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South Africa suspends use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after it fails to clearly stop virus variant

A participant in the South African trial of the AstraZeneca–University of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine has blood drawn before receiving her second dose. AP Photo/Jerome Delay By Jon CohenFeb. 8, 2021 , 2:15 PM Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation. Another COVID-19 vaccine has run into trouble in South Africa, showing less protection there […]

U.S. rushes to fill void in viral sequencing as worrisome coronavirus variants spread

A nasal specimen is tested for SARS-CoV-2 at the University of Washington, Seattle. Scientists sequence the viral genomes from positive samples. Gates Notes LLC By Meredith WadmanFeb. 9, 2021 , 4:10 PM Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation. Since May 2020, Jeffrey Milbrandt has had his systems fine-tuned to sequence 1000 coronavirus […]

Pandemic hit academic mothers especially hard, new data confirm

ISTOCK.COM/damircudic By Katie LanginFeb. 9, 2021 , 5:00 PM In March 2020, Reshma Jagsi—a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor—wrote an opinion piece predicting female scientists would feel a disproportionate impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Skeptical journal editors declined to publish it. Since then, though, many commentators have echoed her message. And […]

Prozac turns guppies into ‘zombies’

Phanie/Alamy Stock Photo By Warren CornwallFeb. 9, 2021 , 7:01 PM Prozac might need a new warning label: “Caution: This antidepressant may turn fish into zombies.” Researchers have found that long-term exposure to the drug makes guppies act more alike, wiping out some of the typical behavioral differences that distinguish them. That could be a […]

China’s Tianwen-1 enters Mars orbit

The first picture of Mars captured by Tianwen-1, taken 2.2 million kilometers away Xinhua/Xinhua via Getty Images By Paul VoosenFeb. 10, 2021 , 10:40 AM After a half-year journey, China’s Tianwen-1 robotic spacecraft—the country’s first interplanetary mission—today successfully entered orbit around Mars, the China National Space Administration confirmed. The arrival was first reported by amateur […]

Illicit centipede raises thorny question: Should journals have refused to publish a paper about it?

A new centipede beguiled taxonomists—but the specimens had murky origins. © MAGNOLIA PRESS; C. DOMÉNECH ET AL., ZOOTAXA, 4483(3), 401 (2018); reproduced with permission By Yao-Hua LawFeb. 10, 2021 , 12:20 PM In 2018, a new species of centipede graced the pages of the prominent taxonomy journal Zootaxa. More than 14 centimeters long, with striking […]

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