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Opinion

Soda taxes can’t reverse the obesity epidemic

OPINION: They might be able to help, but only if well-designed and in combination with other policies

The hidden threat from rising coastal groundwater

OPINION: Sea level rise won’t hit just homes on shorefronts, but also the infrastructure beneath our feet

Forests are under attack from invasive species

OPINION: International commerce and travel bring ecological destruction to the world’s most cherished natural places. We need to do more to stop the assault.

We urgently need data for equitable personalized medicine

OPINION: A massive bias in medical studies toward men of European origin means that genetic variants in understudied populations don’t get the focus they deserve

It’s way past time to stop police ‘testilying’

OPINION: The culture of deception in US courts needs to end

How optimizing indoor humidity can help stop the spread of Covid and flu

OPINION: Recent CDC guidelines for indoor air quality disregard the benefits of humidity. But research shows it can kill viruses and help thwart infections.

Abandon the idea of ‘great green walls’

OPINION: The notion of planting miles of trees to hold back encroaching deserts is misguided and damaging; we should promote programs that secure livelihoods and respect dryland ecologies instead

Why one deforestation solution has yet to stop massive tree loss

OPINION: Zero-deforestation supply-chain commitments aren’t protecting tropical forests as much as hoped. But they might, if the same standards were applied to domestic and export markets.

Dealing with rats, and their health, in America’s ‘rattiest’ city

OPINION: A study in Chicago found that rodents surviving poisoning are more likely to carry disease. Good pest control needs to take such things into account.

Nature, nurture and randomness

OPINION: More than genes and upbringing determine animal personalities: There’s a good dose of chance in the mix, too.

Our oceans’ future: Hot and troubled

OPINION: Ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation due to climate change — as well as pollution and development — threaten our global waters, but disaster is far from inevitable

Get out in your yard and count bugs

OPINION: How worried should we be about insect declines? Community science is vital for gathering information about arthropods.

We need to stop bugs at the border

OPINION: Trade and travel come with a shared responsibility for biosecurity

Zoos need to change

OPINION: To justify their existence, they must make conservation their top priority

How to recover from the Great Education Disruption

OPINION: Children around the world were out of school for months, with big impacts on learning, well-being and the economy. How do we avoid a ‘generational catastrophe’?

What is the protein of the future?

OPINION: It’s sustainable, nutritious and delicious. Scientists need to ramp up efforts to meet this urgent need.

Can playing video games make you smarter?

OPINION: Research highlights six key principles for better learning

America is failing women’s health

OPINION: Systemic inequity means women in the US die younger and suffer more than they should. It’s time for health for all.

Europe should shape the clean fuel market now

OPINION: For the world to hit its climate goals, the European Union needs to take the lead, ditch coal and write the rule book for green hydrogen

Pricing groundwater will help solve California’s water problems

OPINION: The state’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is a great opportunity — if it goes far enough

There are more active volcanoes than you think

OPINION: Volcanologists warn that magma-filled vents evolve over time, leading to an underestimation of the number that might erupt — especially those capable of the biggest explosions

The US abortion decision is already having global impacts

OPINION: The reversal of Roe v. Wade is a tragedy not just for the United States, but for women everywhere

Russia is guilty of ecocide

OPINION: All perpetrators of environmental destruction should be held accountable

The importance of understanding wildlife sex

OPINION: If we’re truly serious about protecting animal species from extinction, we should learn more about how they reproduce

This myth about guns is killing us

OPINION: The idea that gun violence prevention research is at odds with gun rights is just not true

Make electric vehicles affordable for the rest of us

OPINION: EV subsidies are poorly designed and mostly benefit the rich. Some simple changes could make them more effective and equitable.

The creative way to pay for wildlife recovery

OPINION: ‘Pragmatic rewilding’ restores damaged ecosystems and harnesses private money, with benefits for all

The first malaria vaccine is a leap forward, but we can’t stop now

OPINION: Next-generation vaccines, and a lot more money, are needed now to crack the stalemate in the fight against malaria

Don’t let climate change take all the blame

OPINION: The climate crisis is a massive problem, but when politicians fault it entirely for every disaster, attention is deflected from local measures that might build resiliency. That needs to change.

The next evolution of digital money? It’s happening now

OPINION: After cryptoassets, a wave of central bank digital currencies is set to revolutionize our ideas about what money is and how to manage it

Pandemic psychology: Nothing new under the Sun

OPINION: Our behavior during Covid-19 echoes that of individuals, societies and governments during past plagues. We can and should do better.

The science of placebos is fueling quackery

OPINION: The placebo effect is real. So are the ethical conundrums posed by those who would exploit the latest research advances for profit.

How to short-circuit short-term thinking

OPINION: Human behavior is fueling major social dilemmas — from climate change to the Covid pandemic to the spread of misinformation. But that means it’s also the solution, if only we can harness psychology for the common good.

The vicious cycle of food and sleep

OPINION: More than a third of Americans don’t log enough hours in bed, provoking serious impacts on their health. Diet is an important and under-recognized reason.

How racism in early life can affect long-term health

OPINION: Excessive adversity activates biological reactions that can lead to lifelong problems in physical and mental wellbeing

Question the ‘lab leak’ theory. But don’t call it a conspiracy.

OPINION: If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, labels get in the way of facts and make the truth that much harder to find.

Let’s change how we pay for hospitals

OPINION: Many health facilities were already in fiscal straits before Covid-19 — except in Maryland. The state’s innovative and sound approach could be the answer to rescuing systems nationwide.

Why we are developing a patent-free Covid antiviral therapy

OPINION: During global health crises such as pandemics, drug discovery should be publicly funded and open, with no research secrets locked away

Building an immune system for the planet could prevent the next pandemic

OPINION: We need a global information network that spans borders so we can spot — and stop — new pathogens before they threaten world health

Covid cut pollution and got us outside. Let’s keep it up.

OPINION: Urban planners need to find ways to reduce traffic and provide equal access to green spaces 

Let’s put community health workers to work

OPINION: Covid laid bare the scope of health disparities in the US and around the world. Research shows that trained lay people may be the best way to bring evidence-based care to those who need it most.

Let’s keep meetings virtual after Covid

OPINION: We don’t want to go back to living on planes and out of suitcases. Virtual meetings are cheaper, more accessible and better for the planet.

Covid job loss: The cause of the next epidemic?

OPINION: Being out of work — even for a just a few months — may be bad for your health

Remote work can be a lot better than this

OPINION: Under the right conditions (i.e., not during a pandemic), telework can be great for both employers and employees

Save the microbes!

OPINION: Recent data suggest that microbial diversity is under threat — which puts the entire planet at risk

Four ways HIV activists have saved lives during Covid

OPINION: We owe these early fighters a debt of gratitude for transforming our response to public health crises.

Yes, all this screen time is hurting your eyes

OPINION: A neuroscientist says that he’s particularly worried about kids, who may have spent much of last year learning online. Some easy hacks can help.

The danger of high public debt is not what you think

OPINION: An overlooked consequence of huge deficit spending during the Covid-19 pandemic could be further loss of public trust in the government

10 years after the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, I’m still worried

OPINION: The cleanup of the past decade at the Japanese power plant could be set back if authorities don’t properly handle a massive stockpile of contaminated water

Another way that Covid can kill: Car crashes

OPINION: Traffic is down, but deaths are up. Here’s how to stay safe on the road.

Abortions can happen safely — and entirely — at home

OPINION: The pandemic has taught us how we can deliver better care to patients who seek to terminate pregnancies. Now if only science could triumph over politics.

Don’t let Covid boost another killer

OPINION: The pandemic may be interfering with our fight against drug-resistant bacteria. Luckily, the same tactics can beat back both scourges.

Pandemic behavior: 4 takeaways, 2 experts and 1 big opportunity

OPINION: So many things about this global health crisis come down to people’s small, day-to-day actions. What have we learned so far?

How enlisting dentists can speed up Covid-19 vaccinations

OPINION: Dental care providers have the skills, the facilities and the trust of patients who might otherwise miss out 

Are too many scientists studying Covid?

The pandemic prompted many scientists to pivot their research to the coronavirus. That’s not an entirely good thing.

How to help Covid-19 long-haulers

OPINION: Patients with lingering symptoms need access to specialized clinics — and so much more

Don’t abandon paid sick leave. It’s a cost-effective tool against Covid-19.

OPINION: Requiring companies to give unwell workers compensated time off isn’t a burden. It’s smart public health policy that reduces the spread of disease.

A winter of despair for homeless families

OPINION: In the absence of much-needed measures, the pandemic will make the cold days harder and more perilous among our most vulnerable population

How men can ‘lean in’ on behalf of women

OPINION: Women have been pulled away from their jobs during the pandemic. Here’s what they need right now from male allies in the office.

I got the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. Or maybe not.

OPINION: Many Americans say they won’t take a vaccine. I am not one of <br xmlns="http://pub2web.metastore.ingenta.com/ns/"/>them — and I have the shots to prove it.

Covid stole my Dad’s final months

OPINION: Because of the pandemic, I couldn’t visit him in his nursing home, and because of his dementia he couldn’t understand why. Mismanagement of this crisis has failed the elderly and caused incalculable hurt.

7 ways to fix this pandemic — and stop the next one

OPINION: Experts predict another nearly 180,000 deaths by February. It doesn’t have to be that way, writes health security expert Eric Toner.

Wanted: Online gamers to help build a more stable Covid-19 vaccine

OPINION: People beat artificial intelligence hands-down at puzzling out new ways to fold molecules for a potential SARS-Cov-2 immunization. Thousands more players are needed.

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