articles

  • Why was the leader of the free world given an experimental therapy?

    Fortune October 5, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    In the craziness that is 2020, we’ve perhaps become accustomed to seeing things that either surprise or dismay us. But as a physician, it’s still hard for me not to be shocked that the President of the United States was administered an experimental drug therapy on Friday. According to White House reports, Donald Trump has […]

  • Can CBD Cure What Ails You?

    Scientific American October 3, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    Proponents say yes, but scientific studies on the effectiveness of this chemical derived from cannabis are a mixed bag When a shop selling cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in marijuana, opened near the place where I get coffee in my Southern California neighborhood, I was of two minds. Actually, for several weeks I was of […]

  • Protecting against COVID’s Aerosol Threat

    Scientific American October 1, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    How can we make our schools, office buildings and homes safer? This feels like a lopsided fight. In one corner, we have scientists, epidemiologists, infectious-disease physicians, clinicians, engineers—many different experts in the medical community, that is—arguing that the spread of COVID-19 by aerosols (that is, tiny droplets that can remain airborne long enough to travel significantly farther than […]

  • My cancer might be back—and I wonder if unnecessary radiation caused it in the first place

    Fortune September 22, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    I was a 23-year-old investment banker, working ludicrous hours in New York and training for marathons on the side, when cancer first entered my life. In the three decades since, the disease has been perhaps not a constant companion, but certainly a ride-along. I did not always hear it; it was not always speaking loudly. […]

  • Everything we know—and don’t know—about human-to-animal COVID transmission

    Fortune September 4, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    We think we know about the initial transmission of the coronavirus; it occurred at a live animal market in Wuhan, China, most likely from a bat to a person. In the time since, our attention has been understandably focused on the global human toll of this brutal disease, which already has reached a total of more […]

  • COVID-19 Can Wreck Your Heart, Even if You Haven’t Had Any Symptoms

    Scientific American August 31, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    A growing body of research is raising concerns about the cardiac consequences of the coronavirus Beyond its scientific backing, the notion that a COVID-19 patient might wind up with long-term lung scarring or breathing issues has the ring of truth. After all, we hear the stories, right? The virus can leave survivors explaining how they […]

  • ‘Instant Coffee’ COVID-19 Tests Could Be the Answer to Reopening the U.S.

    Scientific American August 21, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    Cheap and quick, they could move us toward normalcy before a vaccine is widely available With the economy tanking, unemployment skyrocketing, schools slamming their doors and the Big Ten and PAC-12 conferences canceling fall football, America is a country looking for an answer to COVID-19 yesterday. And one might be available—if you can handle instant […]

  • How HBO—the treatment, not the TV network—could help doctors fight COVID-19

    Fortune August 11, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    In a world full of acronyms—NASA, scuba, and, yes, COVID, among others—it may seem imponderable that one of the most well-known has gone largely unmentioned during discussions of the novel coronavirus. I mean, how could HBO get left behind? The answer is both complicated and promising. But at its heart is this: As it pertains […]

  • Eyeballs, asthmatics, and 3D-printed organs: New discoveries about COVID-19 abound

    Fortune August 7, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    In general, the public’s interest in research related to COVID-19 is focused on a single issue: Is there a vaccine, and when is it going to be ready? It’s a massive question, of course. But it is not the only one that scientists and medical experts are asking. Every day, researchers around the world are […]

  • Is a new steroid treatment a miracle solution for COVID-19—or is it snake oil?

    Fortune July 24, 2020

    By Carolyn Barber

    Everything’s bigger in Texas, as those of us who grew up there like to say, and we’ve been known to enjoy telling the occasional tall tale. Is a recently discussed potential treatment for COVID-19 one of those, or is the fast-talking Texan behind the claim really onto something? Richard Bartlett made waves in a July 2 […]