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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?

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?

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

The New Space Race
This is The New Space Race
This is The New Space Race
The New Space Race
This is The New Space Race
It’s been 44 years since a human stepped on the moon, and a new generation of entrepreneurs is laying the...
By Mike Riggs
November 26, 2016

It’s been 44 years since a human stepped on the moon, and a new generation of entrepreneurs is laying the groundwork for us to go back.

What It Takes
How NASA’s Space Food Lab Will Feed the Farthest Journey in History
How NASA’s Space Food Lab Will Feed the Farthest Journey in History
Watch Now
What It Takes
How NASA’s Space Food Lab Will Feed the Farthest Journey in History
These food scientists are making it possible for us to explore space in ways we haven’t yet as a species.
Watch Now
June 26, 2019

Space food isn’t just that astronaut ice cream you had as a kid. NASA’s kitchens are hard at work preparing a new menu of space food for the farthest trip in history - the flight to Mars. This space food is more advanced even than food on the International Space Station - it needs to last for five years, more than two years longer than it can currently. That’s enough time to get to Mars and back, and serve as an emergency...

The New Space Race
Preparing the First Space Colonizers for Life Off of Planet Earth
Preparing the First Space Colonizers for Life Off of Planet Earth
The New Space Race
Preparing the First Space Colonizers for Life Off of Planet Earth
It’s only a matter of time until the average person can explore space. But, will the average person be ready?
By Mike Riggs
November 7, 2016

It’s only a matter of time until the average person can explore space. But, will the average person be ready?

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 made...
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?

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.

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...

The New Space Race
Can We Make It In Space?
Can We Make It In Space?
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The New Space Race
Can We Make It In Space?
What if one day, everything in space was made in space? 3D printing may hold the answer.
Watch Now
October 17, 2016

NASA intern turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Jason Dunn, saw what was holding humans back from colonizing outer space...and decided to do something about it. With his company Made in Space’s cutting-edge 3D printer, astronauts can break their reliance on costly resupply missions from Earth and—for the first time ever—build new supplies for themselves in space. Dunn and his team believe their invention will usher in a new...

The New Space Race
The New Space Race is Here
The New Space Race is Here
The New Space Race
The New Space Race is Here
Our new show will introduce you to the people and the technology that could make humans a multi-planetary species...
By Mike Riggs
October 7, 2016

Our new show will introduce you to the people and the technology that could make humans a multi-planetary species in the coming century.

The New Space Race
Preparing for Outer Space
Preparing for Outer Space
Watch Now
The New Space Race
Preparing for Outer Space
As the tech side of space travel advances, an annual gathering focuses on life off of planet earth.
Watch Now
November 6, 2016

Twenty years from now, humans could live in space permanently. As companies work feverishly to develop the tech needed for this galactic future, the New Worlds annual gathering brings together space lovers of all ages to brainstorm, fantasize and—more importantly—prepare for life off Earth.

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.

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.

Dispatches
The First Private Moonshot Is Ready to Launch
The First Private Moonshot Is Ready to Launch
Dispatches
The First Private Moonshot Is Ready to Launch
The Israeli group's moon mission will be ride-sharing on a SpaceX rocket.
By John Horack
January 31, 2019

The Israeli group's moon mission will be ride-sharing on a SpaceX rocket.

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.

#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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Future of Food
What’s Not to Love About Lab Grown Meat?
Inside the World of Gourmet Lab Meat
Watch Now
Future of Food
What’s Not to Love About Lab Grown Meat?
A future of eating meat without ethical or environmental implications is more real than ever before. But will people eat it food grown in a lab?
Watch Now
September 3, 2019

A future of eating meat without ethical or environmental implications is more real than ever before. While plant-based alternatives are growing in popularity, the real black horse with game-changing potential seems to be actual meat… grown in science labs. The question at this point is not whether this approach is viable or scalable, but simply: will people want to eat it?

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."

The New Space Race
Four Flights a Day. Five Days a Week.
Four Flights a Day. Five Days a Week.
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The New Space Race
Four Flights a Day. Five Days a Week.
At XCOR, the dream of taking regular commercial flights to space is alive and well.
Watch Now
October 5, 2016

At its peak, NASA’s shuttle flew to space a few times a year. XCOR wants to be something more like Southwest Airlines for space. They're working on a spacecraft prototype with a very ambitious goal: four daily flights to space, five days a week. If XCOR is successful, they could take more people to space in six months than NASA did in 30 years.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Interstellar
How to Talk to Aliens
How to Talk to Aliens
Interstellar
How to Talk to Aliens
Let's imagine aliens exist. You have the extraordinary task of crafting a message that they might conceivably understand. How would you do it? And what would you say? Daniel Oberhaus has a few ideas.
By Tien Nguyen
October 31, 2019

Let's imagine aliens exist. You have the extraordinary task of crafting a message that they might conceivably understand. How would you do it? And what would you say? Daniel Oberhaus has a few 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.

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.

Dispatches
UV Robots Can Sterilize an ICU in 10 Minutes
UV Disinfection Robots
Dispatches
UV Robots Can Sterilize an ICU in 10 Minutes
UV light destroys bacterial DNA from the inside out, eradicating the toughest pathogens in minutes.
July 6, 2018

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

The New Space Race
The Startup That May Be On the Cusp of Revolutionizing the Satellite Industry
The Startup That May Be On the Cusp of Revolutionizing the Satellite Industry
The New Space Race
The Startup That May Be On the Cusp of Revolutionizing the Satellite Industry
Spire's satellites fit in the palm of your hand, cost a fraction of their predecessors, and transmit more data than...
By Mike Riggs
October 24, 2016

Spire's satellites fit in the palm of your hand, cost a fraction of their predecessors, and transmit more data than several behemoth satellites combined.

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
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.

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...

The Sound of Science
Sifting Through Sound: Using Soundscapes to Understand Ecosystem Health
Sifting Through Sound: Using Soundscapes to Understand Ecosystem Health
The Sound of Science
Sifting Through Sound: Using Soundscapes to Understand Ecosystem Health
“Ecoacoustics” is an emerging field of research. Instead of chasing down isolated animal sounds, researchers are using all of the acoustic properties of a location to answer ecological questions.
By Teresa Carey
October 25, 2019

“Ecoacoustics” is an emerging field of research. Instead of chasing down isolated animal sounds, researchers are using all of the acoustic properties of a location to answer ecological questions.

Birdwatch
The Dark Toll of Light Pollution
The Dark Toll of Light Pollution
Birdwatch
The Dark Toll of Light Pollution
Bird populations are paying the price for our electric lights. These volunteers are working to change that.
By Teresa Carey
November 4, 2019

Bird populations are paying the price for our electric lights. These volunteers are working to change that.

The New Space Race
Can This Startup Give Everyone Access to the Moon?
Can This Startup Give Everyone Access to the Moon?
The New Space Race
Can This Startup Give Everyone Access to the Moon?
With advanced navigational technology, Astrobotic wants to provide a routine, affordable, and accurate delivery...
By Mike Riggs
October 31, 2016

With advanced navigational technology, Astrobotic wants to provide a routine, affordable, and accurate delivery service to the moon.

Superhuman
The 3D-printed helmet that can read your mind. Could it change the world?
The 3D-printed helmet that can read your mind. Could it change the world?
Superhuman
The 3D-printed helmet that can read your mind. Could it change the world?
OpenBCI has developed technology that allows you to control the world outside your body with your brain waves.
By Mike Riggs
August 22, 2016

OpenBCI has developed technology that allows you to control the world outside your body with your brain waves.

Science
Meet the Amateur Astronomer Who Found a Lost NASA Satellite
Meet the Amateur Astronomer Who Found a Lost NASA Satellite
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Science
Meet the Amateur Astronomer Who Found a Lost NASA Satellite
A $130 million satellite vanished. Over a decade later, a blogger/astronomer found it.
Watch Now
October 22, 2018

Amateur astronomer Scott Tilley made international headlines when he rediscovered NASA’s IMAGE satellite, 13 years after it mysteriously disappeared. In this interview with Freethink, Scott discusses his role in the satellite’s recovery, why he enjoys amateur astronomy, and how citizen scientists like him have contributed to our knowledge of space from the space race to the present day.

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.

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.

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
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
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
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.

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
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.

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
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
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.

#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?

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.

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...
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.

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.
By Teresa Carey
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...

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.

The New Space Race
Tiny Satellites With a Huge Impact
Tiny Satellites With a Huge Impact
Watch Now
The New Space Race
Tiny Satellites With a Huge Impact
Many satellites are nearing the end of their life. This is what could be next.
Watch Now
October 23, 2016

Spire’s CubeSat satellites—each about the size of a shoebox—can collect and transmit weather data six times as often as the massive, billion-dollar satellites we’ve used for generations. But it doesn’t stop at weather prediction. Spire thinks their tech will be essential as humans journey deeper into deep space.

Catalysts
The Crib: A Place to Call Home
The Crib: A Place to Call Home
Catalysts
The Crib: A Place to Call Home
For young LGBTQ adults, this is the shelter that accepts many people that are too often turned away.
August 29, 2019

Every night, young adults pass through the basement door of the Lakeview Lutheran Church, close to the heart of Boystown, the gay neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side. Like many institutions in Lakeview, the church offers a place specifically welcoming to the LGBTQ community. These young adults are taking refuge at The Crib, an overnight emergency shelter for people aged 18 to 24 who find themselves temporarily homeless. Founded by The Night Ministry in 2011, The Crib is one of the few places in the city where young LGBTQ adults, especially those of color, can find housing and community with others their age in similar situations.

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.

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.
By Teresa Carey
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.

Catalysts
This Social Enterprise is Cleaning Up Chicago One Street at a Time
Transitional employment
Catalysts
This Social Enterprise is Cleaning Up Chicago One Street at a Time
This nonprofit is not only polishing the streets of Chicago, but providing a "clean slate" for its interns. Those with a criminal background, dealing with addiction recovery, or domestic violence, are welcome to take part in job training and counseling.
September 30, 2019

It's a muggy Wednesday morning in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, the temperature and humidity rising before the sun. Lena, decked out in her eye-catching slate shirt and chartreuse vest, leans slightly out into the busy rush-hour traffic, sweeping litter (wrappers, cups, lots of cigarette butts) from the gutter into her dustpan. On the sidewalk, she empties her collection into a cart. As she moves down the street,...

Entrepreneurship
The Business Fair for Children
The Business Fair for Children
Watch Now
Entrepreneurship
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...

The New Space Race
A Delivery Service for the Moon
A Delivery Service for the Moon
Watch Now
The New Space Race
A Delivery Service for the Moon
This startup wants to offer the world insanely accurate shipping to the moon.
Watch Now
October 5, 2016

Landing on the moon has always been an inaccurate pursuit. But Astrobotic has fixed that problem. The company’s unique GPS system allows it to land spacecraft within meters—rather than kilometers—of the intended target. And now they’re using the tech to offer the world’s first delivery service to the moon.

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.

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...

Innovation
Giving Animals New Legs
Giving Animals New Legs
Watch Now
Innovation
Giving Animals New Legs
Derrick Campana is a prosthetics engineer helping animals walk again with artificial limbs.
Watch Now
May 3, 2019

Derrick Campana isn’t your typical... anything. He’s a prosthetics engineer helping animals walk again - or walk for the first time - with artificial limbs. In the old days when an animal had a broken leg, they would often be euthanized--and only if they were very lucky would they wind up with a leg cast. Derrick Campana wants to put those days in the past. He’s creating prosthetics and casts for all manner of...

Disease X
Preparing for Outbreak: Fighting the World's Deadliest Diseases
Preparing for Outbreak: Fighting the World's Deadliest Diseases
Watch Now
Disease X
Preparing for Outbreak: Fighting the World's Deadliest Diseases
The World Health Organization has compiled a list of the most dangerous diseases that could strike next year.
Watch Now
June 29, 2019

Recently the media was abuzz with talk of ‘Disease X,’ a mysterious illness that could spread across the world. And then...nothing happened. It turns out that people had misinterpreted the World Health Organization’s List of Blueprint priority diseases, which identifies the world’s most dangerous diseases in terms of potential for outbreaks or epidemics. There are diseases that are already known - like Ebola, MERS or SARS -...

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...
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.

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.

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.

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.

Challengers
Five Insights: Linc Gasking On What Every Startup Should Be Shooting For
Five Insights: Linc Gasking On What Every Startup Should Be Shooting For
Challengers
Five Insights: Linc Gasking On What Every Startup Should Be Shooting For
Linc Gasking, co-founder of VR startup 8i, discusses the day-to-day grind and big picture excitement of being an...
By Mike Riggs
December 28, 2016

Linc Gasking, co-founder of VR startup 8i, discusses the day-to-day grind and big picture excitement of being an entrepreneur.

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.

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.