Welcome to this week’s science newsletter, featuring articles written by researchers and scientists. Here are highlights from the past week.

Interest is growing in using CRISPR to engineer viruses that combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Arizona State biologist Kevin Doxzen, who worked in the lab of CRISPR co-discoverer Jennifer Douda, writes about new strategies using viruses to kill harmful bacteria that traditional treatments struggle to defeat. He explains how this technique, known as phage therapy, has been given a powerful new tool in CRISPR, which allows virus designers to precisely target bacterial DNA.

Technology ethicists say AI is making us less human. Artificial intelligence is slowly sucking the serendipity out of daily life, write Nir Eisikovits and Dan Feldman at UMass Boston’s Applied Ethics Center. Algorithms are trained on past behaviors and patterns, which leads to more predictable outcomes in things ranging from movie recommendations on Netflix to, more ominously, bias in corporate decisions, such as who gets a bank loan. Their biggest worry? People’s ability to make choices is getting worse, particularly moral decisions.

The risk of heavy metals in baby foods is real. University of Connecticut health researcher C. Michael White unpacks a recent congressional report that found arsenic, lead and other heavy metals are present in baby foods. The causes are ultimately our soil and the pollutants that go into it via sources like fertilizer or pollution from burning coal. He walks through the guidance on safety levels and recommends alternatives to rice-based products and plants that have close contact with the soil, such as carrots and sweet potatoes.

Below you’ll find the full list of our science, technology, health and environment stories. Thanks for reading and respond to this email with what you’d like our science team of editors to cover.

Martin La Monica

Deputy Editor

Bacteriophage (yellow) are viruses that infect and destroy bacteria (blue). Christoph Burgstedt/Science Photo Library,Getty Images

Engineered viruses can fight the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Kevin Doxzen, Arizona State University

As the world has focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, other microbial foes are waging war on humans. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose a growing threat. But viruses may defeat them.

AI promises to make life easier, but what will humans lose in the bargain? AP Photo/Frank Augstein

AI is killing choice and chance – which means changing what it means to be human

Nir Eisikovits, University of Massachusetts Boston; Dan Feldman, University of Massachusetts Boston

By letting machines recommend movies and decide whom to hire, humans are losing their unpredictable nature – and possibly the ability to make everyday judgments, as well.

One study found that 95% of baby foods tested contained at least one heavy metal. Plume Creative via Getty Images

How safe is your baby food? Company reports show arsenic, lead and other heavy metals – here’s what you need to know

C. Michael White, University of Connecticut

Baby foods with rice or root vegetables, like carrots and sweet potatoes, had some of the highest levels, but they weren’t the only ones.

Other good finds