by Ya’el Courtneyfigures by MacKenzie Maugeredited by Yuli Lily Hsieh January 2023 marked the third anniversary of the discovery of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic that halted life as we knew it. It overwhelmed hospitals worldwide, and is still infecting around 250,000 people daily across the globe in February 2023. Over these three years, many countries have struggled to monitor the rapidly … Continue reading Something in the Sewage: What watching our wastewater can tell us about infectious diseases
by Piyush Nandafigures by Corena Loeb In an area devastated by deforestation, an 18-month-old toddler from the nearest settlement, Meliandou in Guinea, was seen playing around a fallen tree swarming with bats. The child then contracted a mysterious illness, which spread to many who came in contact. After it had already killed 30 people, the illness was identified as Ebola. Comprehensive studies have since connected … Continue reading Are Pandemics the Cost of Human Recklessness Towards Nature?
In this episode of our Scientists at Home series, Professor Iain Cheeseman (Professor of Biology, MIT and Whitehead Institute) talks about how he adapted to the new normal and juggled his various responsibilities — his family, research group, and undergraduate class. He explains the importance of creating a sense of community while being physically distanced, and some positive changes that the pandemic brought about. You … Continue reading Episode 17: Scientist at Home: Social distancing without social isolation
Scientists from China and Germany have investigated the molecules that govern different parts of the infection producing COVID-19. Determining these molecular structures is an essential step in designing antiviral drugs for treatment. Continue reading How to Fight a Virus: Examples from COVID-19
by Ziqi Chen figures by Rebecca Senft We live in a universe of viruses. It is estimated that there are billions of types of viruses on earth, and ~320,000 types that infect mammals alone. Many viral species exist in our surrounding environment. As we live, breathe, eat, talk, and go about our daily activities, the number of viruses that we come into contact with is virtually … Continue reading COVID-19 and Emerging Viral Diseases: the journey from animals to humans