April 16, 2020 ~12 min

coronavirus qa health-disease living-world