How Will the Ebola Epidemic End?

Upon his return from 6 weeks volunteering with the King's Sierra Leone Partnership at a number of Ebola isolation facilities in Freetown, Tom Boyles considers the endgame of the Ebola epidemic. » 1/29/15 4:15am 1/29/15 4:15am

Cows With Human Chromosomes Can Now Make Human Antibodies 

Cows are big hulking creatures—not so great for tipping over while drunk, but great for turning into living factories that make massive quantities of antibodies. Scientists have inserted a modified human chromosome to cows that can now make human antibodies for hantavirus. Other deadly disease like Ebola and MERS… » 11/26/14 7:00pm 11/26/14 7:00pm

The original eBay.com hosted a page about Ebola

According to a newly-published New York Magazine profile, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar sounds like a pretty weird dude. The lengthy piece not only documents the billionaire's latest shenanigans, but also the origins of the world's largest auction site. Funnily enough, Ebola plays a strange role in that story. » 11/04/14 12:11pm 11/04/14 12:11pm

What Is the Scariest Disease?

Whether you're personally afraid of Ebola or not, you have to admit it's a scary disease: no vaccine, no cure, and high fatality rate are just a few of its distinguishing features. Recently I polled my friends on what diseases they were afraid of, and many of the ones that made the list were things like cancer and… » 11/03/14 7:30am 11/03/14 7:30am

The Many Ways We're Using Mutant Mosquitos to Eradicate Disease

Mosquitos suck. It's not just because of those itchy red bites we all get in the summer, either. Mosquitos suck because they're the deadliest animals on the planet, and none of our classic strategies from combatting the threat seem to be working. That's why we're turning the mosquitos against themselves. » 9/25/14 1:55pm 9/25/14 1:55pm

Alzheimer's Patients Will Be Injected With the Blood of Young People

It's not often that science confirms ideas straight out of vampire lore, but here you have one: a spate of studies in mice have found that infusions of young blood seem to reverse aging. So now we're moving to the next logical step: giving the blood of young humans to Alzheimer's patients. » 8/20/14 3:47pm 8/20/14 3:47pm

These Chickens Are Our First Line of Defense Against West Nile Virus

Each summer, public health officials in California make the rounds to "sentinel chickens" in semi-secret locations all over the state. These ordinary chickens just puttering around in their coops have an important job—without them, we'd be more clueless about where West Nile virus is. » 8/19/14 4:46pm 8/19/14 4:46pm

How the Internet Is Helping a Father Fight an Illness Unknown to Science

In 2012, Matt Might sat down to write a blog post. The 5,000-word essay titled "Hunting Down My Son's Killer," which was also republished on Gizmodo, documented his and his wife's harrowing attempt to make sense of their son's mysterious illness. The post went viral online—setting the family down a road that could… » 7/17/14 5:30pm 7/17/14 5:30pm

A Rare Genetic Mutation in These Siblings Makes Them Immune to Viruses

Viruses are incompetent but smart little things. Unable to make proteins on their own, they hijack ours for their own nefarious purposes. But what if we gave the viruses broken proteins? An incredibly rare genetic disorder in a brother and sister pair does exactly that, making them immune to many classes of viruses » 4/15/14 4:40pm 4/15/14 4:40pm

Did A "Field of Human Excrement" By The White House Kill A President?

If you remember President William Henry Harrison from U.S. history class at all, then you probably remember him as the poor fellow who died from pneumonia a month after delivering his inaugural address in freezing rain. Except was it really pneumonia after all? A New York Times article suggests a different theory, and… » 4/02/14 5:40pm 4/02/14 5:40pm

Meet the World’s Top Virus Hunter

Ian Lipkin, world-renowned virus hunter, is often jetting off to far-flung countries—countries in the middle of strange epidemics, that is. From SARS in China to MERS in Saudi Arabia, his lab has discovered or characterized over 500 viruses previously mysterious to humans. But what's it like working on the frontlines… » 3/07/14 1:40pm 3/07/14 1:40pm

Will Smallpox Reemerge in Siberia as Corpses Thaw from Climate Change?

In an article primarily about the potential folly of holding onto stockpiles of smallpox virus for research purposes—a now-eradicated plague that humans no longer have natural immunity to and that would very likely cause a worldwide catastrophe should it escape from the lab—the BBC includes one awesomely horrible… » 2/03/14 3:10pm 2/03/14 3:10pm

NYC's Charming Water Towers Are Actually Bacteria-Filled Horrorshows

Ah, New York—the sparkling skyline! The bustling streets! The... poop-filled water tanks? According to a new report from The New York Times, the city's roughly 17,000 water tanks are totally unsanitary and widely unregulated. » 1/27/14 10:00am 1/27/14 10:00am

Facebook Could Die Out Like an Infectious Disease By 2017

If you view Facebook as a plague on social dynamics, you might not be far wrong. Researchers from Princeton University claim that the social network's popularity has spread like an infectious disease—but, as we slowly become immune to its charms, it will die out. » 1/23/14 8:15am 1/23/14 8:15am

All the World's Preventable Disease Outbreaks, Visualized

Although medical science has advanced immeasurably in the last century, many preventable diseases still claim lives due to ineffective vaccination programs. This map shows when and where that happens. » 1/21/14 7:00am 1/21/14 7:00am

How Wind and Dust Are Spreading a Deadly Fungal Disease

Called the "silent epidemic," a little-known fungal disease called valley fever has become ten times more common in the past decade. Its fungal spores are being spread by dust storms in the American Southwest. Exactly why valley fever suddenly increased has nagged at public health officials, but a piece in The New… » 1/15/14 5:20pm 1/15/14 5:20pm

Watch how scary fast an epidemic would spread disease across the world

If you want to put on a surgical mask, rubber gloves, goggles, ear muffs and trap yourself in a plastic bubble after watching this terrifying video of how fast an epidemic would spread across the world, well, I'd totally understand. Because it's crazy fast. Using the world's air transportation network, theoretical… » 12/13/13 12:09am 12/13/13 12:09am

An Unknown Disease Is Turning Starfish Into Goop

Starfish may be flexible, but they're also tough. Yet a mysterious "wasting syndrome" is making starfish from Southern California to Alaska decay while still alive. Populations are being decimated up and down the west coast. » 11/10/13 7:24pm 11/10/13 7:24pm

Anti-Wrinkle Cream Might Be the Key to Treating Parkinson's Disease

A new study suggests that kinetin, a chemical frequently used in anti-aging creams, could be used to develop a treatment for Parkinson's Disease. Forget regenerating your youthful skin—this chemical could be used to reverse the cell-death that causes, the deadly disorder which afflicts more than a half-million people… » 8/19/13 6:57pm 8/19/13 6:57pm

This tiny, wearable patch makes you invisible to mosquitos

A mosquito can detect the carbon dioxide emanating from a prospective meal from hundreds of feet away. The Kite Patch, a small, non-toxic sticker that you place on your clothing, can jam a mosquito's CO2 radar. Wear one, the patch's creators say, and you'll be effectively invisible to the bloodsuckers for up to 48… » 7/25/13 2:53am 7/25/13 2:53am