alternatives to 911
This app offers alternatives to 911 in all 50 states
There are instances when 911 may not be the best number to call. Subdial, a free app, offers local and national alternatives to 911.
traffic light pole
Falling traffic lights can kill. One tweak could save lives.
An impact-absorbing traffic light pole could save the lives of drivers and pedestrians, while also cutting repair and replacement costs.
How herpes hides
Herpesvirus hides in nerve cells, making it impossible to kill. Now, Northwestern researchers believe they have found the novel key to this nasty trick.
infant jaundice
A simple webcam can automatically catch — and treat — infant jaundice
Researchers in Australia and Iraq have developed a system that uses a webcam to catch infant jaundice and begin treatment right away.
This device can automatically detect and reverse opioid overdoses
Researchers at the University of Washington have developed an AI-powered wearable to detect, and reverse via naloxone injection, opioid overdoses.
peanut allergy
A patch to treat peanut allergies appears safe to wear for years
A peanut allergy can be debilitating at best, and life threatening at worst. A new possible treatment looks to be safe to wear for at least three years.
7 scientists we are thankful for this Thanksgiving
One of these scientists saved more lives than any other person in history.
Tuberculosis may spread through aerosols, without coughing
University of Cape Town researchers believe tuberculosis may spread in small aerosols, much like COVID-19.
vaccine robot
Vaccine robot administers doses without needles or human help
Canadian startup Cobioni has built a vaccine robot that can deliver a dose into a patient’s arm without a needle or any human help.
covid-19 vaccines conflict zones
Deal brings COVID-19 vaccines into conflict zones
The U.S. has brokered a deal between Johnson & Johnson and the COVAX initiative to get COVID-19 vaccines to people in conflict zones.
Just $50 can turn your phone into a powerful chemical, pathogen detector
If this becomes a common feature of smartphones, it could someday allow anyone to identify pathogens and detect impurities in food.
harm reduction
Rhode Island will be the first state to open safe drug consumption sites
In an important test of drug harm reduction techniques, Rhode Island is set to become the first state to open safe consumption sites.
A new clue in why oral vaccines don’t work as well in developing countries
Oral vaccines are crucial to public health, but work worse where they are needed most. A new mouse study has a potential reason why.
Rwanda is blasting killer mosquitoes with drones
Rwanda is deploying drones to target mosquito larvae — spraying anti-mosquito insecticides in areas where the frequency of mosquito-borne illness remains high.
COVID-19 booster shots
You can now mix and match COVID-19 booster shots
Americans eligible for COVID-19 booster shots no longer need to stick to one brand. Here’s why that’s a big deal.
COVID-19 vaccine for kids
FDA panel recommends COVID-19 vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds (Updated)
An FDA panel voted to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Johns Hopkins receives the first NIH grant for clinical psychedelic research in half a century
For the first time in decades, the National Institutes of Health is funding a clinical psychedelic study, perhaps a turning point for the field.
water purification
New water purification tablet makes river water safe to drink
A new water purification tablet that simply and quickly decontaminates river water could help address global drinking water scarcity.
malaria vaccine
WHO recommends its first malaria vaccine
A malaria vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline, Mosquirix, has been recommended for use by the World Health Organization.
A malaria antibody prevented infections in purposefully-infected volunteers
In a small study, researchers found an antibody that prevents malaria infection in people purposefully infected with the parasite.
nasal vaccines
Want better nasal vaccines? Look to the bacteria in your nose.
Researchers are investigating the link between the bacteria inside your nose and how effective nasal vaccines can be.
covid-19 boosters
FDA approves COVID-19 boosters for seniors, high-risk groups (Updated)
The FDA has expanded its authorization of COVID-19 boosters of Pfizer’s vaccine to include seniors and people in high-risk populations.
COVID-19 vaccine works in kids
Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine works in kids
New trial results suggest Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine works in kids between the ages of 5 and 11, safely triggering a robust antibody response.
How we doubled our life expectancy in the last 100 years
“The idea of taking a pill and getting better is actually a very recent invention.”
COVID-19 booster
Study: COVID-19 booster shots dramatically reduce infection risk
A large COVID-19 booster shot study in Israel found that a third dose significantly increased seniors’ protection against the coronavirus.
UK researchers are growing the Delta variant for human challenge trials
Responding to the variant’s rise, UK researchers are growing the Delta variant for trials.
DNA vaccine
India’s DNA vaccine for COVID-19 gets emergency approval
India has granted emergency approval to the world's first DNA vaccine for COVID-19.
fda-approved covid-19 vaccine
Pfizer’s shot is the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine
Pfizer’s shot has become the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, making the transition from emergency use authorization on August 23.
Using body bags to treat heatstroke
The Pacific Northwest heat wave crushed hospitals with heatstroke victims. Doctors turned to body bags to save lives.
uranium contamination
Graphene foam sucks uranium out of contaminated water
MIT researchers have developed a graphene foam water filter that eliminates uranium contamination in hours.
RSV Vaccine
Pfizer’s RSV vaccine 100% effective in human challenge trial
An RSV vaccine developed by Pfizer was reportedly 100% effective in a small human challenge trial and caused minimal side effects.
Inside your nose, it’s bacteria vs. bacteria in the fight against meningitis
Researchers have found that nose drops containing “friendly” bacteria can protect people against meningitis-causing bacteria.
norovirus vaccine
New antibodies may lead to a norovirus vaccine
Researchers have discovered antibodies that neutralize a variety of norovirus strains, a possible step toward an effective norovirus vaccine.
Harvard has a vaccine against septic shock
A new vaccine platform based on biomaterial may eventually provide rapid protection against multiple bacterial threats.
New vaccines may use AI to hit a moving target
Can AI create vaccines that work against mutations that haven't happened yet, groups of viruses, and virus too tricky to currently stop?
Lucky accident shows how immune system can beat MRSA without antibiotics
Researchers have accidentally found that blocking caspase enzymes can make mouse immune responses more robust.
COVID Vaccination
Door-to-door vaccination campaign reaches the most vulnerable
An equitable door-to-door vaccination campaign might be just what it takes to help the U.S.’s most vulnerable communities fight COVID-19.
mrna flu vaccine
Moderna launches human trial for mRNA flu vaccine
Moderna Therapeutics is trialing an mRNA flu vaccine in humans and developing one to protect against seasonal influenza and COVID-19.
This bacteria can find a landmine
Bacteria that glow in the presence of a landmine may one day help save lives.
Lyme disease vaccine
Will we finally get another human Lyme disease vaccine?
Pfizer and French vaccine maker Valneva are one step closer to bringing a human Lyme disease vaccine to market.
chimeric spike proteins
“LEGO-like” vaccine protects mice from COVID, SARS, MERS, and variants
Using a “chimeric” spike protein, researchers have immunized mice against multiple types of coronaviruses with one shot.
P. aeruginosa
A new superbug strategy
Researchers at the University of Geneva have a new idea on how to stop superbugs: don’t kill them.
how to make insulin
Biohackers take aim at big pharma’s stranglehold on insulin
These biohackers plan to give away their instructions for how to make insulin for free.
Wolbachia mosquitoes dengue
We may have a new ally in the fight against dengue fever
A large trial has provided the best evidence yet that infecting mosquitoes with Wolbachia can help reduce dengue infections.
A virus "chimera" reveals new dengue targets
Using a flavivirus that only infects insects, Australian researchers can safely study more dangerous viruses.
flu diversity during pandemic
Did the flu lose diversity during the pandemic?
After a record-low flu season, an entire clade of flu may be gone. If so, making vaccines may have become easier.
healthy sugar
Can we hack sugar to be healthy?
Is there such a thing as healthy sugar? Food scientists in Israel are hacking the sugar molecule itself – eliminating the need for subpar alternatives.
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine 2.0: Lower dose, fewer side effects
Any revised version of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will likely include a smaller dose, reducing side effects and increasing the supply of shots.
Valley fever vaccine
Can a dog vaccine for Valley fever lead to a human one?
Cases of Valley fever, a fungal infection, have risen dramatically over the decade. Researchers hope a dog vaccine may lead to one for humans.
mass vaccination experiment covid-19
Mass vaccination experiment was a huge success in Brazil
A mass vaccination experiment in Brazil suggests that even a moderately effective vaccine can have a dramatic effect if enough people get the shot.
dengue fever vaccine
Dengue fever vaccine still protects after three years
A dengue fever vaccine candidate by Takeda is still effective after three years in a large human study, raising hopes for fighting the virus.
COVID-19 breath test
One-minute COVID-19 breath test authorized in Singapore
Singapore has provisionally authorized a COVID-19 breath test that measures VOCs to deliver accurate results in just one minute.
Ohio's vaccine lottery
Ohio announces $1M vaccine lottery, shots surge 33%
Ohio’s vaccine lottery, which will give five vaccinated residents $1 million each, appears to have sparked the desired increase in new vaccinations.
cardiac arrest app
Can an app save cardiac arrest victims before EMS arrives?
In Denmark, Heartrunner directs citizen responders to cardiac arrest victims. Should the U.S. adopt a similar approach?
incretins obesity drug
Can new drugs make obesity a medical — not moral — condition?
Researchers are hopeful that a class of drugs called incretins will not only treat obesity, but help people think of it as a medical condition.
Incentives To Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
Your incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine
If protection against a potentially deadly virus isn’t enough, there are these added incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
better condoms
Desiging a better condom
Around the world, new materials and approaches are being studied as researchers look to create the condom 2.0.
DIY COVID-19 vaccine
Would you spray this DIY COVID-19 vaccine up your nose?
Makers of a DIY COVID-19 vaccine are talking to governments about launching human challenge trials to quickly and cheaply find out if the vaccine is effective.
cannabis intoxication
How long are you too high to drive? The science is fuzzy.
Some drug driving laws outlaw any amount of THC. To create better laws, researchers are trying to find out how long cannabis intoxication itself lasts.
oxford malaria vaccine
Oxford malaria vaccine is 77% effective in young children
A malaria vaccine developed by Oxford University was 77% effective at protecting children during a phase 2 trial in Africa.
CBD and antibiotics
Can CBD be the next superbug slayer?
In the search for new weapons against superbugs, CBD and antibiotics in combination, as well as CBD alone, may prove to be promising candidates.
all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccines
All adults in the US are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines
In the U.S., anyone over the age of 16 is now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines — a major milestone along the path to herd immunity.
malnutrition cure
Food supplement appears to “cure” malnutrition in children
A food supplement designed to cure malnutrition in children doesn’t just deliver calories — it also helps promote a healthy gut microbiome.
naive b cells
New approach for mRNA HIV vaccine passes first human trial
There is currently no HIV vaccine, but a new technique which produced specific immunity cells in humans may pave the way to one.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine adolescents
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine 100% effective in adolescent study
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was reportedly 100% effective in a trial involving more than 2,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15.
COVID vaccine for young children
A common virus may be the key to a COVID vaccine for young children
Researchers have reverse-engineered a common children’s virus to show the spike protein, potentially leading to a new COVID vaccine for young children.
long covid
US will spend $1 billion studying long COVID
The U.S. is dedicating $1.15 billion to studying long COVID, a condition in which survivors experience long-term effects of COVID-19.
T cell test for covid
New test can show if you’ve had COVID-19, even if antibodies fade
The FDA has approved a T cell test for COVID, a first-of-its-kind assay that looks to the immune system’s memory.
malaria vaccine
Can RNA create a malaria vaccine?
An effective malaria vaccine could save hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Can RNA vaccines like the ones fighting SARs-CoV-2 tackle another disease?
wearable glucose monitor
Smartphones can track your blood sugar levels
The ability to easily monitor blood sugar levels would allow everyone to have more control over their own metabolic health — not just people with diabetes.
cone snail venom
Cone snail venom may help treat malaria
Clumps of infected red blood cells can make malaria dangerous even after its parasite is treated. Cone snail venom may one day help.
H5N8 bird flu
A new bird flu is infecting people. Here’s what we know.
The H5N8 bird flu virus has reportedly infected seven poultry farm workers in Russia. Here’s what we know about the new avian flu threat.
one-shot COVID-19 vaccine
FDA: One-shot COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective
FDA experts confirm that Johnson and Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, putting it a step closer to authorization.
COVID-19 Human Challenge Study
World’s first COVID-19 human challenge study is a go
Researchers have gotten the green light to deliberately infect people with the coronavirus as part of the world’s first COVID-19 human challenge study.
universal coronavirus vaccine
The hunt for a universal coronavirus vaccine
A universal coronavirus vaccine that protects against multiple coronaviruses could stop the next potential pandemic from ever starting.
Pfizer Vaccine's Second Dose
Study: Strong immunity without Pfizer vaccine’s second dose
The Pfizer vaccine's second dose might not be as necessary as thought — and ultra-cold storage of the COVID-19 vaccine might not be necessary at all.
Tracking heart health at home
Can new technology help society eliminate cardiac episodes completely?
COVID-19 Vaccine Availability
Fauci predicts universal COVID-19 vaccine availability by April
Anthony Fauci expects April will be “open season” for COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s why his prediction about COVID-19 vaccine availability appears accurate.
scarification vaccination
Are we scratching the surface of what an old vaccination method can do?
Smallpox vaccine was administered by scratching the skin. Mice suggest this old-school method may work better against other respiratory viruses as well.
Lyme disease spread
Predicting which birds can cause Lyme disease spread
Lyme disease spreads via infected ticks, some of whom pick it up from birds. But which birds may carry the disease to new places?
dengue vaccine
New discovery could stop dengue’s “breakbone” fever
Making a dengue vaccine is difficult. It’s early, but a new antibody that targets a protein the virus makes instead of the virus itself may be a solution.
COVID-19 immunity
Vaccines and recovery both provide strong COVID-19 immunity
Natural COVID-19 immunity — the kind coronavirus survivors have — is about as robust as the immunity prompted by vaccines.
medical breakthroughs 2020
These are the medical breakthroughs that inspired us in 2020
2020 has put medicine to the forefront like never before. Freethink’s B. David Zarley looked back on the year and chose three medical developments that inspired him.
coronavirus mutation
The new coronavirus mutation: What we know & what we need to figure out
A new coronavirus mutation is spreading quickly in the U.K. Here’s what we know about the coronavirus strain and what we need to figure out.
Tobacco-Based COVID-19 Vaccine
Tobacco-based COVID-19 vaccine moves to human trials
British American Tobacco has FDA approval to begin human trials on a tobacco-based COVID-19 vaccine that could potentially be stored at room temperature.
questions about the COVID-19 vaccine
Your questions about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine answered
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in the U.S., this is your place to find answers.
universal flu vaccine trials
A universal flu vaccine has aced phase 1 trials
Influenza’s constant genetic shifting means flu vaccines aim at a moving target. But a universal flu vaccine just passed its phase 1 trials.
siv dna crispr
HIV can hide inside human cells for years. Can CRISPR cut it out?
Using CRISPR to stop the replication of SIV, a primate virus closely related to HIV, researchers may have taken a step to wiping the virus out in the body.
Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Test
FDA authorizes first over-the-counter COVID-19 test
The FDA has authorized the first over-the-counter COVID-19 test for home use, but buyers still have to send their samples to a lab for processing.
warm covid-19 vaccine
The quest for a “warm” COVID-19 vaccine
Developers are on the hunt for a warm COVID-19 vaccine, one that could be distributed in places where a reliable cold chain isn’t available.
vaccine cold chain
Congo just used vaccines to beat Ebola. What they learned could stop COVID, too.
Congo’s recent success delivering frigid Ebola vaccines to remote areas may provide invaluable experience for a COVID-19 vaccine cold chain.
When Will We Have a COVID-19 Vaccine
When will we have a COVID-19 vaccine?
Several developers have reported incredible coronavirus vaccine progress, so when will we have a COVID-19 vaccine ready for distribution?
reverse innovation
Reverse engineering a $15k medical device for 50x less
Many hospitals in developing countries can’t access the overpriced, high-tech equipment that’s standard in the U.S. Reverse innovation could finally change that.
Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine
Oxford says its COVID-19 vaccine is up to 90% effective
The University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine was up to 90% effective in a phase 3 trial and could be easier to distribute than other coronavirus vaccines.
coronavirus immunity
How long will coronavirus immunity last?
Coronavirus immunity might last for years, according to a new study that measured the levels of virus-fighting immune cells in COVID-19 survivors.
at-home COVID-19 test
FDA authorizes first at-home COVID-19 test
The FDA has authorized an at-home COVID-19 test that delivers results in 30 minutes, but you can’t get it without a prescription.
moderna's coronavirus vaccine
Trial suggests Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective
Another win for mRNA vaccines: Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective at preventing COVID-19, according to initial trial data.
tobacco plant vaccine for flu
A flu vaccine grown in tobacco plants just aced its clinical trials
Plant-based vaccines can be made cheaply and at scale. A tobacco plant-based vaccine for influenza has now been the first to complete clinical trials.
fecal testing
Finally! A smart toilet offers fecal testing for the masses
Fecal testing can reveal a surprising amount of medical data. Israeli startup OutSense wants to do so from your home.
polio vaccine
Can a new polio vaccine help finish the virus off once and for all?
Thanks to polio vaccines and public health campaigns, polio is on the run — although COVID has it fighting back. Can a new vaccine help turn the tide again?