The Obtain: changing animal testing, and underwater drones

That is at this time’s version of The Obtain, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s happening on this planet of expertise.

Is that this the tip of animal testing?

Animal research are notoriously dangerous at figuring out human therapies. Round 95% of the medication developed by way of animal analysis fail in folks, however till just lately there was no different possibility.

Now organs on chips, also called microphysiological programs, could provide a very viable different. They’re triumphs of bioengineering, intricate constructions furrowed with tiny channels which are lined with residing human tissues that broaden and contract with the circulate of fluid and air, mimicking key organ capabilities like respiratory, blood circulate, and peristalsis, the muscular contractions of the digestive system.

It’s solely early days, but when they work as hoped, organs on chips might clear up one of many greatest issues in drugs at this time. Learn the total story.

—Harriet Brown

This story is from the forthcoming print concern of MIT Know-how Overview, which explores the theme of Play. It’s set to go dwell on Wednesday June 26, so when you don’t already, subscribe now to get a duplicate when it lands.

How underwater drones might form a possible Taiwan-China battle

A possible future battle between Taiwan and China can be formed by novel strategies of drone warfare involving superior underwater drones and elevated ranges of autonomy, in accordance with a brand new war-gaming experiment by the suppose tank Middle for a New American Safety (CNAS). 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, drones have been aiding in what army specialists describe as the primary three steps of the “kill chain”—discovering, focusing on, and monitoring a goal—in addition to in delivering explosives. Drones like these can be far much less helpful in a potential invasion of Taiwan. As an alternative, a battle with Taiwan would doubtless make use of undersea and maritime drones to scout for submarines. Learn the total story.

—James O’Donnell

Ought to social media include a well being warning?

Earlier this week, the US surgeon basic, also called the “nation’s physician,” authored an article making the case that well being warnings ought to accompany social media. The purpose: to guard youngsters from its dangerous results.

However the relationship between this expertise and well being isn’t black and white. Social media can have an effect on customers in numerous methods—usually positively. So let’s take a better take a look at the considerations, the proof behind them, and the way finest to deal with them. Learn the total story.

—Jessica Hamzelou

This story is from The Checkup, our weekly well being and biotech e-newsletter. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you at this time’s most enjoyable/necessary/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 The US authorities is banning Kaspersky’s antivirus software program  
Officers declare the agency’s ties with Russia imply it poses a significant safety threat. (Reuters)
+ It’ll ban gross sales of software program from 20 July, and updates from 29 September. (TechCrunch)
+ The ban follows a two-year probe into Kaspersky. (The Verge)

2 Individuals are paying approach an excessive amount of for pharmaceuticals
And shadowy pharmacy profit managers are partly guilty. (NYT $)
+ The UK has been hit by a drug scarcity, too. (The Guardian)

three How a secretive ocean alkalinity mission within the UK spiraled into catastrophe
It raises necessary questions: who will get to resolve the place trials can happen? (Hakai Journal)
+ This city’s mining battle reveals the contentious path to a cleaner future. (MIT Know-how Overview)

four Automobile sellers have been locked out of their promoting programs
Companies have needed to resort to paper and pen to shut their gross sales. (WSJ $)
+ It’s unlikely to be resolved earlier than the weekend. (Bloomberg $)

5 Make approach for a lot much less massive language fashions
They’re a fraction of the scale, however simply as efficient. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ Giant language fashions can do jaw-dropping issues. However no person is aware of precisely why. (MIT Know-how Overview)

6 Contained in the rising cottage business of wildfire mitigation
In Boulder, Colorado, the options are more and more experimental. (Bloomberg $)+ The search to construct wildfire-resistant properties. (MIT Know-how Overview)

7 Zimbabwe’s conventional healers are peddling monetary recommendation on TikTok
However spirituality and tech are uneasy bedfellows. (Remainder of World)

eight Find out how to keep away from falling for scams on Amazon
Learn these product opinions tremendous rigorously. (Wired $)

9 Tech firms are nonetheless involved in making good glasses 👓
Regardless of Meta being the only large participant. (The Data $)

10 The web appeared very totally different 30 years in the past
An entire lot extra fascinating, some would possibly say. (Quick Firm $)
+ Find out how to repair the web. (MIT Know-how Overview)

Quote of the day

“Congress reached for a sledgehammer with out even contemplating if a scalpel would suffice.”

—A authorized transient filed by TikTok lays out why the corporate feels that the US Congress is just not working in good religion in its makes an attempt to ban the platform, the Washington Put up experiences.

The massive story

The primary infants conceived with a sperm-injecting robotic have been born

April 2023

Final spring, a gaggle of engineers got down to take a look at the sperm-injecting robotic they’d designed. Altogether, the robotic was used to fertilize greater than a dozen eggs.

The results of the procedures, say the researchers, was wholesome embryos—and now two child women, who they declare are the primary folks born after fertilization by a “robotic.”

The startup behind the robotic, Overture Life, says its gadget is an preliminary step towards automating IVF, and probably making the process cheaper and way more frequent than it’s at this time. However that will probably be removed from simple. Learn the total story.

—Antonio Regalado

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction to brighten up your day. (Bought any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ Bradley the infant kangaroo has all of the makings of a superb hopper.
+ Ooh, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are reuniting in a brand new brawny crime thriller.
+ Right here’s a few issues you could not find out about one of many world’s most well-known work: Vermeer’s Lady with a Pearl Earring.
+ Admire this newly-discovered form, which is at the moment and not using a title.

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