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Today โ€” March 30th 2020NPR Research

With Strict Social Distancing, U.S. COVID-19 Deaths May Total 100,000

By Nurith Aizenman

Which cities and states are days away from facing a spike in COVID-19 cases? Which others are simmering hotspots that will take 2 to 3 weeks to flare? We examine the U.S. map for red flags in data.

  • March 30th 2020 at 13:16
Before yesterdayNPR Research

How Monoclonal Antibodies Might Prove Useful Against The Coronavirus

By Joe Palca
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, headquartered near Tarrytown, N.Y., is just one of the companies now working to identify and reproduce large quantities of antibodies that could prevent or treat COVID-19. Senior R&D Specialist Kristen Pascal works on COVID-19 research for Regeneron.

A treatment strategy that identifies particularly potent immune system proteins, then gins up mass quantities for a single dose might help prevent infections or quell symptoms, scientists say.

(Image credit: Rani Levy/Regeneron Pharmaceuticals)

  • March 26th 2020 at 21:57

The Coronavirus Is Mutating Relatively Slowly, Which May Be Good News

By Pien Huang

As a virus makes copies of itself, errors may creep in, changing its genetic makeup. Researchers are trying to determine if the changes are significant in the new coronavirus.

  • March 26th 2020 at 21:15

Hidden Brain: How Trust May Help To Limit A Disease Outbreak

By Shankar Vedantam

What helps to contain an epidemic? A study of the Ebola crisis suggests that patients' trust in health workers can encourage patients to report illnesses and receive treatment.

  • March 26th 2020 at 10:03

Supercomputers Recruited To Hunt For Clues To A COVID-19 Treatment

By Joe Palca
Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using supercomputers to calculate which drugs may help in the fight against the coronavirus.

Scientists hope a machine can do what a person can't: quickly analyze every physical and chemical aspect of the coronavirus and sift through the world's drugs for subtle clues that might prove useful.

(Image credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

  • March 24th 2020 at 16:09

Why Hoarding Of Hydroxychloroquine Needs To Stop

By Martha Bebinger
Transmission electron micrograph of particles of SARS-CoV-2 — the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Despite Trump's public remarks, infectious disease experts say it's premature to think hydroxychloroquine will help against COVID-19. And patients with lupus or rheumatoid arthritis rely on the drug.

(Image credit: NIAID/Flickr)

  • March 23rd 2020 at 21:28

Deep Sea Squid May Communicate Through Glowing Pigmentation, Researchers Find

By Lauren Sommer

Scientists have discovered that deep-sea squid can communicate with glowing patterns on their bodies — basically turning themselves into e-readers.

  • March 23rd 2020 at 21:12

'Invisibilia' New Episode: An Unlikely Superpower

By Alix Spiegel

NPR's podcast Invisibilia is back with a new season. A Scottish woman discovers she has a biological gift that allows her to see things that will happen in the future that no one else can see.

  • March 23rd 2020 at 10:10

'Silent Spreaders' Speed Coronavirus Transmission

By Geoff Brumfiel

A growing body of evidence shows that people without any major signs of illness can spread the coronavirus.

  • March 21st 2020 at 12:44

Might The Experimental Drug Remdesivir Work Against COVID-19?

By Sydney Lupkin
Gilead Sciences, headquartered in Foster City, Calif., makes remdesivir, one of the experimental drugs now being investigated as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

It's too soon to know if the antiviral compound tested in 2014 as a potential Ebola treatment will hobble the coronavirus. Lab tests show promise, but studies in people with COVID-19 have only begun.

(Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

  • March 21st 2020 at 12:19

How Long Can Coronavirus Survive On Hard Surfaces?

By Allison Aubrey

The new coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours. To prevent transmission, keep surfaces clean.

  • March 18th 2020 at 21:22

U.S. Coronavirus Testing Starts To Ramp Up But Still Lags

By Rob Stein
Drive-through screening stations are opening up in several parts of the country as testing capacity starts to expand nationally. At one station in Meridian, Idaho, nurse Ashley Layton communicates with a patient before taking a swab sample.

Thousands of tests are now being conducted weekly, but tests remain scarce in many places. And experts question recent steps aimed at boosting testing capacity in states.

(Image credit: Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

  • March 18th 2020 at 21:19

Are U.S. Hospitals Ready?

By Selena Simmons-Duffin
MedStar Washington Hospital Center

Here's what it will take for medical facilities across the nation to handle the coming surge of COVID-19 patients.

(Image credit: Ryan Kellman/NPR)

  • March 17th 2020 at 18:47

As The War On Terror Winds Down, The Pentagon Cuts Social Science

By Geoff Brumfiel
The Pentagon funded research into the social sciences as part of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now as those wars wind down, it

The Pentagon is ending a controversial program to fund social science research. It's part of a shift from asking for academic advice toward building new weapons systems.

(Image credit: Kevin Sieff/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

  • March 16th 2020 at 10:00

Ages Ago, Beads Made From Ostrich Eggshells Cemented Friendships Across Vast Distances

A new study shows that ostrich eggshell beads were more than just decorative jewelry for the hunter-gatherers in sub-Saharan Africa, as archaeologist Brian Stewart explains.

  • March 14th 2020 at 13:06

Flattening A Pandemic's Curve: Why Staying Home Now Can Save Lives

By Maria Godoy
In a widely shared graphic, a tan curve represents a scenario without social distancing measures and where the U.S. hospital system becomes inundated with coronavirus patients.

From school closures to event cancellations, the disruptions are real — and vital. It's all to slow the spread of coronavirus so hospitals don't get so overwhelmed that they can't treat the sickest.

(Image credit: Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR)

  • March 14th 2020 at 00:21

Research: Coronavirus Can Live For A Long Time In Air, On Surfaces

By Allison Aubrey

A new study is first to examine how long the new coronavirus can survive on steel, plastic and cardboard. It can live up to 72 hours, but that's under idealized lab conditions, not the real world.

  • March 13th 2020 at 10:03

New Review Finds Alcoholics Anonymous Is Effective, But Not For Everyone

By Deborah Becker

Alcoholics Anonymous may be just as good or better than scientifically proven treatments to help people quit drinking, according to a new review. But AA still doesn't work for everyone.

  • March 12th 2020 at 21:18

Killer Kitties? Scientists Track What Outdoor Cats Are Doing All Day

By Lauren Sommer

Cat owners may often wonder what their outdoor cats is doing all day. One study shows outdoor cats are bad news for birds and other critters. But there are some ways to make cats more visible.

  • March 11th 2020 at 23:17

No Guarantee You'll Get Tested For COVID-19, Even If Your Doctor Requests It

By Richard Harris
The test for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 isn

There's still a big gap between what the federal government is promising in terms of testing capacity in the U.S. and what state and local labs can deliver.

(Image credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

  • March 11th 2020 at 10:00
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