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Move the World.

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.

ambj-mosquito-map-v2
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

Hacking
Ethical Hacking Challenge: Can You Take Over a Military Satellite?
Ethical Hacking
Hacking
Ethical Hacking Challenge: Can You Take Over a Military Satellite?
The U.S. Air Force is hosting Hack-A-Sat, an ethical hacking competition challenging participants to find security vulnerabilities in satellite systems.

The U.S. Air Force is hosting Hack-A-Sat, an ethical hacking competition challenging participants to find security vulnerabilities in satellite systems.

A Greener Future
A “Death-Ray” for Weeds Could Replace Chemical Weed Killers
A “Death-Ray” for Weeds Could Replace Chemical Weed Killers
A Greener Future
A “Death-Ray” for Weeds Could Replace Chemical Weed Killers
Dr. Graham Brodie of the University of Melbourne is working on a device for zapping stubborn weeds with microwaves.

Dr. Graham Brodie of the University of Melbourne is working on a device for zapping stubborn weeds with microwaves.

Seachange
Ship’s Logbooks Are the First Records of Climate Change Data
Ship’s Logbooks Are the First Records of Climate Change Data
Seachange
Ship’s Logbooks Are the First Records of Climate Change Data
With the weather and ice data from old ship’s logs, Dr. Kevin Wood realized it was possible to reconstruct the history of sea ice in the Arctic to better understand climate change.

With the weather and ice data from old ship’s logs, Dr. Kevin Wood realized it was possible to reconstruct the history of sea ice in the Arctic to better understand climate change.

Superhuman
Spinal Implants: Helping the Paralyzed Walk Again
Spinal Implants: Helping the Paralyzed Walk Again
Watch Now
Superhuman
Spinal Implants: Helping the Paralyzed Walk Again
Walking after complete spinal cord injury used to be a far-fetched dream. But, with advances in spinal cord implants for paralysis, even paraplegics have been able to regain mobility and walk again.
Watch Now

Walking after complete spinal cord injury used to be a far-fetched dream. But, with advances in spinal cord implants for paralysis, even paraplegics have been able to regain mobility and walk again. Discover the inspiring stories of spinal cord research breakthroughs today and see the impact spinal implants have on individuals far and wide.

Dispatches
UV Robots Can Sterilize an ICU in 10 Minutes
UV Disinfection Robots
Dispatches
UV Robots Can Sterilize an ICU in 10 Minutes
UV light destroys bacterial DNA from the inside out, eradicating the toughest pathogens in minutes.

UV light destroys bacterial DNA from the inside out, eradicating the toughest pathogens in minutes.

Dispatches
Precision Medicine Cured an “Untreatable” Stage IV Breast Cancer
Precision Medicine Cured  an “Untreatable” Stage IV Breast Cancer
Dispatches
Precision Medicine Cured an “Untreatable” Stage IV Breast Cancer
Two years ago, she had two months to live.

Two years ago, she had two months to live.

Dispatches
Study Shows Schizophrenia Begins in the Womb, Unraveling a Genetic Mystery
Study Shows Schizophrenia Begins in the Womb, Unraveling a Genetic Mystery
Dispatches
Study Shows Schizophrenia Begins in the Womb, Unraveling a Genetic Mystery
Half of genes linked to schizophrenia are primarily involved in the placenta, not the brain.

Half of genes linked to schizophrenia are primarily involved in the placenta, not the brain.

Dispatches
Scientists Want to Rewrite the Entire Human Genome, from Scratch
Scientists Want to Rewrite the Entire Human Genome, from Scratch
Dispatches
Scientists Want to Rewrite the Entire Human Genome, from Scratch
What if we could rewrite our entire genetic code to make us invincible against viruses?

What if we could rewrite our entire genetic code to make us invincible against viruses?

Coded
The People’s NSA
The People’s NSA
Watch Now
Coded
The People’s NSA
Hackers and journalists team up to expose crime and corruption around the world
Watch Now

At an undisclosed location in Sarajevo, a group of hackers are working with journalists to expose organized crime and corruption. But those engaged in illicit activity respond with cyber attacks and other intimidation tactics. Can the group fight off the attacks and help journalists bring the truth to light?