The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are the first vaccines to be activated by mRNA — and would not have been possible without the invention of the gene editing technology known as CRISPR. In his new book, The Code Breaker, author Walter Isaacson chronicles the development of CRISPR.
Dr. Peter Hotez is co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital, and says that a vaccine release could begin for selected populations by the middle of December — and that a broader vaccination effort could soon follow.
Two years ago, science writer Ed Yong wrote an article for The Atlantic in which he warned that a new global pandemic was inevitable — and that the world would be unprepared for it when it arrived. Now, with the outbreak of COVID-19, much of what Yong warned about in his reporting has come true.
Dr. Louise Aronson says the U.S. doesn't have nearly enough geriatricians — physicians devoted to the health and care of older people: "There may be maybe six or seven thousand geriatricians," she says. "Compare that to the membership of the pediatric society, which is about 70,000."
During the 1898-1904 pox epidemic, public health officials and policemen forced thousands of Americans to be vaccinated against their will. Historian Michael Willrich examines that epidemic's far-reaching implications for individual civil liberties in Pox: An American History.