Ira Flatow

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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.

Technology

Your total is $57.67 — will that be cash, credit or phone?

Magnetic-stripe credit and debit cards are like catnip for hackers, who have been broken into retailers like Target and Home Depot and installed malicious software on their cash registers. Now, chip-based cards are becoming more common in the US and are expected to grow rapidly in the coming year. Then there's Apple Pay, a mobile payment system that eliminates cards entirely. Where is this all heading?