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June 4, 2021

Weekend reads: Meet the canine unit sniffing out Covid-19

Daily Briefing

    Researchers shed light on "summer SAD," the little-known, warm-weather counterpart to seasonal affective disorder; Covid-19 spurs spike in students pursuing careers in public health crisis communication; and more.

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Interest in public health crisis communication is spiking. Colleges and universities across the United States have reported an increased interest from students in pursuing careers in public health—specifically crisis communication—inspired by the Covid-19 pandemic. Writing for Axios, Marisa Fernandez outlines how the pandemic exposed the need for effective public health messaging and how some major colleges and universities are responding to the increased interest in the field.

    What will going back to the office look like? As more Americans get Covid-19 vaccines, many are starting to return to their offices after spending more than a year working from home. But what will working in the office look like? Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Mims examines how the Covid-19 pandemic may have changed office work going forward and outlines what a day in the life of "Jane Q. Office Worker" might look like now that people are returning to work.

    Marcelle Maginnis' reads

    Meet 'Summer SAD,' seasonal affective disorder's little-known counterpart. While many people are familiar with seasonal affective disorder, or SAD—a recurring pattern of depression that typically afflicts people in the fall and winter seasons—few are aware there's a less-understood counterpart, "summer seasonal affective disorder." Writing for the New York Times, Cameron Walker shares the research on this little-known variation of SAD, from how it differs from its winter counterpart, to what might trigger it, and what might help alleviate symptoms.

    Meet Bobby, Bravo, and Angel, the Covid-19 canine unit. In Thailand and other nations around the world, experts in veterinary science are training a "global corps of dogs … to sniff out Covid-19 in people," Hannah Beech writes for the New York Times—and preliminary studies suggest these canines' detection rates may "surpass that of the rapid antigen testing often used in airports and other public places." According to Beech, research indicates that these trained dogs are able to sniff out people suffering from the virus because the infected lungs and trachea produce a distinct scent—and the dogs need fewer molecules to identify Covid-19 than are needed for PCR testing.

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