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Science + Technology – Articles, Analysis, Opinion

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Some vaccines use mRNA to make copies of the triangular red spike proteins to induce immunity. Juan Gaertner/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

How can scientists update coronavirus vaccines for omicron? A microbiologist answers 5 questions about how Moderna and Pfizer could rapidly adjust mRNA vaccines

The new omicron variant of coronavirus has a number of mutations that may require manufacturers to update vaccines. The unique attributes of mRNA vaccines make updating them fast and easy.
A virus’s genes hold a record of where it’s traveled, and when. imaginima/E+ via Getty Images

Charting changes in a pathogen’s genome yields clues about its past and hints about its future

After a nose swab tests positive for a virus or bacteria, scientists can use the sample’s genetic sequence to figure out where and when the pathogen emerged and how fast it’s changing.
However Rodgers came to his decision to remain unvaccinated, he did not follow the tenets of critical thinking. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers dropped the ball on critical thinking – with a little practice you can do better

Critical thinking means seeking out new information – especially facts that might run contrary to what you believe – and being willing to change your mind. And it’s a teachable skill.
Chances are some of your data has already been stolen, but that doesn’t mean you should shrug data breaches off. WhataWin/iStock via Getty Images

How vulnerable is your personal information? 4 essential reads

Data breaches have become a fact of life. Here are articles from The Conversation that detail the threat, why it happens and what you can do to protect yourself.
For almost as long as there have been computers, there have been video games. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Who invented video games?

Video games are everywhere. So who was the first person to come up with the idea of playing a game on a computer screen?
Mark Zuckerberg’s company says the kids are all right, but the data it presents is only about how the average social media user is doing. AP Photo/Eric Risberg

The thousands of vulnerable people harmed by Facebook and Instagram are lost in Meta’s ‘average user’ data

Research from Meta and some scientists shows no harm from social media, but other research and whistleblower testimony show otherwise. Seemingly contradictory, both can be right.
The International Space Station is a great example of how space has, for the most part, been a peaceful and collaborative international arena. NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center/Flickr

Space law hasn’t been changed since 1967 – but the UN aims to update laws and keep space peaceful

Activities in space today are far more numerous and complicated compared to 1967, before humans had landed on the moon or Elon Musk had been born. Two experts explain the need for better laws to keep space peaceful.
When water and boiling oil mix, the result can be explosive, as seen in this demonstration. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Travis Alston/Released via Flickr

Why do frozen turkeys explode when deep-fried?

Deep-fried turkeys are delicious, but making one can be dangerous. The scientific reason for fiery Thanksgiving mishaps? A difference in the densities of ice, water and oil.
Research groups supported by the U.S. BRAIN Initiative recently released the most comprehensive map of cell types in the motor cortex of humans, monkeys and mice. Andriy Onufriyenko/Moment via Getty Images

Mapping how the 100 billion cells in the brain all fit together is the brave new world of neuroscience

Scientists have been mapping the brain for centuries. New visualization tools bring them one step closer to understanding where thoughts come from and new ways to treat neurological disorders.
In the U.S., people were placed into four groups for vaccine access. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

US vaccine rollout was close to optimal at reducing deaths and infections, according to a model comparing 17.5 million alternative approaches

With limited vaccines available in early 2021, the CDC had to decide which people received vaccines first. With the help of a supercomputer, researchers have shown that the CDC did an excellent job.
If a satellite is destroyed, the debris fans out in orbit and poses serious threats to other satellites or crewed spacecraft. ESA/ID&Sense/ONiRiXEL via WikimediaCommons

Russian anti-satellite weapon test: What happened and what are the risks?

Russia destroyed one of its old satellites during a successful test of an anti-satellite weapon. A space security expert explains what this weapon was and the dangers of the expanding debris field.