2.13.2018

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2.13.2018
All your news in a single email. We scour 100+ sources so you don't have to. Culture, science, sports, politics, business, and more - all packaged in a 5-minute read below.
 
NEED TO KNOW.
Cancer-Fighting Nanorobots.
In a big step forward for the field of nanomedicine, researchers showed that 'nanorobots' - small, guidable machinery built from DNA - can successfully attack tumors by cutting off their blood supply. To develop the approach, researchers constructed 'robots' made of sheets of DNA 90 nanometers by 60 nanometers in size (a nanometer is about 1 million times thinner than your fingernail) with a key blood-clotting enzyme called thrombin attached to the surface. The nanorobots were attached with a sensor for a specific protein found on the surface of cancer cells, preventing them from affecting healthy cells. The tiny machines are then injected into the bloodstream, delivering the 'molecular payload' to the tumor site where the enzyme kicks into action, cutting off blood supply to the tumor (check out a video of how it works). The approach has a long way to go before human trials, but researchers saw reduction in tumor size within 24 hours of treatment. 

Purdue Stops Pushing OxyContin.
Purdue Pharma, the company that manufactures and sells the prescription opioid OxyContin, has said it will halt marketing to doctors. The decision comes amid harsh criticism of the company's role in the growing opioid epidemic - including lawsuits by at least 14 states alleging that aggressive marketing tactics contributed to the spike in opioid-related deaths. While most opioid deaths - which have increased 5x since 1999 to over 42,000 in 2016 - are related to street drugs like heroin and fentanyl, prescription opioids often act as gateway drugs. According to reports, 80% of heroin users began by abusing prescription opioids. Purdue announced it will be cutting its sales force in half as a result of the decision. Nearly 215 million opioid prescriptions were written in the US in 2016

Trump Reveals Budget Details.
The Trump administration unveiled its FY19 spending plan yesterday, in an approach that Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney described as "fund what we must [and] cut where we can." The nearly $4.4T plan emphasizes defense spending - setting aside $686B for the Department of Defense, a 13% increase from what was received in 2017 - while seeking $1.7T in cuts to entitlement spending (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) over ten years. The budget also looks to jump-start the President's infrastructure plan, which would use $200B in public funding to drive an overall $1.5T of joint public-private investment over the next decade. While the budget reduces the current projected deficit by about $3T, it still leaves an accumulated $7T in new deficit spending over ten years.  


For fun, you can pick through the full budget here
 
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IN THE KNOW.

Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

> 17-year-old Chloe Kim wins Olympic gold for US at women's snowboard halfpipe (More) | Total medal count by country (More)
> Former NFL QB Johnny Manziel announces bipolar diagnosis, plans comeback (More)
> Official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama unveiled at National Portrait Gallery (More)
 

Science & Technology.

> Report finds that 44% of US has zero providers offering 100Mbps internet (More)
> Experimental therapy restores insulation around nerve ending damaged by disease (More)
> Regional German court rules that Facebook's use of personal data is illegal because it doesn't do enough to secure informed consent of user (More)
 

Business & Markets.

> Shares in stock markets across the world rebound from last week's plunge - US markets up ~1.5% (More)
> Amazon announces hundreds of layoffs as part of annual planning process (More)
> Grocery delivery service Instacart raises $200M at $4.2B valuation (More)
 

Politics & World Affairs.

> Entire Baltimore metro to shut down for one month, affects 40,000 riders per day (More)
> South Africa ruling party removes long-time president Jacob Zuma from power (More)
> Donald Trump Jr.'s wife taken to hospital as precaution after opening envelope with unidentified white substance (More)
IN DEPTH.

How Facebook Is Killing Comedy. 

Splitsider | Sarah Aswell. Last month the comedy website Funny Or Die conducted its second round of layoffs in two years, this time axing the entire editorial team. The root problem, as seen by many sites focused on original content (even beyond comedy), is a shift towards social media as a point-of-publishing source, where no ad revenue flows back to the creator
 

What War with North Korea Would Look Like. 

Vox | By Yochi Dreazen. In 2007, the U.S. had about 160,000 troops in Iraq. In 2010, they had around 98,000 troops in Afghanistan. But experts believe that if war broke out with North Korea, the U.S. would have to deploy over 200,000. With Kim Jong Un’s massive arsenal of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, see how a war with Korea could be much, much worse than we had thought.
ETCETERA.
It's Fat Tuesday - see photos from Carnival 2018 celebrations around the world

538 helps calculate which Winter Olympic sport suits you best.  

15 interview questions from Google that made smart people feel dumb.

The Black Panther soundtrack is basically a new Kendrick Lamar album. 

8 Instagrammers to follow for an inside look at the Winter Games.

US vs Russia in the first badminton game in outer space (w/ video).

Open Table ranks the 100 most romantic restaurants in America.

Just Desserts: South African lions eat poacher, leaving just his head.

Clickbait: South Korean workaholics go to prison to relax.

Historybook: HBD Chuck Yeager (1923); HBD Jerry Springer (1944); Nashville sit-ins begin (1960); HBD Randy Moss (1977); RIP Waylon Jennings (2002).
"YOU DON'T CONCENTRATE ON RISKS. YOU CONCENTRATE ON RESULTS."
- Chuck Yeager
 
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