February 11, 2020

A few weeks ago, the coronavirus outbreak in China caused countless businesses to shutter as the government also restricted travel throughout the country. Many companies announced plans to stay closed during an extended Lunar New Year holiday, which was supposed to end yesterday. But with many workers still unable to leave their hometowns, a number of manufacturers are pushing that date back. Volkswagen, for instance, will only reopen some of its plants in about a week due to complications with Continue reading

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January 31, 2020

Last week, the world learned that a deadly, fast-moving disease called the coronavirus had appeared in several Chinese cities. The mysterious illness has already killed more than a hundred people and infected thousands more, leading the World Health Organization to declare the coronavirus a global health emergency. Despite its potentially worldwide implications, though, right now the disease is primarily localized in China. Along with placing entire cities on quarantine, Chinese authorities have also extended the annual Lunar New Year holiday Continue reading

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December 5, 2019

Although gum companies like Wrigley have been in business for more than a century, today’s consumers aren’t nearly as interested in chewing gum as past generations. From 2010 to 2018, gum sales dropped by 23 percent in the U.S. and 4 percent globally. “Chewing gum is becoming less socially acceptable,” said Mondelez Foods CEO Dirk Van de Put. As the maker of brands like Trident and Dentyne, Mondelez and its competitor Wrigley are trying to convince consumers that gum can Continue reading

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In 1873, Colgate got its start by selling toothpaste stored in glass jars. Then about 20 years later the company began using collapsible tubes for storage, making it the first oral hygiene brand to do so. Colgate didn’t change much in the century that followed this revolutionary packaging decision, even after Palmolive purchased the company in the 1950s. And while it has since introduced new products like electric toothbrushes, Colgate’s central mission remains focused on selling as much toothpaste as Continue reading

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January 5, 2017

AndrewMagillWhen David Malcolm took over his family’s sprinkler system business in 1992, he intended to run the company the same way that his father had over the last few decades. But that soon changed once he picked up an old project that his dad started just before he died: finding another use for a low-flow sprinkler designed for farming. At first Malcolm thought he solved the problem by installing the sprinkler heads on hoses and using them to patch up Continue reading

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September 16, 2016

TechCrunchFor Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, establishing a clear narrative around a startup’s foundation and purpose is essential to success. Few people understood this concept better than Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the formerly acclaimed blood-testing firm Theranos. She founded her company in 2003 at the age of 19 after dropping out of Stanford University’s School of Chemical Engineering. Holmes left college early because she claimed to discover a revolutionary new method for medical testing: rather than drawing a significant amount of blood Continue reading

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August 22, 2016

WomenDressedForAWedding_MMIn 2012, MIT student Amrita Saigal chose to tackle a largely unaddressed health issue for a project in her product design class. She hoped to create a low-cost method to distribute clean, reliable sanitary pads for women across India. The subject of feminine hygiene remains largely taboo on the subcontinent with studies showing that 88 percent of menstruating women are forced to use crude homemade remedies like rags or newspapers. Saigal’s idea centered on a sanitary pad machine that would Continue reading

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April 5, 2015

Each year the pharmaceutical industry develops new drugs that go a long way towards fighting some of the world’s worst diseases. For instance, Bristol-Meyers Squibb recently received FDA (Food & Drug Administration) approval for Opdivo, a drug that significantly boosts the survival rate for sufferers of advanced melanoma. However, one major obstacle stands in the way of Opdivo’s ability to help patients: price. One year of treatment with the drug costs $150,000 per patient, an impossibly tall order for many Continue reading

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January 16, 2015

In 2007 the American birth rate was clipping along at a steady pace. With an average of 69.3 infants being born for every 1,000 fertile-age women, U.S. citizens were making enough babies to keep the population stable. Then the economy took a nosedive the next year and the birth rate quickly followed suit. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, as of 2013 Americans were making only 62.5 babies per 1,000 potential mothers, an amount that falls well below Continue reading

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December 16, 2014

Americans have a tendency to over share information through social media, which can lead to some off-putting online revelations. However, there’s one group of people out there who doesn’t mind reading a detailed status update about your cold symptoms: advertisers. In today’s increasingly personalized marketing landscape, companies are desperate for data about their customers. Along with standard stats like age and income, consumers’ medical histories have now become tools for target marketing.

While data miners can’t legally access confidential medical Continue reading

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