He identifies a cluster of non-medical drivers of deadly outbreaks—war, political instability, human migration, poverty, urbanization, anti-science and nationalist sentiment, and climate change—and maintains that advances in biomedicine must be accompanied by concerted action on these geopolitical matters.
War and Pestilence ride together as two of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and there is no shortage of historical precedent to demonstrate the aptness of the allegory. The great influenza pandemic that began in 1918 was propelled, in part, by troop movements and population shifts at the end of the First World War. Both the First and the Second World Wars produced typhus epidemics. Armed conflicts cause malnutrition, poor pest control, and sanitation problems; even the soil often becomes contaminated. Medical facilities are destroyed; doctors and nurses, diverted to combat duty, are unable to provide care, and vaccination and other mass-treatment programs usually falter.
Podcast Producer Meagan Cantwell talks with Pamela Soltis, a professor and curator with the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida and the director of the University of Florida Biodiversity Institute, about how natural collections at museums can be a valuable resource for understanding future disease outbreaks.
Read the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. This segment is part of our coverage of the 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting.
Also on this week’s show, Katharina Schmack, a research associate at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, joins producer Joel Goldberg to talk about giving mice a quiz that makes them hallucinate. Observing the mice in this state helps researchers make connections between dopamine, hallucinations, and mental illness.
The unfortunate reality is that COVID-19 might not be the last pandemic. The threat of the next pandemic will always be hanging over our heads—unless the world takes steps to prevent it. You can learn more about this topic in our 2021 Annual Letter at http://gatesnot.es/3a5KOLU
March 2020 began on a high note for American business and ended with the economy in tatters This WSJ documentary goes behind-the-scenes to reveal how the coronavirus pandemic ripped through American business during the month of March 2020 — told through the firsthand accounts of 12 prominent executives. When the coronavirus tore through industry, commerce and society in March 2020, the U.S. economy came to a screeching halt. Top executives relive the tough decisions they made as they scrambled to weather the storm. Photo Illustration: Adele Morgan/The Wall Street Journal
The covid-19 pandemic may have derailed the world in 2020, but a far deadlier disease has shaped human history for thousands of years. Malaria defeated armies, fuelled the slave trade and jump-started the modern environmental movement. How covid-19 hinders the fight against malaria: https://econ.st/3gAsfCj
The Los Angeles Lakers took home the NBA championship this week. But the close of the season also marked a big victory for the league itself. The NBA played its finals in a unique environment that came to be known as the bubble.
Players were frequently tested and social distancing was heavily enforced. And, the experiment worked. The NBA did not report a single positive coronavirus case from players or staff. Reporters Emma Court and Brandon Kochkodin describe how the league did it, and whether other organizations can replicate its success.
Through homemade maps, CityLab readers shared perspectives and stories from a world transformed by the coronavirus pandemic.