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Traditional medicines sold at a South African market. Rebecca and William Beinart

The story of the pharma giant and the African yam

In the 1950s, the African yam was exploited by drugs firm Boots to produce cortisone. But South Africans fought back against the plundering of a plant that they used for traditional healing.
Whether by biology or behavior, some people in the crowd will transmit coronavirus to more than the average number of others. AP Photo/Kin Cheung

What is a super spreader? An infectious disease expert explains

The novel coronavirus spreading outward from Wuhan, China, will get an assist from a subset of infected people who transmit it to many others.
A man wearing a face mask prays at Erawan shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 29, 2020. Thailand has five reported cases of coronavirus. AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

Is the coronavirus outbreak as bad as SARS or the 2009 influenza pandemic? A biologist explains the clues

Scientists do not yet know the severity of the current coronavirus. A biologist who worked on the 2009 flu pandemic offers insights on that outbreak as well as the SARS outbreak.
Tomatoes’ ancestors looked very different. Foxys Forest Manufacture/Shutterstock

Modern tomatoes are very different from their wild ancestors – and we found missing links in their evolution

Through genetic detective work, scientists have identified missing links in the tomato’s evolution from a wild blueberry-sized fruit in South America to the larger modern tomato of today.
The Myanmar military’s years-long campaign against the Rohingya Muslims left hundreds of villages a smoldering pile of debris. Warpait village, Rakhine State, Oct.14, 2016. Ye Aung Thu/AFP via Getty Images

Preventing genocide in Myanmar: Court order tries to protect Rohingya Muslims where politics has failed

The International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to protect its Rohingya minority and preserve any evidence relevant to the genocide charges against it. But compliance is not guaranteed.

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