Disease control has made incredible strides in the last century, as interventions like vaccines and antibiotics have averted undeterminable suffering. In 2014 we face a backlash as vaccine uptake drops, preventable diseases re-emerge, and bacteria continue to evolve resistance to our most powerful drugs. Yet even as the limits of these tools become apparent, scientific understanding opens up new avenues to disease-free living. On ERV, Abbie Smith shares an incredible account of genetic tinkering that could curb malaria worldwide. Researchers used a ‘homing endonuclease’ to ensure male mosquitoes made sperm with mostly Y chromosomes, meaning they fathered mostly more males. This could provide a clear benefit since only female mosquitoes suck blood (and thereby transmit malaria); the new ratio between the sexes would reduce overall mosquito numbers. You hear that boys? Life without bitches! It’ll crash your population. Meanwhile, on The Pump Handle, Dr. Rajiv Bhatia says to combat disease in the U.S., we could simply raise the minimum wage. Analysis of a proposed $13/hour standard in California concluded that the raise would prevent 389 premature deaths per year among low-income workers in the state.