The Engine revs up

As a result, many bold concepts—the kind that could make a serious difference on sustainable energy, climate change, or human health—were getting marooned in the lab, because there was no good system to support their development all the way to the marketplace. Turning a brand-new piece of science into a world-changing technology that is optimized, […]

Bolstering innovation in the heart of America

That comment spurred an exchange of visits between MIT folks and Kentucky innovators. Eventually, Kentucky became the first US state accepted into MIT’s Regional Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program, which aims to connect entrepreneurs, corporations, government, investors, and higher education. AccelerateKY was founded to continue the work.  Growing up in a working-class family near Bowling Green, Ford […]

Unix legend, who owes us nothing, keeps fixing foundational AWK code

Enlarge / Brian Kernighan speaking at a tribute to his Bell Labs coworker and The C Programming Language co-author Dennis Ritchie in 2012. Ritchie’s visage in dominoes is behind Kernighan. reader comments 0 with 0 posters participating Share this story A Princeton professor, finding a little time for himself in the summer academic lull, emailed […]

The outgoing White House AI director explains the policy challenges ahead

They’re making good progress on this and anticipate having that framework out by the beginning of 2023. There are some nuances here—different people interpret risk differently, so it’s important to come to a common understanding of what risk is and what appropriate approaches to risk mitigation might be, and what potential harms might be. You’ve […]

The Download: synthetic sex cells, and brain stimulation

The way we make babies could be about to change. Maybe.  An embryo forms when sperm meets egg. But what if we could start with other cells—if a blood sample or skin biopsy could be transformed into “artificial” sperm and eggs? What if those were all you needed to make a baby? That’s the promise […]

Inside the race to make human sex cells in the lab

But there are other hurdles—some so challenging that many scientists have given up. For one thing, nudging the stem cells in the right direction requires, it seems, a unique touch and expertise. Not just anyone will be able to make egg and sperm cells in the lab, says Saitou.  Top chef Saitou and Hayashi, now […]

Meet the designer behind gender-neutral emoji

Emoji tended to codify gender with traditional signs of masculinity (beard, mustache, short hair) and femininity (painted nails, longer hair, skirts). Hunt found this limiting, even disturbing: Why was a nurse a woman and a police officer a man? Why were “frivolous” activities like getting your nails painted or dancing depicted as feminine, while “serious” […]

Exposing the messy, technologized, and undervalued nature of reproductive labor

The milk in this exhibit is not real. After much experimenting, Liu ended up filling the pump with “magician’s milk,” a proprietary formula, purchased from a magic shop, that requires no refrigeration and comes with the warning “Not a food product. Do not drink!” Nevertheless, it looks convincing. When installing the piece, Liu originally considered […]

Govt: online safe code won’t deflect regulation

Peter Griffin, Editor. 23 August 2022, 12:45 pm NetSafe’s online safety code developed with the major social media platform providers has been widely panned as a tokenistic effort by the companies to deflect regulatory action. Now, as Newsroom reporter Marc Daalder reveals, it appears the Government shares the same reservations as groups such as InternetNZ […]

Brain stimulation can improve the memory of older people

By the end of the four days, those who’d had their brains stimulated improved their performance by around 50 to 65% and remembered around four to six extra words from the list of 20, on average, says Reinhart. “It’s very impressive,” says Roi Cohen Kadosh, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Surrey, who was […]