NIH Director Francis Collins Is Fighting This Coronavirus While Preparing for the Next One

In May 2020, Dr. Francis Collins, the longtime head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was called to the White House to meet with Jared Kushner, the then President’s son-in-law and adviser, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. A few weeks earlier, Congress had given the NIH $1.5 billion to try to speed up the process of developing new diagnostic tests for COVID-19, and the White House, which was dubious about increasing the rate of testing, wanted to know more about what the NIH was doing.

Collins is technically the boss of Dr. Anthony Fauci, but during the pandemic he has mostly taken a back seat to America’s most prominent epidemiologist when it comes to media. It’s not that Collins is not a great communicator; he&r…

Scientists Found a Liquid Lake on Mars. Could That Mean Life-

It’s awfully hard to kill a planet—and Mars should know, because Mars ought to be dead by now. Long ago, perhaps 4.3 billion years back, the Red Planet was a place not unlike Earth. It had a thick atmosphere and abundant water, much of which might have been concentrated in a vast ocean in its northern hemisphere. All over the rest of the planet were lakes, smaller oceans and rivers.

But Mars’s interior soon cooled. That snuffed out its protective magnetic field, which in turn allowed charged particles streaming from the sun to claw away Mars’ atmosphere. Once the air was gone, the water sputtered into space. Without water, life, at least as we know it, is impossible.

And yet, Mars is hanging on. In a study published Wednesday in Science, rese…