Skip to main content
Move the World.
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 in a big way.

September 17, 2018

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

Longreads
Fixing the Way We Fund Science
Fixing the Way We Fund Science
Longreads
Fixing the Way We Fund Science

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

By Dan Bier
March 12, 2019

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

Thinking Differently
What's Wrong With Science?
What's Wrong With Science?
Thinking Differently
What's Wrong With Science?

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

By Dan Bier
May 10, 2019

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

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."

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 and kids.

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.

Sponsored
Can Science Make People Live Healthier for Longer?
Can Science Make People Live Healthier for Longer?
Watch Now
Sponsored
Can Science Make People Live Healthier for Longer?

An MIT researcher has turned 30 years of aging research into something you can use right now.

Watch Now
August 28, 2018

Most of medical science focuses on combating disease and managing the impact of aging. But one MIT researcher wants to tackle aging head on. Through decades of research, Dr. Leonard Guarente has uncovered a basic mechanism to regulate aging and co-founded Elysium to turn his research into a product. Elysium’s mission is to help people live healthier for longer.

Freethink is proud to present this story in partnership with Elysium.…

Science
Using Neuroscience to Talk to People in a Vegetative State
Using Neuroscience to Talk to People in a Vegetative State
Watch Now
Science
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." 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 questions. Also unlike a coma, which is rarely longer than a…

DIY
Treating Diabetes with a DIY Pancreas
Treating Diabetes with a DIY Pancreas
Watch Now
DIY
Treating Diabetes with a DIY Pancreas

A group of coders created an open source, DIY pancreas to help people with diabetes manage their condition.

Watch Now
February 5, 2018

Diabetes is a high maintenance and high stakes disease requiring constant monitoring and precise decision-making. What if we could outsource that workload to a machine? That’s what one couple decided to do. They made a homemade pancreas that eases the burden of diabetes care… and then released the design to the public for free.

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…

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
CRISPR Can Diagnose Zika (and Ebola) with Just a Strip of Paper
CRISPR Can Diagnose Zika (and Ebola) with Just a Strip of Paper
Dispatches
CRISPR Can Diagnose Zika (and Ebola) with Just a Strip of Paper

We could be on our way to a fast, reliable, portable test for almost any virus or cancerous mutation.

By Dan Bier
May 14, 2018

We could be on our way to a fast, reliable, portable test for almost any virus or cancerous mutation.

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.
By B. David Zarley
August 14, 2019

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.

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…

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.

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.

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: Should…

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?

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 lasting impact…

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.

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.

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.

Dispatches
Unlike Smoking, Vaping Won't Mess With Your Microbiome
Unlike Smoking, Vaping Won't Mess With Your Microbiome
Dispatches
Unlike Smoking, Vaping Won't Mess With Your Microbiome

Smoking kills off good bacteria and upsets the balance of power your gut.

By Dan Bier
April 27, 2018

Smoking kills off good bacteria and upsets the balance of power your gut.

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.

Dispatches
FDA Approves the First Marijuana-based Drug
FDA Approves the First Marijuana-based Drug
Dispatches
FDA Approves the First Marijuana-based Drug

The drug has been proven effective at reducing seizures from certain types of childhood epilepsy.

By Dan Bier
July 2, 2018

The drug has been proven effective at reducing seizures from certain types of childhood epilepsy.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

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?

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Why D.A.R.E. Didn't Work, the Future of Cities, and is Love Actually…
This Week in Ideas: Why D.A.R.E. Didn't Work, the Future of Cities, and is Love Actually…
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Why D.A.R.E. Didn't Work, the Future of Cities, and is Love Actually…

Our weekly take on the best stuff from around the web.

By Mike Riggs
December 22, 2016

Our weekly take on the best stuff from around the web.

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 same…

By Dan Bier
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
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.

By Dan Bier
June 25, 2018

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

Dispatches
Brains Store Memories in a Temporary "Cache" (and We Can Read It)
Brains Store Memories in a Temporary "Cache" (and We Can Read It)
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.

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
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
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 altered…

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.

CRISPR: A Future Alternative to Vaccines?
CRISPR: A Future Alternative to Vaccines?
CRISPR: A Future Alternative to Vaccines?

Humanity is locked in an arms race with diseases: we update our vaccines, and diseases evolve new ways to try…

By Dan Bier
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.

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.

Culture
This Week in Ideas: Unveiling Google Earth VR, China Goes All in on CRISPR, Cuba's Cancer…
This Week in Ideas: Unveiling Google Earth VR, China Goes All in on CRISPR, Cuba's Cancer…
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Unveiling Google Earth VR, China Goes All in on CRISPR, Cuba's Cancer…

Google releases some beautiful VR, human trials of gene-editing technology CRISPR, and importing Cuba's cancer vaccine.

By Mike Riggs
November 20, 2016

Google releases some beautiful VR, human trials of gene-editing technology CRISPR, and importing Cuba's cancer vaccine.

On the Cusp
The Real Mother of Dragons
The Real Mother of Dragons
Watch Now
On the Cusp
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,…

Dispatches
23andMe Can (Finally) Tell You about Your Genetic Cancer Risk
23andMe Can (Finally) Tell You about Your Genetic Cancer Risk
Dispatches
23andMe Can (Finally) Tell You about Your Genetic Cancer Risk

23andMe has won the right to tell you what your genes say about you. It's a landmark legal achievement that…

By Dan Bier
April 11, 2018

23andMe has won the right to tell you what your genes say about you. It's a landmark legal achievement that could help usher in a new age of personalized medicine.

Dispatches
We Found the Oldest Human Virus: It's Familiar (but Weird)
We Found the Oldest Human Virus: It's Familiar (but Weird)
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.

By Dan Bier
May 10, 2018

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

Dispatches
The Cause (and Possible Cure) for Most Infertility
The Cause (and Possible Cure) for Most Infertility
Dispatches
The Cause (and Possible Cure) for Most Infertility

Fertility medicine may be on the edge of a breakthrough.

By Dan Bier
May 16, 2018

Fertility medicine may be on the edge of a breakthrough.

On the Fringe
Could Freezing Your Body Offer a Chance at Immortality?
Could Freezing Your Body Offer a Chance at Immortality?
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…

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
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!

By Dan Bier
June 14, 2018

Hey, it works!

Dispatches
UV Robots Can Sterilize an ICU in 10 Minutes
UV Robots Can Sterilize an ICU in 10 Minutes
Dispatches
UV Robots Can Sterilize an ICU in 10 Minutes

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

By Dan Bier
July 6, 2018

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

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.

Dispatches
Mosquitoes Are the Deadliest Animals in History. Should We Wipe Them Out?
Mosquitoes Are the Deadliest Animals in History. Should We Wipe Them Out?
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.

By Dan Bier
February 4, 2019

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

Dispatches
A Tumor-Killing Virus Could Treat Eye Cancer and Save Children's Sight
A Tumor-Killing Virus Could Treat Eye Cancer and Save Children's Sight
Dispatches
A Tumor-Killing Virus Could Treat Eye Cancer and Save Children's Sight

The only treatment for retinoblastoma is surgical removal of the eye—but scientists may have found another way: cancer-killing viruses.

By Hemant Khanna
February 8, 2019

The only treatment for retinoblastoma is surgical removal of the eye—but scientists may have found another way: cancer-killing viruses.

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…

By Dan Bier
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.

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 with some…

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.

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 adventure just…

By Amanda Winkler
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.

Science
What to Expect In a Post-Meat Future
What to Expect In a Post-Meat Future
Science
What to Expect In a Post-Meat Future

From advanced plant-based meat alternatives to real meat grown in a lab, the days of eating meat from once-living animals…

By Mike Riggs
September 29, 2016

From advanced plant-based meat alternatives to real meat grown in a lab, the days of eating meat from once-living animals could be numbered.

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.

Teaching Engineering with Dirt Bikes
Teaching Engineering with Dirt Bikes
Watch Now
Teaching Engineering with Dirt Bikes

This teacher is using dirt bikes to help Baltimore's kids learn STEM.

Watch Now
October 31, 2018

Baltimore’s kids are obsessed with dirt bikes. Some people think that's a problem, but teacher Brittany Young is using dirt bikes to get kids into engineering and STEM education. Her organization, B-360 Baltimore, aims to use dirt bike culture to help end the cycle of poverty, disrupt the prison pipeline, and bring together communities — while giving dirt bikes a better reputation.

Dirt bikes are a controversial issue in…

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.

By Dan Bier
August 24, 2018

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

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 fight…

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.

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
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
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.

#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?

By Dan Bier
March 18, 2019

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

#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 and depression, so why has it been so hard to scale?

By Dan Bier
April 18, 2019

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

#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
Should Violence be Treated Like A Disease?
Should Violence be Treated Like A Disease?
#fixingjustice - Harm Reduction
Should Violence be Treated Like A Disease?

Epidemiologist Dr. Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says we need to treat violence like a public health crisis and employ…

By Amanda Winkler
April 19, 2019

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

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

This week in ideas: How VR changes our dreams, a stem cell miracle, and the shoes…
This week in ideas: How VR changes our dreams, a stem cell miracle, and the shoes…
This week in ideas: How VR changes our dreams, a stem cell miracle, and the shoes…

Virtual reality users experience more lucid dreams, a paralyzed man gets movement back, and self-lacing shoes. These are our favorite…

By Mike Riggs
September 23, 2016

Virtual reality users experience more lucid dreams, a paralyzed man gets movement back, and self-lacing shoes. These are our favorite stories this week.

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…

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…

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 from taking over our…

By Dan Bier
April 17, 2018

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

Thinking Differently
The Joy of Being Wrong
The Joy of Being Wrong
Watch Now
Thinking Differently
The Joy of Being Wrong

Can practicing intellectual humility make us smarter and happier? Science says yes.

Watch Now
May 6, 2019

Arguments on social media are notorious. People often naturally form an echo chamber of people with similar beliefs, and when people outside it start arguments, the discussion often becomes antagonistic. Is there a better way? Science suggests that a good starting point is by practicing intellectual humility. By admitting the possibility that we ourselves could be wrong, we’re able to better evaluate arguments and construct more robust belief systems. Studies…

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 the…

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.

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.

By Dan Bier
April 24, 2018

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

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.

By Dan Bier
May 23, 2018

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

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.

By Dan Bier
June 13, 2018

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

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.

By Dan Bier
June 15, 2018

Two years ago, she had two months to live.

Dispatches
An Insulin Pill Could Change Everything for Diabetics
An Insulin Pill Could Change Everything for Diabetics
Dispatches
An Insulin Pill Could Change Everything for Diabetics

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

By Dan Bier
July 3, 2018

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

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.

By Dan Bier
July 4, 2018

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

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.

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 a reality.

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.

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 aging, and…

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.

Dispatches
Meet the 380 Trillion Viruses inside Your Body
Meet the 380 Trillion Viruses inside Your Body
Dispatches
Meet the 380 Trillion Viruses inside Your Body

Scientists aren't exactly sure yet what the "virome" is up to, but it's probably important.

By David Pride and Chandrabali Ghose
October 10, 2018

Scientists aren't exactly sure yet what the "virome" is up to, but it's probably important.

What to Expect at the First Cyborg Olympics
What to Expect at the First Cyborg Olympics
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?

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.

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.

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.

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 the coolest…

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.

Thinking Differently
Is Autism a Mysterious Medical Condition or a Disability That's Part of the Spectrum of Human…
Is Autism a Mysterious Medical Condition or a Disability That's Part of the Spectrum of Human…
Thinking Differently
Is Autism a Mysterious Medical Condition or a Disability That's Part of the Spectrum of Human…

Rethinking Autism: Interview with NeuroTribes Author Steve Silberman

May 17, 2019

Rethinking Autism: Interview with NeuroTribes Author Steve Silberman

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 fiction. But the…

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.

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 some good…

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.

Superhuman
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of the…
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of the…
Superhuman
Is the Miracle Medicine of the Future About to Become the Totally Real Medicine of the…

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

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.

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.

Science
The Fascinating Story of How AIDS Activism Helped Usher in a "Right to Try" Movement
The Fascinating Story of How AIDS Activism Helped Usher in a "Right to Try" Movement
Science
The Fascinating Story of How AIDS Activism Helped Usher in a "Right to Try" Movement

Should terminally ill patients be allowed to try experimental procedures? Hear the amazing, true story of the AIDS activists who…

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.

The Big Idea
Our Cyborg Future is Coming (And That’s Not a Bad Thing)
Our Cyborg Future is Coming (And That’s Not a Bad Thing)
Watch Now
The Big Idea
Our Cyborg Future is Coming (And That’s Not a Bad Thing)

Hollywood loves to sensationalize merging the body with advanced tech. But will it really be so bad?

Watch Now
November 13, 2017

The Matrix. Terminator. Bladerunner. Hollywood loves to sensationalize merging the body with advanced tech. But will it really be so bad? We sat down with Adam Piore, author of The Body Builders: Inside the Science of the Engineered Human to discuss why we should stop freaking out and embrace our cyborg future.

Culture
How a Sci-Fi Enthusiast Decided to Memorialize His Best Friend
How a Sci-Fi Enthusiast Decided to Memorialize His Best Friend
Culture
How a Sci-Fi Enthusiast Decided to Memorialize His Best Friend

The story of how one man gave his space-loving best friend a final resting place in the final frontier.

By Mike Riggs
November 3, 2016

The story of how one man gave his space-loving best friend a final resting place in the final frontier.

Technology
Why Researchers Built a Robot Snake
Why Researchers Built a Robot Snake
Watch Now
Technology
Why Researchers Built a Robot Snake

Believe it or not, there's a good reason this robot snake exists

Watch Now
January 16, 2018

When building robots, scientists often struggle to perfect the robot's movements. They turn to the natural world in order to solve this problem, finding inspiration from animals such as spiders, dogs, and even humans.

However, studies show that even though we live in a world that is largely built for humans, robots that appear to be too "human-like" make people uneasy. Thus, researchers at Carnegie Melon developed a robot that…

Innovation
Why Prisons are Showing Nature Videos to Inmates
Why Prisons are Showing Nature Videos to Inmates
Watch Now
Innovation
Why Prisons are Showing Nature Videos to Inmates

Watching nature videos in the unlikeliest of places

Watch Now
March 20, 2018

At a maximum security prison in Oregon, select inmates watched 60 minutes of nature videos every day for a year.

Inspired by the research of Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, the study was intended to measure the psychological benefits of exposure to nature. The results were incredible. Nearly half the inmates said the images soothed them, while violent acts in the prison dropped by 26%. Additionally, guards reported the inmates seemed…

Trailer
Introducing Freethink
Introducing Freethink
Watch Now
Trailer
Introducing Freethink

We’re reimagining media for a generation that’s changing the world.

Watch Now
September 6, 2018

The world is changing. Fast. And it’s changing because people are changing it. People with new ideas and new perspectives. People who aren’t satisfied with the status quo and aren’t afraid to think differently.

At Freethink we’re building a movement. Of rebels, hackers, pioneers, idealists, engineers, tinkerers, scientists, geeks, nerds, influencers, outcasts, artists, activists, do-gooders, disruptors, troublemakers, peacemakers, skeptics, challengers, risk takers. And you.

We’re reimagining media for a generation…

Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Optimism
Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Optimism
Watch Now
Steven Pinker Makes the Case for Optimism

Are things really worse than ever, or are we missing the bigger picture?

Watch Now
October 30, 2018

Author and Harvard professor Steven Pinker lays out what he see as a basic paradox. The news today seems worse than ever - but based on a number of key metrics, Pinker argues the world is better than it’s ever been. Pinker explores the data and makes the case for how can we tackle the world’s problems while not drowning in negativity.

That’s the focus of his latest book, Enlightenment

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 dealers.

By Jeff Foust
November 10, 2016

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

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.

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: How to Form Good Habits, the Case Against Empathy, and a Miracle…
This Week in Ideas: How to Form Good Habits, the Case Against Empathy, and a Miracle…
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: How to Form Good Habits, the Case Against Empathy, and a Miracle…

From how to make good habits (and keep them) to a crisis at the NIH, it's a new edition of…

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.

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Embryonic People-Pigs, the Glories of the Hubble Telescope, and American Cyber-Security
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, and American Cyber-Security

A step toward human organs in animal embryos, the Hubble Telescope was a game changer, and Americans aren't doing much…

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: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones

Breakthrough could mean the end of test animals, violent crime nearly cut in half, and drones that pollinate flowers.

By Michael O'Shea
February 10, 2017

Breakthrough could mean the end of test animals, violent crime nearly cut in half, and drones that pollinate flowers.

Wrong
3 Times Our Brightest Minds Made Bad Predictions
3 Times Our Brightest Minds Made Bad Predictions
Wrong
3 Times Our Brightest Minds Made Bad Predictions

Some of the predictions might look outlandish now, but at the time they actually seemed quite plausible.

By Michael O'Shea
April 10, 2017

Some of the predictions might look outlandish now, but at the time they actually seemed quite plausible.

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…

The New Space Race
Why This Startup Believes 3D Printing in Space Will Be a Game Changer
Why This Startup Believes 3D Printing in Space Will Be a Game Changer
The New Space Race
Why This Startup Believes 3D Printing in Space Will Be a Game Changer

Sending things into space is really expensive. But what if we didn't have to? What if everything in space was…

By Mike Riggs
October 17, 2016

Sending things into space is really expensive. But what if we didn't have to? What if everything in space was made in space?