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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

Sports
NFL Hopefuls Train With Sensor-Free Athlete Tracking Tech
athlete tracking
Sports
NFL Hopefuls Train With Sensor-Free Athlete Tracking Tech
Intel’s new athlete tracking platform, 3DAT, can deliver performance insights without the use of potentially cumbersome sensors.

Intel’s new athlete tracking platform, 3DAT, can deliver performance insights without the use of potentially cumbersome sensors.

Mars
Icelandic Rocks Hold Clues to Mars’ Ancient Climate
Mars climate
Mars
Icelandic Rocks Hold Clues to Mars’ Ancient Climate
Water once flowed on Mars. But was ancient Mars’s climate hot and wet, or dry and glacial? Iceland may hold the answer.

Water once flowed on Mars. But was ancient Mars’s climate hot and wet, or dry and glacial? Iceland may hold the answer.

Medical Innovation
Symptoms of Parkinson's Are the Only Way to Diagnose It. But Not for Long.
symptoms of parkinsons
Medical Innovation
Symptoms of Parkinson's Are the Only Way to Diagnose It. But Not for Long.
Researchers discovered a new way to diagnose and track Parkinson's disease progression — even before the first symptoms of Parkinson's appear.

Researchers discovered a new way to diagnose and track Parkinson's disease progression — even before the first symptoms of Parkinson's appear.

Biology
It's Now Easier To See Individual Atoms, Thanks To New Tech
electron microscopy
Biology
It's Now Easier To See Individual Atoms, Thanks To New Tech
With improved tech, two teams have sharpened cryo-electron microscopy to be able to see individual atoms.

With improved tech, two teams have sharpened cryo-electron microscopy to be able to see individual atoms.

Virtual Reality
VR Experience Aims to Change People’s Perspective of Earth
Overview Effect
Virtual Reality
VR Experience Aims to Change People’s Perspective of Earth
SpaceVR is trying to recreate the mind-altering “overview effect” experienced by astronauts using a float tank and VR headset.

SpaceVR is trying to recreate the mind-altering “overview effect” experienced by astronauts using a float tank and VR headset.

Video Games
A Talk Show in “Animal Crossing” Is Drawing Big-Name Guests
animal crossing Talk Show
Video Games
A Talk Show in “Animal Crossing” Is Drawing Big-Name Guests
“Animal Talking” — a late-night talk show set in the video game “Animal Crossing” — landed several big-name guests in its first few weeks of streaming.

“Animal Talking” — a late-night talk show set in the video game “Animal Crossing” — landed several big-name guests in its first few weeks of streaming.

Languages
Is This the End of Language Barriers?
Is This the End of Language Barriers?
Watch Now
Languages
Is This the End of Language Barriers?
What if you could travel anywhere in the world and there was no language barrier?
Watch Now

Real-time translation seeks to break down all language barriers in the world. Several tech companies believe they are on the verge of making this a reality through new devices such as Google's Pixel Bud headphones, which can translate up to 40 languages in one to two seconds. While the technology is still a work in progress, Google and others hope it might not be long before such technologies can help connect the world...