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Welcome back to This Week in Ideas, where we share the best stories shared on Freethink’s internal Slack channels. Let’s get started.

HTC spends big on VR in (where else!) China: Tawainese tech company HTC will spend $1.5 billion on a VR initiative in China. The race for a market-penetrating VR system is officially on.

Google Earth through VR will blow your mind: “Never have I uttered the phrase ‘holy f—k’ so many times in one virtual reality session,” writes Mashable’s Adario Strange. “That's how amazing the new Google Earth VR is when you experience it using the HTC Vive.”

**China goes all-in on gene editing:** The cutting edge (and somewhat controversial) gene-editing technology CRISPR has finally been tested on a human being. And it didn’t happen here in the U.S.: “On 28 October, a team led by oncologist Lu You at Sichuan University in Chengdu delivered the modified cells into a patient with aggressive lung cancer as part of a clinical trial at the West China Hospital, also in Chengdu.” One American researcher anticipates the trial will lead to a 21st century medical technology race between China and the U.S.

The biggest internet issue in the world isn’t net neutrality: It’s actually free speech.

A cancer “vaccine” developed in Cuba is coming to the U.S.: “The country has a whole arsenal of unique drugs locked behind the U.S. embargo,” writes The Atlantic ’s Sarah Zhang.

What science says to do if your loved one has an opioid addiction: Over at 538, Maia Szalavitz has written “an evidence-based guide about what the science of opioid addiction recommends for people trying to help a loved one suffering from addiction.”

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Public Safety
Misinformation is as Contagious as Coronavirus
coronavirus misinformation
Public Safety
Misinformation is as Contagious as Coronavirus
Fighting misinformation is now a crucial aspect of responding to disease, and health information expert Adrienne Holz Ivory explains why.

Fighting misinformation is now a crucial aspect of responding to disease, and health information expert Adrienne Holz Ivory explains why.

Education
New to Homeschooling? Here are 5 Resources That Can Help
homeschooling resources
Education
New to Homeschooling? Here are 5 Resources That Can Help
Here are five online resources for the first-time homeschooler, from foreign language classes to physical education.

Here are five online resources for the first-time homeschooler, from foreign language classes to physical education.

CIVIL
Meet Civil, The Startup That Wants to Save Journalism with the Blockchain
Civil Blockchain
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CIVIL
Meet Civil, The Startup That Wants to Save Journalism with the Blockchain
Can the blockchain fight fake news, restore trust in the media, and save a dying a industry?
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The news industry is in crisis. Traditional ad models have not transitioned well to the digital world and many newspapers have closed their doors. Clickbait has risen as the pressure to get views at any price rises and quality suffers. People trust the media less and less, which has made it increasingly easy for special interests to manipulate public opinion. But Civil, a new startup, wants to help solve these problems by...

Dispatches
FDA Approves the First Marijuana-based Drug
FDA Approves the First Marijuana-based Drug
Dispatches
FDA Approves the First Marijuana-based Drug
The drug has been proven effective at reducing seizures from certain types of childhood epilepsy.

The drug has been proven effective at reducing seizures from certain types of childhood epilepsy.

Crossing the Divide
Why Does Officer Tommy Norman Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Why Does Officer Tommy Norman Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Crossing the Divide
Why Does Officer Tommy Norman Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Officer Tommy Norman's work has drawn national attention recently, but his approach to policing is nothing new.
By Michael O'Shea

Officer Tommy Norman's work has drawn national attention recently, but his approach to policing is nothing new.

The Hidden Side of "Slum" Life
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The Hidden Side of "Slum" Life
Life in favelas, or slum cities in Brazil, are often portrayed as some of the bleakest in the world. Faced with...
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Life in favelas, or slum cities in Brazil, are often portrayed as some of the bleakest in the world. Faced with difficult hardships, many residents of Rocinha, Rio's largest slum city, are rising up and building better lives for themselves and each other. Not long ago, this incredible city was composed of little more than wooden shacks; today it's a thriving community built on top of an intricate labyrinth of housing,...

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Building a Cheaper MRI, Reconciling God and AI, and The Next...
This Week in Ideas: Building a Cheaper MRI, Reconciling God and AI, and The Next Einstein
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Building a Cheaper MRI, Reconciling God and AI, and The Next...
Rethinking the MRI machine, how will Christianity handle advanced tech, and is this 7-year-old the next Einstein?
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Rethinking the MRI machine, how will Christianity handle advanced tech, and is this 7-year-old the next Einstein?