The Obtain: mapping the human mind, and a Hong Kong protest anthem crackdown

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

Google helped make an exquisitely detailed map of a tiny piece of the human mind

The information: A workforce led by scientists from Harvard and Google has created a 3D, nanoscale-resolution map of a single cubic millimeter of the human mind. Though the map covers only a fraction of the organ, it’s presently the highest-resolution image of the human mind ever created.

How they did it: To make a map this finely detailed, the workforce needed to reduce the tissue pattern into 5,000 slices and scan them with a high-speed electron microscope. Then they used a machine-learning mannequin to assist electronically sew the slices again collectively and label the options.

Why it issues: Many different mind atlases exist, however most present a lot lower-resolution information. On the nanoscale, researchers can hint the mind’s wiring one neuron at a time to the synapses, the locations the place they join. And scientists hope it might assist them to essentially perceive how the human mind works, processes info, and shops reminiscences. Learn the total story.

—Cassandra Willyard

To be taught extra concerning the burgeoning discipline of mind mapping, try the newest version of The Checkup, our weekly biotech e-newsletter. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

Hong Kong is concentrating on Western Huge Tech firms in its ban of a well-liked protest tune

It wasn’t precisely shocking when on Wednesday, Might 8, a Hong Kong appeals courtroom sided with the town authorities to take down “Glory to Hong Kong” from the web.

The trial, through which nobody represented the protection, was the end result of a years-long battle over a tune that has grow to be the unofficial anthem for protesters combating China’s tightening management and police brutality within the metropolis.

It stays an open query how precisely Huge Tech will reply. However the ruling is already having an impact past Hong Kong’s borders: simply hours afterwards, movies of the anthem began to vanish from YouTube. Learn the total story.

—Zeyi Yang

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you right now’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about expertise.

1 OpenAI is poised to launch its Google search competitor
And it might make an look as early as Monday. (Reuters)
+ Why you shouldn’t belief AI search engines like google and yahoo. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

2 America’s healthcare system is very susceptible to hacks
A current cyberattack that knocked hospital affected person data offline is the most recent instance. (WP $)

three TikTok will begin robotically labeling AI-generated consumer content material
It’s a world first for social media platforms. (FT $)
+ The watermarking scheme will work on content material created on different platforms. (The Guardian)
+ Why watermarking AI-generated content material gained’t assure belief on-line. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

four Bankrupt FTX is assured it could repay the total $11 billion it owes
Thanks partly to bitcoin’s perpetual boom-bust cycle. (The Guardian)
+ Sam Bankman-Fried’s latest foreign money? Rice. (Insider $)

5 What’s Alabama’s lab-grown meat ban actually about?
It’s much less about crops and extra about political agendas. (Wired $)
+ They’re banning one thing that doesn’t actually exist. (Vox)
+ How I discovered to cease worrying and love faux meat. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

6 The way forward for work is offshore
Even cashiers may be primarily based hundreds of miles from their prospects. (Vox)
+ ChatGPT is about to revolutionize the financial system. We have to resolve what that appears like. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

7 US information facilities are dealing with a tax break backlash
In actuality, they create fewer jobs than lobbyists would have you ever imagine. (Bloomberg $)
+ Power-hungry information facilities are quietly shifting into cities. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

Eight Mexico’s political candidates are misreading the room
They’re dancing on TikTok as a substitute of creating severe coverage declarations. (Remainder of World)
+ Three expertise developments shaping 2024’s elections. (MIT Know-how Assessment)

9 AI might assist you to make that tight connecting flight ✈
The times of lacking a connection by minutes might be numbered. (NYT $)

10 These AR glass look… attention-grabbing 👓
Lighter, thinner, greater high quality—however even dorkier. (The Verge)
+ They don’t induce complications, both. (IEEE Spectrum)

Quote of the day

“It’s like a kick within the intestine.”

—Duncan Freer, a vendor on Amazon, is sad concerning the retail large imposing new costs that shift much more prices onto retailers, he tells Bloomberg.

The massive story

How monitoring animal motion could save the planet

February 2024

Animals have lengthy been capable of supply distinctive insights concerning the pure world round us, appearing as natural sensors selecting up phenomena invisible to people. Canaries warned of looming disaster in coal mines till the 1980s, for instance.

Today, we’ve extra perception into animal conduct than ever earlier than due to applied sciences like sensor tags. However the information we collect from these animals nonetheless provides as much as solely a comparatively slim slice of the entire image. 

That is starting to alter. Researchers are asking: What’s going to we discover if we comply with even the smallest animals? What might we be taught from a system of animal motion, constantly monitoring how creatures large and small adapt to the world round us? It might be, some researchers imagine, a significant device within the effort to save lots of our more and more crisis-plagued planet. Learn the total story.

—Matthew Ponsford 

We will nonetheless have good issues

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

+ Huge congratulations to the ocean’s zooplankton and phytoplankton, who’re presently experiencing a springtime child increase.
+ Selfmade seafood inventory could sound like a faff, however it’s simpler than you suppose.
+ Popping out of my cage and I’ve been doing simply positive—how the UK grew to become completely, eternally obsessive about Mr Brightside.
+ Geese love peas, who knew?

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