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New scientists candidates for U.S. Congress fared worse than expected.

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November 20, 2020

Dear Reader,

I’m Tanya Lewis, Scientific American’s associate editor of health and medicine, filling in for Sunya Bhutta today. Scientist-candidates for Congress fared worse than expected, despite health being a major issue in this year’s election. Our partners at Undark have a story on how mathematicians model thorny ethical questions about who should get a COVID vaccine first. This week’s Science in Images photograph shows a male seahorse giving birth—a role reversal, compared with most other animal species. Finally, in case you missed it yesterday, we have a guide to evaluating the COVID risks of different forms of public transportation. Stay safe over the holidays!

Tanya Lewis, Associate Editor, Health & Medicine
Policy & Ethics

New Scientist-Candidates for U.S. Congress Fared Worse Than Expected in 2020

Even with big health issues in the headlines, most of these challengers lost, though advocates hope the races gave science a higher policy profile

By Jim Daley

Doing the Touchy Math on Who Should Get a COVID Vaccine First

Doing the Touchy Math on Who Should Get a COVID Vaccine First

Mathematicians model pandemic scenarios by plugging thorny ethical and logistical issues into calculations

By Jill Neimark,Undark
See a Male Seahorse Give Birth

See a Male Seahorse Give Birth

Unlike almost all other animal species, it is male seahorses who become pregnant and birth young

By Andrea Thompson
Evaluating COVID Risk on Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Evaluating COVID Risk on Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Stay safer on different forms of transportation

By Sophie Bushwick,Tanya Lewis,Amanda Montañez
Storm-Surfing Parasites Spread Widely

Storm-Surfing Parasites Spread Widely

Major hurricanes scramble marine creature populations

By Stephenie Livingston
Deep Frozen Arctic Microbes Are Waking Up

Deep Frozen Arctic Microbes Are Waking Up

Thawing permafrost is releasing microorganisms, with consequences that are still largely unknown

By Kimberley R. Miner,Arwyn Edwards,Charles Miller
Hacking the Immune System

Hacking the Immune System


The immune system is a marvel, but sometimes those defenses need help. In this eBook, we examine various ways the immune system is being manipulated to fight disease, starting with the science behind the research into COVID vaccines and treatments. We also examine cutting-edge interventions for infectious diseases beyond COVID such as a universal flu vaccine, immunotherapies for cancer and more.


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