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Dispatches
Air Travel Could Be Stopping the Next Plague
Air Travel Could Be Stopping the Next Plague
Dispatches
Air Travel Could Be Stopping the Next Plague
Our hyper-connected world might be protecting us against devastating plagues.
November 13, 2018

Our hyper-connected world might be protecting us against devastating plagues.

Dispatches
AI Will Make You Smarter
AI Will Make You Smarter
Dispatches
AI Will Make You Smarter
Artificial intelligence will multiply your own intelligence, in ways that will surprise you.
By Terrence Sejnowski
October 23, 2018

Artificial intelligence will multiply your own intelligence, in ways that will surprise you.

Dispatches
AI Could Replace Chemical Testing on Animals
AI Could Replace Chemical Testing on Animals
Dispatches
AI Could Replace Chemical Testing on Animals
Scientists have developed software that could save one billion dollars (and two million animals) each year.
By Thomas Hartung
August 3, 2018

Scientists have developed software that could save one billion dollars (and two million animals) each year.

Science
Scientists Grew a Mini Brain in a Lab. It Has Human-Like Brain Waves.
Scientists Grew a Mini Brain in a Lab. It Has Human-Like Brain Waves.
Science
Scientists Grew a Mini Brain in a Lab. It Has Human-Like Brain Waves.
For the first time, a lab-grown mini brain has brain waves. Researchers can now launch new ways to study brain disorders. But the question of consciousness in the brain-like organoid could raise concern.
September 11, 2019

For the first time, a lab-grown mini brain has brain waves. Researchers can now launch new ways to study brain disorders. But the question of consciousness in the brain-like organoid could raise concern.

Dispatches
Mental Training Can Heal Traumatic Brain Injuries (and Reduce Depression)
how to heal the brain
Dispatches
Mental Training Can Heal Traumatic Brain Injuries (and Reduce Depression)
Millions of people are dealing with traumatic head injuries; brain scans show that cognitive training could...
June 6, 2018

Millions of people are dealing with traumatic head injuries; brain scans show that cognitive training could actually repair damaged neural connections.

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: How to Form Good Habits, the Case Against Empathy, and a...
This Week in Ideas: How to Form Good Habits, the Case Against Empathy, and a Miracle Cure Derailed
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: How to Form Good Habits, the Case Against Empathy, and a...
From how to make good habits (and keep them) to a crisis at the NIH, it's a new edition of our week in ideas.
By Mike Riggs
January 20, 2017

From how to make good habits (and keep them) to a crisis at the NIH, it's a new edition of our week in ideas.

Culture
This Week in Ideas: Rockets in Flight, Poverty in Decline, and Explaining the...
This Week in Ideas: Rockets in Flight, Poverty in Decline, and Explaining the Unexplainable
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Rockets in Flight, Poverty in Decline, and Explaining the...
A step forward for space tourism, extreme poverty could be on its way out, and illustrating advanced tech. These...
By Mike Riggs
October 8, 2016

A step forward for space tourism, extreme poverty could be on its way out, and illustrating advanced tech. These are our favorite stories of the week.

Dispatches
Personal Genetics Might Solve the Opioid Crisis – and the Pain Crisis
Personal Genetics Might Solve the Opioid Crisis – and the Pain Crisis
Dispatches
Personal Genetics Might Solve the Opioid Crisis – and the Pain Crisis
Why does pain hurt more for some people? Why do others feel nothing at all?
By Erin Young
October 26, 2018

Why does pain hurt more for some people? Why do others feel nothing at all?

Coded
From Multi-Millionaire Bitcoin Entrepreneur to Inmate and Back Again
From Multi-Millionaire Bitcoin Entrepreneur to Inmate and Back Again
Coded
From Multi-Millionaire Bitcoin Entrepreneur to Inmate and Back Again
The story of how Charlie Shrem built his business as a Bitcoin pioneer, lost it all, and is now clawing his way back.
By Michael O'Shea
February 21, 2017

The story of how Charlie Shrem built his business as a Bitcoin pioneer, lost it all, and is now clawing his way back.

Science
Could Your Brain Regenerate Like Skin?
Could Your Brain Regenerate Like Skin?
Science
Could Your Brain Regenerate Like Skin?
Brain regeneration used to be considered a medical fantasy. But research shows that fantasy could eventually become...
By Levi Gadye
September 7, 2016

Brain regeneration used to be considered a medical fantasy. But research shows that fantasy could eventually become a reality.

Challengers
Let's Talk About Failure
Let's Talk About Failure
Challengers
Let's Talk About Failure
Are we fetishizing failure? What are the costs of failing? How do we bounce back after it inevitably happens?
By Mike Riggs
January 12, 2017

Are we fetishizing failure? What are the costs of failing? How do we bounce back after it inevitably happens?

Uprising
Diving Deep Into the Brain to Measure Neurotransmitters
Using computation psychiatry to study the brain
Uprising
Diving Deep Into the Brain to Measure Neurotransmitters
Researchers are taking the first measurements of neurotransmitters in active human brains, using computational psychiatry to understand how the mind works.
December 21, 2019

Researchers are taking the first measurements of neurotransmitters in active human brains, using computational psychiatry to understand how the mind works.

Dispatches
Paige and the Virus Hunter
Paige and the Virus Hunter
Dispatches
Paige and the Virus Hunter
Drugs couldn’t stop her infection — so she asked Ben Chan to get her a virus, instead.
By Kaitlin Ugolik
November 28, 2018

Drugs couldn’t stop her infection — so she asked Ben Chan to get her a virus, instead.

Dispatches
What Happens If Scientists Lose Faith in Their Own Research?
What Happens If Scientists Lose Faith in Their Own Research?
Dispatches
What Happens If Scientists Lose Faith in Their Own Research?
Half of scientists have failed to replicate their own work — but they rarely come forward. A new project wants to...
By Dalmeet Singh Chawla
August 6, 2018

Half of scientists have failed to replicate their own work — but they rarely come forward. A new project wants to change that.

Dispatches
Brains Store Memories in a Temporary "Cache" (and We Can Read It)
What Part of the Brain Stores Memory?
Dispatches
Brains Store Memories in a Temporary "Cache" (and We Can Read It)
Like the day’s newspaper, the brain has a temporary way to keep track of events.
By Kelsey Tyssowski
August 23, 2018

Like the day’s newspaper, the brain has a temporary way to keep track of events.

Science
How to Rebuild a Broken Brain
How to Rebuild a Broken Brain
Science
How to Rebuild a Broken Brain
The unbelievable story of the day Jordan Riley was declared brain dead and his journey of re-learning how to be human.
By Mike Riggs
August 23, 2016

The unbelievable story of the day Jordan Riley was declared brain dead and his journey of re-learning how to be human.

Dispatches
Hacking the Brain's Comms Network – without Surgery
Hacking the Brain's Comms Network – without Surgery
Dispatches
Hacking the Brain's Comms Network – without Surgery
When nerve cells in the brain communicate, they create tiny electric fields that can be sensed – and sometimes...
By Salvatore Domenic Morgera
March 6, 2019

When nerve cells in the brain communicate, they create tiny electric fields that can be sensed – and sometimes altered – from outside the skull.

Challengers
Failure is Inevitable, But It Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Life
Failure is Inevitable, But It Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Life
Challengers
Failure is Inevitable, But It Doesn't Have to Ruin Your Life
Why learning to suck at something is the only way to get good at it.
By Mike Riggs
January 4, 2017

Why learning to suck at something is the only way to get good at it.

Dispatches
Goodbye, Passwords: Hello Brain-ID
Goodbye, Passwords: Hello Brain-ID
Dispatches
Goodbye, Passwords: Hello Brain-ID
Can mind-readers replace passwords and biometric security?
By Wenyao Xu, Feng Lin and Zhanpeng Jin
October 24, 2018

Can mind-readers replace passwords and biometric security?

Dispatches
Scientists Physically "Transplant" a Memory in Snails
Scientists Physically "Transplant" a Memory in Snails
Dispatches
Scientists Physically "Transplant" a Memory in Snails
The experiment breaks the conventional wisdom about what memories are made of.
May 17, 2018

The experiment breaks the conventional wisdom about what memories are made of.

Biology of Addiction
Addict-Turned-Neuroscientist on Addiction and the Brain
Judith Grisel on addiction and the brain.
Biology of Addiction
Addict-Turned-Neuroscientist on Addiction and the Brain
In our interview with neuroscientist Judith Grisel, she discusses the state of research on addiction and the brain, as well as society’s view of addicts.
November 30, 2019

In our interview with neuroscientist Judith Grisel, she discusses the state of research on addiction and the brain, as well as society’s view of addicts.

Dispatches
Zika Could Be a "Smart Missile" for Brain Cancer
Zika Could Be a "Smart Missile" for Brain Cancer
Dispatches
Zika Could Be a "Smart Missile" for Brain Cancer
Zika can devastate fetal brains; scientists want to turn it against brain tumors instead.
August 24, 2018

Zika can devastate fetal brains; scientists want to turn it against brain tumors instead.

Global Impact
In the Midst of a Crisis, Venezuelans Are Training Self-Driving Cars
In the Midst of a Crisis, Venezuelans Are Training Self-Driving Cars
Global Impact
In the Midst of a Crisis, Venezuelans Are Training Self-Driving Cars
Hundreds of thousands of formerly middle class Venezuelans, thrown into poverty by economic collapse, are now sitting at computers as they help train self-driving cars to identify and avoid obstacles.
September 27, 2019

Hundreds of thousands of formerly middle class Venezuelans, thrown into poverty by economic collapse, are now sitting at computers as they help train self-driving cars to identify and avoid obstacles.

Dispatches
A Skin Graft Cures Cocaine Cravings (in Mice)
A Skin Graft Cures Cocaine Cravings (in Mice)
Dispatches
A Skin Graft Cures Cocaine Cravings (in Mice)
A CRISPR skin graft looks like a promising way to deliver gene therapy.
By Qingyao Kong
October 31, 2018

A CRISPR skin graft looks like a promising way to deliver gene therapy.

What Explains the Measles Epidemic?
What Explains the Measles Epidemic?
What Explains the Measles Epidemic?
Humanity is locked in an arms race with diseases: we update our vaccines, and diseases evolve new ways to try to...
June 14, 2019

Humanity is locked in an arms race with diseases: we update our vaccines, and diseases evolve new ways to try to sneak past them. Cutting-edge research is exploring how to stimulate immunity without using vaccines, using the new gene-editing technology known as CRISPR.

Dope Science
Ibogaine: The Psychedelic Cure?
ibogaine
Dope Science
Ibogaine: The Psychedelic Cure?
Ibogaine, an African psychedelic drug which comes from the iboga plant, is used for both religious rites and drug addiction treatment.
January 26, 2020

Ibogaine, an African psychedelic drug which comes from the iboga plant, is used for both religious rites and drug addiction treatment.

Coded
The Evolution of a Dissident: How Ladar Levison Became Someone Who Said "No" to...
The Evolution of a Dissident: How Ladar Levison Became Someone Who Said "No" to the FBI
Coded
The Evolution of a Dissident: How Ladar Levison Became Someone Who Said "No" to...
For Ladar Levison, founder of secure email service Lavabit, everything changed when the two FBI agents showed up at...
By Mike Riggs
January 26, 2017

For Ladar Levison, founder of secure email service Lavabit, everything changed when the two FBI agents showed up at his door.

Ancient Origins
Meet the Artist Who Paints With DNA Clues
Meet the Artist Who Paints With DNA Clues
Ancient Origins
Meet the Artist Who Paints With DNA Clues
When Maayan Harel paints a portrait, her subject isn't sitting in front of her. She doesn't even have a photograph...
October 21, 2019

When Maayan Harel paints a portrait, her subject isn't sitting in front of her. She doesn't even have a photograph to work from. Instead, she looks at clues from ancient human DNA. Last month, scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem made headlines when they revealed Harel's portrait of a Denisovan, an extinct group of archaic humans that may have lived with Neanderthals. The first Denisovan remains were...

Future of Medicine
Does Playing Sports Quiet the Brain?
Does Playing Sports Quiet the Brain?
Future of Medicine
Does Playing Sports Quiet the Brain?
Athletes across many sports have something in common - they can more easily “quiet” their brain to focus on what’s really going on.
By Caroline Delbert
January 15, 2020

Athletes across many sports have something in common - they can more easily “quiet” their brain to focus on what’s really going on.

Photo Essay
The Final Maker Faire
The Final Maker Faire
Photo Essay
The Final Maker Faire
The maker movement is grieving a big loss with the shutdown of Maker Media. Freethink's Alexandra Cardinale spoke...
June 18, 2019

The maker movement is grieving a big loss with the shutdown of Maker Media. Freethink's Alexandra Cardinale spoke with some of the most creative people at the final Maker Faire.

Dispatch
NY’s Bail Reform Challenges a Biased System
new york eliminates bail
Dispatch
NY’s Bail Reform Challenges a Biased System
Seeking justice in a broken system, the state of New York eliminates cash bail for most misdemeanors.
January 6, 2020

Seeking justice in a broken system, the state of New York eliminates cash bail for most misdemeanors.

Future of Food
The World's First Floating Dairy Farm
The World's First Floating Dairy Farm
Future of Food
The World's First Floating Dairy Farm
In the search for more sustainable methods of global food production, one couple in the Netherlands is taking an unconventional approach: they have become the operators of the world's first and only floating dairy farm.
By Michael O'Shea
September 4, 2019

To feed an additional two billion people by 2050, global food production will have to increase by roughly 50%. While conventional wisdom would only consider habitable land for food production, one couple in the Netherlands is taking a different approach. They have become the operators of the world's first and only floating dairy farm.

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
August 12, 2016

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.

Technology
How to Send Mail to a Person With No Address
send mail without address
Technology
How to Send Mail to a Person With No Address
Millions of people have no address. They can’t get mail, they can't vote, they can’t get aid, and they don’t have...
By Mike Riggs
August 25, 2016

Millions of people have no address. They can’t get mail, they can't vote, they can’t get aid, and they don’t have rights. One company wants to change that.

Future of Cities
Merging Nature and Sustainable Design: An Interview with Daan Roosegaarde
Daan Roosegaarde is a Dutch architect on a mission to create a more efficient and beautiful world through innovative, sustainable design.
Future of Cities
Merging Nature and Sustainable Design: An Interview with Daan Roosegaarde
From towers that create pockets of clean air to a luminescent bike path that glows like children's ceiling stars, Daan Roosegaarde's entire practice is centered around the beauty of living with nature and removing pollution from urban life.
September 11, 2019

From towers that create pockets of clean air to a luminescent bike path that glows like children's ceiling stars and windmills drawing lines of light across the sky, Daan Roosegaarde's entire practice is centered around the beauty of living with nature and removing pollution from urban life.

Challengers
Five Insights: Scott Phoenix on Creating AI and Building a Company Around a Crazy...
Scott Phoenix - the founder of artificial intelligence startup Vicarious
Challengers
Five Insights: Scott Phoenix on Creating AI and Building a Company Around a Crazy...
Scott Phoenix, founder of Vicarious, shares insights on the development of artificial intelligence and why this is...
By Mike Riggs
December 7, 2016

Scott Phoenix, founder of Vicarious, shares insights on the development of artificial intelligence and why this is a great time to be alive.

Dispatches
Neuroscientists Want to Beam Experiences Directly into Your Brain
Neuroscientists Want to Beam Experiences Directly into Your Brain
Dispatches
Neuroscientists Want to Beam Experiences Directly into Your Brain
It's a breakthrough for the blind and paralyzed, not the first step toward the Matrix. (Promise.)
May 4, 2018

It's a breakthrough for the blind and paralyzed, not the first step toward the Matrix. (Promise.)

Superhuman
These Gloves Can Teach You to Play the Piano. And Maybe Heal Your Brain.
These Gloves Can Teach You to Play the Piano. And Maybe Heal Your Brain.
Watch Now
Superhuman
These Gloves Can Teach You to Play the Piano. And Maybe Heal Your Brain.
Through "passive haptic learning", these gloves can teach you how to play the piano in an hour. Braille in four hours. Now researchers want to see if victims of traumatic brain injuries can use these gloves to re-learn critical skills.
Watch Now
May 8, 2018

Georgia Tech researchers Thad Starner and Caitlyn Seim have developed a pair of gloves for playing piano that can magically get you up to speed in just an hour. They've also taught blind people to read braille in four hours, a process that usually takes up to four months. The gloves work through a process called passive haptic learning, and is another great discovery from Georgia Tech researchers. Basically, they vibrate in...

Challengers
What Can We Learn From an Entrepreneur Whose Business Failed?
What Can We Learn From an Entrepreneur Whose Business Failed?
Challengers
What Can We Learn From an Entrepreneur Whose Business Failed?
Luke Kenworthy put everything he had into making his business work. But it didn't pan out. Now he's sharing what he...
By Mike Riggs
January 11, 2017

Luke Kenworthy put everything he had into making his business work. But it didn't pan out. Now he's sharing what he learned through it all.

Dispatches
A New Brain Surgery Robot Can Work Inside an MRI
A New Brain Surgery Robot Can Work Inside an MRI
Dispatches
A New Brain Surgery Robot Can Work Inside an MRI
Metal robots and electric motors don't normally play well with giant magnets.
June 27, 2018

Metal robots and electric motors don't normally play well with giant magnets.

Exploring the Brain
Do Bigger Brains Have Better Memories?
Do Bigger Brains Have Better Memories?
Exploring the Brain
Do Bigger Brains Have Better Memories?
Scientists may be one step closer to putting the age-old question to rest on whether brain size impacts cognitive function.
By Sarah Wells
January 22, 2020

Scientists may be one step closer to putting the age-old question to rest on whether brain size impacts cognitive function.

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.
July 4, 2018

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

Dispatches
Paralyzed Mice Walk Again After Breakthrough Treatment
Paralyzed Mice Walk Again After Breakthrough Treatment
Dispatches
Paralyzed Mice Walk Again After Breakthrough Treatment
One small step for a mouse, perhaps one giant leap for treating spinal injuries.
July 30, 2018

One small step for a mouse, perhaps one giant leap for treating spinal injuries.

Dispatches
Training the Body to Fight Off Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Training the Body to Fight Off Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Dispatches
Training the Body to Fight Off Drug-Resistant Bacteria
A new strategy, called host-targeted defense, could help solve antibiotic resistance by upgrading the immune system.
By Zahidul Alam
January 21, 2019

A new strategy, called host-targeted defense, could help solve antibiotic resistance by upgrading the immune system.

Medicine
RNA Vaccines Could Change Everything in the Fight Against Disease
RNA Vaccines Could Change Everything in the Fight Against Disease
Medicine
RNA Vaccines Could Change Everything in the Fight Against Disease
Traditional methods of vaccination have come up against difficult challenges. They can also be expensive and time-consuming to produce. New RNA vaccines are faster, cheaper, and safer, and show great potential to meet evolving threats.
September 28, 2019

Traditional methods of vaccination have come up against difficult challenges. They can also be expensive and time-consuming to produce, curtailing efforts to control outbreaks or head off a flu season caused by an unexpected strain. A newer type of vaccines, using RNA, could alleviate these issues. Faster, cheaper, and safer, RNA vaccines show great potential to meet evolving threats.

Superhuman
Robotic Wheelchair Revolution
Robotic Wheelchair Revolution
Watch Now
Superhuman
Robotic Wheelchair Revolution
Part Wheelchair. Part Robot. Is this the future of accessibility?
Watch Now

How Rory Cooper Built the Custom Wheelchair When people think about using wheelchairs, they probably don’t envision a custom design. Instead, they picture a bulky frame, handicap ramps, special vans for transportation with archaic wheelchair lifts, and a design out of the past. The sad truth is wheelchair technology has changed very little in the last 200 years. And over time, these dated designs can cause physical injury...

Drones of the Future
This Nail Gun Wielding Drone Looks Terrifying, But Could Save Lives
This Nail Gun Wielding Drone Looks Terrifying, But Could Save Lives
Drones of the Future
This Nail Gun Wielding Drone Looks Terrifying, But Could Save Lives
According to OSHA, one in five workplace deaths in 2017 were in construction. Can nail gun drones help save lives?
October 17, 2019

According to OSHA, one in five workplace deaths in 2017 were in construction. Can nail gun drones help save lives?

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.
June 8, 2018

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

Future of Food
These Pioneers are Building the Sustainable Food Systems of Tomorrow
These Pioneers are Building the Sustainable Food Systems of Tomorrow
Future of Food
These Pioneers are Building the Sustainable Food Systems of Tomorrow
In a new Freethink original series, Michael O'Shea goes around the world to introduce us to the scientists who are working hard to ensure that we can feed our future world.
August 20, 2019

There are currently over 7 billion human beings alive on Earth --- and in 2050 the world's population will rise by almost 2 billion. That's a lot more mouths to feed considering that roughly 11 percent of the world goes hungry today. "in the next 40 years, we need to produce the same amount of food as we did over the last 8,000 years." Ernst van den...

Superhuman
Patients are Finding Relief from New Essential Tremors Treatment using Focused...
These Doctors are Performing Brain Surgery ... Using Sound
Watch Now
Superhuman
Patients are Finding Relief from New Essential Tremors Treatment using Focused...
Bonnie D'Ettorre suffers from a nerve disorder causing uncontrollable shaking. Doctors at Ohio State are about to "burn it out" using a thousand beams of ultrasound.
Watch Now
April 25, 2018

Patients stricken with “essential tremors” have their lives upended by this nerve disorder which causes uncontrollable shaking. But doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are helping these patients find relief by “burning out” the problem-causing part of the brain with a high-intensity focused ultrasound. This miracle treatment significantly reduces tremors without the potential for complications posed...

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
August 20, 2018

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

COMING SOON
Superhuman Season 5 | Trailer
Superhuman Season 5 | Trailer
Watch Now
COMING SOON
Superhuman Season 5 | Trailer
Our best original series is back! Watch now for a look into our Superhuman future.
Watch Now

Superhuman is back with Season 5! Premiering Wednesday, August 7th, we'll be meeting the scientists, cyborgs, and real life heroes who are pushing the frontiers of groundbreaking medical technology. Can't wait until then? Get to know the Superhuman cast below. The Emerging Cyborg Meet Alec McMorris When his cousin’s car skidded into a guardrail on an icy Utah road in 2013, Alec McMorris rushed to help him. While trying to...

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Building a Cheaper MRI, Reconciling God and AI, and The Next...
This Week in Ideas: Building a Cheaper MRI, Reconciling God and AI, and The Next Einstein
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Building a Cheaper MRI, Reconciling God and AI, and The Next...
Rethinking the MRI machine, how will Christianity handle advanced tech, and is this 7-year-old the next Einstein?
By Mike Riggs
February 3, 2017

Rethinking the MRI machine, how will Christianity handle advanced tech, and is this 7-year-old the next Einstein?

Dispatches
Self-driving Uber Fatality: Video Shows Tech Failure & Human Error
Self-driving Uber Fatality: Video Shows Tech Failure & Human Error
Dispatches
Self-driving Uber Fatality: Video Shows Tech Failure & Human Error
The only way to make self-driving cars safer is to take the risk of more testing.
March 22, 2018

The only way to make self-driving cars safer is to take the risk of more testing.

Future of Cities
Human Composting Could Help Crowded Cities Bury Their Dead Sustainably
Human Composting Could Help Crowded Cities Bury Their Dead Sustainably
Future of Cities
Human Composting Could Help Crowded Cities Bury Their Dead Sustainably
Working toward sustainability, cities are searching for ways to make funerals more eco-friendly. Green burials and human composting could be the solution.
By Tien Nguyen
September 27, 2019

Working toward sustainability, cities are searching for ways to make funerals more eco-friendly. Green burials and human composting could be the solution.

Making a Difference
Can People with Autism Help Create Next-Generation AI?
Can People with Autism Help Create Next-Generation AI?
Watch Now
Making a Difference
Can People with Autism Help Create Next-Generation AI?
Daivergent is a new startup that hires people with autism to train artificial intelligence - and helps them start independent careers.
Watch Now
May 15, 2019

Meet Bryan Dai, the founder of Daivergent--a startup that hires people with autism to train artificial intelligence and helps them start independent careers. His journey began when his mother passed away, and he knew that he would be responsible for helping support his brother with autism. After people with autism turn 21, they often encounter the “support cliff,” after which they stop receiving many forms of government...

Dispatches
CRISPR Edits Out Autistic Traits in Mice
CRISPR Edits Out Autistic Traits in Mice
Dispatches
CRISPR Edits Out Autistic Traits in Mice
The technique could also open up treatments for Huntington's, schizophrenia, and epilepsy.
June 29, 2018

The technique could also open up treatments for Huntington's, schizophrenia, and epilepsy.

Dispatches
FDA Approves AI “Doctor” That Can See Disease in Your Eyes
FDA Approves AI “Doctor” That Can See Disease in Your Eyes
Dispatches
FDA Approves AI “Doctor” That Can See Disease in Your Eyes
How will artificial intelligence transform medicine?
April 12, 2018

How will artificial intelligence transform medicine?

Dope Science
Ketamine Explained: Understanding the Special K Drug
special K drug ketamine
Dope Science
Ketamine Explained: Understanding the Special K Drug
Ketamine, known recreationally as the “Special K” drug, is a trance-inducing anesthetic that researchers believe has more powerful uses off the dance floor.
January 3, 2020

Ketamine, known recreationally as the “Special K” drug, is a trance-inducing anesthetic that researchers believe has more powerful uses off the dance floor.

Relentless
How Hamish Brewer is Changing the Game
The Tattooed, Skater Principal Making Education Fun Again
Watch Now
Relentless
How Hamish Brewer is Changing the Game
The Tattooed, Skater Principal Making Education Fun Again
Watch Now
October 24, 2017

To hear Hamish Brewer speak is to be inspired. About education. About life. About the possibilities of it all. And for disadvantaged youths that come from poverty and broken homes, the New Zealander with an infectious energy works hard to encourage them to excel, not only in school, but in life. About Hamish Brewer With a shaved head, tattoos, and one of those loud, larger-than-life personalities, Hamish Brewer is hard to...

Future of Medicine
Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Breast Cancer Screening
Scientists Are Using AI to Improve Breast Cancer Screening
Future of Medicine
Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Breast Cancer Screening
Computer scientists at MIT created a new algorithm for breast cancer screening to predict whether a patient will develop the disease in the next 5 years.
November 19, 2019

Computer scientists at MIT created a new algorithm for breast cancer screening to predict whether a patient will develop the disease in the next 5 years.

Culture
Elon Musk Explains the Economics of Getting to Mars
Elon Musk Explains the Economics of Getting to Mars
Culture
Elon Musk Explains the Economics of Getting to Mars
The SpaceX founder gave a rousing presentation on his company’s long-term plan for getting to Mars and establishing...
By Mike Riggs
September 27, 2016

The SpaceX founder gave a rousing presentation on his company’s long-term plan for getting to Mars and establishing a civilization there.

Dope Science
Psychedelic Mushrooms Explained
Psychedelic Mushrooms Explained
Dope Science
Psychedelic Mushrooms Explained
Psychedelic mushrooms, AKA magic mushrooms or psilocybin mushrooms, are currently being researched as a treatment for depression, addiction, and more.
January 15, 2020

Psychedelic mushrooms, AKA magic mushrooms or psilocybin mushrooms, are currently being researched as a treatment for depression, addiction, and more.

Coded
How AI Could Revolutionize Coffee
How AI Could Revolutionize Coffee
Watch Now
Coded
How AI Could Revolutionize Coffee
Could the blockchain be used to make fair trade goods live up to their promise?
Watch Now
November 2, 2017

Around 1 in 60 people on the globe rely on the coffee supply chain for their livelihood. But it’s an antiquated system, rife with uncertainty, unfairness, and even corruption. Bext360 wants to change that. They’re using machine vision, artificial intelligence, and blockchain payments to bring the largest un-automated system in the world into the digital age.

The Business Fair for Children
The Business Fair for Children
Watch Now
The Business Fair for Children
At this business fair, kids are the entrepreneurs...
Watch Now
August 14, 2017

At the Acton Children's Business Fair, the kids are the entrepreneurs. Wanting to inspire kids to follow their passions, the organizers of the fair created a space where the young business owners can make and sell their own products. "I believe kids are way more powerful than we give them credit for," organizer David Kirby told us. The businesses ranged from an iPhone repair shop, to organic cleaning supplies. "I think...

Relentless
This Fearless Principal Used UFC & Skateboards to Save a Failing School
This Fearless Principal Used UFC & Skateboards to Save a Failing School
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Relentless
This Fearless Principal Used UFC & Skateboards to Save a Failing School
How one relentless, unconventional principal rallied an underdog school.
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March 25, 2019

Hamish Brewer, the unconventional principal of Fred Lynn Middle School, went viral and won praise for his work turning the school around. But can he rally the school to the next huge milestone - regaining accreditation? Since moving from New Zealand to the United States, tattooed, skateboarding principal Hamish Brewer has helped inspire teachers and students at lower-income schools to smash people’s expectations. After his...

Superhuman
Meet the Paralyzed Man Who Can Walk Again
Meet the Paralyzed Man Who Can Walk Again
Superhuman
Meet the Paralyzed Man Who Can Walk Again
Robert is paralyzed from the chest down. But now a robotic exoskeleton is giving him what he calls "a second chance...
By Mike Riggs
September 5, 2016

Robert is paralyzed from the chest down. But now a robotic exoskeleton is giving him what he calls "a second chance at life."

Inside the Cajun Navy: How Volunteers Are Training to Rescue Hurricane Victims
Inside the Cajun Navy: How Volunteers Are Training to Rescue Hurricane Victims
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Inside the Cajun Navy: How Volunteers Are Training to Rescue Hurricane Victims
Can civilian-led rescue be part of future disaster recovery efforts?
Watch Now
August 16, 2018

A Look Inside the Cajun Navy Before Hurricane Katrina hit, the "Cajun Navy" didn't even exist. But in the aftermath of the storm, a group of volunteers that helped rescue thousands flood victims stranded in their homes and vehicles have come together again. Their goal? To work together to better assist people in times of need directly following a natural disaster. They call themselves the Cajun Navy, and their work...

Karen Aiach on Doing the Impossible
Karen Aiach on Doing the Impossible
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Karen Aiach on Doing the Impossible
When Karen Aiach decided to quit her finance job in 2005 in order to find a cure for the rare genetic disease that...
Watch Now
August 20, 2016

When Karen Aiach decided to quit her finance job in 2005 in order to find a cure for the rare genetic disease that was killing her daughter, people told her it was impossible. In a weird way, it was just what Karen needed to hear. Because it meant if she didn’t do it, no one else would. She started with a search. The first thing she learned is that her daughter’s disease--a rare metabolic disorder called Sanfilippo...

INTEL
Saving Lives with AI
Saving Lives with AI
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INTEL
Saving Lives with AI
Artificial intelligence can find hidden patterns in patient’s vital signs - and stop emergencies before they happen.
Watch Now
November 7, 2018

As hospitals collect more and more data, analyzing it is a challenge and an opportunity. Montefiore Medical Center of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine is a case study in how using artificial intelligence in hospitals can help improve outcomes. They’re working with Intel’s Healthcare AI team to develop machine learning algorithms that can see patterns within it. The result, which they call the Patient Centered...

Superhuman
Open Sourcing the Brain
Open Sourcing the Brain
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Superhuman
Open Sourcing the Brain
Open BCI has developed a 3D-printed headset that allows your brain to interact with computers in amazing ways.
Watch Now
August 21, 2016

OpenBCI has developed a 3D-printed headset that allows our brains to interact with software. Want to measure the effect of meditation on your brain? It's possible. Want to control a prosthetic limb with your mind? It's possible. Right now, the only thing OpenBCI's tech can't do are the things we haven't thought of.

Superhuman
Brain Implant Gives Quadriplegic Movement
Brain Implant Gives Quadriplegic Movement
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Superhuman
Brain Implant Gives Quadriplegic Movement
A brain implant connected to electrodes could offer hope to those who have lost function in their limbs.
Watch Now
September 7, 2017

A brain implant connected to electrodes could offer hope to those who have lost function in their limbs.A tragic diving accident while on vacation left Ian Burkhart unable to move most of his body. But a brain implant connected to electrodes on his arm restored his ability to move his fingers and could offer hope to those who have lost function in their limbs.

Superhuman
Spinal Implants: Helping the Paralyzed Walk Again
Spinal Implants: Helping the Paralyzed Walk Again
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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
August 14, 2019

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.

CIVIL
Meet Civil, The Startup That Wants to Save Journalism with the Blockchain
Civil Blockchain
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CIVIL
Meet Civil, The Startup That Wants to Save Journalism with the Blockchain
Can the blockchain fight fake news, restore trust in the media, and save a dying a industry?
Watch Now
July 31, 2018

The news industry is in crisis. Traditional ad models have not transitioned well to the digital world and many newspapers have closed their doors. Clickbait has risen as the pressure to get views at any price rises and quality suffers. People trust the media less and less, which has made it increasingly easy for special interests to manipulate public opinion. But Civil, a new startup, wants to help solve these problems by...

Coded
The Unhackable Email Service
The Unhackable Email Service
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Coded
The Unhackable Email Service
Edward Snowden’s email service of choice wants to make mass surveillance obsolete.
Watch Now
January 23, 2017

Ladar Levison’s email service counted Edward Snowden among its users. But, when the FBI demanded Levison hand over Snowden’s communications, Levison destroyed the company’s servers. Now, he’s back with a more secure version of the service that could make mass surveillance obsolete.

Crossing The Divide
Making America Dinner Again
Make America Dinner Again
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Crossing The Divide
Making America Dinner Again
What happens when you put people of all political persuasions together over dinner?
Watch Now
July 3, 2017

In the wake of the 2016 election, Tria Chang and Justine Lee felt frustrated and confused by the results. But they also realized that they didn’t know a single Trump voter. And most of their friends didn’t either. Tria and Justine wanted to find a way to get out of their bubble and talk to people who had different views. So they started Make America Dinner Again. At each dinner, they bring together eight people from across...

Crossing The Divide
Crossing the Divide Trailer
Crossing the Divide Trailer
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Crossing The Divide
Crossing the Divide Trailer
77% of people think the country is more divided than it’s ever been. We set out to meet the people trying to change that.
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May 12, 2017

It feels like we've never been more divided. Yet amidst our most intense religious, political, and cultural conflicts, there are people around the country who are working tirelessly to forge connections. It’s not easy and the odds of success are far from certain, but for some, accepting things as they are just isn't an option. Freethink presents a new original series, “Crossing the Divide.”

INTEL
Bringing Virtual Reality to Brain Surgery
Bringing Virtual Reality to Brain Surgery
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INTEL
Bringing Virtual Reality to Brain Surgery
Virtual reality is helping surgeons and patients prepare for complicated, life-saving surgeries in ways never before possible.
Watch Now
October 9, 2018

Brain surgery is never easy -- for the doctor or the patient. Now, virtual reality is changing the game. Surgical Theater has created a revolutionary new tool, powered by Intel technology, that allows surgeons and patients to prepare for complicated new surgeries in ways never before possible. Surgeons have previously had to rely on 2D images and their imagination to visualize a surgery, but now they are able to use 3D, VR...

Leslie Dewan on Learning from Failure
Leslie Dewan
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Leslie Dewan on Learning from Failure
Dr. Leslie Dewan, CEO of nuclear power startup Transatomic, discusses the importance of entrepreneurs' ability to...
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December 13, 2016

Dr. Leslie Dewan, CEO of nuclear power startup Transatomic, discusses the importance of entrepreneurs' ability to bounce back and learn from failure.

The Shipping Containers Used for Conversations
The Shipping Containers Used for Conversations
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The Shipping Containers Used for Conversations
Would you talk to a stranger on the other side of the world?
Watch Now
July 11, 2017

Frequently seen being hauled by semi-trucks on the highway or stacked on the decks of cargo ships, these shipping containers are now being used in a different way, as a portal to connect people across the globe and facilitate conversation. Step inside and you can be instantly connected to someone on a different continent, with whom one can talk and share music, thoughts, and ideas. The creator of Portals hopes this...

The New Space Race
Can XCOR Build the World's First Airline for Space?
Can XCOR Build the World's First Airline for Space?
The New Space Race
Can XCOR Build the World's First Airline for Space?
Out of a small hangar in the Mojave Desert, XCOR is developing a rocket ship designed to fly to space four times a...
By Freethink Team
October 12, 2016

Out of a small hangar in the Mojave Desert, XCOR is developing a rocket ship designed to fly to space four times a day, five days a week.

Coded
WATCH: Trailer for Our New Show, Coded
WATCH: Trailer for Our New Show, Coded
Coded
WATCH: Trailer for Our New Show, Coded
Meet the programmers on the frontlines of the war over security and privacy.
By Mike Riggs
January 18, 2017

Meet the programmers on the frontlines of the war over security and privacy.

Challengers
Can AI Solve Our Biggest Problems?
Can AI Solve Our Biggest Problems?
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Challengers
Can AI Solve Our Biggest Problems?
Vicarious believes smart machines could solve virtually every problem humans can’t.
Watch Now
December 4, 2016

Scott Phoenix, cofounder of Vicarious, believes smart machines could one day cure cancer, create new forms of energy, and solve virtually every problem that humans simply can’t. With the support of investors like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, Vicarious is striving to bring about this future in our lifetimes.

Challengers
Challengers Trailer
Challengers Trailer
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Challengers
Challengers Trailer
Fast Company presents a Freethink original series about entrepreneurs building companies that could transform entire industries and change the world.
Watch Now
November 26, 2016

Across the globe, entrepreneurs are racing to develop new businesses that could dramatically improve people’s lives. But startups are hard work, and success is far from guaranteed. Join us as we profile the next generation of challenger companies on their journey to transform an entire industry—and change the world.

Coded
Coded Trailer
Coded Trailer
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Coded
Coded Trailer
Meet the programmers on the frontlines of the war over security and privacy.
Watch Now
January 16, 2017

There’s an invisible war being waged. Foreign governments are hacking major corporations. Major corporations are collecting massive amounts of consumer data. And the NSA is listening to everything. But a new generation of programmers armed with powerful technology is rising up and fighting back.

The New Space Race
New Space Race Trailer
New Space Race Trailer
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The New Space Race
New Space Race Trailer
Meet the next generation of explorers taking us higher and farther than ever before.
Watch Now
October 4, 2016

In July of 2011, the U.S. suspended its decades-long Space Shuttle program, officially ending an era of space exploration that began over half a century ago. Some have mourned its passing as a sign of the times – as evidence that we could no longer dare to dream. But unbeknownst to many, a new era of private space exploration has already begun... and it’s firing on all cylinders. The New Space Race is the story of a...

Superhuman
Gaining Independence with the World's Most Advanced Prosthetic Arm
Gaining Independence with the World's Most Advanced Prosthetic Arm
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Superhuman
Gaining Independence with the World's Most Advanced Prosthetic Arm
Jerral was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq and left paralyzed. Now he's partnering with researchers to regain his independence. »
Watch Now
September 18, 2016

Jerral was serving in Iraq, his tank was hit by a roadside bomb. The attack left him paralyzed and without his left arm. But rather than letting his injuries define him, Jerral is fighting back with the help of the world’s most advanced prosthetic arm. He’s working with a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins to test the arm that could help Jerral and many other wounded vets like him take back their independence.

Superhuman
Superhuman Trailer
Superhuman Trailer
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Superhuman
Superhuman Trailer
Join us as we meet the innovators building our superhuman future.
Watch Now
August 13, 2016

Superhuman is a Freethink original series about the amazing advances in medical innovation that are making the present look more like a sci-fi depiction of the future. Join us as we meet the engineers, entrepreneurs, doctors and patients who are giving people a new lease on life today, while building our superhuman future of tomorrow.

Fixing Justice
F*ck a False Arrest: How to Get out of Jail Free in NYC
F*ck a False Arrest: How to Get out of Jail Free in NYC
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Fixing Justice
F*ck a False Arrest: How to Get out of Jail Free in NYC
Good Call NYC Fights Bad Policing With a Free Lawyer Hotline: 1-833-3-GOODCALL
Watch Now
May 9, 2019

Late at night on the NYC Subway, he was arrested for the heinous crime...of not having a working subway ticket. Fortunately, he had an ace in the hole - 1-833-3-GOODCALL (1-833-346-6322), New York City’s free lawyer hotline. In America we all have the right to a lawyer. But news flash: not everyone can afford one, and even fewer have a number memorized for the legendary “one phone call” you get when you’re arrested. Now,...

Dispatches
Why a Third of Antidepressants Are Prescribed for "Off-label" Problems
Why a Third of Antidepressants Are Prescribed for "Off-label" Problems
Dispatches
Why a Third of Antidepressants Are Prescribed for "Off-label" Problems
The "secret life of antidepressants" could open up a host of new treatments.
By Leah Shaffer
August 27, 2018

The "secret life of antidepressants" could open up a host of new treatments.

#Fixingjustice - Sentencing Reform
Rising Stars in Criminal Justice Reform
Rising Stars in Criminal Justice Reform
#Fixingjustice - Sentencing Reform
Rising Stars in Criminal Justice Reform
These key players are working from outside the system to lead the criminal justice reform movement.
By Amanda Winkler and Lise Metzger
April 17, 2019

These key players are working from outside the system to lead the criminal justice reform movement.

#fixingjustice - Policing
Civilian Oversight Is a Solution to Police Misconduct. But is it Effective?
civilian oversight
#fixingjustice - Policing
Civilian Oversight Is a Solution to Police Misconduct. But is it Effective?
Creating a civilian review board to oversee police conduct seems like a straightforward solution to disciplinary...
By Andrew Denney
April 15, 2019

Creating a civilian review board to oversee police conduct seems like a straightforward solution to disciplinary issues on the force. But why is it so hard to implement?

Go Deeper
Hope Grows for Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries
Hope Grows for Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries
Go Deeper
Hope Grows for Patients with Spinal Cord Injuries
Severe spinal cord injuries resulting in total paralysis are usually considered permanent, with no hope of recovery. And yet, in a handful of patients spanning multiple levels of severity, movement is being regained.
August 14, 2019

Severe spinal cord injuries (SCIs) -- often called complete injuries by clinicians -- are ones where no readable signal from the brain reaches the spinal cord beneath the trauma, resulting in total paralysis. The possibility that a patient with this type of severe injury might regain movement was once considered so remote that rehab has traditionally seemed a waste of time. And yet, in a handful of patients spanning...

Future of Cities
Getting Aerial Ridesharing Off the Ground
Getting Aerial Ridesharing Off the Ground
Future of Cities
Getting Aerial Ridesharing Off the Ground
It’s been the ultimate futuristic dream for decades: flying cars! But now, the future finally has a deadline. At least to start, it will land in the form of a small air taxi operated by Uber, not something you’ll park in your garage.
September 27, 2019

It’s been the ultimate futuristic dream for decades: flying cars! But now, the future finally has a deadline. At least to start, it will land in the form of a small air taxi operated by Uber, not something you’ll park in your garage.

Superhuman
The World's Most Advanced Bionic Arm
The World's Most Advanced Bionic Arm
Superhuman
The World's Most Advanced Bionic Arm
A fascinating interview with Michael P. McLoughlin, the chief engineer of research and exploratory development at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.
By Mike Riggs
August 30, 2016

A fascinating interview with Michael P. McLoughlin about bionic arms for amputees and the world of advanced prosthetics. McLoughlin is the chief engineer of research and exploratory development at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.

#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
Why Drugs Are Hurting More People Than Ever – And What to Do About It
Why Drugs Are Hurting More People Than Ever – And What to Do About It
#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
Why Drugs Are Hurting More People Than Ever – And What to Do About It
Is the solution to dangerous drugs... making them safer?
March 18, 2019

Is the solution to dangerous drugs... making them safer?

Veteran's Day Special
Wilderness Experience Helps Army Vet Adjust to Life After War
Wilderness Experience Helps Army Vet Adjust to Life After War
Veteran's Day Special
Wilderness Experience Helps Army Vet Adjust to Life After War
Meet Thomas Weinheimer, an army veteran whose 53-day wilderness experience on a North Carolina trail helped ease his transition back to civilian life.
November 11, 2019

Meet Thomas Weinheimer, an army veteran whose 53-day wilderness experience on a North Carolina trail helped ease his transition back to civilian life.

Science
The Future of Sports and Human Performance
The Future of Sports and Human Performance
Science
The Future of Sports and Human Performance
Unpacking the science behind human performance with The Sports Gene author David Epstein
By Mike Riggs
September 13, 2016

Unpacking the science behind human performance with The Sports Gene author David Epstein

Dispatches
Why We Need a Universal Flu Vaccine
Why We Need a Universal Flu Vaccine
Dispatches
Why We Need a Universal Flu Vaccine
Two scientists explain why the flu is still such a problem, a century after it killed 50 million people — and what...
By Ian Setliff and Amyn Murji
November 29, 2018

Two scientists explain why the flu is still such a problem, a century after it killed 50 million people — and what we can do stop it.

Dispatches
Mosquitoes Are the Deadliest Animals in History. Should We Wipe Them Out?
deadliest animal - the mosquito
Dispatches
Mosquitoes Are the Deadliest Animals in History. Should We Wipe Them Out?
The world's richest and poorest people are teaming up against our deadliest predator.
February 4, 2019

The world's richest and poorest people are teaming up against our deadliest predator.

Dispatches
New Evidence Suggests Viruses May Trigger Alzheimer’s
New Evidence Suggests Viruses May Trigger Alzheimer’s
Dispatches
New Evidence Suggests Viruses May Trigger Alzheimer’s
For the first time in a long time, there's a new direction for potential Alzheimer's treatments.
August 13, 2018

For the first time in a long time, there's a new direction for potential Alzheimer's treatments.

Dispatches
Quieter, Faster, Stronger: The Next Jet Age Is Coming
Next Jet Age
Dispatches
Quieter, Faster, Stronger: The Next Jet Age Is Coming
Air travel takes longer today than it did 40 years ago. That's about to change.
July 12, 2018

Air travel takes longer today than it did 40 years ago. That's about to change.

Challengers
You Should Start Learning About Artificial Intelligence. Here's How.
You Should Start Learning About Artificial Intelligence. Here's How.
Challengers
You Should Start Learning About Artificial Intelligence. Here's How.
There are a lot of different levels of artificial intelligence being applied in a lot of different ways. Here's a...
By Mike Riggs
December 9, 2016

There are a lot of different levels of artificial intelligence being applied in a lot of different ways. Here's a primer for starting to wrap your head around it all.

Thinking Differently
How Science Is Learning to Admit Mistakes
How Science Is Learning to Admit Mistakes
Thinking Differently
How Science Is Learning to Admit Mistakes
A shocking amount of scientific studies can’t be reproduced. Do we need to change the culture of science?
May 10, 2019

A shocking amount of scientific studies can’t be reproduced. Do we need to change the culture of science?

Global Health
The Next Pandemic Is Out There. Is the Private Sector Ready?
Event 201 works with private sector for global pandemic preparedness.
Global Health
The Next Pandemic Is Out There. Is the Private Sector Ready?
Johns Hopkins' simulated, international catastrophe is helping business, government, and public health leaders improve global pandemic preparedness.
November 8, 2019

Johns Hopkins' simulated, international catastrophe is helping business, government, and public health leaders improve global pandemic preparedness.

#Fixingjustice - Sentencing Reform
A Mother’s Wish for Her Son’s Killer
A Mother’s Wish for Her Son’s Killer
#Fixingjustice - Sentencing Reform
A Mother’s Wish for Her Son’s Killer
DeVitta Briscoe never had a chance to request a lighter sentence for the man who shot her son.
April 17, 2019

DeVitta Briscoe never had a chance to request a lighter sentence for the man who shot her son.

Uprising
Robots for Autism Teach Human Emotion
Robots for Autism Teach Human Emotion
Uprising
Robots for Autism Teach Human Emotion
Meet the classroom assistant of the future, a robot for autism therapy that’s teaching special needs students about empathy and emotions.
November 20, 2019

Meet the classroom assistant of the future, a robot for autism therapy that’s teaching special needs students about empathy and emotions.

Dispatches
Neuroscience Has a Low-Tech Answer for a Good Night's Sleep
Neuroscience Has a Low-Tech Answer for a Good Night's Sleep
Dispatches
Neuroscience Has a Low-Tech Answer for a Good Night's Sleep
Neuroscientists say that we may be ignoring a basic fact that could defuse the "screen-time wars" between parents...
By Adriana Galván
November 12, 2018

Neuroscientists say that we may be ignoring a basic fact that could defuse the "screen-time wars" between parents and kids.

Superhuman
Advanced Prosthetics Are Not Only Powerful, They’re Beautiful
Advanced Prosthetics Are Not Only Powerful, They’re Beautiful
Superhuman
Advanced Prosthetics Are Not Only Powerful, They’re Beautiful
"There's a deep, deep relationship between the functionality of the device and a person's identity of what their body is."
August 21, 2019

Before he was director of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Rory Cooper was customizing his own wheelchairs for racing. His racer was lighter than traditional chairs, optimized for racing on the road, but many of its modifications have since become commonplace in wheelchairs designed for everyday use. Cooper's chair demonstrated the importance of performance and functionality, ensuring that the user's quality of...

Social Change
Should We Legalize Street Gangs?
Should We Legalize Street Gangs?
Social Change
Should We Legalize Street Gangs?
Gangs are a major cause of violence and organized crime. Here’s why countries should think twice before trying to...
August 8, 2019

Gangs are a major cause of violence and organized crime. Here’s why countries should think twice before trying to smash them.

Future of Medicine
THC Could Help Women With Endometriosis
thc for endometriosis
Future of Medicine
THC Could Help Women With Endometriosis
Hundreds of thousands of women suffer with endometriosis, a disorder that causes painful tissue growth outside of the uterus. Pending clinical trials around THC may finally spell relief.
By Sarah Wells
January 23, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of women suffer with endometriosis, a disorder that causes painful tissue growth outside of the uterus. Pending clinical trials around THC may finally spell relief.

Decade In Review
9 Ways the 2010s Decade Changed the World
how the 2010s Changed the World
Decade In Review
9 Ways the 2010s Decade Changed the World
From Tinder to CRISPR, these are the top moments, movements, and ideas through which the 2010s decade shaped the world as we know it.
December 29, 2019

From Tinder to CRISPR, these are the top moments, movements, and ideas through which the 2010s decade shaped the world as we know it.

Independent Watchdogs Invisible Institute Helps Police Accountability
How to Hold Police Accountable
Watch Now
Independent Watchdogs Invisible Institute Helps Police Accountability
The Invisible Institute is making Chicago police complaints easily available to the public—and is helping hold police accountable.
Watch Now
April 15, 2019

A Freethink update: It's been several months since we first brought you the story of journalist Jamie Kalven and his influential "Sixteen Shots" expose in Slate that depicted a corrupt Chicago police department in the midst of a cover-up following the racist killing of teenager Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke on October 20, 2014. Since then, Kalven has written another critical piece, this...

Crossing the Divide
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
Crossing the Divide
Can a Single Conversation Really Change Someone's Mind? This Research Says Yes.
After studying a team of canvassers, two researchers found that a single conversation can have a significant and...
By Michael O'Shea
June 18, 2017

After studying a team of canvassers, two researchers found that a single conversation can have a significant and lasting impact on a person's opinion.

Innovation
How the Technology Behind Deepfakes Can Help Us Create a Better World
How the Technology Behind Deepfakes Can Help Us Create a Better World
Innovation
How the Technology Behind Deepfakes Can Help Us Create a Better World
Deepfakes have ignited fierce media criticism and call into question the public’s ability to discern fact from...
By Jackie Snow
July 24, 2019

Deepfakes have ignited fierce media criticism and call into question the public’s ability to discern fact from fiction. But the technology behind Deepfakes, called GANs, has enormous potential to drive innovation beyond fake social media videos. Read more to find out some of the amazing things being done with this technology.

Opinion
A Molecular Biologist Discusses the Morality of Genetic Engineering
A Molecular Biologist Discusses the Morality of Gene Editing
Opinion
A Molecular Biologist Discusses the Morality of Genetic Engineering
Molecular biologist Daisy Robinton speaks out on our moral imperative to solve some of humanity's greatest health threats.
By Daisy Robinton, Ph.D.
December 5, 2019

Molecular biologist Daisy Robinton speaks out on our moral imperative to solve some of humanity's greatest health threats.

#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
Should Violence be Treated As a Disease?
violence as a disease
#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
Should Violence be Treated As a Disease?
Epidemiologist Dr. Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says we need to treat violence as a disease and a public health...
April 19, 2019

Epidemiologist Dr. Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says we need to treat violence as a disease and a public health crisis and employ the same types of strategies we use in medicine to treat violence.

#fixingjustice - Re-entry
Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Break the Cycle of Violence?
Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Break the Cycle of Violence?
#fixingjustice - Re-entry
Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Break the Cycle of Violence?
CBT is a promising way to reduce violence, so why has it been so hard to scale?
April 18, 2019

CBT is a promising way to reduce violence, so why has it been so hard to scale?

#fixingjustice - Policing
Do We Need More Police Or Better Police?
Do We Need More Police Or Better Police?
#fixingjustice - Policing
Do We Need More Police Or Better Police?
American cities are safer than they used to be, but they’re still quite violent, and many economists think they’re...
April 15, 2019

American cities are safer than they used to be, but they’re still quite violent, and many economists think they’re under-policed. More police could help reduce crime, but only if people trust them to do a good job.

Virtual Reality
For the Disabled, Using Virtual Reality for Education Opens Up New Possibilities
For the Disabled, Using Virtual Reality for Education Opens Up New Possibilities
Virtual Reality
For the Disabled, Using Virtual Reality for Education Opens Up New Possibilities
His daughter couldn’t go on school field trips with her classmates, so Craig Chaytor designed a virtual reality...
July 16, 2019

His daughter couldn’t go on school field trips with her classmates, so Craig Chaytor designed a virtual reality adventure just for her.

Innovation
In the US, Rural Hospitals Are Closing. Can Medical Drones Fill This Healthcare Gap?
In the US, Rural Hospitals Are Closing. Can Medical Drones Fill This Healthcare Gap?
Innovation
In the US, Rural Hospitals Are Closing. Can Medical Drones Fill This Healthcare Gap?
“Whether you live in the developed world or the developing world, the further you travel outside of a major city,...
By Kaitlin Ugolik
June 29, 2019

“Whether you live in the developed world or the developing world, the further you travel outside of a major city, the harder it is for you to access the medicine you need to stay healthy and alive.”

Dispatches
Finding a New Drug in One-Third the Time and One-Thousandth the Cost
Finding a New Drug in One-Third the Time and One-Thousandth the Cost
Dispatches
Finding a New Drug in One-Third the Time and One-Thousandth the Cost
How a pediatric cancer drug went from discovery to clinical trials in five years and just $500,000.
By Teresa Purzner
December 20, 2018

How a pediatric cancer drug went from discovery to clinical trials in five years and just $500,000.

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
November 4, 2016

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

Dope Science
Marijuana and Autism: Removing the Stigma
Removing the stigma of marijuana and autism
Dope Science
Marijuana and Autism: Removing the Stigma
Research is beginning to prove the hopeful connection between marijuana and autism treatment for symptom relief. Here is one man’s inspiring story.
By Kurt Hackbarth
December 20, 2019

Research is beginning to prove the hopeful connection between marijuana and autism treatment for symptom relief. Here is one man’s inspiring story.

Dope Science
Microdosing Psychedelics
microdosing psychedelics
Watch Now
Dope Science
Microdosing Psychedelics
Microdosing is the no-flowers-in-your-hair practice of regularly taking minimal amounts of hallucinogenic substances. Although it’s currently illegal, millions of dollars are being poured into further research.
Watch Now
January 2, 2020

Microdosing is the no-flowers-in-your-hair practice of regularly taking minimal amounts of hallucinogenic substances. Although it’s currently illegal, millions of dollars are being poured into further research.

Change-Makers
This Big Wave Surfer Is Changing How We Fight Wildfires
This Big Wave Surfer Is Changing How We Fight Wildfires
Change-Makers
This Big Wave Surfer Is Changing How We Fight Wildfires
Fire retardant spray contains toxins that are harmful to the environment and first responders, but Jeff Denholm is looking to change that.
December 1, 2019

Fire retardant spray contains toxins that are harmful to the environment and first responders, but Jeff Denholm is looking to change that.

Catalysts
This Nonprofit Gives Bikes and People New Life
This Nonprofit Gives Bikes and People New Life
Catalysts
This Nonprofit Gives Bikes and People New Life
Working Bikes has spent nearly two decades rescuing bicycles from the waste cycle to give people purpose, access to jobs, and independence.
October 3, 2019

Working Bikes has spent nearly two decades rescuing bicycles from the waste cycle to give people purpose, access to jobs, and independence.

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.
October 29, 2019

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.

The Forgotten Parent: How One Father is Making Sure Teen Dads Don’t Go Overlooked
teen dads
The Forgotten Parent: How One Father is Making Sure Teen Dads Don’t Go Overlooked
As the founder of Fathers New Mexico, Barry McIntosh is on a mission to help young fathers understand how important...
June 16, 2019

As the founder of Fathers New Mexico, Barry McIntosh is on a mission to help young fathers understand how important the early parenting years really are.

Superhuman
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of...
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of the Present?
Superhuman
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of...
Gene therapy uses a virus to replace missing or defective genes. It sounds counterintuitive, but it could be the...
By Mike Riggs
August 2, 2016

Gene therapy uses a virus to replace missing or defective genes. It sounds counterintuitive, but it could be the key to curing previously incurable diseases.

Superhuman
Three Women Who Changed the Way We Think About Medicine
Three Women Who Changed the Way We Think About Medicine
Superhuman
Three Women Who Changed the Way We Think About Medicine
From newborn health to AIDS treatment to DNA research, these brilliant women paved the way for incredible advances...
By Mike Riggs
August 2, 2016

From newborn health to AIDS treatment to DNA research, these brilliant women paved the way for incredible advances in the field of medicine.

Superhuman
Electric Skin Gives Sensation Back to Amputees
Electric Skin Gives Sensation Back to Amputees
Watch Now
Superhuman
Electric Skin Gives Sensation Back to Amputees
Touch is a sensation that connects us all. This scientist created electronic skin that lets people with prosthetic limbs feel.
Watch Now
September 4, 2019

For amputees, the sensation of a ‘phantom limb’ can be a terrible or disorienting experience -- feeling a hand, arm or leg that isn’t there anymore. But researchers at Johns Hopkins have recognized that these sensations are a clue, and they’re using it to restore the sense of touch.

Rise
5 Fascinating Ways Humans are Adapting to Cities
5 Fascinating Ways Humans are Adapting to Cities
Rise
5 Fascinating Ways Humans are Adapting to Cities
There’s a global transformation happening - millions of people are migrating to cities from the countryside.
By Michael O'Shea
April 14, 2017

There’s a global transformation happening - millions of people are migrating to cities from the countryside.

The New Space Race
Where Did the Commercial Space Sector Come From?
Where Did the Commercial Space Sector Come From?
The New Space Race
Where Did the Commercial Space Sector Come From?
Private companies have worked with NASA for decades. Can the next generation of space companies get by without the...
By Mike Riggs
October 13, 2016

Private companies have worked with NASA for decades. Can the next generation of space companies get by without the government as their biggest customer?

On the Fringe
Could Freezing Your Body Offer a Chance at Immortality?
freezing your body
On the Fringe
Could Freezing Your Body Offer a Chance at Immortality?
In a lab in Arizona, dozens of bodies sit preserved at 320 degrees below zero. They each paid $200,000 to be frozen...
By Blake Snow
May 22, 2018

In a lab in Arizona, dozens of bodies sit preserved at 320 degrees below zero. They each paid $200,000 to be frozen on the hope that, one day, medicine will advance far enough to once again bring them back from the dead.

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
October 16, 2018

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.

Longreads
Why Are Unsolved Murders Are on the Rise?
Why Are Unsolved Murders Are on the Rise?
Longreads
Why Are Unsolved Murders Are on the Rise?
The evidence suggests that most murderers get away with it. Here's what we can do about that.
October 18, 2018

The evidence suggests that most murderers get away with it. Here's what we can do about that.

Dispatches
Are "CRISPR Kids" the New "Test-Tube Babies"?
Are "CRISPR Kids" the New "Test-Tube Babies"?
Dispatches
Are "CRISPR Kids" the New "Test-Tube Babies"?
Forty years later, IVF shows how fears about new technology can fade.
By Patricia Stapleton
August 14, 2018

Forty years later, IVF shows how fears about new technology can fade.

Future of Fertility
Why Don’t Women’s Health Companies Get Adequate Funding?
women's health
Future of Fertility
Why Don’t Women’s Health Companies Get Adequate Funding?
Celmatix Founder and CEO Piraye Beim gives an inside look into the battle to secure funding for women's health.
By Julia Sklar
December 10, 2019

Celmatix Founder and CEO Piraye Beim gives an inside look into the battle to secure funding for women's health.

Dope Science
Cannabis as a Natural Treatment for Autism
Natural Treatment for Autism
Watch Now
Dope Science
Cannabis as a Natural Treatment for Autism
When typical medications simply aren’t doing enough to manage their children’s symptoms, mothers like Jenni Mai are turning to medical marijuana. But with current regulations, parents are having to become pharmacists for their own families, and some are even moving across the country so they can legally access cannabis.
Watch Now
December 23, 2019

When typical medications simply aren’t doing enough to manage their children’s symptoms, mothers like Jenni Mai are turning to medical marijuana. But with current regulations, parents are having to become pharmacists for their own families, and some are even moving across the country so they can legally access cannabis.

#fixingjustice - Prosecution
Exclusive Interview: How Miriam Krinsky is Leading Us to a Smarter & More...
Miriam Krinsky
#fixingjustice - Prosecution
Exclusive Interview: How Miriam Krinsky is Leading Us to a Smarter & More...
Her organization is bringing together a new generation of prosecutors with a shared vision of fair, compassionate,...
April 16, 2019

Her organization is bringing together a new generation of prosecutors with a shared vision of fair, compassionate, and responsible criminal justice reform.

Criminal Justice
Can This Robot Stop Violence at Traffic Stops?
Can This Robot Stop Violence at Traffic Stops?
Criminal Justice
Can This Robot Stop Violence at Traffic Stops?
A Duke robotics PhD student and his partner think they have a way ease tensions while deep-rooted differences are...
By Michael O'Shea
March 9, 2017

A Duke robotics PhD student and his partner think they have a way ease tensions while deep-rooted differences are hashed out.

#fixingjustice - Policing
Community Policing is Back in Vogue. But Does it Work?
Community Policing is Back in Vogue. But Does it Work?
#fixingjustice - Policing
Community Policing is Back in Vogue. But Does it Work?
As police departments look for ways to rebuild trust with their communities, an increasing number are turning to...
By Natalia Megas
April 15, 2019

As police departments look for ways to rebuild trust with their communities, an increasing number are turning to new community policing programs. But are they effective? As with most things, it depends on what you measure.

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
October 18, 2016

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.

Dispatches
How NASA Scientists Learned to Stick with Super Long-Term Goals
How NASA Scientists Learned to Stick with Super Long-Term Goals
Dispatches
How NASA Scientists Learned to Stick with Super Long-Term Goals
When the New Horizons spacecraft launched in 2006, Pluto was still a planet and the iPhone didn't exist.
By Bruce Barry and Thomas Bateman
January 14, 2019

When the New Horizons spacecraft launched in 2006, Pluto was still a planet and the iPhone didn't exist.

Future of Therapy
Is the Future of Therapy… Virtual? A Look Into Virtual Reality Therapy
Is the Future of Therapy… Virtual? A Look Into Virtual Reality Therapy
Future of Therapy
Is the Future of Therapy… Virtual? A Look Into Virtual Reality Therapy
The immersive world of VR may have therapeutic benefits for people combating phobias, anxiety, and PTSD.
By Kaitlin Ugolik
July 2, 2019

The immersive world of VR may have therapeutic benefits for people combating phobias, anxiety, and PTSD.

The Sound of Science
This Musician Transforms Scientific Data Into Elaborate Melodies
This Musician Transforms Scientific Data Into Elaborate Melodies
The Sound of Science
This Musician Transforms Scientific Data Into Elaborate Melodies
When we convert complex data into sound and listen to it, quite often what emerges is something we can understand through sound, even though we could never understand it visually.
August 20, 2019

If you think staring at rows of numbers and graphs seems humdrum, these musicians agree. They are on a mission to expose new scientific information through sound, by turning flat datasets into musical scores --- creating the soundtrack for science: Listen to Mark Ballora’s sonification of singularity with flutes and electronics: Jenni Evans first met Mark Ballora at a Penn State social gathering. Both were professors at...

The New Space Race
Why the U.S. Government Treated Satellites and Machine Guns as the Same for 15 Years
Why the U.S. Government Treated Satellites and Machine Guns as the Same for 15 Years
The New Space Race
Why the U.S. Government Treated Satellites and Machine Guns as the Same for 15 Years
Regulations forced companies that planned to sell satellites to other countries to register, in effect, as arms...
By Jeff Foust
November 10, 2016

Regulations forced companies that planned to sell satellites to other countries to register, in effect, as arms dealers.

What Is Cystic Fibrosis—And What Is It Like?
What Is Cystic Fibrosis—And What Is It Like?
What Is Cystic Fibrosis—And What Is It Like?
What you need to know about this genetic disease, explained by someone who knows it inside and out.
By Ella Balasa
December 13, 2018

What you need to know about this genetic disease, explained by someone who knows it inside and out.

The New Space Race
Who Owns the Moon?
Who Owns the Moon?
The New Space Race
Who Owns the Moon?
Throughout history, different organizations, governments, and even individuals have attempted to establish rules...
By Mike Riggs
November 1, 2016

Throughout history, different organizations, governments, and even individuals have attempted to establish rules for, and ownership of, outer space.

Challengers
An American Entrepreneur on the Importance of Chinese Manufacturing
An American Entrepreneur on the Importance of Chinese Manufacturing
Challengers
An American Entrepreneur on the Importance of Chinese Manufacturing
Greg Shugar, founder of Tie Bar and Thread Experiment, discusses why his businesses wouldn’t have been possible...
By Mike Riggs
December 1, 2016

Greg Shugar, founder of Tie Bar and Thread Experiment, discusses why his businesses wouldn’t have been possible without Chinese factories.

Future of Fertility
For Childhood Cancer Survivors, Adult Fertility Isn’t a Given
For Childhood Cancer Survivors, Adult Fertility Isn’t a Given
Future of Fertility
For Childhood Cancer Survivors, Adult Fertility Isn’t a Given
Experimental procedures offer beta solutions for girls, and more time to figure it out for boys.
By Julia Sklar
December 8, 2019

Experimental procedures offer beta solutions for girls, and more time to figure it out for boys.

The Edge
The Strange Science of Sports Recovery with Christie Aschwanden
The Strange Science of Sports Recovery with Christie Aschwanden
The Edge
The Strange Science of Sports Recovery with Christie Aschwanden
From infrared pajamas to cryo chambers, athletes swear recovery methods give them an edge on the playing field. But what does science have to say about it?
January 19, 2020

From infrared pajamas to cryo chambers, athletes swear recovery methods give them an edge on the playing field. But what does science have to say about it?

Dispatches
FDA Approves First Mute Button for Genetic Diseases
FDA Approves First Mute Button for Genetic Diseases
Dispatches
FDA Approves First Mute Button for Genetic Diseases
It is the first of "a wave of advances that have the potential to transform medicine."
August 15, 2018

It is the first of "a wave of advances that have the potential to transform medicine."

Seachange
The Fight to End Illegal Logging
illegal logging
Seachange
The Fight to End Illegal Logging
Citizen scientists are collecting tree samples to build a genetic database that will help identify the origins of stolen lumber and stop illegal logging.
December 17, 2019

Citizen scientists are collecting tree samples to build a genetic database that will help identify the origins of stolen lumber and stop illegal logging.

Dispatches
"Q" Probably Won't Make You Rich, but It's an Experiment Worth Watching
"Q" Probably Won't Make You Rich, but It's an Experiment Worth Watching
Dispatches
"Q" Probably Won't Make You Rich, but It's an Experiment Worth Watching
It's not the next Bitcoin (or a path to riches), but it's an intriguing idea.
By Brendan Markey-Towler
November 5, 2018

It's not the next Bitcoin (or a path to riches), but it's an intriguing idea.

Science
A Regulatory Fight Is Brewing Over Experimental Stem Cell Therapies
A Regulatory Fight Is Brewing Over Experimental Stem Cell Therapies
Science
A Regulatory Fight Is Brewing Over Experimental Stem Cell Therapies
New proposed regulations from the FDA would effectively shut down private stem cell clinics in the U.S.
By Mike Riggs
September 15, 2016

New proposed regulations from the FDA would effectively shut down private stem cell clinics in the U.S.

Science
Could This Revolutionary Football Helmet Protect Players and Save the Game?
Could This Revolutionary Football Helmet Protect Players and Save the Game?
Science
Could This Revolutionary Football Helmet Protect Players and Save the Game?
As more and more former football players exhibit symptoms of CTE, one company thinks their new helmet can address...
By Oliver Katz
August 18, 2017

As more and more former football players exhibit symptoms of CTE, one company thinks their new helmet can address the problem of player safety.

On The Fringe
These Bacteria-Eating Sewer Viruses are Saving Lives
These Bacteria-Eating Sewer Viruses are Saving Lives
On The Fringe
These Bacteria-Eating Sewer Viruses are Saving Lives
The world discovered phages before antibiotics, but these lowly sewer viruses are getting renewed attention in the...
By Blake Snow
April 19, 2018

The world discovered phages before antibiotics, but these lowly sewer viruses are getting renewed attention in the age of antibiotic resistance.

Dispatches
A "LinkedIn for Cancer" Helps Myeloma Patients Find Help – and Hope
A "LinkedIn for Cancer" Helps Myeloma Patients Find Help – and Hope
Dispatches
A "LinkedIn for Cancer" Helps Myeloma Patients Find Help – and Hope
The site aims to help scientists discover new treatments – and empower patients to advocate for their own care.
By Kaitlin Ugolik
January 25, 2019

The site aims to help scientists discover new treatments – and empower patients to advocate for their own care.

Dispatches
Tiny Satellite “Constellations” Could Bring the Entire World Online
Tiny Satellite “Constellations” Could Bring the Entire World Online
Dispatches
Tiny Satellite “Constellations” Could Bring the Entire World Online
SpaceX is out in front, but the race for global satellite internet is getting crowded.
February 5, 2019

SpaceX is out in front, but the race for global satellite internet is getting crowded.

Dispatches
What We Learned from a Decade of Commercial Space Travel
What We Learned from a Decade of Commercial Space Travel
Dispatches
What We Learned from a Decade of Commercial Space Travel
Businesses have gotten to space; now what?
By Joel Wooten
October 5, 2018

Businesses have gotten to space; now what?

Dispatches
Your DNA Is Not the Same in Every Cell
Your DNA Is Not the Same in Every Cell
Dispatches
Your DNA Is Not the Same in Every Cell
Your body began with a single cell and a single genetic code. But it didn't stay that way for long.
May 23, 2018

Your body began with a single cell and a single genetic code. But it didn't stay that way for long.

Crossing the Divide
Why Does Officer Tommy Norman Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Why Does Officer Tommy Norman Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Crossing the Divide
Why Does Officer Tommy Norman Have a Million Instagram Followers?
Officer Tommy Norman's work has drawn national attention recently, but his approach to policing is nothing new.
By Michael O'Shea
July 6, 2017

Officer Tommy Norman's work has drawn national attention recently, but his approach to policing is nothing new.

Challengers
Five Insights: Ryan Petersen on Tackling Problems That Feel Too Big to Fix
Five Insights: Ryan Petersen on Tackling Problems That Feel Too Big to Fix
Challengers
Five Insights: Ryan Petersen on Tackling Problems That Feel Too Big to Fix
Flexport's founder discusses the personal and business side of building an ambitious startup.
By Mike Riggs
December 22, 2016

Flexport's founder discusses the personal and business side of building an ambitious startup.

Below the Surface
The Fleet of Underwater Drones Probing Earth’s Interior
underwater drones
Below the Surface
The Fleet of Underwater Drones Probing Earth’s Interior
The Earth’s interior may be the last wild frontier, but not for long. These underwater drones are scanning the ocean to create a 3D model of its internal dynamics.
January 24, 2020

The Earth’s interior may be the last wild frontier, but not for long. These underwater drones are scanning the ocean to create a 3D model of its internal dynamics.

Reverse Innovation
MacGyver Medicine Can Save Lives
MacGyver Medicine Can Save Lives
Reverse Innovation
MacGyver Medicine Can Save Lives
The package is simple and dirt-cheap—a plastic bag with a condom, a syringe, a rubber tube, and a card with...
June 7, 2019

The package is simple and dirt-cheap—a plastic bag with a condom, a syringe, a rubber tube, and a card with instructions—but it can mean the difference between a mother living and dying.

Dope Science
Healing PTSD with MDMA Therapy
mdma therapy for ptsd
Dope Science
Healing PTSD with MDMA Therapy
New hope for PTSD sufferers is coming from an expected quarter: MDMA.
By Kurt Hackbarth
December 28, 2019

New hope for PTSD sufferers is coming from an expected quarter: MDMA.

Catalysts
Old Skool Café Provides an Alternative to Gangs and Violence
Old Skool Café Provides an Alternative to Gangs and Violence
Catalysts
Old Skool Café Provides an Alternative to Gangs and Violence
As a former prison guard, Teresa Goines watched kids drift in and out of the justice system. Now she runs a jazz-themed eatery that hires at-risk youth and gives them a place to learn and grow.
By Esther Landhuis
November 18, 2019

As a former prison guard, Teresa Goines watched kids drift in and out of the justice system. Now she runs a jazz-themed eatery that hires at-risk youth and gives them a place to learn and grow.

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
February 1, 2017

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

Challengers
Dr. Leslie Dewan on the Future of Nuclear Energy
Dr. Leslie Dewan
Challengers
Dr. Leslie Dewan on the Future of Nuclear Energy
We dive into the viability and future of nuclear energy in the U.S. and around the world with Leslie Dewan, CEO of...
By Mike Riggs
December 14, 2016

We dive into the viability and future of nuclear energy in the U.S. and around the world with Leslie Dewan, CEO of nuclear power startup Transatomic.

State of Surveillance
New Tech Can See Through Walls and ID People by the Way They Walk
gait recognition
State of Surveillance
New Tech Can See Through Walls and ID People by the Way They Walk
A California-based lab is using gait recognition and radio frequency to create a surveillance system that can see behind walls.
December 9, 2019

A California-based lab is using gait recognition and radio frequency to create a surveillance system that can see behind walls.

Coded
What We Mean When We Talk About Hacking
What We Mean When We Talk About Hacking
Coded
What We Mean When We Talk About Hacking
We've all heard it before: "I was hacked!" But that can mean a lot of things. We take a look at some of the big ones.
By Mike Riggs
January 25, 2017

We've all heard it before: "I was hacked!" But that can mean a lot of things. We take a look at some of the big ones.

Dope Science
New Promise for Psychedelics and Depression
studying psychedelics and depression
Dope Science
New Promise for Psychedelics and Depression
New findings on psychedelics and depression show the benefits of microdosing, and could present more effective treatment options.
By Kurt Hackbarth
December 26, 2019

New findings on psychedelics and depression show the benefits of microdosing, and could present more effective treatment options.

This Computer Can Write 2,000 Snarky Articles Per Second
This Computer Can Write 2,000 Snarky Articles Per Second
This Computer Can Write 2,000 Snarky Articles Per Second
What does it mean for the future of journalism when a computer can turn mounds of data into a cohesive narrative?
By Mike Riggs
September 22, 2016

What does it mean for the future of journalism when a computer can turn mounds of data into a cohesive narrative?

Building Community
This Chicago Urban Farm Grows Opportunity, Jobs
This Chicago Urban Farm Grows Opportunity, Jobs
Building Community
This Chicago Urban Farm Grows Opportunity, Jobs
Growing Home’s organic urban farms use agriculture as a vehicle for providing job training for people with...
July 27, 2019

Growing Home’s organic urban farms use agriculture as a vehicle for providing job training for people with employment barriers, whether due to prior convictions, medical concerns, poverty, homelessness, or any other issues which make gainful employment difficult.

Uprising
Tree-Planting Drones Restore Charred Forests
tree-planting drones
Uprising
Tree-Planting Drones Restore Charred Forests
This Seattle startup is bringing new life to charred forests by releasing swarms of smart, tree-planting drones equipped with seeds, mini seedbeds, and cameras.
January 11, 2020

This Seattle startup is bringing new life to charred forests by releasing swarms of smart, tree-planting drones equipped with seeds, mini seedbeds, and cameras.

Dispatches
A Zero-Carbon Gas Power Plant Just Came Online in Texas
A Zero-Carbon Gas Power Plant Just Came Online in Texas
Dispatches
A Zero-Carbon Gas Power Plant Just Came Online in Texas
Hey, it works!
June 14, 2018

Hey, it works!

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
October 14, 2016

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?

Women Leaders
Female Scientists Were Written out of History Books. Margaret Rossiter Changed That.
Female Scientists Were Written out of History Books. Margaret Rossiter Changed That.
Women Leaders
Female Scientists Were Written out of History Books. Margaret Rossiter Changed That.
Margaret Rossiter has made it her lifework to spotlight female scientists who were written out of history books through systematic censorship. Read our Q&A with this groundbreaking historian.
October 13, 2019

Margaret Rossiter has made it her lifework to spotlight female scientists who were written out of history books through systematic censorship. Read our Q&A with this groundbreaking historian.

Longreads
How to Fix Science Funding
science funding
Longreads
How to Fix Science Funding
Basic science funding is a mess. Fixing it could radically improve the pace of innovation.
March 12, 2019

Basic science funding is a mess. Fixing it could radically improve the pace of innovation.

Dispatches
A Hidden Benefit of Banned Antimicrobial Soap: Treating Cystic Fibrosis Infections
A Hidden Benefit of Banned Antimicrobial Soap: Treating Cystic Fibrosis Infections
Dispatches
A Hidden Benefit of Banned Antimicrobial Soap: Treating Cystic Fibrosis Infections
The FDA banned triclosan from hand soap, but new research shows that it can supercharge old antibiotics.
By Chris Waters
November 30, 2018

The FDA banned triclosan from hand soap, but new research shows that it can supercharge old antibiotics.

Dispatches
How a Video Game Helped the Cajun Navy Save Lives
How a Video Game Helped the Cajun Navy Save Lives
Dispatches
How a Video Game Helped the Cajun Navy Save Lives
When lives are on the line, inspiration can come from the most unlikely places.
By Brandon Stewart
August 21, 2018

When lives are on the line, inspiration can come from the most unlikely places.

Dispatches
“I'd Like to Build My Own Coffin”
“I'd Like to Build My Own Coffin”
Dispatches
“I'd Like to Build My Own Coffin”
How the founders of the "coffin clubs" got started – and their advice for others.
September 20, 2018

How the founders of the "coffin clubs" got started – and their advice for others.

Crossing the Divide
Maybe We Can All Get Along: 5 Reasons to Be Hopeful
Maybe We Can All Get Along: 5 Reasons to Be Hopeful
Crossing the Divide
Maybe We Can All Get Along: 5 Reasons to Be Hopeful
While the press tends to emphasize bad news, there are less covered stories of people from different backgrounds...
By Michael O'Shea
June 12, 2017

While the press tends to emphasize bad news, there are less covered stories of people from different backgrounds and beliefs coming together.

Biology of Addiction
We May Have Found a Drug to Curb Meth Addiction
drug to curb meth addiction
Biology of Addiction
We May Have Found a Drug to Curb Meth Addiction
Meth addiction is on the rise, so this team of researchers is working to develop the first FDA-approved medication to treat the use disorder.
December 27, 2019

Meth addiction is on the rise, so this team of researchers is working to develop the first FDA-approved medication to treat the use disorder.

Future of Cities
Paving the Way With Recycled Roads
Paving the Way With Recycled Roads
Future of Cities
Paving the Way With Recycled Roads
The world is facing a massive build up of waste. But this solution of recycled roads may pave the way for a cleaner future.
September 12, 2019

A recycled road has been paved with asphalt that contains the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of plastic bags, along with thousands of glass bottles and printer cartridges’ worth of waste toner. In addition to the sheer amount of recycled materials the process will divert away from landfills, these longer-lasting roads also help to reduce the carbon footprint of construction.

Superhuman
Prosthetics as Fashion: Designers Transform Prosthetic Leg Covers into Wearable Art
prosthetic leg covers
Superhuman
Prosthetics as Fashion: Designers Transform Prosthetic Leg Covers into Wearable Art
Alleles is a premier boutique where amputees can be fitted for fashionable limb covers that make their prosthetic limbs stylish and eye-catching. These designers hope their fashions will help reduce the stigma that comes with prosthetics.
September 6, 2019

McCauley Wanner and Ryan Palibroda’s design studio, Alleles, began as an unorthodox college thesis project. It is now a premier boutique where amputees can be fitted for fashionable limb covers that make their prosthetic limbs stylish and eye-catching. These designers hope their fashions will help reduce the stigma that comes with prosthetics.

Future of Cities
The Future of Micromobility in Africa
The Future of Micromobility in Africa
Future of Cities
The Future of Micromobility in Africa
In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, improvements to infrastructure shift focus from cars to micromobility. The city’s transportation plan calls for hundreds of kilometers of bike lanes and pedestrian pathways for increased safety.
September 18, 2019

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, improvements to infrastructure shift focus from cars to micromobility. The city’s transportation plan calls for hundreds of kilometers of bike lanes and pedestrian pathways for increased safety.

Superhuman
Wearable Robotic Suits Could Be Coming to a Store Near You
Wearable Robotic Suits Could Be Coming to a Store Near You
Superhuman
Wearable Robotic Suits Could Be Coming to a Store Near You
What can lift 500 pounds in each hand, walk for miles and miles with a heavy load, or leap over obstacles in a single bound? Humans - with the help of wearable robotics.
August 7, 2019

What can lift 500 pounds in each hand, walk for miles and miles with a heavy load, or leap over obstacles in a single bound? Humans - with the help of wearable robotics. Alan Asbeck anticipates in less than a decade, everyone will have seen somebody donned in a robot suit. “I've wished I had one when moving from house to house or when shoveling snow,” he said. Asbeck is a real-life...

Culture
This Week in Ideas: Reasons to Feel Good About Humanity
This Week in Ideas: Reasons to Feel Good About Humanity
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Reasons to Feel Good About Humanity
A paralyzed woman runs a half marathon in an exoskeleton, Sri Lanka defeats malaria, incomes are rising. Here's...
By Mike Riggs
September 16, 2016

A paralyzed woman runs a half marathon in an exoskeleton, Sri Lanka defeats malaria, incomes are rising. Here's some good news since most of what we hear is just the bad.

Using Neuroscience to Talk to People in a Vegetative State
What is a vegetative state?
Watch Now
Using Neuroscience to Talk to People in a Vegetative State
A scientist figures out how to talk to the brain when the body won't respond.
Watch Now
July 4, 2018

People who suffer extreme brain trauma sometimes fall into what is known as a "persistent vegetative state." What is a vegetative state and how is it different from a coma? Unlike a coma, where the patient is completely immobile and unconscious, people in a vegetative state will sleep, wake, and open their eyes — without showing any sign of awareness or consciousness. They don't speak, move on their own, or respond to...

Dispatches
A Prosthetic Memory Can Help You Remember
A Prosthetic Memory Can Help You Remember
Dispatches
A Prosthetic Memory Can Help You Remember
Scientists have figured out how to hack the brain's memory.
April 3, 2018

Scientists have figured out how to hack the brain's memory.

Fossil Finds
What Dinosaur Poop Tells Us About Ancient Life
Coprolites and dinosaur poop
Fossil Finds
What Dinosaur Poop Tells Us About Ancient Life
Coprolite, aka dinosaur poop, is giving scientists a surprising glimpse into the world of the dinosaurs. Learn what industry leader Karen Chin has been learning from dino dung.
By Tien Nguyen
October 4, 2019

Coprolite, aka dinosaur poop, is giving scientists a surprising glimpse into the world of the dinosaurs. Learn what industry leader Karen Chin has been learning from dino dung.

Dispatches
Driverless Cars Go Off-roading
Driverless Cars Go Off-roading
Dispatches
Driverless Cars Go Off-roading
Computer-game simulations can train self-driving cars to navigate in the real world.
By Matthew Doude, Christopher Goodin, and Daniel Carruth
November 8, 2018

Computer-game simulations can train self-driving cars to navigate in the real world.

Global Health
Can Mosquito-Repellent Clothes Stop the Deadliest Animal on Earth?
Can Mosquito-Repellent Clothes Stop the Deadliest Animal on Earth?
Global Health
Can Mosquito-Repellent Clothes Stop the Deadliest Animal on Earth?
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are War, Death, Famine, and Pestilence — what Revelation doesn't tell you is...
October 15, 2019

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are War, Death, Famine, and Pestilence — what Revelation doesn't tell you is that this last rider sits atop not a horse but a mosquito. The bane of your summer evenings is, in much of the world, a dangerous disease vector; mosquito borne diseases kill hundreds of thousands (and infect hundreds of millions) every year. Mosquitoes carry such dreaded diseases as malaria, yellow fever, West...

Global Impact
Powering the Most Remote Areas on Earth
Powering the Most Remote Areas on Earth
Global Impact
Powering the Most Remote Areas on Earth
With off-grid solar power systems, this company is building sustainable communities in remote areas, providing a source of renewable energy and clean water.
January 5, 2020

With off-grid solar power systems, this company is building sustainable communities in remote areas, providing a source of renewable energy and clean water.

Technology
Prosthetics Enter a New Age of Beautiful Form and Incredible Function
Prosthetics Enter a New Age of Beautiful Form and Incredible Function
Technology
Prosthetics Enter a New Age of Beautiful Form and Incredible Function
For centuries, prosthetics didn't change much at all, but the past 10 years has seen an incredible leap forward in...
By Mike Riggs
August 31, 2016

For centuries, prosthetics didn't change much at all, but the past 10 years has seen an incredible leap forward in the way they look and work.

How Do We Scale Bionic Technology?
Bionic technology and exoskeletons in the workplace
How Do We Scale Bionic Technology?
Right now, assistive bionic technology is really cool and really expensive. This is how it will get better and...
By Mike Riggs
September 8, 2016

Right now, assistive bionic technology is really cool and really expensive. This is how it will get better and cheaper.

Culture
This Army Sergeant Started a 24-Hour Hotline For Service Members with PTSD
This Army Sergeant Started a 24-Hour Hotline For Service Members with PTSD
Culture
This Army Sergeant Started a 24-Hour Hotline For Service Members with PTSD
First Sgt. Landon Jackson battled with severe PTSD and turned his experience into a 24 hour hotline that gives...
By Mike Riggs
September 21, 2016

First Sgt. Landon Jackson battled with severe PTSD and turned his experience into a 24 hour hotline that gives service members an outlet whenever they need it.

Dispatches
The Eternal Sunshine of the Stressed Out Mind
The Eternal Sunshine of the Stressed Out Mind
Dispatches
The Eternal Sunshine of the Stressed Out Mind
Researchers at Cambridge University have finally figured out how the brain stops stressful thoughts and memories...
April 17, 2018

Researchers at Cambridge University have finally figured out how the brain stops stressful thoughts and memories from taking over our minds.

Future of Food
The First GMO Salmon is Coming to a Store Near You
The First GMO Salmon is Coming to a Store Near You
Future of Food
The First GMO Salmon is Coming to a Store Near You
After a 30-year struggle, Atlantic salmon modified with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon has been approved by the FDA. Its producers say it solves problems related to climate change, ocean pollution, and food scarcity. Skeptics call it playing god. Both call it the Frankenfish.
By Amelia Jaycen
August 26, 2019

After a 30-year struggle, Atlantic salmon modified with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon has been approved by the FDA. Its producers say it solves problems related to climate change, ocean pollution, and food scarcity. Skeptics call it playing god. Both call it the Frankenfish.

Global Impact
Uganda Begins Massive New Ebola Vaccine Study
Uganda Begins Massive New Ebola Vaccine Study
Global Impact
Uganda Begins Massive New Ebola Vaccine Study
The Ebola outbreak in the Congo is now the second deadliest on record. How can we stop the devastation? A study in Uganda could hold the key for a new vaccine.
September 10, 2019

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is now the second deadliest on record. The epicenter is in North Kivu, a conflict-torn province which shares borders with Rwanda and Uganda. Ugandan Ebola cases were the first to cross borders from the current Congo outbreak. Now, a new trial study in Uganda could hold the key to stopping the spread of this devastating disease.

Social Change
Welcome to Morgan’s Wonderland: A Truly Inclusive Amusement Park
Dad Builds Amusement Park for Daughter
Watch Now
Social Change
Welcome to Morgan’s Wonderland: A Truly Inclusive Amusement Park
This dad couldn’t find a theme park that worked for his daughter with special needs - so he built one.
Watch Now
September 6, 2019

Imagine seeing your child struggling or completely unable to enjoy normal recreational activities. Water parks, merry-go-rounds, theme parks - all childhood activities that unfortunately, many kids don’t not get to experience. Gordon Hartman couldn’t find an amusement park that would accommodate his daughter, a person with special needs. So he did one any father would do. Using the money from the sale of his successful insurance business, he created one. Hartman built a completely accessible amusement park for kids with special needs in San Antonio, Texas called Morgan’s Wonderland. And this massive, “ultra-accessible” amusement park has all of us wanting to buy tickets.

Year in Review
Freethink Staff Picks: Best of 2019
Freethink Staff Picks: Best of 2019
Year in Review
Freethink Staff Picks: Best of 2019
Fear of missing out on some of the year's most loved shows, books, and games? Here's a quick list of what the team at Freethink enjoyed most in 2019.
December 31, 2019

Fear of missing out on some of the year's most loved shows, books, and games? Here's a quick list of what the team at Freethink enjoyed most in 2019.

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
August 7, 2018

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

Catalysts
How Old Skool Café Helped This Teenager Overcome Adversity After Trauma
How Old Skool Café Helped This Teenager Overcome Adversity After Trauma
Catalysts
How Old Skool Café Helped This Teenager Overcome Adversity After Trauma
After suffering a violent gang beating, Desiree Maldonado experienced major medical and emotional issues. She turned from a shy and nerdy 14-year-old kid to a hard and angry rebel. This is how one restaurant job changed her trajectory.
By Lise Metzger
November 23, 2019

After suffering a violent gang beating, Desiree Maldonado experienced major medical and emotional issues. She turned from a shy and nerdy 14-year-old kid to a hard and angry rebel. This is how one restaurant job changed her trajectory.

A Lay Person's Guide to Biohacking
A Lay Person's Guide to Biohacking
A Lay Person's Guide to Biohacking
We're living in a golden age of people exploring high and low tech methods to optimize our bodies.
By Mike Riggs
August 26, 2016

We're living in a golden age of people exploring high and low tech methods to optimize our bodies.

Catalysts
Bloods and Crips Unite to Steer Kids Away From Gang Violence
Bloods and Crips Unite to Steer Kids Away From Gang Violence
Catalysts
Bloods and Crips Unite to Steer Kids Away From Gang Violence
These former Bloods and Crips are coming together to spread peace on the streets and end the cycle of gang violence by mentoring local youth.
December 2, 2019

These former Bloods and Crips are coming together to spread peace on the streets and end the cycle of gang violence by mentoring local youth.

Catalysts
Prison Education Can Break the "Revolving Door" of Recidivism
Prison Education Can Break the "Revolving Door" of Recidivism
Catalysts
Prison Education Can Break the "Revolving Door" of Recidivism
Over 600,000 people will leave prison this year; here's how we can help them never return.
February 26, 2019

Over 600,000 people will leave prison this year; here's how we can help them never return.

Global Impact
Rock Climbers Help Refugees in America
Rock climbers help refugees in America learn skills for the challenges of their new lives
Global Impact
Rock Climbers Help Refugees in America
This nonprofit is teaching refugees in America how to rock climb - helping displaced children better face new challenges and transition to life in the U.S.
December 24, 2019

This nonprofit is teaching refugees in America how to rock climb - helping displaced children better face new challenges and transition to life in the U.S.

Dispatches
Researchers Want to Create A Traffic Cop for the Sky
Researchers Want to Create A Traffic Cop for the Sky
Dispatches
Researchers Want to Create A Traffic Cop for the Sky
A new kind of radar could direct drone traffic safely around city skies.
April 13, 2018

A new kind of radar could direct drone traffic safely around city skies.

Dispatches
Scientists Finally Get a Look at Enzyme that Protects DNA
protect DNA
Dispatches
Scientists Finally Get a Look at Enzyme that Protects DNA
We finally have a detailed picture of an enzyme that could play a key role in fighting both aging and cancer
April 25, 2018

We finally have a detailed picture of an enzyme that could play a key role in fighting both aging and cancer

Catalysts
Can Friendship Keep At-Risk Youth Off the Streets?
UTEC an organization that is helping young people overcome poverty, gang involvement, and unemployment.
Catalysts
Can Friendship Keep At-Risk Youth Off the Streets?
Carlos felt addicted to the thrill of crime at a young age. Today, he yields a different, positive influence on the streets with UTEC.
By Linda Wang
November 25, 2019

Carlos felt addicted to the thrill of crime at a young age. Today, he yields a different, positive influence on the streets with UTEC.

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
September 30, 2016

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

Superhuman
The Exoskeleton Marathon Racer
The Exoskeleton Marathon Racer
Watch Now
Superhuman
The Exoskeleton Marathon Racer
How do you bounce back from a life-changing car accident? Adam Gorlitsky decided he would break a world record.
Watch Now
August 7, 2019

How do you bounce back from a life-changing car accident? Adam Gorlitsky decided he would break a world record. Adam was paralyzed from the waist down in a terrible wreck and thought his track and field days were over. But once approved for an experimental exoskeleton, he gained the ability to walk again and decided to start training. And racing. And breaking records. What he didn’t realize is how much he would inspire...

Future of Food
A Look Inside Farms of the Future
A Look Inside Farms of the Future
Watch Now
Future of Food
A Look Inside Farms of the Future
With a growing population, changing consumption behavior and a climate crisis, how will we feed our future world?...
Watch Now
August 19, 2019

With a growing population, changing consumption behavior and a climate crisis, how will we feed our future world? The answer may not be increasing resources--land, water, and employees--but rather improving production efficiency. The key question: How do we increase the amount of food we produce while using the same or fewer resources? In the first episode of our original series, Future of Food, we take a look at...

What it Takes
A Dangerous Job: Snake Milkers Risk Their Lives to Save Others
A Dangerous Job: Snake Milkers Risk Their Lives to Save Others
What it Takes
A Dangerous Job: Snake Milkers Risk Their Lives to Save Others
A very small number of very daring people are responsible for all of the world’s antivenom.
By Brandon Stewart
June 20, 2019

A very small number of very daring people are responsible for all of the world’s antivenom.

#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
A Day in the Life of a 'Violence Interruptor'
A Day in the Life of a 'Violence Interruptor'
#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
A Day in the Life of a 'Violence Interruptor'
Freethink followed Andre T. Mitchell, the founder of Man Up!, and his violence interrupter team for a day in...
By Michelle Frankfurter
April 19, 2019

Freethink followed Andre T. Mitchell, the founder of Man Up!, and his violence interrupter team for a day in Brooklyn as they responded to a recent shooting in a nearby neighborhood.

Catalysts
Diversity in the Outdoors: Bridging the Adventure Gap
diversity in the outdoors
Catalysts
Diversity in the Outdoors: Bridging the Adventure Gap
This DC nonprofit is defying statistics by promoting diversity in the outdoors and connecting people from all walks of life with the wonders of nature.
November 29, 2019

This DC nonprofit is defying statistics by promoting diversity in the outdoors and connecting people from all walks of life with the wonders of nature.

Catalysts
These Top Chefs are Helping End Child Hunger in the U.S.
Chefs work together to end child hunger.
Catalysts
These Top Chefs are Helping End Child Hunger in the U.S.
A group of culinary professionals in Chicago is volunteering their talents to end child hunger in the US, and some are going all the way to Capitol Hill.
November 28, 2019

A group of culinary professionals in Chicago is volunteering their talents to end child hunger in the US, and some are going all the way to Capitol Hill.

What to Expect at the First Cyborg Olympics
Cyborg Olympics 2016
What to Expect at the First Cyborg Olympics
The event will seek to answer one of the most interesting technology questions of the early 21st century: How close...
By Mike Riggs
September 7, 2016

The event will seek to answer one of the most interesting technology questions of the early 21st century: How close are we to integrating humans with machines?

Challengers
Four Crazy Ideas From the Golden Age of Nuclear
Four Crazy Ideas From the Golden Age of Nuclear
Challengers
Four Crazy Ideas From the Golden Age of Nuclear
For a couple decades people thought nuclear power was the answer to pretty much everything. And they came up with...
By Mike Riggs
December 14, 2016

For a couple decades people thought nuclear power was the answer to pretty much everything. And they came up with some ideas we’ll generously call visionary.

Future of Fertility
Breaking the Taboo of Male Infertility
Breaking the Taboo of Male Infertility
Future of Fertility
Breaking the Taboo of Male Infertility
Male infertility contributes to up to half of infertility cases. Why is it so hard to talk about?
December 11, 2019

Male infertility contributes to up to half of infertility cases. Why is it so hard to talk about?

Future of Medicine
Unlocking the Mysteries of Muscles in Motion
Unlocking the Mysteries of Muscles in Motion
Future of Medicine
Unlocking the Mysteries of Muscles in Motion
New kirigami-inspired skin patch may help people avoid injury, as it expands our understanding of muscle activity.
By Caroline Delbert
January 13, 2020

New kirigami-inspired skin patch may help people avoid injury, as it expands our understanding of muscle activity.

Dispatches
Spraying Bacteria onto the Skin Can Treat Eczema
Spraying Bacteria onto the Skin Can Treat Eczema
Dispatches
Spraying Bacteria onto the Skin Can Treat Eczema
The bacteria in your microbiome ward off infections and help keep your skin healthy.
May 23, 2018

The bacteria in your microbiome ward off infections and help keep your skin healthy.

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
November 9, 2016

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?

Environment
The Robot Racing to Study Antarctica’s Massive Ice Melt
The Robot Racing to Study Antarctica’s Massive Ice Melt
Environment
The Robot Racing to Study Antarctica’s Massive Ice Melt
Icefin, a semi-autonomous research vessel, is on a mission to search for clues about one of the continent’s fastest melting glaciers, the Thwaites Glacier.
By Sarah Wells
January 20, 2020

Icefin, a semi-autonomous research vessel, is on a mission to search for clues about one of the continent’s fastest melting glaciers, the Thwaites Glacier.

Missing Words
A Language Goes Extinct Every Two Weeks. Here’s a Plan to Save Them.
A Language Goes Extinct Every Two Weeks. Here’s a Plan to Save Them.
Missing Words
A Language Goes Extinct Every Two Weeks. Here’s a Plan to Save Them.
Volunteers worldwide are documenting the world's rarest languages in a project called Wikitongues.
September 18, 2019

Volunteers worldwide are documenting the world's rarest languages in a project called Wikitongues. Over a thousand volunteers (and counting) from around the world make videos of people speaking their native language — introducing themselves, providing an oral history, or just talking about their culture — then upload it to an online database. The archive is available on the web as a free language encyclopedia. Soon they will also be available at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Dope Science
Scientists Sidestep Restrictions on Cannabis Research by Taking Their Lab Mobile
Scientists Sidestep Restrictions on Cannabis Research by Taking Their Lab Mobile
Dope Science
Scientists Sidestep Restrictions on Cannabis Research by Taking Their Lab Mobile
This mobile lab, run by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder, is one of several workarounds developed...
By Tien Nguyen
July 12, 2019

This mobile lab, run by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder, is one of several workarounds developed by US researchers to study cannabis outside the confines of campus, where federal law has stymied research of the drug.

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.
June 7, 2018

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

Dispatches
Supercharging Photosynthesis Can Grow 40% More Food
Supercharging Photosynthesis Can Grow 40% More Food
Dispatches
Supercharging Photosynthesis Can Grow 40% More Food
We need a lot more calories to feed a growing world, and these scientists may have figured out how to get them.
By Amanda Cavanagh
January 4, 2019

We need a lot more calories to feed a growing world, and these scientists may have figured out how to get them.

Future of Medicine
CRISPR May Unlock Targeted Cannabis Therapy
medicinal cannabis research
Future of Medicine
CRISPR May Unlock Targeted Cannabis Therapy
New medicinal cannabis research shows potential for personalized drug therapy, without the side effects.
By Caroline Delbert
January 18, 2020

New medicinal cannabis research shows potential for personalized drug therapy, without the side effects.

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.
April 24, 2018

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

Below the Surface
Removing Water From Underwater Photography
Removing Water From Underwater Photography
Below the Surface
Removing Water From Underwater Photography
A new algorithm for underwater photography makes marine life appear as clear as it would on land, and it’s helping scientists understand the ocean better.
January 9, 2020

A new algorithm for underwater photography makes marine life appear as clear as it would on land, and it’s helping scientists understand the ocean better.

Future of Medicine
The First Universal Flu Vaccine Could Be Coming Soon
The First Universal Flu Vaccine Could Be Coming Soon
Future of Medicine
The First Universal Flu Vaccine Could Be Coming Soon
After flu season, vaccines are outdated and researchers must predict next year’s virus. But soon, we may have a universal flu vaccine that doesn't expire.
January 14, 2020

After flu season, vaccines are outdated and researchers must predict next year’s virus. But soon, we may have a universal flu vaccine that doesn't expire.

Dispatches
We Found the Oldest Human Virus: It's Familiar (but Weird)
Ancient Human Viruses Weird and Familiar
Dispatches
We Found the Oldest Human Virus: It's Familiar (but Weird)
The discovery cracks open a 7,000-year history of human-virus warfare. And it's raising weird questions.
May 10, 2018

The discovery cracks open a 7,000-year history of human-virus warfare. And it's raising weird questions.

Mysteries of Science
What Is Static Electricity? We May Finally Have an Answer.
Schematics showing the flow of electricity in two common static electricity experiences. Illustration by Teresa Stanton.
Mysteries of Science
What Is Static Electricity? We May Finally Have an Answer.
This model, created by doctoral students, provides a convincing explanation for a mystery that is thousands of years old - the cause of static electricity.
November 26, 2019

This model, created by doctoral students, provides a convincing explanation for a mystery that is thousands of years old - the cause of static electricity.

Superhuman
The Most Advanced Bionic Leg on the Planet & the Team Bringing it to Life
The Emerging Cyborg
Watch Now
Superhuman
The Most Advanced Bionic Leg on the Planet & the Team Bringing it to Life
Alec McMorris is testing one of the world’s most advanced prosthetics - an AI powered bionic leg.
Watch Now
August 28, 2019

Alec McMorris is testing one of the world’s most advanced prosthetics - an AI powered bionic leg. See how Dr. Tommaso Lenzi and the Bioengineering Lab at the University of Utah are revolutionizing life for people who require artificial limbs.

Seachange
Coral Reefs Are Dying, but Here’s Why There’s Still Hope
How to Save the Coral Reefs
Watch Now
Seachange
Coral Reefs Are Dying, but Here’s Why There’s Still Hope
Coral reefs are the foundation of ocean life, and yet 50% of them have been lost. Here’s why coral reefs are dying and what one group is doing to stop it.
Watch Now
September 24, 2019

In the face of a changing climate, coral reefs are dying all over the world. Coral reefs make up the foundation of ocean life, and yet 50% of them have been lost in the last three decades. Are coral reefs in danger of disappearing forever? A group of innovative researchers and divers is racing against the clock to save them.

Redefining Success
Generalist vs. Specialist: Which Is the Best Path to Success?
Generalist vs. Specialist: Which Is the Best Path to Success?
Watch Now
Redefining Success
Generalist vs. Specialist: Which Is the Best Path to Success?
How many Mozarts and Tiger Woods are there in any given generation? A generalist himself, bestselling author David Epstein says you have to give yourself permission to choose the wrong pursuit or work in a job that’s not your ultimate dream career. These small “failures” are actually major learning experiences that help you inch closer to greatness.
Watch Now
November 5, 2019

How many Mozarts and Tiger Woods are there in any given generation? A generalist himself, bestselling author David Epstein says you have to give yourself permission to choose the wrong pursuit or work in a job that’s not your ultimate dream career. These small “failures” are actually major learning experiences that help you inch closer to greatness.

#fixingjustice - Re-entry
The Ride Home from Prison
The Ride Home from Prison
#fixingjustice - Re-entry
The Ride Home from Prison
The "Ride Home Program" sends drivers to pick up former inmates on their first day of freedom to help ensure a...
April 18, 2019

The "Ride Home Program" sends drivers to pick up former inmates on their first day of freedom to help ensure a smooth transition in those first few critical hours.

Dispatches
Insulin Pills Could Change Everything for Diabetics
insulin pills
Dispatches
Insulin Pills Could Change Everything for Diabetics
A pill instead of a needle would be the "holy grail" for diabetes treatment.
July 3, 2018

A pill instead of a needle would be the "holy grail" for diabetes treatment.

Year in Review
Freethink's Favorite Behind the Scenes Insights from 2019
Freethink's Favorite Behind the Scenes Insights from 2019
Year in Review
Freethink's Favorite Behind the Scenes Insights from 2019
Join Freethink's directors behind the scenes to discover the experiences and insights that went into creating some of our favorite videos from 2019.
December 30, 2019

Join Freethink's directors behind the scenes to discover the experiences and insights that went into creating some of our favorite videos from 2019.

Dispatches
Can DIY Science (Finally) Cut the Cost of Insulin?
Can DIY Science (Finally) Cut the Cost of Insulin?
Dispatches
Can DIY Science (Finally) Cut the Cost of Insulin?
A century after its discovery, insulin is still incredibly expensive, but DIY bio-manufacturing could change that...
September 17, 2018

A century after its discovery, insulin is still incredibly expensive, but DIY bio-manufacturing could change that in a big way.

Can Tech Giants Get Ahead of A.I.?
Can Tech Giants Get Ahead of A.I.?
Can Tech Giants Get Ahead of A.I.?
Companies gather to discuss impact of A.I. A possible neural lace breakthrough. And unmanned cargo ships. This is...
By Mike Riggs
September 9, 2016

Companies gather to discuss impact of A.I. A possible neural lace breakthrough. And unmanned cargo ships. This is the coolest stuff we've read this week.

Coded
Meet the Digital Bodyguard for Investigative Journalists
Meet the Digital Bodyguard for Investigative Journalists
Coded
Meet the Digital Bodyguard for Investigative Journalists
Smári McCarthy discusses his job protecting the work of journalists investigating organized crime and corruption
By Mike Riggs
February 2, 2017

Smári McCarthy discusses his job protecting the work of journalists investigating organized crime and corruption

Challengers
Four Crazy Uses for Virtual Reality (That Aren't Video Games)
Four Crazy Uses for Virtual Reality (That Aren't Video Games)
Challengers
Four Crazy Uses for Virtual Reality (That Aren't Video Games)
We’re now starting to scratch the surface of the true potential of virtual reality.
By Mike Riggs
December 29, 2016

We’re now starting to scratch the surface of the true potential of virtual reality.

Dispatches
Robots Are Mass Producing Mini-Organs
Robots Are Mass Producing Mini-Organs
Dispatches
Robots Are Mass Producing Mini-Organs
Robots can make hundreds of tiny copies of your organs, allowing doctors to test many different treatments at the...
May 22, 2018

Robots can make hundreds of tiny copies of your organs, allowing doctors to test many different treatments at the same time.

Dispatches
We're Mapping 100 Trillion Human Cells (and All of Their Genes)
We're Mapping 100 Trillion Human Cells (and All of Their Genes)
Dispatches
We're Mapping 100 Trillion Human Cells (and All of Their Genes)
The "Human BioMolecular Atlas" will map the active genes in over 200 types of cells and 80 different organ systems.
By Mark Atkinson
November 1, 2018

The "Human BioMolecular Atlas" will map the active genes in over 200 types of cells and 80 different organ systems.

Self-Driving Cars are Finally Here. Sort Of.
Self-Driving Cars are Finally Here. Sort Of.
Self-Driving Cars are Finally Here. Sort Of.
Uber rolled out self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, but they're not totally autonomous. Yet. Under Pennsylvania law,...
By Mike Riggs
September 20, 2016

Uber rolled out self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, but they're not totally autonomous. Yet. Under Pennsylvania law, every car still needs an operator.

Catalysts
How This Non-Profit Weaves a Family of Support for Struggling Teens in Baltimore
How This Non-Profit Weaves a Family of Support for Struggling Teens in Baltimore
Catalysts
How This Non-Profit Weaves a Family of Support for Struggling Teens in Baltimore
“Everyone - no matter their age, race, or background - needs a network of supportive relationships to help them...
May 23, 2019

“Everyone - no matter their age, race, or background - needs a network of supportive relationships to help them thrive.”

Through the Looking Glass
Nature is Good for You. What About VR Nature?
VR Nature
Through the Looking Glass
Nature is Good for You. What About VR Nature?
Nature has the power to reduce stress and enhance our moods. Can VR nature experiences be a substitute for physically spending time in the outdoors?
December 22, 2019

Nature has the power to reduce stress and enhance our moods. Can VR nature experiences be a substitute for physically spending time in the outdoors?

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Embryonic People-Pigs, the Glories of the Hubble Telescope,...
This Week in Ideas: Embryonic People-Pigs, the Glories of the Hubble Telescope, and American Cyber-Security
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Embryonic People-Pigs, the Glories of the Hubble Telescope,...
A step toward human organs in animal embryos, the Hubble Telescope was a game changer, and Americans aren't doing...
By Mike Riggs
January 27, 2017

A step toward human organs in animal embryos, the Hubble Telescope was a game changer, and Americans aren't doing much to protect themselves online.

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: The End of Checkout Lines, Photoshopping Your Voice, and a New...
This Week in Ideas: The End of Checkout Lines, Photoshopping Your Voice, and a New Way to Pay for a Ride
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: The End of Checkout Lines, Photoshopping Your Voice, and a New...
Amazon's new grocery store, Adobe's new tech can make you say anything, and pay for the bus by watching an ad.
By Mike Riggs
December 10, 2016

Amazon's new grocery store, Adobe's new tech can make you say anything, and pay for the bus by watching an ad.

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Fighting Addiction With Implants, Using VR to Educate, Amazon...
This Week in Ideas: Fighting Addiction With Implants, Using VR to Educate, Amazon Prime Gets Primer
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Fighting Addiction With Implants, Using VR to Educate, Amazon...
An arm implant to treat opioid addiction, teaching hair stylists with VR, and a potential Amazon Prime game changer.
By Mike Riggs
December 2, 2016

An arm implant to treat opioid addiction, teaching hair stylists with VR, and a potential Amazon Prime game changer.

This Week in Ideas: Using Drones for Medicine, Fighting Zika, Re-Imagining Passwords
This Week in Ideas: Using Drones for Medicine, Fighting Zika, Re-Imagining Passwords
This Week in Ideas: Using Drones for Medicine, Fighting Zika, Re-Imagining Passwords
Reimagining how we get medicine to people, using genetically modified mosquitoes to fight Zika, and selfies as...
By Mike Riggs
October 20, 2016

Reimagining how we get medicine to people, using genetically modified mosquitoes to fight Zika, and selfies as passwords. These are the stories that got us talking.

Will Robots Steal Our Jobs?
Will Robots Steal Our Jobs?
Will Robots Steal Our Jobs?
Could exoskeletons help us do our jobs? Should we actually be afraid of robots taking our jobs? These are the...
By Mike Riggs
September 2, 2016

Could exoskeletons help us do our jobs? Should we actually be afraid of robots taking our jobs? These are the latest stories from the frontlines of the robotic world.

Inspiring
These Hero Pups Are Helping Veterans and Prisoners Heal
These Hero Pups Are Helping Veterans and Prisoners Heal
Watch Now
Inspiring
These Hero Pups Are Helping Veterans and Prisoners Heal
Hero Pups is an organization providing support dogs for military veterans and first responders. Now, prison inmates are helping train them - with great results.
Watch Now
May 2, 2019

Hero Pups is an organization providing support dogs for military veterans and first responders. Now, prison inmates are helping train them - with great results. In this video, Freethink reporter Michael O’Shea meets a veteran of the Iraq War who was struggling with PTSD. He was fortunate enough to receive a service dog from Hero Pups, and it’s helped relieve the stress and anger that used to keep him from leaving the...

Digital Detectives
Online Hackers Hunt Down Missing People
Online Hackers Hunt Down Missing People
Watch Now
Digital Detectives
Online Hackers Hunt Down Missing People
This search and rescue expert discovered that many missing people had nobody looking for them. Then he had an idea: what if hackers made a game out of finding missing people through the internet?
Watch Now
June 13, 2019

One unfortunate truth that anyone involved in a missing person case quickly learns is that there are more missing people in the world than there are available resources to find them. The first few days after a person goes missing are the most crucial for finding them safe and sound. However, since missing people tend to turn up on their own, these cases are initially given low priority. The exception is if there's a strong...

Science
Bionic Prosthetic Grants Amputee Musician a Rocking Encore
Bionic Prosthetic Grants Amputee Musician a Rocking Encore
Science
Bionic Prosthetic Grants Amputee Musician a Rocking Encore
How might your life change if you lost an arm? After losing his right arm in an electrical accident, Jason wasn’t...
By Blake Snow
May 7, 2018

How might your life change if you lost an arm? After losing his right arm in an electrical accident, Jason wasn’t sure if he’d ever be able to drum again.

Human Nature
Advice from a Death Doula: Unlocking Life Before Death
Advice from a Death Doula: Unlocking Life Before Death
Human Nature
Advice from a Death Doula: Unlocking Life Before Death
Talking about death can actually make it a much less frightening topic. Here’s how working with a death doula or attending a local death cafe can help.
December 4, 2019

Talking about death can actually make it a much less frightening topic. Here’s how working with a death doula or attending a local death cafe can help.

Dispatches
Does CRISPR Cause Cancer?
Does CRISPR Cause Cancer?
Dispatches
Does CRISPR Cause Cancer?
Two studies find that CRISPR'd cells tend to become cancerous. Here's what that means for biotech medicine.
June 13, 2018

Two studies find that CRISPR'd cells tend to become cancerous. Here's what that means for biotech medicine.

Science
Why Don't We Believe Extreme Weather Forecasts?
Why Don't We Believe Extreme Weather Forecasts?
Science
Why Don't We Believe Extreme Weather Forecasts?
Research shows people don't take extreme weather predictions seriously. And don't take the necessary precautions as...
By Mike Riggs
October 27, 2016

Research shows people don't take extreme weather predictions seriously. And don't take the necessary precautions as a result.

Dispatches
Emergency Braking Was Disabled During Self-driving Uber Fatality: Feds
Emergency Braking Was Disabled During Self-driving Uber Fatality: Feds
Dispatches
Emergency Braking Was Disabled During Self-driving Uber Fatality: Feds
Uber turned off the emergency braking function in its self-driving cars because of "erratic vehicle behavior."
May 25, 2018

Uber turned off the emergency braking function in its self-driving cars because of "erratic vehicle behavior."

Space Exploration
Is Anybody Out There?
Exoplanet Discovery
Space Exploration
Is Anybody Out There?
New breakthroughs in the technology used for exoplanet discovery mean we could find proof for the existence of extraterrestrials in our lifetime.
December 25, 2019

New breakthroughs in the technology used for exoplanet discovery mean we could find proof for the existence of extraterrestrials in our lifetime.

Dispatches
Glowing Cancer Cells Could Find Hidden Tumors (And Replace Mammograms)
Glowing Cancer Cells Could Find Hidden Tumors (And Replace Mammograms)
Dispatches
Glowing Cancer Cells Could Find Hidden Tumors (And Replace Mammograms)
A new pill can make cancer cells glow under infrared light, and it could eliminate for mammograms.
May 1, 2018

A new pill can make cancer cells glow under infrared light, and it could eliminate for mammograms.

The New Space Race
Here's What Happens to the Human Body in Outer Space
Here's What Happens to the Human Body in Outer Space
The New Space Race
Here's What Happens to the Human Body in Outer Space
As the idea of colonizing space becomes mainstream, it’s important to keep in mind that traveling in outer space...
By Mike Riggs
October 20, 2016

As the idea of colonizing space becomes mainstream, it’s important to keep in mind that traveling in outer space does some crazy stuff to our bodies.

Dispatches
Living Drugs May Be the Key to Beating Genetic Disease
Living Drugs May Be the Key to Beating Genetic Disease
Dispatches
Living Drugs May Be the Key to Beating Genetic Disease
Engineering bacteria in the microbiome could fix previously untreatable genetic disorders.
By Pedro Belda Ferre
December 14, 2018

Engineering bacteria in the microbiome could fix previously untreatable genetic disorders.

The New Space Race
The Market for Tiny Satellites Is Going to Be Huge
The Market for Tiny Satellites Is Going to Be Huge
The New Space Race
The Market for Tiny Satellites Is Going to Be Huge
Fleets of small satellites can gather far more accurate and timely data than conventional satellites. And investors...
By Mike Riggs
October 25, 2016

Fleets of small satellites can gather far more accurate and timely data than conventional satellites. And investors are taking notice.

Global Health
Could Another Measles Outbreak Open up Pandora’s Box?
Could Another Measles Outbreak Open up Pandora’s Box?
Global Health
Could Another Measles Outbreak Open up Pandora’s Box?
The global resurgence of measles has sparked renewed scientific interest in this old foe. If the theory — which is contested — turns out to be true, a measles infection could be less an isolated bout of illness and more a Pandora’s box.
October 11, 2019

The global resurgence of measles has sparked renewed scientific interest in this old foe. If the theory — which is contested — turns out to be true, a measles infection could be less an isolated bout of illness and more a Pandora’s box.

Coded
Meet the Programmer Who Defied the FBI
Meet the Programmer Who Defied the FBI
Coded
Meet the Programmer Who Defied the FBI
Ladar Levison spent 10 years building his business, then destroyed it all in one night when the FBI came knocking.
By Mike Riggs
January 24, 2017

Ladar Levison spent 10 years building his business, then destroyed it all in one night when the FBI came knocking.

Dispatches
Organic Solar Is (Finally) Efficient Enough to Compete
Organic Solar Is (Finally) Efficient Enough to Compete
Dispatches
Organic Solar Is (Finally) Efficient Enough to Compete
Reliable power straight from the sun looks more achievable than ever.
May 3, 2018

Reliable power straight from the sun looks more achievable than ever.

Dispatches
Tesla Fixed Its Model 3 Brakes with Software – And Showed Us the Future of Cars
Tesla Fixed Its Model 3 Brakes with Software – And Showed Us the Future of Cars
Dispatches
Tesla Fixed Its Model 3 Brakes with Software – And Showed Us the Future of Cars
Consumer Reports failed the Model 3's braking system. A week later, Tesla beamed a fix to the entire fleet.
May 31, 2018

Consumer Reports failed the Model 3's braking system. A week later, Tesla beamed a fix to the entire fleet.

Dispatches
Two Billion People Have TB. What Should We Do about It?
Two Billion People Have TB. What Should We Do about It?
Dispatches
Two Billion People Have TB. What Should We Do about It?
In the fight against TB, sometimes it's better to just get along.
May 15, 2018

In the fight against TB, sometimes it's better to just get along.

Culture
This Week in Ideas: Beer That Delivers Itself, Chatbots From Beyond, and How to...
This Week in Ideas: Beer That Delivers Itself, Chatbots From Beyond, and How to Set a Very Strange World Record
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Beer That Delivers Itself, Chatbots From Beyond, and How to...
Uber's self-driving beer truck, how a chatbot can help the grieving process, and more of our favorite stories from...
By Mike Riggs
October 28, 2016

Uber's self-driving beer truck, how a chatbot can help the grieving process, and more of our favorite stories from the week.

Frontier Exploration
What Lies Beneath: An Interview With Underground Author Will Hunt
Will Hunt Finds Humanity Underground
Frontier Exploration
What Lies Beneath: An Interview With Underground Author Will Hunt
In Will Hunt’s book Underground, the journalist and "urban explorer" details his expeditions through caves, mines, tunnels, catacombs, and sewer systems around the world and the depths of the information he's found.
November 13, 2019

In Will Hunt’s book Underground, the journalist and "urban explorer" details his expeditions through caves, mines, tunnels, catacombs, and sewer systems around the world and the depths of the information he's found.

Uprising
These Search and Rescue Robots Could Save Your Life
search and rescue robots
Watch Now
Uprising
These Search and Rescue Robots Could Save Your Life
These robots can lift heavy objects, crawl through rugged terrain, and climb challenging structures to save lives. But search and rescue robots won’t be rendering human first responders obsolete anytime soon. They’re designed to assist and protect them from unnecessary harm.
Watch Now
November 12, 2019

These robots can lift heavy objects, crawl through rugged terrain, and climb challenging structures to save lives. But search and rescue robots won’t be rendering human first responders obsolete anytime soon. They’re designed to assist and protect them from unnecessary harm.

The Real Mother of Dragons
Real dragons
Watch Now
The Real Mother of Dragons
Meet the scientists using dragon blood to fight superbugs
Watch Now
July 21, 2017

If you thought dragons existed only in the domain of historical fantasy fiction like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings, think again. Dragons are real and their blood just may be our biggest hope when it comes to tomorrow's antibiotics. Dragons Are Real The largest of any earthly lizard, Komodo dragons walk the earth to this day. They’re not only real, but they’re also much like their larger, fictional counterparts, fit...

Dispatches
A New Kind of Headset “Hears” Words You Don’t Say
A New Kind of Headset “Hears” Words You Don’t Say
Dispatches
A New Kind of Headset “Hears” Words You Don’t Say
The project, named AlterEgo, intentionally crosses the line between what's "out there" and what's in your head.
October 4, 2018

The project, named AlterEgo, intentionally crosses the line between what's "out there" and what's in your head.

Health
The Future of Healthcare Could Look a Lot Like the 1900s
The Future of Healthcare Could Look a Lot Like the 1900s
Health
The Future of Healthcare Could Look a Lot Like the 1900s
For many cancer patients, being treated at home is just as safe, more affordable, and more convenient than being...
June 7, 2019

For many cancer patients, being treated at home is just as safe, more affordable, and more convenient than being treated in a clinical setting.

Dispatches
Babies Sometimes Trigger Preterm Labor to Escape Infections
Babies Sometimes Trigger Preterm Labor to Escape Infections
Dispatches
Babies Sometimes Trigger Preterm Labor to Escape Infections
A new discovery upends what we thought we knew about premature births and could point the way to entirely new...
April 26, 2018

A new discovery upends what we thought we knew about premature births and could point the way to entirely new solutions to prevent them.

Seachange
Researchers Found a Species of Stony Coral Ready to Withstand Climate Change
Researchers Found a Species of Stony Coral Ready to Withstand Climate Change
Seachange
Researchers Found a Species of Stony Coral Ready to Withstand Climate Change
At current trends, more than 90% of the world’s coral reefs will be massively degraded by 2050. Researchers have found a species of stoney coral that has sparked new efforts for coral reef restoration.
September 27, 2019

At current trends, more than 90% of the world’s coral reefs will be massively degraded by 2050. Researchers have found a species of stoney coral that has sparked new efforts for coral reef restoration.

Dispatches
A New Stem Cell Treatment Can Heal Burns, Bedsores, and Diabetic Ulcers
A New Stem Cell Treatment Can Heal Burns, Bedsores, and Diabetic Ulcers
Dispatches
A New Stem Cell Treatment Can Heal Burns, Bedsores, and Diabetic Ulcers
In addition to healing injuries, the approach could be useful for repairing skin damage, countering the effects of...
September 24, 2018

In addition to healing injuries, the approach could be useful for repairing skin damage, countering the effects of aging, and modeling skin cancer.

Our Changing Planet
Preparing for Climate Change
Preparing for Climate Change
Our Changing Planet
Preparing for Climate Change
Climate change is increasingly reshaping our world, but communities across America aren’t losing hope — they’re taking action. Learn how 18 communities are using science to guide community-based decision-making.
October 7, 2019

Climate change is increasingly reshaping our world, but communities across America aren’t losing hope — they’re taking action. Learn how 18 communities are using science to guide community-based decision-making.

Thinking Differently
Is Autism a Mysterious Medical Condition or a Disability That's Part of the...
Is Autism a Mysterious Medical Condition or a Disability That's Part of the Spectrum of Human Diversity?
Thinking Differently
Is Autism a Mysterious Medical Condition or a Disability That's Part of the...
Rethinking Autism: Interview with NeuroTribes Author Steve Silberman
May 17, 2019

Rethinking Autism: Interview with NeuroTribes Author Steve Silberman

Dispatches
New Tech Makes Fresh Produce Last Twice as Long
New Tech Makes Fresh Produce Last Twice as Long
Dispatches
New Tech Makes Fresh Produce Last Twice as Long
The plant-based preservative could radically change the game on food waste.
June 25, 2018

The plant-based preservative could radically change the game on food waste.

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.
June 15, 2018

Two years ago, she had two months to live.

Catalysts
Shedding the Stigma of Substance Use
Shedding the Stigma of Substance Use
Catalysts
Shedding the Stigma of Substance Use
By achieving fitness goals together, The Phoenix community is peeling off the shame, regret, and stigma often associated with addiction.
By Esther Landhuis
December 18, 2019

By achieving fitness goals together, The Phoenix community is peeling off the shame, regret, and stigma often associated with addiction.

Pop Revolution
How Skate Punks are Ushering in a New Era of Freedom in Myanmar
How Skate Punks are Ushering in a New Era of Freedom in Myanmar
Pop Revolution
How Skate Punks are Ushering in a New Era of Freedom in Myanmar
For decades, Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by a repressive military junta. Then, in 2011, things began to...
By Michael O'Shea
April 26, 2017

For decades, Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by a repressive military junta. Then, in 2011, things began to change.

Dispatches
Tesla and Uber Fatalities Show the Limits of “Semi-Autonomous” Cars
Tesla and Uber Fatalities Show the Limits of “Semi-Autonomous” Cars
Dispatches
Tesla and Uber Fatalities Show the Limits of “Semi-Autonomous” Cars
How can we make humans pay attention when a machine is doing our job for us?
April 3, 2018

How can we make humans pay attention when a machine is doing our job for us?

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...
By Duane Mitchell
October 2, 2018

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

Citizen Scientists
NASA Wants YOU to Help Track Landslides
NASA Wants YOU to Help Track Landslides
Citizen Scientists
NASA Wants YOU to Help Track Landslides
NASA is enlisting citizen scientists to collect important data on recent landslides, in an effort to improve prediction models and assist in disaster prevention.
November 21, 2019

NASA is enlisting citizen scientists to collect important data on recent landslides, in an effort to improve prediction models and assist in disaster prevention.

Dispatches
"Cybersecurity for Plants" Can Stop Germs from Hacking Our Food Supply
"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
July 24, 2018

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

On the Cusp
How Virtual Reality is Changing Medicine
How Virtual Reality is Changing Medicine
On the Cusp
How Virtual Reality is Changing Medicine
From virtual hearts to immersive battlefields, doctors and scientists are using virtual reality to transform medicine
By Brandon Stewart
September 22, 2017

From virtual hearts to immersive battlefields, doctors and scientists are using virtual reality to transform medicine

Coded
Hacker Hero Arrested by FBI
Hacker Hero Arrested by FBI
Watch Now
Coded
Hacker Hero Arrested by FBI
Was MalwareTech just doing research to stop criminal activity or engaging in criminal activity himself?
Watch Now
October 12, 2017

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...

Superhuman
Father Makes 3D Heart for Daughter
Father Makes 3D Heart for Daughter
Watch Now
Superhuman
Father Makes 3D Heart for Daughter
When a father’s daughter was diagnosed with a heart disease, he set out to design an innovative 3D model of a heart that doctors could explore in virtual reality to save her life and thousands more.
Watch Now
September 21, 2017

Any father would do whatever it takes to save their child’s life. So when Steve Levine found out that his daughter was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease, he started thinking of any way he could help. The problem was that his daughter was born with reversed left and right ventricles, the weaker of which would run the risk of giving out as she aged. She had a pacemaker installed at age two, and doctors gave her...

Superhuman
Can Virtual Reality Help Fight the Opioid Crisis?
Can Virtual Reality Help Fight the Opioid Crisis?
Watch Now
Superhuman
Can Virtual Reality Help Fight the Opioid Crisis?
VR has long been seen as an escape from the real world. But recently researchers have been putting an unexpected twist on that. They’re now exploring how VR could provide an escape from an unfortunate reality many face everyday: chronic pain.
Watch Now
May 15, 2018

Opioid addictions have become a dangerous side effect for many that take medications to treat chronic pain. To address this, doctors are exploring alternatives to prescriptions pain medicine. As part of this movement, Dr. Brennan Spiegel at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles has spear-headed some pretty fascinating research. He and his team are using virtual reality to reduce pain. Not only is it surprisingly effective...

Culture of Change
Drone Racers Are A Thing and They’re Amazing
Drone Racers Are A Thing and They’re Amazing
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Culture of Change
Drone Racers Are A Thing and They’re Amazing
Blistering speed. Big money. 11-year-old world champions. Is drone racing the next big sport?
Watch Now
May 25, 2019

Yes, drone racers are a thing and they’re amazing. The Drone Racing League has gone from a dream to ESPN in a few short years. We met world champion Paul Nurkalla, aka Nurk FPV, and got an inside look at how the DRL is striving to be the next big sports league. Somewhere between esports, NASCAR and Star Wars sits drone racing, also known as FPV racing. It’s a breathtakingly fast spectacle where drone pilots fly quadcopters...

Conor Russomanno on Exploring Our Limits
Conor Russomanno on Exploring Our Limits
Watch Now
Conor Russomanno on Exploring Our Limits
Could linking our brains to computers allow the mind to control the world outside of our bodies?
Watch Now
August 23, 2016

Conor Russomanno’s interest in his own brain started with a bump on his head. A concussion he sustained during a game of rugby altered his perception of the world for months afterward. And that change got him thinking about the relationship between his physical brain and the way he thinks. To help him better understand himself--and to help other people understand themselves--he partnered with Joel Murphy to start...

Future of Food
GMO Salmon Could Forever Change the Way We Produce Food
It’s Time to Embrace the Frankenfish
Watch Now
Future of Food
GMO Salmon Could Forever Change the Way We Produce Food
Would you eat fish that was genetically designed in a lab? What if it was your only option? Like it or not, GMO salmon and other futuristic foods are revolutionizing the global food system right in front of our eyes.
Watch Now
August 26, 2019

Bioengineered fish have been known to cause mixed feelings. Unnatural, right? Well, after 30 years of debate on whether we should be eating “Frankenfish,” this funky food source is finally coming to a store near you. Like it or not, GMO salmon and possibly other genetically engineered animal meats will soon be on the shelves of your local supermarket. And, these new futuristic foods may be revolutionizing the global food...

How San Francisco Residents Saved Local Businesses
How San Francisco Residents Saved Local Businesses
Watch Now
How San Francisco Residents Saved Local Businesses
An indie book store went from struggling to thriving with a new business model. Is it the future of retail?
Watch Now
April 3, 2019

Borderlands Books is the largest English-language sci-fi, mystery, and horror book store in the world. Mission: Comics and Art is a combination comic book shop and art gallery. Both were preparing to close up shop in a tough retail environment as costs rose. Alan Beatts called a community meeting of his customers. A new idea came out of it - selling store memberships. After an outpouring of support, he sold hundreds of...

Thinking Differently
Angels of Debt
Angels of Debt
Watch Now
Thinking Differently
Angels of Debt
These ex-bill collectors got John Oliver's attention and started a movement. They're buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of strangers' medical debt and erasing it.
Watch Now
June 28, 2019

The average American is one medical accident away from being destroyed financially. These bill collectors woke up to the brutality of their industry - and are using their insider knowledge to save strangers from hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. Jerry Ashton was a debt collector working on Wall Street when the Occupy Wall Street movement started. He became interested, and eventually partnered with them and his friend...

Crossing the Divide
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something About It.
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something About It.
Crossing the Divide
Americans Are Divided. These People Are Doing Something About It.
Amidst our most intense religious, political, and cultural conflicts, there are people around the country who are...
By Dan Hayes
June 4, 2017

Amidst our most intense religious, political, and cultural conflicts, there are people around the country who are working tirelessly to forge connections

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
February 14, 2017

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

Uprising
The Construction Robots Building Space Colonies
contruction robots
Uprising
The Construction Robots Building Space Colonies
Sending construction robots into outer space will help pave the way for human exploration, but there are some real challenges that lie ahead.
By Tien Nguyen
December 7, 2019

Sending construction robots into outer space will help pave the way for human exploration, but there are some real challenges that lie ahead.

Global Impact
Conversations with Refugees
Conversations with Refugees
Global Impact
Conversations with Refugees
Aline Sara is changing the conversation around what it means to be a refugee by talking — literally. Through her...
January 1, 2020

Aline Sara is changing the conversation around what it means to be a refugee by talking — literally. Through her startup, NaTakallam (Arabic for "we talk"), Aline pairs refugees with people from other countries who want to learn their language. The "conversation partners" chat over Whatsapp or Skype to improve their Arabic or Spanish. But Aline says that people gain more than just language skills: it is foreign language...

Superhuman
The Experimental Procedure That Can Reverse Blindness
The Experimental Procedure That Can Reverse Blindness
Superhuman
The Experimental Procedure That Can Reverse Blindness
Doctors told Vanna she was permanently blind. But thanks to an experimental procedure, she can see.
By Mike Riggs
September 12, 2016

Doctors told Vanna she was permanently blind. But thanks to an experimental procedure, she can see.

Catalysts
Hip-Hop Fans Are Getting Creative in the Kitchen Thanks to This Rap Inspired Food...
Hip Hop and Food
Catalysts
Hip-Hop Fans Are Getting Creative in the Kitchen Thanks to This Rap Inspired Food...
“T-bone steak, cheese eggs, and Welch’s grape.” Yo Stay Hungry competitions are simple: teams of contestants...
June 27, 2019

“T-bone steak, cheese eggs, and Welch’s grape.” Yo Stay Hungry competitions are simple: teams of contestants prepare dishes mentioned in rap lyrics, coached by a professional chef mentor.

Dispatches
How Redesigning Labs Can Demystify Genetic Science
How Redesigning Labs Can Demystify Genetic Science
Dispatches
How Redesigning Labs Can Demystify Genetic Science
"Scientists work in high-security buildings that are banned to the public and then wonder why they are misunderstood."
By Brook Muller
December 4, 2018

"Scientists work in high-security buildings that are banned to the public and then wonder why they are misunderstood."

Uprising
Trash-Talking Robots Get Under Our Skin
AI Influence On Human Actions
Uprising
Trash-Talking Robots Get Under Our Skin
Can robots control us? Probably not, but they can influence our actions, as this recent study on human-robot interaction by Carnegie Mellon shows.
December 16, 2019

Can robots control us? Probably not, but they can influence our actions, as this recent study on human-robot interaction by Carnegie Mellon shows.

Crossing Borders
Chico MacMurtrie's Art Transcends the Southern Border
Chico MacMurtrie's Art Transcends the Southern Border
Crossing Borders
Chico MacMurtrie's Art Transcends the Southern Border
If all goes to plan, six robotic sculptures will arc across the border dividing El Paso and Ciudad Juárez in the fall of 2020.
September 23, 2019

If all goes to plan, six robotic sculptures will arc across the border dividing El Paso and Ciudad Juárez in the fall of 2020.

Challengers
Meet the Startup Developing Human-Level Artificial Intelligence
Meet the Startup Developing Human-Level Artificial Intelligence
Challengers
Meet the Startup Developing Human-Level Artificial Intelligence
The story of Vicarious' mission to build the world's first human-level artificial intelligence and use it to help...
By Mike Riggs
December 6, 2016

The story of Vicarious' mission to build the world's first human-level artificial intelligence and use it to help humanity thrive.

Dispatches
Meet the 380 Trillion Viruses inside Your Body