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Scientists are trying to track the spread of a red meat allergy caused by a tick that can "reprogram your immune system," according to Wired.

  • The "lone star tick," named for a Texas-shaped spot on its back, is usually local to the southeast, but in the past year almost 100 cases of the allergy have been reported in Minnesota, New Hampshire and Long Island.
  • "Just a few bites and you can render anyone really, really allergic," Jeff Wilson, an immunology fellow with Platts-Mills told Wired.
  • The cause: Thomas Platts-Mills, an immunologist at the University of Virginia, found that the allergy stems from something in the tick's saliva that "hijacks humans' immune systems," red-flags a sugar in red meat called alpha-gal, and releases histamines after consuming red meat. They don't know what that "something" is yet.

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The fight over fracking

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Democrats sound alarm on mail-in votes

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Democrats are calling a last-minute audible on mail-in voting after last night's Supreme Court ruling on Wisconsin.

Driving the news: Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic secretary of state of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes. They are warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere sentenced to life in prison

Carts full of court documents related to the U.S. v. Keith Raniere case arrive at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nxivm cult leader Keith Raniere, 60, was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Tuesday in federal court for sex trafficking among other crimes, the New York Times reports.

Catch up quick: Raniere was convicted last summer with sex trafficking, conspiracy, sexual exploitation of a child, racketeering, forced labor and possession of child pornography. His so-called self-improvement workshops, which disguised rampant sexual abuse, were popular among Hollywood and business circles.

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