The death of Major League pitcher Tom Seaver last week and the release of a documentary about comedian and actor Robin Williams brought attention to the common, but often unrecognized, ailment they both had – Lewy body dementia. A neurologist who treats people with this brain disease explains the symptoms and why it’s so difficult to diagnose.

Also this week: using plants to locate buried dead bodies, the latest on treating COVID-19 with steroids and a global conservation plan to combat climate change and help biodiversity.

Martin La Monica

Deputy Editor

Tom Seaver at Shea Stadium in Flushing, N.Y. in 1969, when he led the once ‘Lovable Losers’ to the World Series. The Mets won, and many cited Seaver’s pitching mastery and leadership. Focus On Sport/Getty Images

Tom Seaver, like Robin Williams, had Lewy body dementia, but what is this strange illness? A neurologist explains

Melissa J. Armstrong, University of Florida

A pitcher known for his mental game as well as his physical prowess, Tom Seaver died this week from Lewy body dementia. A doctor explains this troubling form of dementia.

Can plants signal to us when they are sick or detect radiation? Sebastian Kopp/EyeEm via Getty Images

Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead bodies, helping families find missing people

Neal Stewart, University of Tennessee

Researchers are figuring out how plants respond to the presence of human cadavers. The findings could prove important for discovering the locations of murder victims or mass graves.

Ice core analysis can help us better understand historical ‘black swan’ events like pandemics and droughts. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Video: How ancient ice cores show ‘black swan’ events in history – even pandemics

Lonnie Thompson, The Ohio State University; Ellen Mosley-Thompson, The Ohio State University

Ice cores can preserve evidence of 'black swan' events like pandemics and droughts, but the glaciers from which they are collected are disappearing.

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