There’s something about a sad song that draws us in and makes our hearts swell. We reach for them in all emotional states and enjoy them despite their weepy themes. As Adele releases her new album, 30, which includes some deliciously melancholy tracks, Simon McCarthy-Jones explores the science behind why they make us feel good.

MRNA vaccines for COVID-19 have had a profound effect during the COVID pandemic. Now the basic mRNA vaccine technology is being explored for a number of infectious diseases. Scientist Andaleeb Sajid writes about an experiment she worked on that showed promising results in providing immunity against tick-borne diseases. In this case, the mRNA vaccine is designed to teach the immune system to recognize the saliva of ticks rather than the pathogen itself.

Caroline Southey

Founding Editor


Adele 30: the psychology of why sad songs make us feel good

Simon McCarthy-Jones, Trinity College Dublin

It may seem odd that we get pleasure from sad songs.

As the rate of tick-borne diseases rises, vaccines that stop ticks in their tracks could be an essential preventive tool. rbkomar/Moment via Getty Images

A lab-stage mRNA vaccine targeting ticks may offer protection against Lyme and other tick-borne diseases

Andaleeb Sajid, National Institutes of Health

The study found that ticks were unable to feed on guinea pigs vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine, preventing transmission of the pathogen that causes Lyme disease.


Claims that COVID jabs can be used to track you with ‘luciferase’ are false – the substance isn’t even in the vaccine

Alessondra T Speidel, Karolinska Institutet

Luciferase is a useful tool in medicine and has nothing to do with Satan.

Richard Wainwright/AAP

No, vaccinated people are not ‘just as infectious’ as unvaccinated people if they get COVID

Jack Feehan, Victoria University; Vasso Apostolopoulos, Victoria University

A vaccinated person is less likely to get COVID, is less contagious, and is contagious for a shorter time.