Brazilian physicians and scientists work to answer urgent questions about the 2015 Zika epidemic — while waiting for the next one.

[This story was submitted in May 2018 in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Arts in Journalism. Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. MA in Science, Environment, and Medicine]

Mayara Barata took off her shoes before stepping onto the blue foam mat. It was a Friday, just before…

Recent studies have deepened our understanding of in-flight Covid-19 risks

After hitting a historic low in the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of air travelers in the U.S has been slowly ratcheting up. On October 18, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened over 1 million air travelers in a single day, an emblematic number that hadn’t…

Inside the puzzle to reconstruct the history of SARS-CoV-2 and how it spilled over into humans

As the Covid-19 pandemic disrupts the lives of billions around the world, two questions continue to linger: Where did the virus come from, and how did it find its way into humans?

Scientists have been hunting for those answers since the first cluster of unusual pneumonia cases emerged in China…

Understanding infants’ peculiar response to the virus may be a key to finding new treatments

Babies make up a tiny percentage of all diagnosed cases of Covid-19. In the United States, where 1.2% of the population are children under one year of age, they account for only 0.27% of the positive tests, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. It’s not…

One scientist studying centenarians believes the answer may be in their genes

María Branyas, 113 years old and believed to be the oldest woman in Spain, had only mild symptoms of Covid-19. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy praised Sylvia Goldsholl for beating the novel coronavirus at the age of 108. Connie Titchen, 106, received a round of applause from doctors and…

An uncoordinated response, political polarization, and the sheer size of the country may help explain it

Brazil is now the country with the second-highest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths — only the United States has a more devastating case count. Over 100 days after the first case was confirmed in Brazil, the curve is still going up, likely far from reaching its peak. …

Heartbeat monitoring could help achieve your more ambitious fitness goals

A sweaty young woman takes a break while exercising outdoors.

WWith roughly one in five American adults regularly wearing a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, people are becoming more and more familiar with their own heart rates — a simple measure defined by the number of heartbeats per minute. When measured at rest, heart rate can be an important health…

Mariana Lenharo

Science and health journalist with a special interest in evidence-based medicine and epidemics. Columbia Journalism School alumna. mari.lenharo@gmail.com.

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