articles

  • ‘On par with cancer and heart disease’: Experts, patients warn Congress about the burden of long COVID as the government blows through $1.15 billion without finding a cure

    Fortune January 24, 2024

    By Carolyn Barber

    Appearing before a key U.S. Senate committee on Jan. 18, one of the world’s foremost authorities on long COVID-19 laid it on the line. “We developed vaccines at warp speed,” said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “We are doing trials for long COVID at snail speed.” These were […]

  • COVID-19 v. Flu: A ‘much more serious threat,’ new study into long-term risks concludes

    Fortune December 14, 2023

    By Carolyn Barber

    Almost from the start of SARS-CoV-2’s rampage around the globe, researchers and epidemiologists warned that it appeared to behave differently than known viruses, particularly seasonal flu. That included not only COVID-19’s general contagiousness compared to flu viruses, but also its ability to cause clotting problems in the veins and arteries, result in loss of smell and/or taste, […]

  • Inside long COVID’s war on the body: Researchers are trying to find out whether the virus has the potential to cause cancer

    Fortune November 23, 2023

    By Carolyn Barber

    Long COVID is no stranger to either patients or those immersed in studies of its effects. In the U.S., one in 7 adults–about 14% of the adult population–has experienced symptoms that lasted three months or longer after first contracting the virus. The worldwide estimate for long COVID is 65 million people. What is less clear–because it’s still so […]

  • The growing case for doing less: How harmless cancers are being overdiagnosed in America

    Fortune October 2, 2023

    By Carolyn Barber

    In 2009, Laura Esserman, a breast cancer surgeon and oncology specialist in San Francisco, co-published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggesting that it was time to rethink routine screening for breast and prostate cancer. The current approach, she wrote, wasn’t reducing aggressive or late-stage disease as much as had been hoped. Instead, it […]

  • Long COVID. Shorter Life? New research reveals an arduous road to recovery

    Fortune August 21, 2023

    By Carolyn Barber

    With or without a declaration from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Fortunately, the number and severity of those new cases is nowhere near the terrible peaks of the past three years, and deaths are very low. But that’s not the whole story. Practically since the term “long COVID” was […]

  • America turned to hospital-at-home programs during the pandemic–but their stunning success calls for a permanent fix

    Fortune August 11, 2023

    By Carolyn Barber

    On the first day of May this year, George Hardy appeared at the Emergency Department of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The diagnosis was clear: Hardy was suffering from congestive heart failure–and the 84-year-old spent most of the next 24 hours at the emergency department. Then he went home. But he didn’t leave the hospital. […]

  • Engineers build a small home using disposable diapers in Indonesia

    Fortune July 13, 2023

    By Carolyn Barber

    It was an idea born of equal parts inspiration and desperation. Indonesia, facing a steadily rising urban population and high building material costs, was falling farther into a deficit of affordable living space. At the same time, the urban population growth was spurring a massive increase in the use of non-recyclable waste products, including tons […]

  • From space taxis to Mars missions, five space industry insiders discuss the biggest extra-terrestrial opportunities

    By Carolyn Barber

    Seemingly dormant for decades, space activity over the past several years has ramped up to unprecedented levels. The year 2022 saw a record 186 successful rocket launches, as private companies, led by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, continued to press into an industry that once was associated mostly with government entities and competing nations. The relationship is […]

  • E-bike injuries: ‘We’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg,’ trauma experts warn

    Fortune June 1, 2023

    By Carolyn Barber

    The irony for Meghan Glaser was that she was already checking for a bicyclist–the one to her right, stationary at a stop sign in the coastal La Jolla neighborhood near San Diego. She never saw the two cyclists on her left, high-school students who’d blown through their own stop and were trying to beat her […]

  • The next wave of virus detection: A good boy

    Fortune May 8, 2023

    By Carolyn Barber

    On some level, Carol Glaser thought, the idea was almost too obvious not to work. For decades, localities and governments around the world had employed dogs to sniff for illicit drugs, explosives, landmines, and missing people–even for disease. Why not COVID? After all, with as many as 300 million olfactory receptors, a dog’s ability to scent or […]