Ed Yong
Ed Yong
Edmund Soon-Weng Yong is a Malaysian-born British science journalist. His blog Not Exactly Rocket Science is published as part of the National Geographic Phenomena blog network. Previously his work has been published by Nature, Scientific American, the BBC, Slate, The Guardian, The Times, New Scientist, Wired, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. He has been a permanent staff member of The Atlantic since 2015.Source
Washington DC
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How the Pandemic Defeated America

How the Pandemic Defeated America

A virus has brought the world’s most powerful country to its knees.The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection .Image above: A masked worker cleans a New York City subway entrance.H come to this? A virus a thousand times smaller than a dust mote has humbled and humiliated the planet’s most powerful nation. America has failed to protect its people, leaving them with illness and financial ruin. It has lost its status as a global leader. It has careened between inaction and ineptitude. The breadth and magnitude of its errors are...

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Ed Yong
4d ago
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The Last Giraffes on Earth

The Last Giraffes on Earth

The planet’s tallest animal is in far greater danger than people might think.T nearly down. Two men have stretched a thick black rope in front of the animal, to trip her up. The giraffe hits the rope, and the plan seems to be working until she gains a second wind and breaks into a fresh run. Her body sways backward and forward like a rocking horse being pulled along on a dolly. Six more people grab onto the ends of the rope, and the group runs behind her, holding tight, pitting their meager strength against her weight. It would be no contest, were her veins not coursing with tranquilizer....

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Ed Yong
Mar 13
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COVID-19 Can Last for Several Months

COVID-19 Can Last for Several Months

The disease’s “long-haulers” have endured relentless waves of debilitating symptoms—and disbelief from doctors and friends.The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection .F, day one was March 16.Hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stringent social-distancing measures to halt the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, LeClerc, a Glasgow-based journalist, arrived home feeling shivery and flushed. Over the next few days, she developed a cough, chest pain, aching joints, and a prickling sensation on her skin. After a week of bed rest, she...

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Ed Yong
Jun 4
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Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing

Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing

A guide to making sense of a problem that is now too big for any one person to fully comprehendO, as the U.S. topped 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Donald Trump stood at the lectern of the White House press-briefing room and was asked what he’d say about the pandemic to a child. Amid a meandering answer, , “You can call it a germ, you can call it a flu, you can call it a virus. You know, you can call it many different names. I’m not sure anybody even knows what it is.”That was neither the most consequential statement from the White House, nor the most egregious. But it was perhaps the...

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Ed Yong
Apr 29
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How the Pandemic Will End

How the Pandemic Will End

The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection .T, no one knew that SARS-CoV-2 existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospitals and emptied public spaces. It has separated people from their workplaces and their friends. It has disrupted modern society on a...

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Ed Yong
Mar 25
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Our Pandemic Summer

Our Pandemic Summer

The fight against the coronavirus won’t be over when the U.S. reopens. Here’s how the nation must prepare itself.The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection .Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET on April 14, 2020.W a few months can make.In January, the United States watched as the new coronavirus and reached American shores. In February, hindered by an and an administration that had , while the pandemic spread within its borders. In March, as the virus launched several simultaneous assaults on a , America finally sputtered into action,...

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Ed Yong
Apr 14
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Everyone Thinks They’re Right About Masks

Everyone Thinks They’re Right About Masks

The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection . Updated at 7:22 p.m. ET on April 4, 2020.As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many people are now overthinking things they never used to think about at all. Can you go outside? What if you’re walking downwind of another person? What if you’re stuck waiting at a crosswalk and someone is there? What if you’re going for a run, and another runner is heading toward you, and the sidewalk is narrow? Suddenly, daily mundanities seem to demand strategy.Much of this confusion stems from the...

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Ed Yong
Apr 1
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How the Pandemic Will End

How the Pandemic Will End

The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out. Three months ago, no one knew that SARS-CoV-2 existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospitals and emptied public spaces. It has separated people from their workplaces and their friends. It has disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people have never witnessed. Soon, most everyone in the United...

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Ed Yong
Mar 25
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Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful

Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful

One of the few mercies during this crisis is that, by their nature, individual coronaviruses are easily destroyed. Each virus particle consists of a small set of genes, enclosed by a sphere of fatty lipid molecules, and because lipid shells are easily torn apart by soap, 20 seconds of thorough hand-washing can take one down. Lipid shells are also vulnerable to the elements; shows that the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, survives for no more than a day on cardboard, and about two to three days on steel and plastic. These viruses don’t endure in the world. They need bodies.But much about...

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Ed Yong
Mar 20
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The U.K.’s Coronavirus ‘Herd Immunity’ Debacle

The U.K.’s Coronavirus ‘Herd Immunity’ Debacle

The country is not aiming for 60 percent of the populace to get COVID-19, but you’d be forgiven for thinking so based on how badly the actual plan has been explained. There was a time when it seemed possible for the world to contain COVID-19—the disease caused by the new coronavirus. That time is over. What began as an outbreak in China has become a pandemic, and as a growing number of countries struggle to control the virus, talk of “flattening the curve” is increasing. That is, a lot of people are going to get sick, and delaying infections as much as possible is imperative, so that cases...

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Ed Yong
Mar 16
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What Scientists Learned From Putting 3-D Glasses on Praying Mantises

What Scientists Learned From Putting 3-D Glasses on Praying Mantises

The insects have a kind of stereovision that works in a completely different way than ours. Praying mantises spend most of their lives being still. But to put 3-D glasses on these insects, Vivek Nityananda had to get them to stay really still. He would put their cages in a freezer for five minutes, to quite literally chill them out, before sticking their legs down with tiny blobs of Plasticine. He then put a little drop of beeswax between their eyes, and pushed two tear-shaped colored filters into the wax. These bespoke glasses allowed Nityananda and his colleagues to show a different...

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Ed Yong
Feb 12
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What Scientists Learned by Putting 3-D Glasses on Cuttlefish

What Scientists Learned by Putting 3-D Glasses on Cuttlefish

They perceive depth in a very different way than we do. Some cuttlefish absolutely refuse to wear 3-D glasses. These relatives of squid and octopuses have blimplike bodies that end in a ring of eight arms topped by two prominent eyes. It’s not hard to mount a pair of specs in front of those eyes, but a cuttlefish’s arms are so dexterous that, if it’s displeased with its new accoutrements, it can just yank them off. “And indeed, that happened a lot,” says Trevor Wardill from the University of Minnesota, who spent the better part of a recent summer trying to accessorize the animals. “But...

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Ed Yong
Feb 11
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Young Trans Children Know Who They Are

Young Trans Children Know Who They Are

Since 2013, , a psychologist at the University of Washington, has been running to track the health and well-being of transgender children—those who identify as a different gender from the one they were assigned at birth. Since the study’s launch, Olson has also heard from the parents of gender-nonconforming kids, who consistently defy gender stereotypes but have not socially transitioned. They might include boys who like wearing dresses or girls who play with trucks, but who have not, for example, changed the pronouns they use. Those parents asked whether their children could participate in...

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Ed Yong
Jan 4
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This Dinosaur Had a Mohawk of Horns

This Dinosaur Had a Mohawk of Horns

Updated 4:31 p.m. ET on February 5, 2019.Four years after he first came across an unidentified dinosaur in southern Argentina, the paleontologist Pablo Gallina uncovered one of its neck bones and got a surprise.In 2010, he had found a set of dinosaur teeth in Bajada Colorada. This area is rich in fossils, but because many of them are in fragile condition, Gallina had decided not to expose the teeth any further. Instead, he and his colleagues from CONICET, the Argentine government’s science agency, excavated a large chunk of surrounding earth, packed it in a plaster jacket, and took it back...

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Ed Yong
Feb 8
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The Bipartisan Fight for Quieter Oceans

The Bipartisan Fight for Quieter Oceans

Updated on July 5 at 2:10 p.m. ETLast night, to celebrate the fourth of July, the air over the U.S. filled with fireworks. The noise they created was extremely loud and, mercifully, brief. But imagine having to listen to even louder explosions once every ten seconds, for days or weeks on end. Starting this fall, that may be the new reality for whales, fish, and other marine life off the eastern seaboard, if the Trump administration’s plans go ahead.Following the president’s executive order to open the Atlantic to offshore drilling, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is set to...

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Ed Yong
Jul 6
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