5 Things You Need To Know Today (November 16, 2017)

Photo by Alessio Bogani

1. Matcha beer is now a thing.

For those Saturday nights when matcha latte just won't cut it, there is now a matcha-infused beer in NYC. Served at a new tea bar called 29B, the bright-green ale is matcha powder mixed into a rice-based lager from Japan. (Grub Street)

2. The FDA has issued a formal warning against herbal supplement kratom.

Often used to help people with opioid addiction, kratom (which can be bought online or in a vending machine) has caused at least 36 deaths because the product is unregulated and being used without instruction. While health care professionals are interested and hopeful that kratom can be a productive herbal supplement for those struggling with addiction, they need to know more about it before making any formal recommendations. (Stat News)

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3. A new longevity gene was discovered—and soon it might be a drug.

A genetic mutation that protects against different aspects of aging was discovered in a family of Old Order Amish. Scientists are now experimenting with a drug that tries to mimic this mutation and has the potential to protect against age-related illnesses in humans. (Science Daily)

4. Mattel just debuted a Barbie wearing a hijab.

On Monday, Mattel rolled out a new version of the Barbie doll, and this time she's wearing a hijab, inspired by Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. Muhammad made sure to be as involved as possible in the process. On top of making sure the fabric was as thick as a real hijab, she made some tweaks to her Barbie's body as well. "I think that having strong legs helped me win a medal at the Olympic Games, so I wanted my legs to be larger, more athletic legs, toned legs," she said. (Vogue)

5. There's more farmland in the world than we thought.

New surveys have shown that there's 15 to 20 percent more cropland in the world than previously thought. "It is invaluable to know the precise location of croplands and their dynamics to lead to informed and productive farm management," USGS research geographer Prasad Thenkabail said in the statement. (Bloomberg)

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