The Food and Drug Administration just approved a flu vaccine made by cells taken from the fall armyworm, an agricultural pest. The cells produce copies of a piece of the flu virus's outer coat that primes the immune system. Conventional vaccines use the whole virus and take longer to produce.
Aside from getting the flu shot, how do you outsmart the wily virus? Hoard hand sanitizer? Dodge door knobs? Or quietly slink away from coughing commuters? Dr. Nicole Bouvier, a flu researcher at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, talks about what works--and what doesn't--in avoiding influenza.
Last weekend, air pollution in Beijing reached record highs, raising concerns about the cost of China's rapid industrialization. David Pettit, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, discusses the pollution problem in China's capital, and why severe smog can be deadly.
Astronomers have discovered a clump of 73 quasars that spans four billion light years at its widest point--that's like 40,000 Milky Way galaxies lined end-to-end. The only problem? Theory says the quasar cluster is too big to exist. Astronomer Gerard Williger and reporter Ron Cowen discuss this cosmological oddity, and other news about the cosmos.
As part of a research initiative on how to harness off-grid energy for low-power electronics, a pair of U.K.-based designers created a lamp that uses gravity to generate light. Martin Riddiford, co-inventor of the GravityLight, talks about plans for the innovative project.
In the Broadway play The Other Place actress Laurie Metcalf ("Jackie" on the TV show "Roseanne") plays a scientist suffering from the dementia she studies. Playwright Sharr White discusses the play and the challenge of presenting complicated science on a theater stage.
Data scientist Edward Tufte (dubbed the "Galileo of graphics" by BusinessWeek) pioneered the field of data visualization. Tufte discusses what he calls "forever knowledge," and his latest projects: sculpting Richard Feynman's diagrams, and helping people "see without words."
The National Institutes of Health owns or supports almost 700 chimps. But the question of where they go when no longer needed for research is a thorny one: NIH money to support retired chimps in sanctuaries has been limited by Congress.
More than two months after the storm, the House of Representatives passed a bill to spend $50 billion to help Eastern states struck by Hurricane Sandy. But some scientists and engineers say there's danger in rushing ahead to rebuild a coastline that's sure to get hit again.
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