science
How a Virus Spreads Through an Aeroplane Cabin

Travelling by plane greatly increases our chances of getting sick, or so many of us are wont to believe. To be fair, it’s not uncommon to come down with a nasty illness after we return from a vacation or business trip. But is flying the culprit? The latest research suggests the answer is no—but much of it depends on where we sit. Read More >>

science
Humans, Not Rats, May Have Been Responsible for Spreading the Black Death

The Black Death, a plague responsible for killing around a third of the population of Europe during the 14th century, spread to millions of humans by rats that carried infected fleas—right? That’s the story we’ve long been told by historians. A new study upends this conventional thinking, however, showing that humans, and not rodents, were the primary spreaders of the dreaded disease. Read More >>

health
How to Survive the Next Catastrophic Pandemic

Experts say it’s not a matter of if, but when a global scale pandemic will wipe out millions of people. And we are grossly unprepared for the next major outbreak. But in the event of a devastating pandemic—whether it be triggered by a mutated strain of an existing virus or a bio-engineered terror weapon—there are some practical things you can do, both before and during the outbreak, to increase your odds of survival. Read More >>

health
White House Seeks Approval Over Plans For Fighting Zika

The White House is asking Congress for $1.8 billion (£1.24bn) to combat the Zika virus, both within the United States and abroad. This request is a heartening sign that the Obama administration is taking Zika seriously — but not a sign that the US is bracing itself for a local mass outbreak. Read More >>

science
New Evidence Suggests Link Between Mosquito-Borne Virus and Birth Defects

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are raising the alarm about a potential link between a mosquito-borne virus called Zika and a dramatic increase in Brazilian babies born with microcephaly — a rare condition that results in abnormally small heads. Read More >>

science
Military Future-Lasers Could Help Detect Bombs and the Flu

DARPA is investigating handheld UV laser devices to help soldiers detect biological and chemical weapons from a safe distance. But when they master that technology, it won't just be used on the battlefield; it could also help public health workers detect and track outbreaks of communicable diseases. Fighting flu with lasers? This really is the future. Read More >>

science
What a 30,000-Year-Old Giant Zombie Virus Means for the Future

A monster virus comes back from ancient times to wreak havoc on mankind. That may sound like a blurb from a science fiction novel, but as scientists have known for some time, it's not at all impossible. And thanks to the recent revival of a 30,000-year-old giant virus in Siberia, there's increasing concern that it might describe our future. Read More >>