The Obtain: an enormous DeepMind breakthrough, and fixing the US grid

That is at present’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a every day dose of what’s happening on the earth of know-how.

DeepMind has predicted the construction of just about each protein recognized to science

The information: DeepMind says its AlphaFold device has efficiently predicted the construction of practically all proteins recognized to science. From at present, it’s providing its database of over 200 million proteins to anybody totally free. It’s an enormous enhance to the present database of 1 million proteins it launched final yr, and contains constructions for crops, micro organism, animals, and lots of different organisms.

Why it issues: The expanded database opens up enormous alternatives for AlphaFold to have affect on necessary points resembling sustainability, gasoline, meals insecurity, and uncared for ailments, based on Demis Hassabis, DeepMind’s founder and CEO. Scientists may use the findings to higher perceive ailments, and to hurry innovation in drug discovery and biology, he added. Learn the total story.

—Melissa Heikkilä

AI for protein folding represents such a significant advance that it was chosen as one in all MIT Know-how Evaluation’s 10 Breakthrough Applied sciences this yr. Learn our story explaining why it’s so thrilling, and our profile of DeepMind’s founder Demis Hassabis, the place he explains why this can be the corporate’s most vital and long-lasting contribution to science.

Stitching collectively the grid will save lives as excessive climate worsens

The blistering warmth waves that set temperature data throughout a lot of the US in current days have strained electrical energy methods, threatening to knock out energy in weak areas of the nation. Whereas the electrical energy has largely stayed on-line thus far this summer time, heavy use of energy-sucking air-conditioners and the extraordinary warmth has contributed to scattered issues and shut calls.

It’s unlikely to get higher quickly. A variety of grid operators might wrestle to satisfy peak summer time demand, creating the chance of rolling blackouts, a brand new report from the North American Electrical Reliability Company has discovered. The nation’s remoted and antiquated grids are in determined want of upgrades.

One answer could be to extra tightly combine the nation’s regional grids, stitching them along with extra long-range transmission traces, permitting energy to circulate between areas to the place it’s wanted extra urgently. Nonetheless, that’s a mission that’s fraught with challenges. Learn the total story.

—James Temple

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at present’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 Meta’s income dropped for the primary time
The cracks in Mark Zuckerberg’s pivot to the metaverse are starting to point out. (NYT $)
+ Extra individuals are logging into Fb every day, although. (WP $)
+ Zuck says Meta is in ‘very deep, philosophical competitors’ with Apple. (The Verge)
+ Discord is a pure residence for customers disillusioned by Instagram. (WSJ $)
+ Ex-Fb and Bumble staff have constructed their very own ‘much less poisonous’ social community. (Protocol)

2 Senators have superior little one on-line security laws 
However others argue that such safeguards ought to apply to customers of all ages. (WP $)
+ Three wannabe senators have deep hyperlinks to the tech companies they’re railing in opposition to. (NYT $)

three A Greek politician was focused by Israeli adware
He’s filed a lawsuit to pressure Greek authorities to research who was behind the tried hack. (NYT $)
+ Carine Kanimba claimed the Rwandan authorities used Pegasus adware to spy on her household. (Motherboard)
+ The hacking trade faces the top of an period. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

four Bitcoin costs are rising once more
After the Federal Reserve raised rates of interest. (CNBC)

5 Take a journey throughout the universe 🪐
This superb information walks you thru all the pieces from exoplanets to supermassive black holes. (New Scientist $)
+ Will the universe’s growth imply planets not orbit stars? (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

7 Your fashionable automotive is leaking your information
Whereas lots of it’s anonymized, the chance of privateness breaches is actual. (The Markup)

eight High-quality TVs lay naked unhealthy CGI 
Exhibiting up all its poorly-rendered flaws. (Vulture $)

9 Is DALL-E’s artwork stolen?
Whereas customers can commercialize their AI creations, the mannequin is skilled on others’ work. (Engadget)
+ Legal professionals may select to signify AIs in future courtroom battles. (Slate)
+ OpenAI is able to promote DALL-E to its first million clients. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

10 What previous canines can educate us about our personal brains
Simply don’t attempt to educate them new tips. (Knowable Journal)

Quote of the day

“This isn’t the Instagram that we used to have.”

—Tatiana Bruening, the creator of a viral put up urging Instagram to cease attempting to be TikTok, laments the platform’s resolution to chase a Gen Z viewers, she tells the Wall Road Journal.

The large story

She risked all the pieces to reveal Fb. Now she’s telling her story.

July 2021

When Sophie Zhang went public with explosive revelations detailing the political manipulation she’d uncovered throughout her time as a knowledge scientist at Fb, she provided concrete proof to help what critics had lengthy been saying on the surface: that Fb makes election interference straightforward, and that except such exercise hurts the corporate’s enterprise pursuits, it could possibly’t be bothered to repair the issue.

By talking out and eschewing anonymity, Zhang risked authorized motion from the corporate, hurt to her future profession prospects, and even perhaps reprisals from the politicians she uncovered within the course of. Her story reveals that it’s actually pure luck that we now know a lot about how Fb allows election interference globally, and to regulators around the globe contemplating the way to rein within the firm, this ought to be a wake-up name. Learn the total story.

—Karen Hao

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre instances. (Received any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ Japanese artist Hiroshige was well-known for his lovely woodblock prints, however these instructive footage explaining the way to create shadow puppets for youngsters are further particular.
+ Uhoh, Freya the walrus is an actual boat-sinking pest.
+ Whip up these mouth-watering Mediterranean recipes and picture you’re chilling in Rome.
+ The winners of this years’ Audubon Images Awards are spectacular (thanks Peter!)
+ In case you’re a fan of essay-length texts, you’re a paragraph girlie.

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