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Can Coal Survive the Coronavirus?

Add U.S. coal to the list of industries threatened by the novel coronavirus. Part of its problem is conditions that precede the pandemic. U.S. coal plants are an aging bunch. Weak electricity demand has only intensified competition with gas and renewables. The weather has been a drag on American miners, too; a warm winter helped […]

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How People with Autism Forge Friendships

It is lunchtime on a Sunday in January. At a long table inside a delicatessen in midtown Manhattan, a group of young people sit together over sandwiches and salads. Most of them have their phones out. One boy wears headphones around his neck. But there is less conversation than you might expect from a typical […]

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Our Knowledge of Viruses Is Badly Inadequate

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all now seeing the consequences of a failure to plan ahead when an event is predictable but the timing is uncertain. The inattention paid by America’s political leadership to the recommendations, or even the existence, of the Pandemic Influenza Plan prepared in 2017 is having tragic consequences as […]

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Not Just Ventilators: Staff Trained to Run Them Are in Short Supply

Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned that New York State is running out of time to get enough ventilators to treat the sickest coronavirus patients. Without them, vastly more New Yorkers could die. But the number of ventilators is not the only bottleneck: hospitals around the country are worried that a surge in COVID-19 patients will […]

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Quest to Use CRISPR Against Disease Gains Ground

The prospect of using the popular genome-editing tool CRISPR to treat a host of diseases in people is moving closer to reality. Medical applications of CRISPR–Cas9 had a banner year in 2019. The first results trickled in from trials testing the tool in people, and more trials launched. In the coming years, researchers are looking […]

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Why We Have So Many Problems with Our Teeth

I sat at an oral surgeon’s office waiting for my daughter. The scene called to mind an assembly line. Patients went in, one after another, resigned to having their third molars, commonly known as wisdom teeth, taken out. They left with bandages, specially form-fitted with ice packs, wrapped around their heads. Each carried a gift […]

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Are Smokers or Vapers More at Risk for COVID-19? Here’s What We know

Kit R. Roane Kit R. Roane is a producer at Retro Report. He has worked as a journalist and documentary photographer for more than 20 years, covering local, national and foreign assignments for a variety of publications, including The New York Times and U.S. News & World Report. Kit has reported on events, from the […]

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We’re Thinking about Climate Change the Wrong Way

Much activist and political rhetoric, even from United Nations conferences, frames solving climate change as a political challenge—as if all the specific technologies needed to fix the problem were already ready to plug in at reasonable costs, with the challenge simply being to convince every person and every country to “do their part.” We can […]

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Coronavirus Misinformation Its Own Deadly Condition

“You know, the other day we had a bright sunny day as we do today in New York, after many days of gloomy darkness and cold. And I went outside to get some milk. And saw the streets were full of people. And they were all young people who’d somehow gotten the message that this […]

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Heart Damage in COVID-19 Patients Puzzles Doctors

While the focus of the COVID-19 pandemic has been on respiratory problems and securing enough ventilators, doctors on the front lines are grappling with a new medical mystery. In addition to lung damage, many COVID-19 patients are also developing heart problems—and dying of cardiac arrest. As more data comes in from China and Italy, as […]