New Global Coalition Aims to ‘Outsmart Epidemics’ (Fortune)


Army researcher fighting Ebola. File photo

A initiative has been launched to tackle the worldwide threat of epidemics. The news came out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where the governments of Germany, Japan and Norway teamed up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and others, to announce the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. The group pledged an initial investment of nearly half a billion dollars to “outsmart epidemics,” including Ebola, which claimed more than 11,000 lives following its outbreak in 2014.

Bowdoin Wins Beckman Scholars Award for Scientific Research


Beckman scholar Sara Spicer ’18

Students who wish to pursue high-level scientific research at Bowdoin have received a big boost.

Bowdoin College has once again won a Beckman Scholars Award from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. The grant will bring in $104,000 over the next three years to support four student-faculty pairs doing research in the fields of chemistry, biology, neuroscience, and medicine. Bowdoin is one of only 11 colleges across the country to receive the award this year.

Bowdoin previously won Beckman Scholar Awards in 2005, 2010, and 2014. Read more.

No, Seriously: Succeeding by Not Being Cutthroat (Scientific American)


A psychologist probes how altruism, Darwinism and neurobiology mean that we can succeed by not being cutthroat.

Contrary to the assumption that survival of the fittest remains the major component explaining human survival, analysis of multiple studies suggests the opposite. Altruism is actually the key component of human behavior that leads to the most fruitful advances in human development. Read more here.

Antibiotics Will Not Cure Your Cold: They Could Actually Make You Sicker (Vox)

Capsules The season of runny noses and colds is back, and with it inadequate antibiotic prescriptions. In most cases, common colds are caused by a virus, for which antibiotics have no effect.

Antibiotics are used to cure bacterial infections, and prescribing them when there is no such infection can actually damage a person immune’s system for future infections. Read more about it here.