Real-world reflections

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WashU Medicine nephrologist has risen to prominence, uncovering society’s biggest health issues

Some of the world’s most groundbreaking research on long COVID-19 can trace its origins to a 14-year-old Lebanese boy and his Commodore 64.

In middle school, Ziyad Al-Aly taught himself coding on his C64, a popular home computer introduced in the early 1980s. In high school, he solved complex mathematical equations and analyzed data using statistical applications. One day, Al-Aly decided to convert his C64’s internal clock to appear on his screensaver as an analog clock. Six months later, his screensaver boasted a dial and hours-minutes-seconds hands.