Editor's note

Experts warn we’re not prepared for the next global virus pandemic – whether of flu or Ebola or something we haven’t even seen yet. Vaccinating can help our immune systems fend off infection, but getting an effective vaccine to everyone who needs it is complicated. The University of Washington’s Ian Haydon describes new research that relies on computer modeling to design antiviral proteins that can shut down deadly viruses – without relying on our immune system at all.

Studies show that gay teens are at greater risk for poor mental health and substance use. Or do they? Some researchers worry that pranksters are mucking up survey data with goofy fake answers. A new study from the University of Texas at Austin suggests that’s not true – and underscores the need for programs that support at-risk youth.

The Trump administration still has hundreds of jobs to fill throughout the executive branch. Two that have received little attention are the president’s yet-to-be-named nominees to the National Labor Relations Board. Employers hoping to prevent workers from forming unions, however, are well aware that once the nominees are in place Republicans will control the board for the first time since 2007. That could be the death knell for unions, writes Nicole Hallett, a labor expert at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).

Maggie Villiger

Senior Editor, Science + Technology

Top story

Computers may play an important role in preparing us for the next viral outbreak – whether flu or Ebola. UW Institute for Protein Design

Designing antiviral proteins via computer could help halt the next pandemic

Ian Haydon, University of Washington

This antivirus software protects health, not computers. Researchers are beginning to combat deadly infections using computer-generated antiviral proteins – a valuable tool to fight a future pandemic.

Health + Medicine

  • Are jokesters screwing up our data on gay teenagers?

    Stephen Russell, University of Texas at Austin; Jessica Fish, University of Texas at Austin

    Surveys can help researchers better understand the lives of teens, but skeptics argue that youth are often dishonest and that the results cannot be trusted.

Economy + Business

Politics + Society

Arts + Culture

  • The understated affection of fathers

    Kory Floyd, University of Arizona

    Wives sometimes chide their husbands for being cold or distant toward their sons. But men express their love in subtle ways that deserve to be honored rather than belittled.

Ethics + Religion

Environment + Energy


  • Can people 'like me' go to college? Inequality and dreams of higher ed

    Daphna Oyserman, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; Neil Lewis Jr., University of Michigan

    While most Americans do aspire to higher education, college is not a reality for many. But why is the gap between hopes and reality larger for some? And how can we strive for equity?

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