Image of anti-vaccine protestors in Connecticut's Legislative Office Building. They formed a prayer circle and said the Pledge of Allegiance and the Our Father before chanting “Healthy kids belong in school.”
Enlarge / Image of anti-vaccine protestors in Connecticut’s Legislative Office Building. They formed a prayer circle and said the Pledge of Allegiance and the Our Father before chanting “Healthy kids belong in school.”

The battle over vaccinations ramped up in Connecticut this week as state lawmakers narrowly advanced a bill—with last-minute amendments—aimed at banning religious vaccine exemptions for children.

If passed, the measure will no longer allow parents to cite their religious beliefs as a valid reason not to provide their children with life-saving immunizations, which are otherwise required for entry into public and private schools and daycares.

The legislature’s

A harried man in an open-collar suit points at a graph on a sheet of paper.
Enlarge / Team leader of the joint mission between World Health Organization (WHO) and China on COVID-19, Bruce Aylward shows graphics during a press conference at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on February 25, 2020.

Fresh off a plane from China, epidemiologist Bruce Aylward sat before members of the press at the World Health Organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday and laid out key insights from the coronavirus front lines.

Aylward, a nearly 30-year veteran of outbreak and emergency responses with the WHO, had just led a joint mission through the COVID-19 trenches to appraise the outbreak and China’s

A harried man in a suit addresses a microphone in front of a WHO logo.
Enlarge / World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a press conference on the situation regarding the COVID-19 at Geneva’s WHO headquarters on February 24, 2020.

As outbreaks of the new coronavirus flare up in several countries beyond China, experts at the World Health Organization on Monday tried to rein in fears and media speculation that the public health emergency will become a pandemic.

“I have spoken consistently about the need for facts, not fear,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing Monday. “Using the word ‘pandemic’ now does not fit the facts, but

Wok tossing has long been suspected of causing the high shoulder injury rate among Chinese chefs.
Enlarge / Wok tossing has long been suspected of causing the high shoulder injury rate among Chinese chefs.

Hunting Ko and David Hu/Georgia Tech

Fried rice is a classic dish in pretty much every Chinese restaurant, and the strenuous process of tossing the rice in a wok over high heat is key to producing the perfect final product. There’s always chemistry involved in cooking, but there’s also a fair amount of physics. Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have devised a model for the kinematics of wok-tossing to explain how it produces fried rice that is nicely browned but

Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is buried in adorable fluff balls in the classic 1967 episode, "The Trouble with Tribbles," on <em>Star Trek: TOS</em>.
Enlarge / Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) is buried in adorable fluff balls in the classic 1967 episode, “The Trouble with Tribbles,” on Star Trek: TOS.

Paramount/CBS Television

Chalk this one up to fun scientific papers we inexplicably missed last year. A group of undergraduates at the University of Leicester in the U.K. calculated the growth rate of the fictional Star Trek critters known as tribbles. They published their results in a short paper in the university’s undergraduate-centric Journal of Physics Special Topics, estimating just how long it would take for there to be enough tribbles to fill

Jumbo jets arrived to evacuate US citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Haneda airport in Tokyo on February 16, 2020. - The number of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus on a quarantined ship off Japan's coast has risen to 355, the country's health minister said. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)
Enlarge / Jumbo jets arrived to evacuate US citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, with people quarantined onboard due to fears of the new COVID-19 coronavirus, at the Haneda airport in Tokyo on February 16, 2020. – The number of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus on a quarantined ship off Japan’s coast has risen to 355, the country’s health minister said. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

Health officials at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not want 14 people who had tested positive for