U.S. health officials raise concerns about the company’s latest efficacy data

In a highly unusual move, a U.S. health agency raised concerns on Tuesday that AstraZeneca had not provided the most current data about its Covid-19 vaccine in a press release it issued Monday.

In the release, which garnered excitement from public health experts, the company said its vaccine was 79%…


Reengineering Life

The resulting crop could be more sustainable than current varieties

Reengineering Life is a column from Future Human about the ways humans are using biology to reprogram our bodies and the world around us.

Thanks to selective breeding over the course of some 9,000 years, humans were able to transform an ancient wild grass with dinky cobs and a handful…


It would provide a first-line defense against the virus

Covid-19 vaccines are incredibly good at preventing severe symptoms and hospitalization, but they’re probably less effective at stopping transmission. To do that, we might need a different kind of vaccine altogether.

Because SARS-CoV-2 is mainly transmitted through droplets and airborne aerosols, some scientists reason that a vaccine should provide first-line…


Reengineering Life

The research reignites a debate over embryo research

Reengineering Life is a column from Future Human about the ways humans are using biology to reprogram our bodies and the world around us.

Under a microscope, the little balls of cells look like five-day-old human embryos, known as blastocysts. They’re similar in size, shape, and structure. They even have…


Pandemic Reflections

After we settle into a new normal, we shouldn’t forget the lessons of the past year

As I look back on the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, I can’t help but wonder why many of us weren’t more unsettled at the start of it all.

In early January 2020, my editor messaged me about the reports of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness out of Wuhan, China. As…


One company is trying to get ahead of the mutating virus

When the pandemic first hit, drugmakers raced to find a Covid-19 treatment in the blood of people who had recovered from the virus. They were looking for antibodies — special immune cells that the body makes in response to an infection — capable of neutralizing the virus.

Many scientists thought…


Everything you need to know about the experimental drug molnupiravir

Vaccines are being rolled out across the country, but many are still at risk of infection with Covid-19. Though there are no drugs available to take at home yet, a pill for the coronavirus may be on the horizon.

An experimental drug meant to reduce the length of illness is…


Reengineering Life

A gene therapy injection eliminated pain in mice

Reengineering Life is a column from Future Human about the ways humans are using biology to reprogram our bodies and the world around us.

In 2006, scientists described the curious case of a Pakistani boy who seemed immune to pain. …


T-cell vaccines involve a different kind of immune response

As the coronavirus mutates, a central question is whether our current vaccines will still be effective against emerging variants of the virus that are cropping up around the world. Some scientists are trying to get ahead of a changing coronavirus and build vaccines that would be virtually variant-proof.

The current…


An early analysis shows that it helps prevent asymptomatic cases

We know that Moderna, Pfizer, and now Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccines are highly effective against preventing severe disease and hospitalizations. That’s a major win for public health and our strained health care system. …

Emily Mullin

Former staff writer at Medium, where I covered biotech, genetics, and Covid-19 for OneZero, Future Human, Elemental, and the Coronavirus Blog.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store