Fear, Misinformation, and Measles Spread in Brooklyn

By then, however, “the bomb had gone off,” Arroyo says. Measles is considered one of the most contagious diseases in existence. If a person with measles walks through a room with a hundred people who are not immunized, up to 90 of them will get the disease. The virus is spread through coughs and sneezes and lingers in the air for up to two hours. Some 122,000 ­people come through the Maimonides emergency room every year. The hospital, located in Borough Park, serves one of the most diverse patient populations in the country, from ultra-Orthodox Jews to immigrants whose first language might be Mandarin, Russian, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, or Uzbek. Many are working-class cab drivers, manual laborers, and restaurant workers …

Synthetic Biology Could Bring a Pox on Us All

David Ewing Duncan The Next Best Version of Me: How to Live Forever David Kushner A Deadly Hunt for Hidden Treasure Spawns an Online Mystery Megan Molteni A New Lab Is Brewing Microbes to Create Makeup and Medicines The existence of the vials raised another chilling possibility: Could smallpox make a comeback? If these samples were left behind, who knows how many others could remain. The US maintains enough of the smallpox vaccine to protect all 328 million Americans. But in the decades since the disease was eradicated, scientists have discovered that several groups of people—those with HIV, pregnant women, newborns, and cancer survivors among them—are at risk for complications from the vaccine, such as heart inflammation and brain infections. …