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To Get Antibiotics Off Your Plate, Vote With Your Wallet

Each year, in the weeks before the New Year, the Food and Drug Administration drops a set of statistics with a wonky title and profound relevance to public health. The “Summary Report On Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals” contains data that pharma companies have given to …

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A New Disease Is Testing Us for the Next Global Epidemic

Last spring, as it does every year, the World Health Organization released a list of infectious diseases that its experts think are especially high-risk—ones that could blow up into epidemics and for which there are no treatments or vaccines. The list has been created every year since 2014, when the …

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Used Wisely, the Internet Can Actually Help Public Discourse

They saw it coming, the media theorists, book-bound intellectuals, Jesuit priests, classicists, and sociologists who attempted to make sense of what they called “electronic media,” and we now think of as prehistoric radio and TV. With their long-winded tomes from an age of longer attention spans, authors like Marshall McLuhan, …

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Crispr Babies, IVF, and the Ethics of Genetic Class Warfare

Last month, Chinese national He Jiankui flouted a vigorous scientific debate when he told a room full of scientists that he had manipulated the embryos of Chinese twins, using Crispr to make one resistant to their father’s HIV. He revealed to the group that the twins of the experiment had …

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Google's Algorithm Isn't Biased, It's Just Not Human

Representative Ted Lieu couldn’t contain himself after hearing his colleagues in Congress whinge to Google CEO Sundar Pichai about how the search engine was biased against conservatives. “If you want positive search results,” the Democrat from California said earlier this week, “do positive things. If you don’t want negative search …

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Google Glass Wasn't a Failure. It Raised Crucial Concerns

Six years later, it’s still fun to make fun of Google Glass. A reference to Google Glass is shorthand for hubris, foolishness, a tech company completely missing the mark on what regular human beings like. Glass represents everything we love to mock about Silicon Valley — a bunch of nerds …

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How Shared, Open Data Can Help Us Better Overcome Disasters

When a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the eastern coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant failed, leaking radioactive material into the atmosphere and water. People around the country as well as others with family and friends in Japan were, understandably, concerned about radiation …

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My Befuddling Dinner With Facebook Empress Sheryl Sandberg

To recap: Sheryl Sandberg joined Facebook as chief operating officer in 2008, promising to make the popular but weird social network profitable. She went hard into advertising, marketing, and data-mining—and, by 2010, Facebook was going great guns. It’s been well in the black ever since. During these explosive years, the …

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The Promise—and Heartbreak—of Cancer Genomics

You were a New York artist, Iowa-bred, with a narrow and idiosyncratic range of subjects. You painted bulldogs and cheerleaders, truck stops and mammoth-hunting cavemen. For two decades you inhabited a drowning world, which you nostalgized even as it vanished beneath a tidal swell of money. Its borders were 14th …

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