Visa is buying Plaid in a deal worth $5.3 billion — roughly double the start-up’s last private valuation.
Plaid’s API software lets start-ups connect to users’ bank accounts and works with Venmo, mobile investing app Robinhood and cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase and Gemini.
Plaid says 25% of people in the United States with bank accounts have connected to the fintech company through an app. Visa and rival Mastercard were early investors in the start-up, along with the venture arms of Goldman Sachs, Citi and American Express.


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Deaths from lung cancer dropped by 51 percent among men since the early 1990s and by 26 percent among women since the early 2000s. The report also credits drops in lung cancer mortality for a 2.2 percent dip from 2016 to 2017 — the largest decline of cancer deaths in a single year ever reported. Doctors attribute the success in part to lower smoking rates but also to significant advances in treatment.

Major medical advances are continuing

"The years we have been investing in basic science of cancer therapeutics [are] now starting to pay off," said Dr. Patrick Hwu, division head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.


Hwu, who was not involved with the new report, credited targeted therapies, which are drugs that work to eliminate the circuitry that turns on cancer cells.


Another of the biggest advances, experts said, has been the development of immunotherapies such as Keytruda, also known as pembrolizumab. It uses the body’s immune system to fight tumors, and it is approved for lung cancer and melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.


The American Cancer Society report also found rapid declines in melanoma death rates, up to 7 percent a year from 2013 to 2017 among adults, also attributable to new treatments. The Food and Drug Administration approved two key drugs to treat melanoma: ipilimumab and vemurafenib.


"We’re actually seeing the effect of those drugs reflected in the overall melanoma death rate," said Rebecca Siegel, scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society and an author of the new report. "That’s really exciting." Physicians are seeing it in practice, as well.


"In the past decade, how we treat invasive melanoma has evolved so unbelievably rapidly that it is, for some, becoming more of a chronic disease than a death sentence," said Dr. Adam Friedman, a professor of dermatology at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.

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The World Economic Forum shared the Future of Jobs report in 2018 that provided a list of the growing skills for 2022. Here are the top 10:

– Analytical thinking and innovation
– Active learning and learning strategies
– Creativity, originality, and initiative
– Technology design and programming
– Critical thinking and analysis
– Complex problem-solving
– Leadership and social influence
– Emotional intelligence
– Reasoning, problem-solving, and ideation
– Systems analysis and evaluation

If we look at these 10 skill areas, what types of learning experiences or learning spaces can we create for our students that can address most if not all of them? Looking at these skills individually and thinking about the nature of our work, it can seem overwhelming. However, there are some simple ways to create a space where students can build all of these skills and more.

Here are six ideas to try that can help to address these skills:


1. Project-based Learning (PBL)

2. Coding

3. STEAM and Makerspaces

4. Place-based

5. Genius Hour

6. Student-Led PD or Teacher for a Day


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Recover from dengue once, and you’re not necessarily free and clear. The mosquito-borne disease marked by fever, rash, and debilitating pain results from any of four genetically distinct versions of the dengue virus. Previously infected people who get hit with a second of these “serotypes” can face more severe, even life-threatening symptoms.


Now, by endowing a line of mosquitoes with an antibody against the virus, researchers have for the first time made insects that—at least in lab tests—appear unable to spread any form of the disease. In theory, these mosquitoes could be released into the wild to suppress the circulation of the virus. “This is right on the money,” says Alexander Franz, a biologist at the University of Missouri, Columbia, who studies insect-borne viruses. “This is what you need to do if you really want to have a strong effect on dengue prevalence.”



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Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon in November surged by 104 percent compared to the same month in 2018, according to official data. The 563 square kilometers (217 square miles) deforested that month is also the highest number for any November since 2015, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), which provides official data on deforestation.


That is considered a significant increase, particularly during the rainy season, when deforestation generally slows.

For the first 11 months of the year—also the first months in office of Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right leader who has eased restrictions on exploiting the Amazon’s vast riches—deforestation totaled 8,974.3 square kilometers. That is nearly twice the 4,878.7 square kilometers reported for the first 11 months of 2018.


The data was collected by the satellite-based DETER system, which monitors deforestation in real time. Another satellite-based system used by the INPE known as PRODES, considered more reliable but slower to compile data, reported in late November that in the 12 months beginning August 2018, deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon had passed the 10,000 square kilometer threshold for the first time since 2008. That represented a 43 percent increase from the preceding 12-month period.


Deforestation in indigenous areas rose even faster, by 74.5 percent from the preceding period, INPE reported.

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Google has developed an artificial intelligence system that is better at spotting breast cancer in mammograms than doctors, a study in the journal Nature suggests. Analysing more than 90,000 women in the UK and US, the AI model reduced the number of false positives by 5.7% in the US and 1.2% in the UK. There was also a reduction of false negatives, where an existing cancer is missed, by 9.4% and 2.7% respectively. The NHS system uses two radiologists to analyse each woman’s X-rays amid an estimated shortfall of more than 1,000 radiologists across the UK. 

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Israeli scientists say a new study has shown that a small molecule called PJ34 has triggered the self-destruction of human pancreatic cancer cells in mice. According to the research, published in the peer-reviewed open-access biomedical journal Oncotarget, the administration of the molecule reduced the number of cancer cells in developed tumors by up to 90 percent in 30 days.

The study was led by Professor Malka Cohen-Armon and her team at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with Dr. Talia Golan and her team at the Cancer Research Center at Sheba Medical Center, and conducted with transplantations of human pancreatic cancer cells into immunocompromised mice, or xenografts.


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