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VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

Fifteen years ago, David Glowacki was walking in the mountains when he took a sharp fall. When he hit the ground, blood began leaking into his lungs. As he lay there suffocating, Glowacki’s field of perception swelled. He peered down at his own body—and, instead of his typical form, saw that he was made up of balled-up light. “I knew that the intensity of the light was related to the...


FRIDAY 5. AUGUST 2022


Corruption is sending shock waves through China’s chipmaking industry

China’s chipmaking industry descended into chaos last week, with at least four top executives associated with a state-owned semiconductor fund arrested on corruption charges. It’s an explosive turn of events that could force the country to fundamentally rethink how it invests in chip development, according to analysts and experts.  On July 30, China’s top anticorruption institution...

Automated techniques could make it easier to develop AI

Machine-learning researchers make many decisions when designing new models. They decide how many layers to include in neural networks and what weights to give inputs at each node. The result of all this human decision-making is that complex models end up being “designed by intuition” rather than systematically, says Frank Hutter, head of the machine-learning lab at the University of Freiburg...


THURSDAY 4. AUGUST 2022


This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

In a search for novel forms of longevity medicine, a biotech company based in Israel says it intends to create embryo-stage versions of people in order to harvest tissues for use in transplant treatments. The company, Renewal Bio, is pursuing recent advances in stem-cell technology and artificial wombs demonstrated by Jacob Hanna, a biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot....


WEDNESDAY 3. AUGUST 2022


Researchers repaired cells in damaged pig organs an hour after the animal’s death

A new system stopped the deterioration of cells in pig organs one hour after the animal’s death, a finding that suggests cells don’t die as quickly as previously understood. The technology successfully restored blood circulation and repaired damaged cells in the pigs. The research, described in Nature today, could pave the way to making human organs more viable for transplantation by making...

Everything you need to know about the monkeypox vaccines

The global outbreak of monkeypox has so far led to more than 24,000 cases in over 80 countries, and the World Health Organization has warned that the window of opportunity to contain the disease and prevent it from becoming endemic outside Africa is rapidly closing. Vaccines represent a potentially crucial measure. Monkeypox vaccines are already being deployed around the world, and news reports...


TUESDAY 2. AUGUST 2022


EV tax credits could stall out on lack of US battery supply

The US Senate Democrats came to a climate compromise last week, releasing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The 725-page bill laid out hundreds of billions of dollars for climate programs, and if it passes, it could help the US achieve a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 40% from the 2005 peak. One of the bill’s key climate components is an extension of the electric vehicle tax...


MONDAY 1. AUGUST 2022



FRIDAY 29. JULY 2022



THURSDAY 28. JULY 2022


Here are the biggest technology wins in the breakthrough climate bill

Two weeks after blowing up hopes of a US climate deal, Senator Joe Manchin announced on Wednesday that he and Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic majority leader, had struck a compromise agreement that would provide nearly $400 billion for climate and energy projects. It remains to be seen whether the sprawling spending package proposed by the Senate Democrats will pass in its current form,...

Why Twitter still has those terrible Trends

When Twitter introduced a new feature called Trends in mid-2008, the company’s cofounder Jack Dorsey described it as an evolution of the morning media diet. Where he might once have gained a sense of what was important in the world by reading newspapers or online media, Dorsey wrote in a short blog post, Trends, “at a glance,” allowed him to “see what the world considers important in this...

DeepMind has predicted the structure of almost every protein known to science

DeepMind says its AlphaFold tool has successfully predicted the structure of nearly all proteins known to science. From today, the Alphabet-owned AI lab is offering its database of over 200 million proteins to anyone for free.  When DeepMind introduced AlphaFold in 2020, it took the science community by surprise. Scientists had spent decades trying to understand how proteins, which are...


WEDNESDAY 27. JULY 2022


A day in the life of a Chinese robotaxi driver

When Liu Yang started his current job, he found it hard to go back to driving his own car: “I instinctively went for the passenger seat. Or when I was driving, I would expect the car to brake by itself,” says the 33-year-old Beijing native, who joined the Chinese tech giant Baidu in January 2021 as a robotaxi driver. If you live in a place like San Francisco, Phoenix, or Shenzhen, you are...


TUESDAY 26. JULY 2022


How governments seize millions in stolen cryptocurrency

There have been so many recent multimillion-dollar cryptocurrency thefts that it’s easy to lose track. Organized crime, bad cybersecurity, financially motivated spies, and colorful criminals of all kinds have made so many headlines that even huge heists can go mostly unnoticed by the public.  But sometimes the government is able to get it back. Last week, the United States seized...


MONDAY 25. JULY 2022


We’re starting to understand the mysterious surge of hepatitis in children

Hundreds of young children around the world have developed severe cases of hepatitis with no obvious cause, leaving doctors baffled. But two new studies reveal the potential culprits: a combination of genetic factors, lockdowns, and at least two viruses working together. Doctors first noticed a strange cluster of hepatitis cases in young children in Scotland in April this year. By April 8, 60...

The Download: monkeypox detection in wastewater, and China’s tycoon control

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. Wastewater could help us more accurately detect monkeypox The news: Last month, Stanford’s Sewer Coronavirus Alert Network, or SCAN, added monkeypox to the suite of viruses it checks wastewater for daily. Since then,…


SATURDAY 23. JULY 2022


Monkeypox is in Bay Area wastewater

Last month, Stanford’s Sewer Coronavirus Alert Network, or SCAN, added monkeypox to the suite of viruses it checks wastewater for daily. Since then, monkeypox has been detected in 10 of the 11 sewer systems that SCAN tests, including those in Sacramento, Palo Alto, and several other cities in California’s Bay Area. As of July 21, the US had recorded 2,593 monkeypox cases. Globally, the...