Northeastern’s COVID-19 researchers in the Press
Think everyone will be clamoring to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Think again, a new national study says.
Two-thirds of U.S. residents say they will get a vaccination when one is available, but others may not because of fears of side effects or a lack of trust in the healthcare system, a new survey by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers has found.Read more
Timely test results are necessary to slow the coronavirus. But a new study shows critical delays across the US.
More than 63 percent of U.S. residents are waiting longer than one to two days to get their coronavirus test results—delays that undermine the contact tracing that could identify individuals who are contagious but show no symptoms, according to results of a new survey by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Northwestern, and Rutgers.Read more
Face masks help prevent you from spreading the coronavirus. But can they prevent you from catching it?
The scientific evidence is growing about the importance of masks in fighting COVID-19. But one important question is whether homemade masks can protect people wearing them. The answer depends on the fit of a mask and the materials within it, research by Northeastern engineers suggests.Read more
The CDC is no longer in control of COVID-19 hospitalization data. Here’s what that means.
Under a new federal mandate, healthcare professionals will bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they report data on COVID-19 patients. “What this means is that a process that should be as largely apolitical as possible is being politicized as so many other things around this pandemic have been,” says Samuel Scarpino, who directs the Emergent Epidemics Lab at Northeastern.Read more
These new sensors can detect coronavirus particles on your breath, instantly
Instead of sticking swabs up our noses, what if we could instantly detect viral particles we breathe out? That is precisely the kind of technology that Nian Sun, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, is working on.Read more
‘We find ourselves asking scientists to do more than simply study the virus’
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, epidemiological models continue to provide vital information for lawmakers, public health officials, and people trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This has put the scientists who make the models in the spotlight.Read more
Why is China containing COVID-19 better than the US?
“The reduction of contacts among the population is what has really abated the epidemic in China,” says Alessandro Vespignani, who directs Northeastern’s Network Science Institute. “‘Social distancing’ works.”Read more
Our drinking water was always full of microbes. Are the wrong ones thriving in the pandemic?
It’s been months, and life has changed dramatically across the planet. Zooming in where only a microscope can see, Northeastern researchers are trying to determine how the lifestyle changes caused by COVID-19 might be helping harmful bacteria grow in our drinking water.Read more
Pandemic takes a toll on mental health of US residents, new national survey shows
As the country enters the fourth month of a “new normal” governed by public health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19, a new survey by Northeastern and other researchers shows that more than a quarter of U.S. residents “describe symptoms in a range that would be considered moderate or severe depression,” according to the report.Read more
A majority in the US supports making mail-in voting easier, new study shows
The results, which come as states across the country are planning for what could be a drastically different election in November, show that 60 percent of U.S. residents support making it easier to vote by mail.Read more
People in the US started moving around more before stay-at-home measures were lifted
Even before most states began loosening the measures intended to keep people physically distant and slow the spread of the coronavirus, people were starting to travel further and see each other more, according to research from Northeastern’s Network Science Institute.Read more
New survey shows growing partisan divide in support for reopening the US
Even as states begin to reopen, a majority of U.S. residents oppose immediate measures. But that opposition is beginning to wane among Republicans, according to new results of a national survey led by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, Rutgers, and Northwestern universities.Read more
Could a new tool for diabetes patients solve the problem of coronavirus testing?
Ming L. Wang, distinguished professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been perfecting a new home testing kit to monitor diabetes using saliva. Now, he’s redesigning the sensors within it to test for SARS-CoV-2.Read more
How will the economy bounce back?
How well, and how quickly, state and federal economies recover from the COVID-19 crisis has everything to do with the choices that officials make now, says economist Alicia Sasser Modestino. “The sky is falling, but we might have some ways to put the pieces back together.”Read more
US public is 'firmly opposed' to reopening the economy immediately
A majority of people in the U.S. want to continue physical distancing measures, even as the federal government and some state governors are pushing to re-open the economy, according to a new national survey led by researchers from Northeastern, Harvard, and Rutgers.Read more
The coronavirus was in the US in January. We need to understand how we missed it.
SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was circulating in major U.S. cities as early as January, says Alessandro Vespignani, director of Northeastern’s Network Science Institute. And if we want to keep our communities safe going forward, we need to understand how we missed a virus that was right under our noses.Read more
Herd immunity won’t come anytime soon for COVID-19
Herd immunity is the idea that a disease can’t spread through a population once a large enough percentage is immune, either because they’ve recovered from an infection or received a vaccine. But that won’t work with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, said Samuel Scarpino, an assistant professor who runs the Emergent Epidemics lab at Northeastern.Read more
Pantyhose? Toilet paper? Coffee filters? Which materials make the best masks?
The techniques Loretta Fernandez uses to study hazardous environmental pollutants could help determine the best recipe for do-it-yourself face masks to protect people from inhaling the novel coronavirus.Read more
This model can help hospitals prepare for a surge of COVID-19 cases
Engineering professor James Benneyan helped create a tool to calculate when hospitals might run out of essential resources, such as staff and ventilators, as COVID-19 cases peak.Read more
Should pharmaceutical companies give up their patent protections to find a vaccine for COVID-19?
The race for a COVID-19 vaccine is on, and public health officials are calling upon pharmaceutical companies to share their intellectual property—a move that could speed up research and make any eventual treatment more widely (and easily) available to the masses, says Northeastern law professor Brook Baker.Read more
Which ‘social distancing’ policies are actually working?
Bans on large gatherings. Restaurant and bar limits. School cancellations. Babak Heydari, an associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, found out which state policies work best to keep people at home.Read more
Network scientists identify 40 new drugs to test against COVID-19
Researchers at Northeastern mapped the way proteins within human cells behave after a cell is hijacked by the virus to find new and existing drugs that might be able to fight COVID-19. The team is now working with other experimental researchers to begin testing those drugs.Read more
Northeastern models are helping shape US COVID-19 policy
Northeastern researchers are part of the network of teams creating models to advise the Trump administration on the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., White House officials said Tuesday. They said data from the models formed the basis of the decision to extend “social distancing” guidelines through April.Read more
What China can teach us about managing the COVID-19 pandemic
Northeastern researchers joined forces with colleagues around the globe to analyze the efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak in China. Their findings provide a roadmap for other countries to follow.Read more
‘Social distancing’ is only the first step toward stopping the COVID-19 pandemic
After days of closures and requests—or orders—to stay home, many people caught in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic are wondering if these efforts will be enough. Network scientist Alessandro Vespignani says the answer depends on the ways that local, regional, and federal governments use the time.Read more
Time is precious. Drugs are, too. How can hospitals make the most of both to battle COVID-19?
To prepare for an influx of patients in the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals should strive to cut wait times, move to virtual care, and work closely with pharmacists to predict the availability of certain drugs, says Jacqueline Griffin, an assistant professor of engineering who specializes in healthcare optimization.Read more
Unsure what to do about COVID-19? Take this 60-minute course.
COVID-19: How to be Safe and Resilient, an hour-long course that is free and accessible to anyone, was launched Friday morning by Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute. Its purpose is to make reliable skills for surviving the pandemic available in one place.Read more
People who might have COVID-19 are benefiting from virtual healthcare. Everyone else may, too.
To avoid overcrowding waiting rooms, U.S. hospitals and doctors’ are screening patients remotely for symptoms of COVID-19. This widespread adaptation of telemedicine may help patients during the pandemic, and will almost certainly help other people down the road, says Janet Rico, who is leading a team of researchers to establish best practices for virtual care.Read more
The global medical supply chain is not immune to COVID-19
“We’re all so used to going to CVS and whatever we need is there,” says Nada Sanders, Distinguished Professor of supply chain management. The pandemic is reminding us not to take those things for granted.Read more
Companies can help employees working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic
In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, some companies are requiring their employees to work remotely. But managers should account for several potential obstacles, says management professor Barbara Larson.Read more
Closing borders can delay, but can’t stop the spread of COVID-19, new report says
Travel restrictions will not stop the spread of COVID-19, but observing quarantines and avoiding public events gives us a chance to slow the epidemic, says Matteo Chinazzi, a research scientist in the Network Science Institute. “Closing airports will buy you time, but it’s not enough.”Read more
One way to predict the spread of COVID-19? Follow the memes.
Network scientist Samuel Scarpino shows how epidemiologists can more comprehensively map infectious disease outbreaks, which follow the same complex spreading patterns as social trends.Read more
Here’s why we shouldn’t refer to COVID-19 as simply ‘coronavirus’
Since mid-February, the disease caused by the coronavirus has been known as COVID-19, short for coronavirus disease 2019, though “coronavirus” is still often used as shorthand to refer to the disease. That’s not entirely accurate.Read more