Skip to main content
Move the World.

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.”

Up Next

Mental Health
Remote Therapy Is As Effective As Face-to-Face, for Depression
remote therapy
Mental Health
Remote Therapy Is As Effective As Face-to-Face, for Depression
The pandemic has therapists' couches off limits. A new study finds that remote therapy may be as effective for depression as face-to-face, so I gave it a try.

The pandemic has therapists' couches off limits. A new study finds that remote therapy may be as effective for depression as face-to-face, so I gave it a try.

Memory
Reminiscence Therapy Is Helping Seniors at “Dementia Villages”
Reminiscence Therapy
Memory
Reminiscence Therapy Is Helping Seniors at “Dementia Villages”
At a growing number of “dementia villages,” staff members use reminiscence therapy to help seniors return to a time when they felt happy and safe.

At a growing number of “dementia villages,” staff members use reminiscence therapy to help seniors return to a time when they felt happy and safe.

Veteran's Day Special
Wilderness Experience Helps Army Vet Adjust to Life After War
Wilderness Experience Helps Army Vet Adjust to Life After War
Veteran's Day Special
Wilderness Experience Helps Army Vet Adjust to Life After War
Meet Thomas Weinheimer, an army veteran whose 53-day wilderness experience on a North Carolina trail helped ease his transition back to civilian life.

Meet Thomas Weinheimer, an army veteran whose 53-day wilderness experience on a North Carolina trail helped ease his transition back to civilian life.

Crossing The Divide
Crossing the Divide Trailer
Crossing the Divide Trailer
Watch Now
Crossing The Divide
Crossing the Divide Trailer
77% of people think the country is more divided than it’s ever been. We set out to meet the people trying to change that.
Watch Now

It feels like we've never been more divided. Yet amidst our most intense religious, political, and cultural conflicts, there are people around the country who are working tirelessly to forge connections. It’s not easy and the odds of success are far from certain, but for some, accepting things as they are just isn't an option. Freethink presents a new original series, “Crossing the Divide.”

Culture
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
Culture
The Fake Disease That Saved Rome's Jews
Dr. Giovanni Borromeo dreamed up a brilliant scheme that saved dozens of Jewish families in Rome from Nazi...
By Mike Riggs

Dr. Giovanni Borromeo dreamed up a brilliant scheme that saved dozens of Jewish families in Rome from Nazi persecution.