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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.

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Elon Musk explaining his plan to colonize Mars

Up Next

Artificial Intelligence
AI That Predicts Pregnancy Complication Could Save Lives
Placenta Exam
Artificial Intelligence
AI That Predicts Pregnancy Complication Could Save Lives
By predicting future preeclampsia risk, the AI might save the lives of mothers and their babies.

By predicting future preeclampsia risk, the AI might save the lives of mothers and their babies.

Dispatches
High Tech Archaeology Found a New Way to Screen for Vitamin D Deficiency
High Tech Archaeology Found a New Way to Screen for Vitamin D Deficiency
Dispatches
High Tech Archaeology Found a New Way to Screen for Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is an age-old problem, but new techniques from archaeology may be the key to catching it early.
By Megan Brickley

Vitamin D deficiency is an age-old problem, but new techniques from archaeology may be the key to catching it early.

Dispatches
"Cybersecurity for Plants" Can Stop Germs from Hacking Our Food Supply
Dispatches
"Cybersecurity for Plants" Can Stop Germs from Hacking Our Food Supply
Computer hackers exploit flaws in code to access systems and take what they want; plant diseases work the same way.
By John Herlihy

Computer hackers exploit flaws in code to access systems and take what they want; plant diseases work the same way.

Dispatches
The Cost of Sucking Carbon Out of the Air Just Fell By 85%
The Cost of Sucking Carbon Out of the Air Just Fell By 85%
Dispatches
The Cost of Sucking Carbon Out of the Air Just Fell By 85%
It's not there yet, but carbon capture just got interesting.

It's not there yet, but carbon capture just got interesting.

The Smartwatch That Could Save Lives
The Smartwatch That Could Save Lives
Watch Now
The Smartwatch That Could Save Lives
Epilepsy can be a scary and dangerous condition. Could this seizure-detecting smartwatch provide peace of mind and save lives?
Watch Now

A start-up called Empatica has created a watch that can sense when an epileptic user is having a seizure. The device will then send the data to the individual's smart phone, which in turn will notify a pre-selected caregiver via phone call or SMS message. Having someone on call at all times to assist an individual with epilepsy can be incredibly comforting to that person and can even save his or her life. Additionally, the...

Adam Piore Introduces Us to Real Life Cyborgs
Our Cyborg Future is Coming (And That’s Not a Bad Thing)
Watch Now
Adam Piore Introduces Us to Real Life Cyborgs
Hollywood loves to sensationalize merging the body with advanced tech. But will it really be so bad?
Watch Now

Thinking about cyborgs in real life typically conjures thoughts of pop culture works like The Matrix. Terminator. Bladerunner. Hollywood loves to sensationalize merging the body with advanced tech. But will it really be so bad? We sat down with Adam Piore, author of The Body Builders: Inside the Science of the Engineered Human to discuss why we should stop freaking out and embrace our cyborg future. Spend any amount of time...

New Space Race
How Do We Respond to Crimes in Space?
How Do We Respond to Crimes in Space?
New Space Race
How Do We Respond to Crimes in Space?
As talk of space colonization heats up, is it time to have a serious conversation about conflict resolution in a...
By Mike Riggs

As talk of space colonization heats up, is it time to have a serious conversation about conflict resolution in a place where few rules or laws exist?

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.