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This Week’s 10 Must-Read Stories

A lost medieval city, a special issue on lead, and why 2016 was the best year ever for Chicago food.

New water main pipes awaiting installation.   Photo: Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune

1. The Information Cure

Two new Chicago institutions—an academic center and a for-profit startup—are applying big data to cure cancer. Chicago magazine profiles the Genomic Data Commons and Tempus.

2. Finding North America’s Lost Medieval City

A thousand years ago, Cahokia, in Southern Illinois, had 30,000 people—more than London or Paris. Archaeologists are trying to figure out why it vanished. Ars Technica goes on a dig.

3. Living with Lead

It’s in the ground, in our pipes, and in our parks. It’s a pervasive problem, and there are people combating it on all fronts. South Side Weekly devotes a whole issue to the subject.

4. Did the NBA Blacklist Former Chicago Bulls Player Craig Hodges Because of His Political Beliefs?

He was ahead of his time as one of the greatest long-distance shooters ever. And maybe too far ahead of his time off the court. The Reader talks with Hodges, the new head coach of his alma mater in Park Forest.

5. Black Life and Death in a Familiar America

National attention has been drawn to the city over its violence. But what are all the eyes missing? A native Chicagoan addresses the nation in Fader.

6. Making the Dance Floor Hotter than July

Chicago invented house music—with Stevie Wonder’s tools. Slate makes the connection.

7. Pharmacies Miss Half of Dangerous Drug Combinations

Reporters went to area pharmacies with prescriptions that had obvious, and severe, conflicts. And got them filled as often as not. The Tribune gathers the evidence.

8. 2016 Was the Best Year in Chicago Dining

Chefs have more influence, vegetables are appearing on more plates, and Asian flavors are permeating the city. Fooditor makes the case.

9. Sources: New High School in the Works for Englewood

Enrollment at neighborhood high schools is cratering. So why would it get a new, $75 million one? WBEZ tries to track down the answer.

10. What Cancer Taught Me

Watch Turner Classic Movies. Don’t look up anything on the internet. And give your body the quiet it needs. Bill Zehme shares his lessons in Chicago magazine.

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