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A COVID-19 patient in an ICU unit in a hospital in Capetown, South Africa, in December 2020. A variant emerged in South Africa that has since spread to other parts of the world. Other new variants could emerge elsewhere. Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

How worried should you be about coronavirus variants? A virologist explains his concerns

As the US vaccinates millions more people each day, the novel coronavirus works to survive. It does this by mutating. So far, several variants are worrisome. A virologist explains what they are.
Hindu devotees attend evening prayers on the banks of the Ganges River during the religious Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar, India. Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images

India prepares for Kumbh Mela, world’s largest religious gathering, amid COVID-19 fears

Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage that started earlier this month in India, has survived wars and famine since its origin. But the biggest threat has been the spread of illness – back then as now.
Finding the best tour from A through B, C and D and back to A might not be that hard, but adding a few more destinations could give you a headache. wundervisuals/E+ via Getty Images

Planning the best route with multiple destinations is hard even for supercomputers – a new approach breaks a barrier that’s stood for nearly half a century

The traveling salesperson problem is so difficult that practical solutions can never be perfect – only good enough. The challenge is coming up with the best approximations.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces an investigation over an alleged pattern of sexually harassing and intimidating women employees. Brendan McDermid/Pool/AFP/via Getty Images

Power imbalances are at the root of sexual harassment – but statements like Andrew Cuomo’s don’t acknowledge that inconvenient fact

Men accused of sexual harassment, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, often refer to their accomplishments in their responses. Their power is their defense, and it blinds them to their victims' suffering.
Schools that build trust with their communities can reduce fears surrounding reopening. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Building trust among parents and teachers is key to reopening schools

With distrust for school officials prevalent during the pandemic, an educational historian calls attention to the need for officials to have more positive relations with educators and parents.
Whether just comfortable at home or nervous about leaving, kids may need extra support to get back out there. Imgorthand/E+ via Getty Images

Here’s how to help your kids break out of their pandemic bubble and transition back to being with others

After more than a year of isolation and empty schedules, some kids might be apprehensive or anxious about interacting with the outside world. Psychology experts provide tips to ease the transition.
TV and movies are one way we understand people and places we’ve never had direct contact with – and maybe never will. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Netflix’s big bet on foreign content and international viewers could upend the global mediascape – and change how people see the world

An Italian media scholar raised on American TV assesses Netflix's ambitious strategy to create original productions in Italy, Japan, Brazil and beyond – and distribute them globally.
Teens and young adults spend several hours a day looking at their phones and watching videos, many of which might contain product placements for vaping. Flashpop/Getty Images

Vape sellers are using popular music videos to promote e-cigarettes to young people – and it’s working

Product placement in music videos totals $15 million to $20 million a year and is rising. E-cigarette makers are discovering it's a great way to lure young adults into vaping.
How can more scientists learn to communicate like Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases? Anna Moneymaker / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Scientists need to become better communicators, but it’s hard to measure whether training works

#Scicomm is a hashtag, and there are many programs that claim to teach scientists how to be better communicators. But it's hard to show exactly what they're accomplishing.
Every March 27, the Myanmar military celebrates its anniversary with a parade. The day of the 2021 parade, soldiers killed at least 90 pro-democracy protesters. Xinhua/Zhang Dongqiang via Getty Images

Myanmar’s brutal military was once a force for freedom – but it’s been waging civil war for decades

What began in the 1940s as a revolutionary army created to liberate Myanmar from British colonial rule soon turned repressive. The country has been a military dictatorship on and off since 1962.

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