Editor's Note

Breaking the news

Comfort Dorn
May 15, 2020

This month marks my third anniversary as managing editor of ASBMB Today.  If COVID-19 restrictions continue, I’ll probably celebrate privately with an extra cup of coffee at my kitchen table/desk. Maybe even a doughnut.

As I’ve mentioned in this space before, I worked for about 20 years at daily and weekly newspapers before I came to the ASBMB to edit a monthly magazine. The change was stark, mostly in terms of pacing.  I spent much of my career hounding reporters to turn around daily stories in a matter of hours.  Here, I found that we had the luxury of working for weeks, even months, on articles and essays to get them exactly right for this magazine. Very little was urgent. We moved at a stately and thoughtful pace, rather like an ocean liner or a dowager countess.

That changed this year. And it changed fast.

First, we moved to daily publishing on our website in January, meaning we were posting fresh stories every morning — often several a day. This had been a longtime goal of the ASBMB Today staff, and we were delighted with our fresh new website, even though it meant major pivots in our workflow.

Later that month, we became aware of an insidious new disease that was sickening people in China. We posted our first article about research related to chloroquine and “the new coronavirus” on Feb. 6, covering a paper published two days earlier.

Since then, this job and my old jobs have felt increasingly similar as we race to share news of COVID-19 research and how our members are helping and coping.  Our staff writers, contributors and members have churned out articles and essays at what, for us, is an astonishing pace.

Why am I telling you this?

The May issue of ASBMB Today reflects these recent changes. Here we have collected the best of the COVID-19 writing that we’ve posted on our website since February.  We tried to update articles wherever possible, but the story is evolving quickly. This is a snapshot, from the viewpoint of this magazine and this society, of a moment that comes once in a century.

And as with our April issue, due to stay-at-home orders and the closure of many universities and institutions, we are not printing this issue. You can view it as a PDF file here.

Stay well and stay safe.

Enjoy reading ASBMB Today?

Become a member to receive the print edition monthly and the digital edition weekly.

Learn more
Comfort Dorn

Comfort Dorn is the managing editor of ASBMB Today.

Related articles

AAAS names fellows
ASBMB Today Staff
The best of both worlds
Farah Aziz Annesha
In memoriam: Maxine Singer
Marissa Locke Rottinghaus
Upcoming opportunities
ASBMB Today Staff

Get the latest from ASBMB Today

Enter your email address, and we’ll send you a weekly email with recent articles, interviews and more.

Latest in Opinions

Opinions highlights or most popular articles

The language barrier: Daily struggles of an immigrant in science
Essay

The language barrier: Daily struggles of an immigrant in science

July 17, 2024

“Because I’m afraid of being misunderstood or judged for my accent or grammar mistakes, I sometimes hesitate to speak up in meetings or share my ideas with colleagues,” Thiago Pasin writes.

Water is the 2024 molecule of the year
Contest

Water is the 2024 molecule of the year

July 17, 2024

The 54 nominees included proteins and protein complexes, RNAs, lipids, drugs and therapeutics, signaling mediators and more. ASBMB members cast their votes and determined the winner.

'I can do it without making a face'
Essay

'I can do it without making a face'

July 10, 2024

Betty B. Tong describes the life lessons she learned 35 years ago as a Chinese graduate student in the U.S.

Why AlphaFold 3 needs to be open source
Essay

Why AlphaFold 3 needs to be open source

July 7, 2024

The powerful AI-driven software from DeepMind was released without making its code openly available to scientists.

Summertime can be germy
Advice

Summertime can be germy

July 6, 2024

A microbiologist explains how to avoid getting sick at the barbecue, in the pool or on the trail.

Shades of cultural difference
Essay

Shades of cultural difference

July 4, 2024

“I was perplexed,” Humphrey Omeoga writes. “(M)y greetings frequently went unacknowledged. In Nigeria, people are always willing to accept and return greetings, especially from a foreigner.”