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Health & Medicine

EPA approves a new herbicide for GMO crops and lawsuits follow

Many of today’s synthetic pesticides are derived from chemical weapons developed during the First and Second World Wars. Today, in the US, chemical warfare is waged daily against weeds in industrial agriculture. It has become an escalating conflict, as unruly weeds rapidly adapt to new products. The latest weapon has stirred strong opposition from environmentalists, farmers and food safety advocates.

Health & Medicine

How 'big data' could help stop the spread of Ebola

When it comes to containing an outbreak like Ebola, anticipating where it might spread next is crucial. Until somewhat recently, however, the only way to do that was through untimely census records. But with the proliferation of so-called "big data," epidemiologists can track in real time where West Africans are headed — and where they might be spreading the disease.

Science, Tech & Environment

Environmental detectives are using DNA to track invasive species

In our increasingly globalized society, when people travel the tend to bring things home with them, whether they mean to or not: microbes, aquatic species, insects, plants. Many of these are harmless, but some wreak economic havoc, and, like the recent Ebola virus, lead to nationwide panic and fear. As in so many other realms, DNA analysis may provide some ways to better combat these problems.

Conflict & Justice

'For less than a dollar, you can [buy] a liter of acid and basically destroy someone's life'

Almost 10 years ago, a young Pakistani woman was held down by her mother-in-law while her husband and father-in-law threw acid on her. Some 150 operations later, Bushra Shafi is working as a beautician in a hair salon in Lahore, started by a hairdresser who was moved to help victims of acid attacks when one of them came into her salon and asked simply: "Can you make me beautiful again?"

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