Growing evidence suggests that the coronavirus causes ‘brain fog’ and other neurological symptoms through multiple mechanisms.
How COVID-19 damages the brain is becoming clearer. New evidence suggests that the coronavirus’s assault on the brain could be multipronged: it might attack certain brain cells directly, reduce blood flow to brain tissue or trigger production of immune molecules that can harm brain cells.
Infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can cause memory loss, strokes and other effects on the brain. The question, says Serena Spudich, a neurologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, is: “Can we intervene early to address these abnormalities so that people don’t have long-term problems?”
With so many people affected — neurological symptoms appeared in 80% of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 who were surveyed in one study1 — researchers hope that the growing evidence base will point the way to better treatments.
There's a new epidemic, this time among birds. An illness is infecting them in the US capital ― and it's spreading. Experts say the cause is unknown.
While humans and other animals continue to grapple with COVID-19, a new epidemic seems to have hit multiple bird species in North America.
Across the United States, people have been finding dead birds. The birds appear to have been hit by a wave of mysterious illnesses since April.
By Paul Voosen
Several years ago, workers breaking ground for a power plant in New Zealand unearthed a record of a lost time: a 60-ton trunk from a kauri tree, the largest tree species in New Zealand. The tree, which grew 42,000 years ago, was preserved in a bog and its rings spanned 1700 years, capturing a tumultuous time when the world was turned upside down—at least magnetically speaking.
Radiocarbon levels in this and several other pieces of wood chart a surge in radiation from space, as Earth’s protective magnetic field weakened and its poles flipped, a team of scientists reports today in Science. By modeling the effect of this radiation on the atmosphere, the team suggests Earth’s climate briefly shifted, perhaps contributing to the disappearance of large mammals in Australia and Neanderthals in Europe. “We’re only scratching the surface of what geomagnetic change has done,” says Alan Cooper, an ancient DNA researcher at the South Australian Museum and one of the lead authors of the study.