Masks Help, but We May Never Know How Much

Masks Help, but We May Never Know How Much

On Wednesday, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals published what many took to be a disheartening result: According to some headlines, a 6,000-person randomized controlled trial in Denmark had found that wearing a mask does not offer any clear protection from being infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

The GOP Keeps Proving There's No Election Fraud

The GOP Keeps Proving There's No Election Fraud

After repeatedly raising the specter of fraud throughout the campaign season, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have spent the last week attempting to sow doubt about the validity of the presidential election results.

Philly’s Ballot-Counting Livestream Is the Only Thing Worth Watching Today

Philly’s Ballot-Counting Livestream Is the Only Thing Worth Watching Today

But no matter your political preference, you should be able to find some comfort in this live view of Philly’s election workers moving ballots through the system.

Split-Second ‘Phantom’ Images Can Fool Tesla’s Autopilot

Split-Second ‘Phantom’ Images Can Fool Tesla’s Autopilot

"The attacker just shines an image of something on the road or injects a few frames into a digital billboard, and the car will apply the brakes or possibly swerve, and that's dangerous," says Yisroel Mirsky, a researcher for Ben Gurion University and Georgia Tech who worked on the research, which will be presented next month at the ACM Computer and Communications Security conference.

Trump Pushed 11 False Claims About Voting in 8 Minutes During the Debate

Trump Pushed 11 False Claims About Voting in 8 Minutes During the Debate

Later in the debate, Trump would cite examples of supposed mail ballot fraud in states like New York and Virginia that do not proactively send ballots—and are therefore conducting mail-in voting in a way that passes muster, by his definition.

Can People Without Symptoms Get Tested for Covid? Who Knows

Can People Without Symptoms Get Tested for Covid? Who Knows

Unless you are medically vulnerable, or your doctor or local public health official thinks it’s a good idea, the new guidance states, “you do not necessarily need a test.” Previously, the agency had recommended testing for anyone with a “recent known or suspected exposure” to the virus, and CDC director Robert Redfield said in an interview with NBC last month that “anyone who thinks they may be infected—independent of symptoms—should get a test.”.

Finding the Other Hand: How to Practice Science for Impact

Finding the Other Hand: How to Practice Science for Impact

I recently had a chance to check in with two of the authors, Steve Wood and Jon Fisher, environmental scientists with The Nature Conservancy and The Pew Charitable Trusts, respectively, for a wide-ranging discussion on the challenges of turning science into practice and why their paper is more timely than ever – especially as scientists struggle to help inform meaningful change in a world facing increasingly urgent challenges.

Laser-Shooting Planes Uncover the Horror and Humanity of World War I

Laser-Shooting Planes Uncover the Horror and Humanity of World War I

During World War I, this stretch of pastoral landscape, which the generals (and now historians) called the Ypres Salient, was one of the most heavily trenched, mined, mortared, bombed, gassed, pillaged, burned, and bullet-riddled places along the Western Front.

What's Confusing About Calling Covid-19 Cases ‘Asymptomatic’

What's Confusing About Calling Covid-19 Cases ‘Asymptomatic’

That’s different from “presymptomatic” cases, in which people without symptoms test positive but later go on to show signs of illness.“There’s a lot of jargon out there and it’s even confusing to scientists,” says Ashleigh Tuite, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto.

The World Was Primed for Protest Conspiracy Theories

The World Was Primed for Protest Conspiracy Theories

As protests against police brutality and systemic racism, sparked by the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, grip the nation, so too does misinformation.

Major Hydroxychloroquine Trial Shows No Prevention Benefits

Major Hydroxychloroquine Trial Shows No Prevention Benefits

The drug hydroxychloroquine, touted by President Donald Trump and his allies as a treatment and preventative for the pandemic disease Covid-19, does not keep people from getting sick.

The Case for Reopening Schools

The Case for Reopening Schools

Schools are reopening in countries around the world in response to a substantial body of evidence that children are largely unaffected by Covid-19 and minimally contagious when they get infected.

‘Common Sense’ Is No Substitute for Science in a Pandemic

‘Common Sense’ Is No Substitute for Science in a Pandemic

I mean, if you look back historically, common sense does not have a great track record against science.Science is just the process of building and refining models.

Despite Coronavirus, Washington Isn't Worried About Its Primary

Despite Coronavirus, Washington Isn't Worried About Its Primary

An election plus a budding epidemic could be an equation for disaster: thousands of people crowded together in polling places, waiting in lines, touching the same door handles and voting machines—or, fearing the prospect of germs, bailing on the whole thing, driving down turnout.

China Launches a Crush of Clinical Trials Aimed at Covid-19

China Launches a Crush of Clinical Trials Aimed at Covid-19

In the quarantined Chinese city of Wuhan , health workers fighting the explosive outbreak of a new coronavirus have been improvising for weeks, trying to provide whatever care they can for Covid-19 patients whose symptoms range from a cough and fever to severe pneumonia, septic shock, and organ failure.

The Coronavirus Outbreak Is a Petri Dish for Conspiracy Theories

The Coronavirus Outbreak Is a Petri Dish for Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories about the Wuhan coronavirus, which range from believing the disease is a bioweapon to the result of eating bat soup, are playing an ancient chord.Falsehoods about coronavirus fall into two major categories: conspiracy theories about the origins of the illness and misinformation about miracle cures.

Would the Coronavirus Quarantine of Wuhan Even Work?

Would the Coronavirus Quarantine of Wuhan Even Work?

The Chinese government announced Wednesday that it would quarantine the city of Wuhan, the center of an outbreak of a new viral disease that has (officially) killed 17 people and infected more than 500.

Whales Help Explain the Evolutionary Mystery of Menopause

Whales Help Explain the Evolutionary Mystery of Menopause

A paper in PNAS reports evidence that supports this explanation, showing that killer whale grandmas who have stopped reproducing do a better job of helping their grandchildren to survive than grandmothers who are still having babies of their own.

Book Review: Secrets of Snakes

Book Review: Secrets of Snakes

Fortunately, wildlife biologist and science communicator David Steen has taken the most common snake myths, tall tales and snake safety rules and applied real science to them in his wildly entertaining Secrets of Snakes: The Science Beyond the Myths (Texas A&M University Press).A lot of our wildlife myths are about creatures that we believe we know.

Trump's Ukraine Server Delusion Is Spreading

Trump's Ukraine Server Delusion Is Spreading

A light edit for coherence: Trump believes—and by all indications this is true belief, not posturing —that after the Democratic National Committee was hacked in 2016, the DNC gave a physical server to Ukrainian cybersecurity company CrowdStrike and refused to let the FBI see the evidence.

New Emoji Are So Boring—but They Don't Have to Be

New Emoji Are So Boring—but They Don't Have to Be

After it encoded the original set of emoji from Japanese cellphone carriers, Unicode started looking to search results: If you submit a proposal for a new emoji, you need to provide screenshots showing how many webpages are found when you search for its associated word or phrase in Google Search, Bing Search, and Google Video Search, plus Google Trends.

Trump Still Doesn't Believe Russia Hacked the 2016 Election

Trump Still Doesn't Believe Russia Hacked the 2016 Election

Nearly three years since US intelligence agencies collectively stated that the Kremlin had hacked the Democratic National Committee, President Donald Trump still takes every opportunity to publicly downplay and dismiss the facts about Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Extreme-Risk Laws Reduce Gun Violence

Extreme-Risk Laws Reduce Gun Violence

But in this case, the threats made the news because local law enforcement officials took preventative action, including obtaining a court order that allowed them to temporarily remove 12 guns from the man's possession.

Ex-Donkey Kong Champ Threatens to Sue Over Record Removal

Ex-Donkey Kong Champ Threatens to Sue Over Record Removal

"I would like to remind Guinness World Records that I, not the current Twin Galaxies administration, am the original verification source of all of Billy Mitchell’s world records, including Donkey Kong and Pac-Man," Day said.

Was Bitcoin Created by This International Drug Dealer? Maybe!

Was Bitcoin Created by This International Drug Dealer? Maybe!

After a month, I was able to convince a colleague with deep cryptocurrency knowledge, someone who’d followed every twist and turn of the Satoshi saga, that Le Roux was the odds-on solution to the mystery of who created bitcoin.

Man Found Guilty in a Murder Mystery Cracked By Cousins’ DNA

Man Found Guilty in a Murder Mystery Cracked By Cousins’ DNA

And unlike the kinds of DNA technologies police have been using for decades to match crime scene samples to suspects, the genetic profiles generated for genealogy purposes hold a lot more information—including sensitive health information .Defense attorney Rachel Forde discusses evidence in the trial of William Talbott, who was found guilty Friday for the 1987 slayings of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg.

He Cyberstalked Teen Girls for Years—Then They Fought Back

He Cyberstalked Teen Girls for Years—Then They Fought Back

In the spring of 2012, after Moulton had been promoted to detective, a student from Belmont High walked into the police station and told Moulton that someone she hadn’t met and knew only as Seth Williams had been texting and hounding her for naked photos.

Lawyers in a Murder Trial Clash Over a DNA Forensics Method

Lawyers in a Murder Trial Clash Over a DNA Forensics Method

Deputy prosecutor Justin Harleman described the groundbreaking forensic technique to the jury Friday, including how a genetic profile of crime scene DNA was uploaded to a public genealogy database.

The True Victims of the Opioid Crisis Are Starting to Rebel

The True Victims of the Opioid Crisis Are Starting to Rebel

Then this spring, the Health Evidence Review Commission, which guides reimbursement decisions, considered new limits: Patients with certain chronic pain conditions would gain coverage for alternative treatments under Medicaid but would have to taper off opioids, even if they have been stable on their doses for many years.

Atmospheric Methane Levels Are Going Up—And No One Knows Why

Atmospheric Methane Levels Are Going Up—And No One Knows Why

“We need to have process representation to understand these mechanisms,” says Eric Kort, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Michigan, “so we can say, for example, with certain changes to temperature and the hydrological cycle, we’d expect methane emissions to increase by X amount.” Without that understanding, Kort suggests, we’re unable to answer some important questions about what looms ahead.