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How Tech Helped Winston-Salem Quit Tobacco
The North Carolina city was once a major producer of cigarettes in the country. Now it’s manufacturing human organs.
By Colin Woodard
October 20, 2016
Inside a suite of laboratories nestled amid what was once the world’s largest tobacco manufacturing complex, a team of researchers is growing human bladders, tracheas and muscles using the patients’ own cells. In another laboratory, workers are producing human ears and tissue with a 3D printer. In the not-too-distant future they hope to “bioprint” kidneys, noses, livers and other tailor-made organs and tissue for surgical implantation. It’s work that’s healing wounded soldiers and sick civilians, but it’s also a remarkably apt metaphor for the regeneration that has helped bring this city of 230,000 back to life.
Just 20 years ago, Winston-Salem was a city in decline. Prostitutes and drug dealers roamed Trade Street, once the commercial heart of the city, while to the east, abandoned tobacco factory buildings stretched for block after block, a reminder of the downsizing of R.J. Reynolds, the city’s most famous corporate citizen, which had merged with food giant Nabisco and moved its headquarters to Atlanta. READ MORE
The housing market is bouncing back
New home sales hit their highest level since 2008 in April. Yes, 2008. The year the housing market, Wall Street and the entire U.S. economy went to you know what in a hand basket.
And home prices hit a record high.
Big homebuilder stocks Pulte (PHM) and KB Home (KBH) both rallied on the home sales news. And they are beating the broader market this year.
Shares of home price tracker Zillow (Z) — aka the web site you go to voyeuristically see what your neighbor’s home might be worth — are up more than 20% this year as well. READ MORE