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Welcome back to This Week in Ideas, our roundup of the thoughtful and inspiring stories that had the Freethink team talking.

A new way to deliver lab results: Drones! NPR reports how the hot new tech item could transform medicine “not only in rural areas by bringing critical supplies into hard-to-reach places, but also in crowded cities where hospitals pay hefty fees to get medical samples across town during rush hour.”

**Fighting Zika with GMOs:** Genetically modified mosquitos could help public health researchers eradicate the threat of Zika and countless other mosquito-born diseases. Many people are irrationally scared of genetic modification. 538 explains how those two facts are colliding in a tiny Florida community (pictured below), which could, in turn, influence the way we fight Zika around the world.

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Map via 538

Selfies as passwords: Instead of letters and numbers, what if you could use a picture of your own face to gain access to online services? It’s not that crazy, considering we’ve used pictures of ourselves to gain access to all kinds of things in the physical world for decades. But it would definitely signal the start of a new era of verifying our identities online.

Was Theranos actually on to something? Theranos’s spectacular fall aside, Florence Comite argues in VentureBeat that the blood testing industry could use some disruption: “The opportunity for a more convenient, accurate, and less painful draw, especially for chronic conditions such as diabetes, is tremendous.”

Hold on there, Elon Musk: The SpaceX founder believes we need 1 million people to create a civilization on Mars. Satellite consultant David VomLehn says that number is way too low.

muskarticle
Elon Musk explaining his plan to colonize Mars

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Dispatches
To Eradicate TB, We Need Old-Fashioned Ambition
To Eradicate TB, We Need Old-Fashioned Ambition
Dispatches
To Eradicate TB, We Need Old-Fashioned Ambition
The Ebola outbreak sparked more medical innovation in two years than TB has in decades, even though TB is killing…
By Madhukar Pai

The Ebola outbreak sparked more medical innovation in two years than TB has in decades, even though TB is killing millions of people a year.

Dispatches
The 2018 Nobel Prize Could Mark a Turning Point in the War on Cancer
The 2018 Nobel Prize Could Mark a Turning Point in the War on Cancer
Dispatches
The 2018 Nobel Prize Could Mark a Turning Point in the War on Cancer
More than one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime; new discoveries are helping them fight…
By Duane Mitchell

More than one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime; new discoveries are helping them fight back.

Dispatches
GMO Mosquitoes Could Be Our Best New Weapon against Disease
GMO Mosquitoes Could Be Our Best New Weapon against Disease
Dispatches
GMO Mosquitoes Could Be Our Best New Weapon against Disease
It sounds like science fiction, but it could save millions of lives.
By Jason Rasgon

It sounds like science fiction, but it could save millions of lives.

Dispatches
The Gut Microbiome Affects Brain Structure
The Gut Microbiome Affects Brain Structure
Dispatches
The Gut Microbiome Affects Brain Structure
What happens in your gut in childhood can change how your brain works later in life.
By Dan Bier

What happens in your gut in childhood can change how your brain works later in life.

Superhuman
Hunting Down His Son’s Killer
Hunting Down His Son’s Killer
Watch Now
Superhuman
Hunting Down His Son’s Killer
For years, there was no diagnosis, no treatment, and no cure — because his son's disease had never been seen before. That wasn't going to stop this dad.
Watch Now

What do you do when there are no experts to turn to? For computer scientist Matt Might, the answer was obvious: you become the expert. When doctors couldn't figure out his son's disease, he found a way to crack the code. Matt's son, Bertrand, suffers from an extremely rare genetic disease, called NGLY1 deficiency, which causes chronic seizures, liver problems, and developmental delays. In fact, it was so rare that…

Technology
eSight Lets the Legally Blind See
eSight Lets the Legally Blind See
Watch Now
Technology
eSight Lets the Legally Blind See
This legally blind man is seeing his wedding for the first time. 15 years after he got married.
Watch Now

Some people who are legally blind can still see, but images can be blurry and in low contrast. eSight has created a headset that can give sight to the blind through three technologies. First, an HD camera captures video. Second, a built in computer increases contrast and clarity. Third and finally, the image is projected on displays in real time. 15 years after marrying his wife, eSight helped a legally…

The App That Sniffs Out Censorship
The App That Sniffs Out Censorship
The App That Sniffs Out Censorship
Created by the Tor Project, the app gives internet users a new way to monitor and report online censorship around…
By Michael O'Shea

Created by the Tor Project, the app gives internet users a new way to monitor and report online censorship around the world.

Science
The Four Weirdest Things We've Sent to Space
The Four Weirdest Things We've Sent to Space
Science
The Four Weirdest Things We've Sent to Space
We take a look at a few of the not-so-obviously-bizarre things we've launched beyond the earth's atmosphere.
By Mike Riggs

We take a look at a few of the not-so-obviously-bizarre things we've launched beyond the earth's atmosphere.

The New Space Race
What a Controversial Asteroid Mission Tells Us About U.S. Space Policy
What a Controversial Asteroid Mission Tells Us About U.S. Space Policy
The New Space Race
What a Controversial Asteroid Mission Tells Us About U.S. Space Policy
Billions spent on projects of questionable benefit - like the plan to capture an asteroid - raises the question: Should…
By Mike Riggs

Billions spent on projects of questionable benefit - like the plan to capture an asteroid - raises the question: Should NASA take a back seat in the 21st century space race?