Moderna just released the results of a phase 1 trial for a COVID-19 vaccine. JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

What the phase 1 trials of the first COVID-19 vaccine really mean

Results from phase 1 trials of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine created a burst of optimism. But details the company failed to release suggest it is too early to speculate whether the vaccine is effective.
A restaurant in Bangkok created plastic partitions and moved its tables farther apart to separate guests in a normally tight space. Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images

How to lower your coronavirus risk while eating out: Restaurant advice from an infectious disease expert

It's hard to eat while wearing a face mask, and social distancing isn't easy in restaurants' normally tight quarters. An infectious disease expert offers some tips on what to look for to stay safe.
Ocean carbon storage is driven by phytoplankton blooms, like the turquoise swirls visible here in the North Sea and waters off Denmark. NASA

Tiny plankton drive processes in the ocean that capture twice as much carbon as scientists thought

Microscopic ocean phytoplankton feed a "biological pump" that carries carbon from the surface to deep waters. Scientists have found that this process stores much more carbon than previously thought.
Co-champions celebrate at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland, on May 31, 2019. The winning spellers made history with eight co-champions, most ever in spelling event’s history. Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Scripps spelling bee is off this year, but the controversy over including foreign words is still on

The Scripps National Spelling Bee highlights the richness of the English lexicon by picking some tough entries with foreign roots.
The spread of diseases is akin to a maze of toppling dominoes. dowell/Getty Images

What’s an epidemiologist?

Epidemiologists focus on diseases among groups of people. They also study the spread of disease among animals.
It takes roughly 90 years for the living memory of an event to disappear. Anurag Papolu/The Conversation via AP Images

As collective memory fades, so will our ability to prepare for the next pandemic

A global pandemic might be at the forefront of everyone's minds. But we can't assume that future threats will get the attention they deserve from people living in an information-saturated world.
Over the last 50 years, a lot has changed in rocketry. The fuel that powers spaceflight might finally be changing too. CSA-Printstock/DIgital Vision Vectors via Getty Images

To safely explore the solar system and beyond, spaceships need to go faster – nuclear-powered rockets may be the answer

An update of 50-year-old regulations has kickstarted research into the next generation of rockets. Powered by nuclear fission, these new systems could be the key to faster, safer exploration of space.
The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment of uncertainty, fear and despair – emotions that erode mental health. AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy

A perfect storm for medical PTSD: Isolation, intensive care and the coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 patients are spending weeks in intensive care units, isolated and alone, knowing they have a disease that doctors don't fully understand. It's a recipe for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Coronavirus and COVID-19

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