Dr. Alex Berezow is the Executive Editor of Big Think and the Executive Editor of Freethink. He holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and is a veteran science writer, author, and public speaker. He also is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, and his articles have appeared in BBC News, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, Wired, The Economist, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and many other publications. His most recent books are The Next Plague and How Science Will Stop It (2018) and Little Black Book of Junk Science (2017).
Football is a risky sport, but bicycling to work is far more dangerous.
Not everything that claims to be "scientific" actually is. There are five features of scientifically rigorous studies.
Instead of giving the 239 suffering families and the public a true story, Netflix exploited a horrifying tragedy to push conspiracy theories.
ChatGPT's capabilities are astonishing.
The Russian mindset is characterized by cynicism and distrust.
Elon Musk's successful bid to take over Twitter has fragmented the internet along predictably partisan lines. But only time will tell whether this is a good or bad thing.
The very concept of a "problem with no solution" goes against human nature. But we must accept this harsh reality to have peace in our lives.
∆G = ∆H - T∆S is one of the most abstract formulas in science, but it is also one of the most important. Without it, life cannot exist.
Life largely owes its existence to this equation. Be sure to hug your house plant today.
There is no rule that will force Omicron or another COVID variant to become less deadly over time, but there is reason for hope.
The credibility problem facing the biomedical and public health establishment is, at least in part, a product of its own making.
Smallpox, Ebola, HIV, influenza, the plague, malaria, and a whole host of terrible bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites were cooked up by Mother Nature, all on her own. Apparently, Mother Nature hasn't banned gain-of-function research.
The new treatment targets the underlying genetic cause of the disease.
The Black Death, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, wiped out 30 to 50 percent of Europe's population between 1347 and 1351. But, this is just the most infamous of the little microbe's shenanigans. Y. pestis, which is one-millionth our size, has caused three major pandemics and continues killing people to this very day. The plague gets such a bad rap because it represents some of the greatest tragedies to ever befall the human race.
My grandfather used to keep all sorts of things in the trunk of his car: Fishing gear, duct tape, aluminum foil, a large chain, a defused WWII hand grenade. When we asked why he squirreled away such a random assortment of items, he would shrug and say, "Just in case." That, in a nutshell, is why we should never destroy the smallpox virus. Just in case we need it someday.