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Understanding COVID-19

Understanding COVID-19: Curated Scientific Articles

Understanding COVID-19: Digging Into the Science

 

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Understanding COVID-19

The second decade of the 21st century will always be identified with COVID-19. This coronavirus, consisting of less than three dozen proteins, is changing the world. The good news is that we humans are endlessly inventive. In response to this virus we are sprinting to learn, innovate and pivot as needed.

Check this page for timely and relevant information about our growing understanding of this virus as well as wider perspectives from global health experts, futurists and innovators about the possibilities in a post-COVID-19 world.

Curiosity Never Closes: Support PacSci

Science and an informed public are humanity’s best hopes in addressing COVID-19, climate change, and other threats. As this region’s science center, Pacific Science Center’s work is more important than ever. Support Curiosity

 

COVID-19 in King County WA

PacSci CEO Will Daugherty has been graphing the COVID-19 data provided by Public Health – Seattle and King County and providing additional context. Will is a servant leader, loves modeling data, and is always curious.

To get Will’s data analysis updates, follow him on Twitter @DaughertyWill.

COVID-19 in King County WA – July 1 Report

COVID-19 in King County WA – July 1 Report

Recent Stories Update from Public Health – Seattle & King County Public Health has updated the data dashboard. The daily summary shows that there were 10,345 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County as of 11:59 on June 30, 149 more than the previous day. There...

COVID-19 in King County WA – June 30 Report

COVID-19 in King County WA – June 30 Report

Recent Stories Update from Public Health – Seattle & King County Public Health has updated the data dashboard. The daily summary shows that there were 10,196 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County as of 11:59 on June 30, 127 more than the previous day. There...

COVID-19 in King County WA

PacSci CEO Will Daugherty has been graphing the COVID-19 data provided by Public Health – Seattle and King County and providing additional context. Will is a servant leader, loves modeling data, and is always curious.

Check back here for daily updates or follow Will on Twitter @DaughertyWill.

COVID-19 in King County WA – July 1 Report

COVID-19 in King County WA – July 1 Report

Recent Stories Update from Public Health – Seattle & King County Public Health has updated the data dashboard. The daily summary shows that there were 10,345 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County as of 11:59 on June 30, 149 more than the previous day. There...

COVID-19 in King County WA

PacSci CEO Will Daugherty has been graphing the COVID-19 data provided by Public Health – Seattle and King County and providing additional context. Will is a servant leader, loves modeling data, and is always curious.

To get Will’s data analysis updates, follow him on Twitter @DaughertyWill.

COVID-19 in King County WA – July 1 Report

Recent Stories Update from Public Health – Seattle & King County Public Health has updated the data dashboard. The daily summary shows that there were 10,345 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County as of 11:59 on June 30, 149 more than the previous day. There...

COVID-19 in King County WA – June 30 Report

Recent Stories Update from Public Health – Seattle & King County Public Health has updated the data dashboard. The daily summary shows that there were 10,196 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County as of 11:59 on June 30, 127 more than the previous day. There...

 

PacSci’s Picks: Curated Scientific Articles

Science and innovation is happening in real time in our community and around the globe. We’ll be periodically posting some of the links and resources that we’ve found useful in understanding COVID-19.

NASA team developed a ventilator tailored for coronavirus patients in 37 days
A desire to help, excellent engineering, rigorous testing and rapid prototyping has lead to real-time innovations by this NASA teamin the midst of a pandemic. Read more
Posted April 28, 2020

The first modern pandemic
Bill Gates discusses the first modern pandemic and crucial next steps including the need for innovation. Read more
Posted April 28, 2020

Research and Innovation

NASA team developed a ventilator tailored for coronavirus patients in 37 days
A desire to help, excellent engineering, rigorous testing and rapid prototyping has lead to real-time innovations by this NASA teamin the midst of a pandemic. Read more
Posted April 28, 2020

Nextstrain: Real-time tracking of pathogen evolution
Check out this tool that scientists are using to understand and visualize the spread of COVID-19 and the evolution of the novel coronavirus. Real-time information informs the work of scientists, health professionals, and officials making public policy. Read more
Posted April 20, 2020

Brain Cells Share Information With Virus-Like Capsules
What do Arc’s, gag’s and gypsy retrotransposons have in common? Take a break from COVID-19 and learn about a very old virus that led to the gene that gives us the abiity to learn from our experiences. Read more
Posted April 20, 2020

How did coronavirus start and where did it come from? Was it really Wuhan’s animal market?
The history COVID-19 is still in the making and it’s origin story is far more complicated than a person being infected at an animal market. Understanding how pandemics start is the key to their treatment and prevention, and scientists are working to unravel this mystery. Read more
Posted April 20, 2020

Can blood from coronavirus survivors cure others? Seattle hospitals to try experimental treatment
When faced with a crisis, our local community continues to innovate! Doctors at local hospitals hope to infuse their first patient with so-called convalescent plasma. Read more
Posted April 16, 2020

Lentils or pasta? Why small decisions feel as tough as big ones in this time of crisis
Are you finding that making any decision right now is extra challenging? You are not alone. Find out what happens to your decision-making when thrust into an unknown context, for instance, a pandemic. Read more
Posted April 16, 2020

Blood Samples from Healthy Volunteers Needed to Inform Public Health Decision Making
Calliing healthy volunteers! Researchers at the National Institute of Health are continuing their work to determine how many adults in the United States without a confirmed history of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), have antibodies to the virus. Read more
Posted April 14, 2020

Mayo Clinic expects COVID-19 antibody test to be ready Monday
Currently there are many questions about false negatives for COVID-19 testing. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are working to solve this and are expected to release a test that can determine if a person has had and recovered from COVID-19. Read more
Posted April 14, 2020

COVID-19 Vaccine Developers Gain Enhanced Access to Supercomputers
What do petaflops, A.I. and COVID-19 research have in common? A new Consortium aimed at pooling resources and providing vaccine researchers with access to super computers. Read more
Posted April 9, 2020

Tracking a pandemic: Q&A with a COVID-19 detective
Read about how scientists at Fred Hutch have become COVID-10 detectives by tracking changes to the virus’ genetic code. Changes act like fingerprints, helping researchers chart its global movements in near real time. Read more
Posted April 2, 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)
Looking for tools that track the COVID-19 outbreak in real time? Johns Hopkins University created a dashboard mapping tool to help you do just that. Read more
Posted March 18, 2020

People ‘shed’ high levels of coronavirus, study finds, but most are likely not infectious after recovery begins
Ready for a deep dive into virology? Did you know that people can ‘shed’ viruses? Highlight: “The study also noted that people who are infected begin to develop antibodies to the virus quickly, typically within six to 12 days. The rapid rise of antibodies may explain why about 80% of people infected with the virus do not develop severe disease.” Read more
Posted March 18, 2020

Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”
Have you been hearing the phrase “flatten the curve” lately? Dig into the Washington Post’s fascinating coronavirus simulator to look at how social distancing effects the spread of this pandemic. Play with these visual models to see the impact of different outbreak responses. Read more
Posted March 17, 2020

Does closing schools slow the spread of coronavirus? Past outbreaks provide clues
Curious about whether closing schools helps slow the spread of COVID-19? Researchers review similar outbreaks in the past to find out from Science MagazineRead more
Posted March 17, 2020

Gates-funded program will soon offer home-testing kits for new coronavirus
A local research project will soon offer home-testing kits for COVID-19 thanks to funding from The Gates Foundation. Soon they’ll be able to test 1000s of samples per day, helping researchers know how far the disease has spread. Read more
Posted March 10, 2020

The race to unravel the United States’ biggest coronavirus outbreak
Local virologists and genomicists are working around the clock to diagnose, figure out transmission, and test treatments of the COVID-19 virus. Read this article from Nature magazine to learn about their work! Read more
Posted March 9, 2020

University of Washington coronavirus puzzle game aims to crowdsource a cure
Help scientists find a COVID-19 cure! How, you ask? Play the University of Washington Center for Game Science’s puzzle game. They are crowdsourcing designs for new antiviral proteins to combat COVID-19 via their Foldit game. You don’t have to be a scientist to participate, either—sometimes solutions come from unexpected places. Read more
Posted March 9, 2020

UW Medicine gets green light to test for coronavirus
A new COVID-19 test was created right here in Seattle! The University of Washington Virology laboratory recently received approvals to begin testing and potentially speed up the time to determine if someone has the virus. Read more
Posted March 6, 2020

Resources for Kids
 

If Your Kid Keeps Asking ‘Why,’ Give Them an Answer
Do your kids have endless questions? Read about why questions are important for their development and why answers are even more important. Read more
Posted March 30, 2020

Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch (Video)
Want to go to a museum, but stuck at home? Never fear, museums around the world are delivering arts and culture straight to your screen with virtual tours! Explore the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, and more. We love seeing so much energy on digital platforms. Read more
Posted March 18, 2020

Helping Children and Teens Cope with Anxiety About COVID-19
How do you help your children and teenagers cope with COVID-19 anxiety? Seattle Children’s Hospital has some tips. Read more
Posted March 17, 2020

Coronavirus prevention: 10 awesome songs to sing while you wash your hands
Can handwashing be inspiring? Yes, yes it can. Take this opportunity to belt out your favorite tunes as you thoroughly wash your hands! Do it in public restrooms. Sing for your pet. But most importantly, sing for your health. Read more
Posted March 9, 2020

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus
Looking for a gentle way to talk to kids about COVID-19? NPR has just the thing. This comic was created to help you answer common questions—bonus, it can also be printed out and folded into a zine for on-the-go FAQ needs! Read more
Posted March 9, 2020

Public Health Guidance

Yes, Covid-19 antibody tests are really available in Seattle. But patients have been told otherwise
The University of Washington has started processing a reliable COVID-19 antibody test, which can tell if a patient has had the virus. However, scientists still don’t know if having contracted and recovered from COVID-19 creates immunity to the virus in the future. Read more
Posted April 29, 2020

The Real Reason to Wear a Mask
Should we wear masks or not? The anwer is yes, and thre is no need to use anything fancy. Here’s why. Read more
Posted April 28, 2020

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation COVID-19 model FAQs
Making decisions about the transition from social distancing to containment requires specific real time data. Check out Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s FAQ for an indepth look at data that health officials are using across the country. Read more
Posted April 28, 2020

When will this end, and what comes next? Health officials and epidemiologists are working to figure out Washington’s coronavirus end game
One questions is looming: when is this going to end? Local, state, and national health officials and experts are working together to figure out what the next steps are and how to move forward with a virus that is not going to simply disappear. Read more
Posted April 14, 2020

What we know about the coronavirus model the White House unveiled
How are public health policies and regulations made? Learn about the models and data behind the U.S. governments decision to extend it’s social distancing order through April 30, 2020. Read more
Posted April 2, 2020

How soap kills the coronavirus
How does handwashing prevent the spreading of viruses? Watch and find out. Read more
Posted April 2, 2020

Separating the Facts From the Misinformation About COVID-19
There is so much infomration available about COVID-19, and it can be challenging to tell the difference between fact and fiction. Get answers to all your questions. Read more
Posted April 2, 2020

A psychologist’s science-based tips for emotional resilience during the coronavirus crisis
Don’t forget to take care of your mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Washington Post has some advice for dealing with stress and uncertainty during this crisis. Take care of yourself. Read more
Posted March 18, 2020

As the novel coronavirus spreads throughout Washington, can you boost your immunity with food?
Can you boost your immune system with food? Seattle Times investigates! Read more
Posted March 18, 2020

Why COVID-19 can’t beat a good hand-washing
What’s the most important thing you can do to fight COVID-19 (and a whole host of other diseases)? Wash. Your. Hands. It works! But why? Read more
Posted March 13, 2020

 

Contextual Information

What if immunity to covid-19 doesn’t last?
A major ongoing question about COVID-19 is if people who have had the virus become immune to it. Review what we know about how immune systems respond to the flu and the common cold, and what that might mean for COVID-19. Read more
Posted April 29, 2020

The first modern pandemic
Bill Gates discusses the first modern pandemic and crucial next steps including the need for innovation. Read more
Posted April 28, 2020

A dinner table chat between husband and wife may help solve the coronavirus mask shortage
Innovation happens at the least expected moments, like over a casual dinner at home. Read about how one family conversation lead to a potential solution about how to tackle the shortage of N95 masks with decontamination systems that will allow them to be reusable. Read more
Posted April 20, 2020

The Pandemic Is Turning the Natural World Upside Down
The 50th anniversary of Earth Day happening in the midst of a pandemic, making for a unique celebration. This pandemic is certainly affecting the human experience, but these bizarre conditions are also being felt across land, air, and sea. Read more
Posted April 20, 2020

The Best Hopes for a Coronavirus Drug
What does an effective COVID-19 drug will need to do? To put it simply, block 29 proteins from hijacking, suppressing, and evading a humans’ cellular machinery. Read more
Posted April 14, 2020

EvergreenHealth doctor opens up about ‘brush with death,’ recovery after coronavirus
Read this story of survival and innovation. A local EvergreenHealth doctor contracted COVID-19 while working on the frontlines and received last-resort treatments. Thankfully, he’s on the mend and there is much for doctors nationwide better understand COVID-19 and some people’s dangerous immune response to the virus. Learn more
Posted April 14, 2020

COVID-19 Sound Map
Have you noticed the world sounds very different right now? This is one noticeable change we are all experiencing due to policies of social distancing. People are now crowdsourcing a Sound Map on Google Earth to capture how sonic environments have changed. Submit the sounds around you! Learn more
Posted April 9, 2020

What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage
We’ve all heard news reports of hoarding toilet paper, particularly as experts predit that 40% of toilet paper usage will switch from commercial to residential. Should we be concerned about supply chains? Read more
Posted April 9, 2020

The Technology That Could Free America From Quarantine
Can contact tracing save us from future pandemics? However, there are serious privacy implications. Is it okay to relax privacy regulations when health and safety are concerned? Read this in-depth analysis. Read more
Posted April 9, 2020

How the coronavirus overwhelmed Washington state’s early efforts to contain it
Washington was the first state in the US to have a reported case of COVID-19. The Seattle Times has created an in-depth reconstruction of the early response points and elected events from the first 60 days since patient zero. Read more
Posted April 9, 2020

Live Chat with Microbiologist and Virus Expert – Dr. Benhur Lee
Check out this interview with Dr. Benhur Lee (@VirusWhisperer) is a Professor of Microbiology and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Watch video
Posted April 9, 2020

How To Tell If We’re Beating COVID-19
How do we know if our efforts of staying home and staying safe are affecting the spread of COVID-19? Watch this analysis of the growth numbers from MinutePhyiscs. Watch video
Posted April 2, 2020

Why Coronavirus Will Stimulate Innovation
Pandemics have stimulated innovation for thousands of years. Read about societal and economic innovations that have emerged from historically challenging times. What innovations might COVID-19 bring? Read more
Posted April 2, 2020

Yes, the new coronavirus is mutating—but that’s not a bad thing
COVID-19 is mutating, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This scientific analysis explains how viruses change over time and what that means for COVID-19. Read more
Posted April 2, 2020

Scarcity Of Health Workers A New Concern As Self-Quarantining Spreads With Virus
What is “flattening the curve,” and why is it so important? @NPR has answers for you in this article about the impact COVID-19 has had on the health care system. Read more
Posted March 18, 2020

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Exponential growth and epidemics
Math? Math. Indulge your inner math nerd with this 3Blue1Brown video illustrating how exponential growth applies to the COVID-19 outbreak. Watch now
Posted March 17, 2020

Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now
As Seattleites know, closing businesses and schools during pandemics has a huge impact on the community and local economy. Read an argument that this decision is crucial for public health. Let us know what do you think @pacsciRead more
Posted March 17, 2020

Before coronavirus: How Seattle handled the Spanish flu
Did you know that this isn’t the first time our community has been asked to take extraordinary measures to address an epidemic? Learn about how Seattle handled the Spanish Flu from Crosscut. Read more
Posted March 10, 2020

 
 

Digging Into the Science

New York Hall of Science’s Science Behind the News: Coronavirus Exhibit

Every day, there is new information about new viruses. We are experiencing that now with the COVID-19 pandemic right here in our own home in Seattle, as well as sweeping the globe. This can be confusing and scary, especially without the facts. The New York Hall of Science’s Outbreak exhibit provides information about the science behind viruses, and also gives context to what’s going on. Download the exhibit

 

Global Health: Facing the Future

As the world becomes more interconnected and the global population rises to an estimated 9.7 billion by 2050, global health is more important than ever before. Previously isolated communicable diseases are more likely to become world problems, new health risks will present themselves, and many will take a global effort to solve. Watch this discussion on the future of global health and why health needs to be considered in a global context.

Stories from the Frontline of Global Health

We hear a lot about big picture strategies for improving Global Health crises, but what does it take to actually implement change on the frontline? Listen to first hand experiences of helping to implement accessible and novel healthcare strategies worldwide, and right here in Seattle as well.
 

The Science and Ethics of DNA Editing

With the recent news of the world’s first babies being born with edited DNA, the research community is outraged and discussions have sprung up around the globe about this apparent abuse of this technology. Listen to this discussion about current research, applications, ethical considerations, and controversies surrounding CRISPR, a powerful DNA editing technology that is revolutionary in its ability to target and modify DNA.

Addressing the Urban Global Water Crisis

Despite major improvements to global living standards, there are still 2.1 billion people worldwide without access to safe drinking water and even more without basic sanitation facilities. To date, most funding for water, sanitation, and hygiene has targeted rural areas. Hear about the urban water crisis and its promising solutions, and learn how organizations are helping to support clean water and sanitation in Ethiopia and India.

Portrait of an Epidemic: Mathematical Modeling in Modern Day Epidemiology

When epidemiologists are faced with addressing questions that are too difficult, expensive or dangerous to test in the real world, they turn to mathematical modeling. Hear how scientists are using models to guide global efforts towards the eradication and control of infectious diseases.

Learning Resources: Curiosity at Home

Ignite your curiosity at home with streaming live science shows, hands-on STEM activities, tutorials, interviews, and more. These educational activities and resources are for all ages of learners and are meant to inspire and excite all people about science.

Learn more

 

 

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Girl with flowers in her hair using a microscope