More than one million Americans were killed by Covid-19 in just over two years, the CDC reports. But the disease has hit some segments of the U.S. population far more than others. Photo illustration: Todd Johnson
Although intermittent fasting is most widely known as a weight-loss strategy, emerging research suggests that it could have benefits for brain health and cognition. But does it actually work, are there any drawbacks and how long would you have to fast to see benefits? WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez breaks down what’s known and what’s not about the neuroscience of intermittent fasting.
Timeline: 0:00 Could intermittent fasting help our brains work better and longer? 0:31 How long would you have to fast to see any potential cognitive benefits? 1:04 How intermittent fasting could affect your ability to focus 2:27 Potential mood-related benefits of intermittent fasting 2:48 How intermittent fasting can affect brain health 4:03 Potential drawbacks of intermittent fasting
New high-tech Covid-19 tests promise better and earlier detection of the virus—similar to a PCR test. WSJ’s Joanna Stern (and her mannequin clone) tried out the Detect Covid-19 Test and Cue Health Monitoring System to see how they compare with rapid antigen tests. Photo illustration: Ryan Trefes/ WSJ
Real-estate transactions in the metaverse are reaching record highs. We spoke with companies investing in digital real estate to understand the economic model, and why investors are spending millions on virtual property. Photo: Republic Realm
The Federal Reserve says it will accelerate the wind-down of its bond-buying program, the biggest step the central bank has taken in reversing its pandemic-era stimulus. Here’s how tapering works, and why it sends markets on edge. Photo illustration: Adele Morgan/WSJ
Available space, weather and air traffic volume are key factors that go into airfield design. Robert Hoxie, who helped redesign Chicago O’Hare’s airfield, explains how runways are mapped out. Photo Illustration: Adele Morgan/The Wall Street Journal
The James Webb Space Telescope, a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, is set to launch later this month. Scientists say its technology makes it 100 times more powerful than the Hubble and could give it the ability to see back to the first galaxies in the universe. Illustration: Adele Morgan/WSJ
China is expanding its military arsenal with new drones, including stealth versions and those that can swarm and drop bombs. WSJ compares the tech and design of these drones with their U.S. counterparts to see how Beijing is equipping its military for possible future conflict. Photo composite: Sharon Shi
The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021.
This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa. Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics continue to detect this variant. Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected (called S gene dropout or S gene target failure) and this test can therefore be used as marker for this variant, pending sequencing confirmation. Using this approach, this variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.
Everyone is blabbing about the metaverse. But what does this future digital world look like? WSJ’s Joanna Stern checked into a hotel and strapped on a virtual-reality headset for the day. She went to work meetings, hung out with new avatar friends and attended virtual shows. Photo illustration: Tammy Lian / The Wall Street Journal