technology

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

How a century-old rule is keeping the American legal profession from innovating like its foreign colleagues

If you want to get legal advice in Canada, you can swing by Wal-Mart. And in the UK, legal advice is handed out in grocery stores. But a rule implemented more than 100 years ago in the US keeps legal advice largely out of reach for most Americans and keeps innovations from changing the stodgy legal field.

Health & Medicine

The fight is on over e-cigarettes

Electronic cigarette ads are on TV. New York City is restricting e-smoking in the same way as it restricts tobacco smoking. And government data indicates that 10 percent of high school students have tried e-cigs. Now, researchers are racing to figure out how they will impact public health.

Conflict & Justice

New York City's hijacked hashtag launches a global conversation on police brutality

Updated

When the New York Police Department encouraged its followers on Twitter to share photos of themselves with NYPD officers, the result was not what they expected. Two days later, the hashtag has been mimicked in a half dozen cities around the world to showcase police brutality. But the social media effort has had another consequence: it has started a global dialogue about the perception of police and policing in different cities.

Global Scan

Mandela brings people together, even in death

World leaders and regular people gathered Tuesday in South Africa to honor Nelson Mandela — a man who was labelled a terrorist by the US until 8 years ago, a friend of China and Cuba, and now a symbol of hope and reconciliation for millions. We also look at Saudi Arabia's interest in its own human genome project, one of the most extreme zipline rides in the world, and a video game where the villian is alcoholism. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.