Tom Avril writes about scientific research in the Philly region, with an emphasis on findings that can impact everyday lives.

Latest Stories

Coronavirus: The latest questions and answers

The CDC issued guidelines to mitigate community spread, including canceling big gatherings and closing schools, but warned that disruptions to daily life “may be severe.”

The coronavirus seems to be mild in most children, but scientists are not sure why

Among 44,627 people confirmed to have been infected in China, 2.3% have died, none of them under age 10.

How the coronavirus ‘jumped’ to humans is a story as old as evolution

Viruses have been spreading from animals to humans for many thousands of years, ever since we have farmed with them, lived among them, and killed them for food.

Inside a Philadelphia lab, scientists race to design a coronavirus vaccine

Scientists at the Wistar Institute and its partners expect to test a vaccine in human subjects by early summer.

Polling voters who won’t answer the phone, and other challenges of election math

Pollsters can call just a few hundred people to get a valid sense of how millions are thinking. Here is how it works.

How much will the coronavirus spread? It’s a question of biology and math.

So far, each patient has infected another two people, on average. But that also was true of SARS, which health officials stopped in its tracks.

Franklin Institute honors pioneers in the study of forest fires, longevity, eyesight

Pioneers in such fields as climate change, mechanical engineering, genetics, chemistry, and computer science will be honored at a black-tie ceremony April 30 in Philadelphia.

2nd U.S. coronavirus case found in Chicago; Main Line Chinese New Year canceled

The woman had traveled to Wuhan, China. Another possible case in New Jersey was ruled out.

Answers found in mystery deaths of 18 Amish children, study says

The deadly inherited heart condition has been found in two extended families.

First coronavirus case identified in U.S.; man had traveled to China

The infected patient, a resident of Snohomish County, Wash., is being hospitalized as as precaution.