The New York Times, March 16, 2023 (with Christina Jewett)


A panel of expert advisers to the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday endorsed Paxlovid as a treatment for adults with Covid who are at high risk for progression to severe illness. The move is likely to lead to full approval of the drug, which has been available under emergency use authorization.

The 16-1 vote came after the agency released a new analysis showing that Paxlovid reduced hospitalizations and deaths among both unvaccinated and vaccinated people. Agency researchers estimated, based on Covid rates in January, that Paxlovid could “lead to 1,500 lives saved and 13,000 hospitalizations averted each week in the United States.”

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The New York Times, March 14, 2023


Grappling with the deep history of racism in Western science, the National Academies of Science on Tuesday released guidelines recommending that scientists not use race as a category in genetic studies.

The guidelines, produced in response to a directive from the National Institutes of Health, noted that racial categories were poor proxies for genetic diversity and that social and environmental factors, like poverty and injustice, were often overlooked.

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The New York Times, March 1, 2023


In the 1800s, archaeologists began reconstructing the deep history of Europe from the bones of ancient hunter-gatherers and the iconic art they left behind, like cave paintingsfertility figurines and “lion-man” statues.

Over the past decade, geneticists have added a new dimension to that history by extracting DNA from teeth and bones.

And now, in a pair of studies published on Wednesday‌, researchers have produced the most robust analysis yet of the genetic record of prehistoric Europe.

Continue reading “Ancient DNA Reveals History Of Hunter-Gatherers In Europe”

The New York Times, January 27, 2023 (with Benjamin Mueller)


An expert panel on Friday endorsed a sweeping set of proposed changes to the federal government’s program for regulating experiments that involve tinkering with risky viruses and other pathogens. The move sets the stage for a closely watched decision by the Biden administration about its approach to protecting against lab disasters that could kick off a pandemic.

The experts unanimously approved draft recommendations that, among other things, ask health officials to extend their oversight to less dangerous pathogens, including ones similar to the coronavirus. They also recommended an end to exemptions for research related to vaccine development and surveillance of emerging viruses.

Continue reading “Expert Panel Votes For Stricter Rules On Risky Virus Research”