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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

Up Next

Science
The Ebola Vaccine Is Still Working 2 Years Later
The Ebola Vaccine Is Still Working 2 Years Later
Science
The Ebola Vaccine Is Still Working 2 Years Later
The vaccine works great at preventing infection—let’s hope it can also prevent media panic too.

The vaccine works great at preventing infection—let’s hope it can also prevent media panic too.

Wrong
What Happened to the Beepocalypse?
What Happened to the Beepocalypse?
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Wrong
What Happened to the Beepocalypse?
In 2006 bees started disappearing. Beekeepers reported to losing up to 90% of their beehives. And no one knew why....
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In 2006 bees started disappearing. Beekeepers reported to losing up to 90% of their beehives. And no one knew why. Nearly every news outlet raised the alarm, warning of an imminent beepocalypse that would devastate our food supply. But while alarm bells rang, things turned around. And bee colonies are now at a 20 year high. How did we get the beepocalypse so… wrong?

Coded
Hacker Hero Arrested by FBI
Hacker Hero Arrested by FBI
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Coded
Hacker Hero Arrested by FBI
Was MalwareTech just doing research to stop criminal activity or engaging in criminal activity himself?
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Why This Hacker Was Arrested The super-secretive hacker known as MalwareTech became famous when he dismantled the WannaCry computer virus, one of the most alarming privacy threats in recent memory. But the praise was cut short when the hacker was arrested by the FBI for creating a virus that gave digital thieves access to people’s banking credentials. Was he just doing research to stop criminal activity or engaging in...

Coded
It’s Time for Regular Americans to Think Differently About Cybersecurity
It’s Time for Regular Americans to Think Differently About Cybersecurity
Coded
It’s Time for Regular Americans to Think Differently About Cybersecurity
If huge companies and government agencies can't manage the cyber threats, how can ordinary Americans?
By James Poulos

If huge companies and government agencies can't manage the cyber threats, how can ordinary Americans?

The New Space Race
What Happens When Stuff Breaks in Space?
What Happens When Stuff Breaks in Space?
The New Space Race
What Happens When Stuff Breaks in Space?
Despite rigorous prep, astronauts often have to improvise when things go wrong in space. And a lot more duct tape...
By Mike Riggs

Despite rigorous prep, astronauts often have to improvise when things go wrong in space. And a lot more duct tape is involved than you may expect.

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:...
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?

The New Space Race
A Delivery Service for the Moon
A Delivery Service for the Moon
Watch Now
The New Space Race
A Delivery Service for the Moon
This startup wants to offer the world insanely accurate shipping to the moon.
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Landing on the moon has always been an inaccurate pursuit. But Astrobotic has fixed that problem. The company’s unique GPS system allows it to land spacecraft within meters—rather than kilometers—of the intended target. And now they’re using the tech to offer the world’s first delivery service to the moon.

This Week In Ideas: An Artificial Pancreas, Google's New Translation Tech, and a...
This Week In Ideas: An Artificial Pancreas, Google's New Translation Tech, and a Massive Mars Rocket
This Week In Ideas: An Artificial Pancreas, Google's New Translation Tech, and a...
An incredible medical breakthrough, Google ups the ante, and the SpaceX Mars rocket. These are our favorite stories...
By Mike Riggs

An incredible medical breakthrough, Google ups the ante, and the SpaceX Mars rocket. These are our favorite stories of the week.

Science
The Fascinating Story of How AIDS Activism Helped Usher in a "Right to Try" Laws
The Fascinating Story of How AIDS Activism Helped Usher in a "Right to Try" Laws
Science
The Fascinating Story of How AIDS Activism Helped Usher in a "Right to Try" Laws
Should terminally ill patients be allowed to try experimental procedures? Hear the amazing, true story of the AIDS...
By Scott Shackford

Should terminally ill patients be allowed to try experimental procedures? Hear the amazing, true story of the AIDS activists who fought for a "right to try." And won.