Cambridge

Health & Medicine

Scientists discover a potent new antibiotic

Antibiotics, among the most extraordinary drugs of the last hundred years, mostly come from a very ordinary source: dirt. But that source has been slowly exhausted, since 99 percent of the microbes in dirt can't be cultured in a lab. Now, a group of scientists has developed a new technique for cultivating bacteria on their home turf, so to speak: right in the dirt, where they grow best. The results are a game-changer.

Global Scan

An experiment in crowd-sourced news for China 'disappears' at the hands of government censors

China's not known for its press freedom — though its citizens are voracious consumers of news. A new site, Cenci, had taken the country's journalism world by storm ... until censors decided to make it invisible. Meanwhile in Boston, you can buy soup in bite-size, edible balls. It's a Harvard researcher's idea to cut plastic waste. Those stories and more in today's Global Scan.

Health & Medicine

Scientists discover a potent new antibiotic

Antibiotics, among the most extraordinary drugs of the last hundred years, mostly come from a very ordinary source: dirt. But that source has been slowly exhausted, since 99 percent of the microbes in dirt can't be cultured in a lab. Now, a group of scientists has developed a new technique for cultivating bacteria on their home turf, so to speak: right in the dirt, where they grow best. The results are a game-changer.

Science, Tech & Environment

Toilet Tales: Water and Waste

The humble flush toilet is a technological wonder that carries our waste safely away from our homes and workplaces. Yet roughly 2.5 billion people don’t have access to decent sanitation. And even for those who do, the toilet is an imperfect solution that often creates problems of its own. The World’s special five-part series “Toilet Tales: Water and Waste” examines efforts to solve those problems around the world, from China to India to Haiti to Cambridge, Massachusetts.