A plant-based food startup is building the machinery to replace America’s favorite meat at an industrial scale

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Illustration: Jess Hannigan

Plant-based meat is having a moment. Impossible Whoppers are available at Burger Kings nationwide, and Dunkin’ now carries a Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwich. Even McDonald’s is going to launch a line of plant-based products.

The growth in alternative meats is largely driven by the view that meat made from plants, unlike the flesh of slaughtered animals, has a smaller carbon footprint and protects the environment instead of adding to its woes. Environmental stewardship is in large part the marketing message for companies pioneering plant-based beef. …

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Illustration: Jaedoo Lee

What the federal lawsuit against Prevagen says about the American supplement industry and the brain

About one month went by until Mary realized she no longer had trouble remembering other people’s names. Jim says it only took three weeks for him to notice an improvement in his memory. Meanwhile, Sue experienced perhaps the most profound effects: She’s less absentminded, a better multitasker, and her recall of people’s names and faces has only gotten better. Her co-workers have noticed, too.

Folks like Mary, Jim, and Sue have been highlighted in commercials, radio spots, social media posts, and earnest-sounding infomercials produced by Quincy Bioscience, a Wisconsin-based supplement company. The television spots have aired on prominent cable networks such as CNN and Fox News. …

Illustration of a vaccine and the caduceus weighed on a scale.
Illustration of a vaccine and the caduceus weighed on a scale.
Illustration: Kate Dehler

Inside the movement to launch a human challenge trial for Covid-19

During Josh Morrison’s first year at Harvard Law School in 2007, while preparing for exams, he took a break from his studies and turned to the New York Times Magazine. That’s when he read an article that changed the trajectory of his life.

The author, a woman named Sally Satel, recounted her quest to find a kidney donor. Two numbers, in particular, grabbed his attention: In 2005 alone, 60,000 people were waiting for a new kidney. By 2007, the list had grown to 74,000. To Morrison, it amounted to a calling.

“The idea of needing an organ and worrying if anyone cared about you enough to do that — that seems like the loneliest, worst thing ever,” he says, relaying the tale in June while we peered at each other through our computer webcams. …

A photo collage of an empty bedroom, a portrait of Starcity CEO Jon Dishotsky, and a refrigerator with a welcome card.
A photo collage of an empty bedroom, a portrait of Starcity CEO Jon Dishotsky, and a refrigerator with a welcome card.
From top left (clockwise): An empty bedroom from a Starcity residence in San Francisco, CA; Starcity co-founder and CEO Jon Dishotsky; a welcome card for new residents at Starcity is shown on the communal refrigerator. Photography: Jason Henry

Nonresidents must wear masks, and some residents are staying in their rooms

On the first day of October 2019, Julia O. Test moved into a Starcity co-living house in Los Angeles. Soon, the 34-year-old photographer was joined by more housemates, about a dozen people in all from their twenties through their forties.

In Starcity housing, everyone has their own bedroom — and in Test’s case, her bedroom suite came with a private bathroom. Otherwise, the housemates share cookware, kitchen utensils, and regular household supplies. They hang out in shared living rooms. They eat meals together in designer kitchens. Many use the same bathrooms.

“For me, it’s the right way to live: You have a built-in community, and I think a lot of people would benefit from that,” she says. “Prior to that, I was in a studio high-rise in Hollywood, and it was really isolating.” …

Even Dr. Pimple Popper is tackling the coronavirus

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Illustration: Wenkai Mao

Dr. Franz Wiesbauer could not believe what he was seeing.

It was the middle of February, and the Diamond Princess cruise ship was idling in port in Japan. On board, the number of passengers infected with the novel coronavirus was steadily climbing: first 10, then 200, then more than 600 cases. And as Wiesbauer looked on from his home in Austria, a slinking thought grew ever more pronounced in the forefront of his mind.

“‘Shit,’ I thought. When I saw how fast that virus spread within that ship, it was kind of scary,” he recalls.

Within weeks the coronavirus spread from China and across Asia, Europe, and the United States. So Wiesbauer, a trained internist and epidemiologist, did what he thought any doctor with a YouTube channel should do: He made a video. …

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Starcity’s property at 229 Ellis Street in San Francisco. Rent for Starcity residences varies depending on the location, but generally ranges from $1,000 to $2,300. Photography: Jason Henry

Into the Valley

Some have doubts

This article is part of Into the Valley, a feature series from OneZero about Silicon Valley, the people who live there, and the technology they create.

One of the most ambitious real estate projects in Silicon Valley is just getting off the ground in San Jose, on the 100 block of Bassett Street. As early as 2021, a massive, 803-bedroom high-rise apartment building will sit here, not far from the city’s major rail and transit hub. …

Why therapists are worried that calorie restriction is now a productivity hack

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Illustration: Nan Lee

In December, on the day after Christmas, an entire segment of Good Morning America was devoted to intermittent fasting.

Pioneers of human longevity science have long embraced the eating pattern, which they sometimes refer to as caloric restriction. Ingest less food, they say, and the body shuts down a crucial pathway for regulating cellular metabolism, putting cells into repair mode. The thinking is that humans age less quickly while cells are shoring up their defenses instead of growing and dividing.

Now a diet favored by people questing to live longer was getting airtime on a popular morning show. The message was clear. Intermittent fasting is no longer just the purview of folks like Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO who outlined his strict eating regimen during a podcast interview last year, revealing he doesn’t eat until 6:30 p.m. each day. The diet has broken into the mainstream. …

What scientists are learning about ‘hidden hearing loss’

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Illustration: Jon Han

Take a stroll down a busy street and the sounds are everywhere — and even more pernicious to your hearing than you might expect, considering that normal speaking volume registers just 60 decibels. Cars honking, sirens wailing? That’s 85 decibels of sound. An approaching subway train launches 100 decibels into the air.

Think it’s safer in the suburbs? The leaf blower: 85 decibels. The dog who decides to bark in the car: 110 decibels.

And lest we forget about AirPods: Those minuscule technological gadgets can send pulsating waves at decibel levels above 100 directly into your ear. …

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Illustrations: Adrian Forrow

The acceptable range of emotions for men is making it hard to recognize red flags — and get treatment

It was early in the 2017 NBA season when starting center Kevin Love realized his mental health was affecting his ability to play basketball — a fact that, when he wrote about it several months later, surprised many.

On the surface, the Cleveland Cavaliers player had little to be anxious about. Sure, his team lost the NBA Finals several months before to the Golden State Warriors. But athletes are accustomed to loss, and they learn how to process and then move past it. Besides, the year before, the Lebron James-led Cavaliers finally bested the Warriors to win the 2016 NBA Championship and make history. It was the only time an NBA team down three games to one in a finals series came back to win. …

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Illustrations: Jaedoo Lee

Supplement makers may be headed for jail due to deaths among men and women using their pills. But will anything change?

When Leanne Sparling took the call on June 1, 2011, the voice on the phone told her to pray. It was all she could do to save her son’s life.

That morning, Michael Sparling collapsed during a run with his Army unit at Fort Bliss, Texas, went into cardiac arrest, and was rushed to the hospital. When the commander of the hospital called Leanne, Michael was receiving CPR, but ultimately the doctors failed to resuscitate him. Before noon, he was gone, dead of a heart attack at age 22.

Sparling was shocked, grief-stricken, and confused: Her son had a heart attack? He was fit and active. He played soccer and football during junior high in California, took martial arts lessons with his father, and went snowboarding. But at 145 pounds and standing just under six feet, Michael thought himself small for an infantryman. During basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia, a friend recommended Jack3d, a performance-enhancing supplement from USP Labs. The Dallas-based distributor sold its workout and fat-burning dietary supplements directly to consumers as well as to large retailers like GNC. Roughly four weeks prior to leaving Fort Benning for Fort Bliss, Michael purchased a container of Jack3d powder. …


Andrew Zaleski

Writer based near Washington, D.C. Read more: www.AndrewZaleski.com or https://ajzaleski.substack.com/

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