By Carl Zimmer
As the first coronavirus vaccines arrive in the coming year, government researchers will face a monumental challenge: monitoring the health of hundreds of millions of Americans to ensure the vaccines don’t cause harm.
Purely by chance, thousands of vaccinated people will have heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses shortly after the injections. …
By Henry Fountain
HAPPY, Texas — Randy Shields looked out at a sea of cattle at the sprawling Wrangler Feedyard — 46,000 animals milling about in the dry Panhandle air as a feed truck swept by on its way to their pens.
Shields, who manages the yard for Cactus Feeders, knows that at its most basic, the business simply takes something that people can’t eat and converts it into something they can: beef. That’s possible because cattle have a multichambered stomach where microbes ferment grass and other tough fibrous vegetation, making it digestible.
“The way I look at it, I’ve got 46,000 fermentation vats going out there,” Shields said. …
By Kate Conger
OAKLAND, Calif. — By late August, the urgency was becoming clear. Top executives of Uber, Lyft and the delivery service DoorDash met to discuss a California ballot measure that would exempt them from a new state labor law and save their companies hundreds of millions of dollars.
The survival of their businesses was on the ballot.
Days later, political strategists responded to the executives’ concerns by telling the companies, which had already pledged $90 million to back the measure, that they needed to spend a lot more if they wanted to win, said three people familiar with the discussions, who were not allowed to talk about them publicly. …