We Can Predict Where Measles Will Happen. Why Don’t We?

At the end of February, a team of researchers submitted a paper to the medical journal The Lancet that predicted the top 25 U.S. counties most at risk for measles in 2019. Now, almost halfway through what is on track to be the nation’s worst year for measles outbreaks since 1992, their study is looking rather prescient. Of the counties named in the paper, published in May, 14 have had cases of measles. At least 12 counties on the list are adjacent to counties that have ended up with measles cases this year. This includes two of the counties in the largest ongoing outbreak: Nearly 500 confirmed cases in Queens and Kings counties, New York.

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Can We Prevent Mass Shootings By Preventing Suicide?

Imagine a doctor who wanted to treat a broken leg with chemotherapy. Or treat cancer with a cast.

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The World Isn’t Ready For Climate Refugees

You can batten the hatches against a storm, but bureaucracy is harder to ride out. Last week, one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record made a direct hit on the northern Bahamas and stalled there, destroying nearly half the homes on Great Abaco and Grand Bahamas islands. Days later, with their homes in ruins and food and water scarce, hundreds of fleeing Bahamians were asked to leave a ferry bound for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., because they didn’t have a U.S. visa — despite visas not being required in the past. And while U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials blamed the ferry operator, the federal government announced Wednesday it wouldn’t be extending the Dorian survivors temporary protected status.

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How One Hospital Skewed The CDC’s Gun Injury Estimate

For years, the estimates of nonfatal gunshot injuries published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have grown increasingly unreliable — in 2017, they were more suspect than ever. But researchers have continued to cite the numbers as authoritative. Last year, a CDC spokesperson defended the data, saying the agency’s experts were “confident that the sampling and estimation methods are appropriate.”

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Science Has A Sustainability Problem

Mauricio Urbina was trying to save the planet on the day he realized he was simultaneously destroying it. A biologist who studies the bodies of fish and other sea creatures, Urbina was working on a project to understand what happens to crabs that eat tiny particles of plastic waste thrown out by careless humans. But after one particularly long day in the lab, he looked down and noticed — he was a careless human. A lot of his tools were plastic and would be thrown out after a single use, contributing to the stream of waste packing landfills and polluting waterways. He was working on the solution, but he was part of the problem.

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What Questions Do You Want Answered About Climate Change?

We’re launching a new column, Climate Questions From A Grown-Up, and we need your help to make it happen.

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Everyone Knows Money Influences Politics … Except Scientists

The Affordable Care Act gave Amy McKay a chance to do something she never thought would be possible. It had nothing to do with her health care. The only pre-existing condition McKay was worried about was metaphorical, an infection colonizing the body of the federal government.

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No, Bringing Back Mental Institutions Won’t Stop Mass Shootings

I have a mental health problem. A couple of them, actually. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the big one. I was diagnosed at 26 and take medication daily for that. I also have some mild depression that comes and goes and is currently settled down on the couch with its shoes off.

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We Don’t Really Know How Stressed Americans Are About Climate

The Midwest has been drenched by rain and beset by floods. California is bracing for wildfires after several years of record-breaking burns. Hurricane season is just getting into gear in the Atlantic Ocean, which has been hit by more storms than usual over the past three years, and those storms have been above-average in intensity. Heat waves have been increasing across the country for decades. Just last weekend, New Yorkers were being warned to use less air conditioning to prevent blackouts — and to charge their phones for when the blackouts would inevitably happen.

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Can You Unwrinkle A Raisin?

The questions that kids ask about science aren’t always easy to answer. Sometimes, their little brains can lead to big places that adults forget to explore. That is what inspired our series Science Question From A Toddler, which uses kids’ curiosity as a jumping-off point to investigate the scientific wonders that adults don’t even think to ask about. The answers are for adults, but they wouldn’t be possible without the wonder that only a child can bring. I want the toddlers in your life to be a part of it! Send me their science questions, and they may serve as the inspiration for a column. And now, our “toddler” …

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