Latest Ideas headlines

Genetically modified mice - Hikers walk past a warning sign about ticks and Lyme Disease as they enter the

Ideas special report

Ending Lyme Disease

Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are affected by Lyme disease each year, a number that will continue to grow as the ticks that carry the disease expand their territory. Researchers are taking steps to stop the disease, which has been surrounded by confusion and fear. How close are they to a solution?

STAT

Can a new Lyme disease vaccine overcome a history of distrust and failure?

As the threat of Lyme disease grows, researchers are working on new vaccine approaches. But don’t expect one soon.

Ideas

Know your ticks and how to avoid them

The number of tickborne illnesses in the US is increasing; the number of reported cases of Lyme disease alone have tripled since the 1990s. Here are the most common human-biting ticks in the United States:

Lyme disease

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

Is ‘chronic Lyme disease’ real?

Advocates have played a vital role in bringing attention to Lyme disease. But have the #lymewarriors taken it too far?

for tick stroy -- reconyx doe & fawn -- info from source: pic was taken at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation on Nantucket. -- cutline from Beth: When deer poke their head between two rollers to feed at this experimental feeding station at Nantucket's Linda Loring Nature Foundation, their head, necks, ears and shoulders are painted with pesticide to kill and repel ticks.

Ideas | Allen Steere

Lyme disease: How we discovered it and where we go from here

Dr. Allen Steere led the research that led to the discovery of Lyme disease. Here’s what he thinks should happen now.

Eastern wolf pup, Algonquin Provincial Park. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Ideas | Alan Wirzbicki

The free, all-natural, and quite handsome solution to Lyme disease and other tick maladies

Deer are needed to spread Lyme disease. What if we brought back their natural predators?

Ideas

A tick detective wants to understand what drives tick abundance

What drives blacklegged, or deer, ticks’ abundance and infection rate with the Lyme disease bacteria?

Wild White-Footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) isolated on white background.

Ideas | Pro & Con

Should we use genetic engineering to prevent Lyme disease?

As Lyme disease casts a shadow over New Englanders’ outdoor expeditions, MIT researchers have proposed using gene editing to fight the disease.

06/27/2019 Boston MA -Piping Plovers are on a part of L Street Beach in South Boston.Jonathan Wiggs GlobeStaff/Photographer :Reporter:Topic:piping plovers

Snapshot

Big number: Saving the animals

On Monday, the Trump administration announced changes to the landmark act that would weaken the law and make it harder to protect wildlife from increasing threats like climate change.

Snapshot

Tweets of the Week: Curt Schilling’s Congressional musings, Trader Joe’s anxiety, and ‘circle back’

A look back at the week in 280 characters.

Ideas | Amy Crawford

Urban forests are crucial for combating climate change, but planting more trees is easier said than done

Even as cities incorporate trees into their climate change plans, the Forest Service recently calculated that we are losing as many as 36 million urban trees each year.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

Fixing Boston’s traffic

Boston traffic is a total nightmare. These suggestions could help.

Ideas | Abraar Karan

The clinical value in listening

In medical school, we are trained to say, “I can’t imagine how that must feel,” to empathize with our patients, but the truth is we don’t know what it’s like at all.

Boston, MA--9/26/2016--US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz (cq) announced that a civil rights investigation found a pattern of race-based harassment and discrimination at Boston Latin School. The exterior is photographed, on Monday, September 26, 2016. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 27BLS Reporter: Milton Valencia

Snapshot

Readers React: ‘Why not better serve the larger number of students?’

Would Boston’s African-American and Latino students have a fairer shot at exam school admission if the school department used the MCAS?

Snapshot

Tweets of the Week: Mourning Toni Morrison, #OperationCleanSweep, 30-50 feral hogs

A look back at the week in 280 characters.

Scituate, MA - 05/29/16 - A parishioner takes communion during the final service at St Francis X. Cabrini church in Scituate, MA, May 29, 2016. After 4,233 consecutive days in vigil, the parishioners of St. Frances X. Cabrini closed their spiritual home.(Keith Bedford/GlobeStaff)

Snapshot

Big Number: Eucharistic uncertainty

Most Catholics surveyed by Pew said they don’t believe in a central tenet of their faith.

Boston-03/02/18-A man walks slowly through a flooded sidewalk off Congress Street, where water was flowing over from Fort Point Channel in the Seaport district. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff(metro)

Ideas | Anthony Flint

Letting a thousand flowers bloom: innovations in building climate resilience

Here’s a sampling of the innovative projects that cities are developing to address climate change.

Boston, MA - October 27, 2018: Water from Boston Harbor floods Long Wharf during high tide in Boston, MA on October 27, 2018. The Nor’easter is expected to bring “widespread heavy rain, some urban and poor drainage street flooding, as well as damaging wind gusts on the coastal plain.” (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff) section: sports reporter: RESILIENT BOSTON HARBOR: rendering of the city's climate-ready vision to enhance Boston’s waterfront. Credit: City of Boston

Ideas | Anthony Flint

Tired of waiting for national push, a buzzing hive of climate resilience innovators is at work in Boston

As California deals with increasingly intense wildfires, the Boston region’s most vulnerable areas wait their turn to confront disaster.

Members of a Jehovah's Witness community sing during a gathering at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell in 2016.

Ideas | Amber Scorah

Losing my religion

The first couple years after I left the religion I was born into — the Jehovah’s Witnesses — I was still worried I might die at Armageddon. That was the punishment for those who left.

Ideas | Linda Rodriguez McRobbie

These animals are so ugly. But we need them.

Meet Team Ugly.

Young ethiopian girls take part in a national tree-planting drive in the capital Addis Ababa, on July 28, 2019. - Ethiopia plans to plant a mind-boggling four billion trees by October 2019, as part of a global movement to restore forests to help fight climate change and protect resources. The country says it has planted nearly three billion trees already since May. (Photo by MICHAEL TEWELDE / AFP)MICHAEL TEWELDE/AFP/Getty Images

Snapshot

Big Number: The Climate Change Challenge

Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, but with a lot more green.

Boston, MA--9/26/2016--US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz (cq) announced that a civil rights investigation found a pattern of race-based harassment and discrimination at Boston Latin School. The exterior is photographed, on Monday, September 26, 2016. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 27BLS Reporter: Milton Valencia

Ideas | Jim Stergios

Tackling equity at Boston’s exam schools

While minority enrollment at John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science and at Boston Latin Academy has held steady over the last decade, there has been a steep decline at Boston Latin School.

US President Donald Trump speaks prior to signing HR 1327, an act to permanently authorize the September 11th victim compensation fund, during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, July 29, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Snapshot

Readers React: ‘Trump’s presidency is so toxic, on so many levels, that he has triggered immense resistance to his worldview’

Is this Trump’s true legacy?

Snapshot

Tweets of the Week: Our racist president, Kamala’s plan, and werewolves

A look back at the week in 280 characters.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

Treating Facebook like a (partly evil) baby

Babies, especially demonic ones, need limits.

Black powder explosion against white background.Closeup of black dust particles explode isolated on white background.

Ideas | David Scharfenberg

Power in the rubble of the American Dream: Why Donald Trump may be the most consequential president of our time

He’s crass and cockeyed. But he’s focused the country, like no one else, on the fundamental challenges of the post-industrial, post-civil rights era.

Colorful, massive protests forced Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, from office.

Ideas | Rita Indiana

Puerto Rico, the oldest colony in the world, gives the world a master class on mobilization

About a million people of all ages and classes marched under the ruthless sun, stripped of all partisanship, waving the various flags of this new Puerto Rico.

Snapshot

Readers React: ‘The implication, at least for me, was that Mr. Ansari now realizes, as he perhaps did not in the past, that his perception of events is not the only one.’

On the sincerity of the #MeToo redemption tour.

This image taken from US Border and Custom Protection (CBP) CCTV video and posted on Twitter by US President Donald Trump on May 30, 2019 shows a group of migrants crossing the border with Mexico on May 29, 2019 before being apprehended.

snapshot

Big Number: Americans have immigration on the mind

Between the crisis at the border and President Trump’s provocative — and questionably legal — policies, it’s no wonder that Americans have immigration on the mind.

snapshot

Tweets of the Week: The political entertainment complex, Richie Rich, and bugs

A look back at the week in 280 characters.

 In this Sept. 3, 2017 photo,  The type of phosphorus fueling the algae outbreak has doubled in western Lake Erie tributaries since the Environmental Quality Incentives Program started in the mid-1990s, according to research scientist Laura Johnson of Ohio’s Heidelberg University. Scientists estimate about 85 percent of the Maumee’s phosphorus comes from croplands and livestock operations. ()

Ideas | Ruth Kassinger

How slime will save the world

Dead algae compressed on the ocean floor millions of years ago, turning into the crude oil that is threatening the planet. But the green, slimy stuff may be our best way out of the climate crisis.

Ideas | Sage Stossel

Burnout in the time of Trump

Many of us are overwhelmed these days by the seemingly never-ending onslaught of dismaying Trump-era news.

Snapshot

Readers React: “No, Michael, Democrats need to resist what feels good to them and embrace self-discipline for a change.”

A critique of Nancy Pelosi draws fire.

Original contemporary acrylic and pastel painting of people addicted to cell phone by Nalidsa Sukprasert

Snapshot

False Alarms: Your cellphone won’t give you brain cancer

Much of the fear can be traced back to a single scientist — who got it wrong.

Snapshot

Tweets of the Week

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I’m dead ass convinced this idiot racist could kill someone on Twitter live in the WH west wing & u guys would be like “when he kills someone he reaffirms his message of division. We have to work together to reflect BLAH’ CALL 4 IMPEACHMENT Speaker PelosiStop dragging this OUT <a href="https://t.co/GLu2SbMr8l">https://t.co/GLu2SbMr8l</a></p>&mdash; Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) <a href="https://twitter.com/JanelleMonae/status/1150553848462946306?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Snapshot

50 Words

A name misheard.

Aziz Ansari at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards.

IDEAS | MARELLA GAYLA

Aziz Ansari and the problem with #MeToo redemption stories

The gray, foggy feeling isn’t confusion — did he or didn’t he? — but conflicted certainty: We know he did, so how should we feel about it?

THOMAS ABT | IDEAS

Democrats are skipping out on the most important gun fight of all

The most pressing — and solvable — problem is shootings on the streets of our cities.

Ideas

Consumers called out Nike and Uber for their labor conditions. Now, it’s time to shame colleges

Universities are leaning more and more on poorly treated adjunct labor. Parents should demand better working conditions for the people teaching their children.

For Dominicans on or off the island, the baseball dream is an obsession.

Ideas | Rita Indiana

The David Ortiz shooting and the corruption of the Dominican dream

The details of the crime, the authorities’ much-doubted conclusion, the undercurrent of gossip, and the loose ends are all pieces of the complex puzzle of power in Latin America.

Revellers run next to fighting bulls during the running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Thursday, July, 11, 2019. Revellers from around the world flock to Pamplona every year to take part in the eight days of the running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Snapshot

Big Number: Bullfight

At least three people have been gored by the bulls so far this year at the annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona.

Snapshot

Tweets of the Week: Steyer for Batman, Warren’s emails, and the ‘war cloud’

A look back at the week in 280 characters.

Snapshot

Readers react: ‘Last year’s death has fundamentally changed something very important to many thousands of people — the ability to swim in the ocean’

An online commenter says a fatal attack off the coast of Wellfleet last fall changed everything.

Ideas | Beth Wolfensberger Singer

New versions of classic children’s books for 2019

Having a hard time explaining to your kids why this country seems increasingly careless about the very young?

Boston, MA - 11/9/1965: A gas station at the corner of Old Colony Avenue and Dorchester Street in Boston is open for business by using a portable generator to power the pumps on Nov. 9, 1965. A major power failure caused widespread power outages in Boston and the Northeast, leaving some 36 million people in the dark. (Bob Dean/Globe Staff) --- BGPA Reference: 151109_MJ_005

Ideas | Tony Rehagen

Farewell to hot dog rollers and roadside chats: an elegy for the American gas station

More and more these days, I find myself driving past the ruins of these roadside beacons, windows empty or boarded up, signage stripped. The pumps and tanks have been removed; the canopy dark and riddled with holes.

Boston, MA - 9/8/1976: Students arrive on buses at Blackstone Square School in Boston on Sept. 8, 1976. An initiative to desegregate Boston Public Schools was implemented in the fall of 1974 and was met with strong resistance from many residents of Boston's neighborhoods. (Tom Landers/Globe Staff) BGPA Reference: 140904_MJ_022 Digital Source Type: Digitised from a print on non-transparent medium

IDEAS | JASON SOKOL

Boston aside, busing was a success — and it has a future

The focus on Boston’s bloody experience has obscured success elsewhere.