The Obtain: mind bandwidth, and synthetic wombs

That is at the moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a every day dose of what’s happening on this planet of know-how.

Elon Musk needs extra bandwidth between folks and machines. Do we’d like it?

Final week, Elon Musk made the daring assertion that sticking electrodes in folks’s heads goes to result in an enormous enhance within the fee of knowledge switch out of, and into, human brains.

The event of Musk’s submit was the announcement by Neuralink, his brain-computer interface firm, that it was formally searching for the primary volunteer to obtain an implant that incorporates greater than twice the variety of electrodes than earlier variations to gather extra knowledge from extra nerve cells.

The entrepreneur talked about a long-term aim of vastly rising “bandwidth” between folks, or folks and machines, by an element of 1,000 or extra. However what does he imply, and is it even potential? Learn the complete story.

—Antonio Regalado

This story is from The Checkup, MIT Know-how Evaluate’s weekly biotech publication. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

All the things you’ll want to learn about synthetic wombs

Earlier this month, US Meals and Drug Administration advisors met to debate methods to transfer analysis on synthetic wombs from animals into people.

These medical units are designed to present extraordinarily untimely infants a bit extra time to develop in a womb-like atmosphere earlier than coming into the skin world. They’ve been examined with a whole lot of lambs (and a few piglets), however animal fashions can’t absolutely predict how the know-how will work for people. 

Regulators are grappling with the query of how a lot of the unknown is appropriate as this analysis strikes out of the lab and into first-in-human trials. However choosing the proper members will probably be tough. Learn the complete story.

—Cassandra Willyard

The must-reads

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

1 Microsoft instructed that Apple purchase Bing in 2020 
The deal would have put in Bing because the iPhone’s default search engine, however it by no means got here to fruition. (Bloomberg $)
+ Microsoft might overtake Apple because the world’s most precious agency. (Economist $)

2 A jury will resolve whether or not Tesla’s autopilot triggered a driver’s loss of life
The plaintiffs declare that Tesla overhyped the system’s capabilities to make it seem extra autonomous than it truly is. (WP $)
+ Ought to a self-driving automotive kill the newborn or the grandma? Relies on the place you’re from. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

three Have a look inside Huawei’s lobbying playbook
Confidential group chats, gifted devices, and secret agreements. (NYT $)
+ In the meantime, Apple met with Chinese language officers to forge a pleasant settlement. (WSJ $)

four The US energy grid largely prevented blackouts this summer season
That’s no assure it’ll maintain up sooner or later, although. (Vox)
+ Stitching collectively the grid will save lives as excessive climate worsens. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

5 Startups are determined to develop into chummy with chipmakers 
Entry to highly effective chips could make or break an enterprise. (The Info $)
+ These easy design guidelines might flip the chip business on its head. (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

6 Perpetually chemical compounds are completely all over the place
And even a lawsuit from the US Division of Justice will cease one firm from utilizing them. (Bloomberg $)
+ Plastic air pollution persists, even within the absence of people. (Motherboard)

7 Enterprise capitalists actually don’t need to fund ladies’s well being startups
Buyers are principally male, and largely uninterested. (Proto.Life)
+ Why can’t tech repair its gender drawback? (MIT Know-how Evaluate)

eight What comes after smartphones?
Consultants can’t agree on whether or not the long run incorporates extra screens—or none in any respect. (Inverse)
+ Even seemingly unassailable apps aren’t invincible. (WP $)

9 The world’s oldest energetic torrent has turned 20 years outdated
Glad anniversary to The Fanimatrix! (Motherboard) 

10 Is it time to banish the group chat?
Please, one-on-one texts solely any further. (The Atlantic $)

Quote of the day

“I work at X, he labored at Twitter.” 

—Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, insists the corporate’s tradition has modified since its former Head of Belief and Security, Yoel Roth, was pushed into hiding after Elon Musk blamelessly accused him of supporting little one sexualisation final yr, the Verge experiences.

The massive story

How large science did not unlock the mysteries of the human mind

August 2021

In September 2011, Columbia College neurobiologist Rafael Yuste and Harvard geneticist George Church made a not-so-modest proposal: to map the exercise of your complete human mind.

That information might be harnessed to deal with mind issues like Alzheimer’s, autism, schizophrenia, despair, and traumatic mind damage, and assist reply one of many nice questions of science: How does the mind result in consciousness? 

A decade on, the US mission has wound down, and the EU mission faces its deadline to construct a digital mind. So have we begun to unwrap the secrets and techniques of the human mind? Or have we spent a decade and billions of {dollars} chasing a imaginative and prescient that is still as elusive as ever? Learn the complete story.

—Emily Mullin

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

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

+ Take pleasure in this dreamy Stone Roses intro on a Friday morning.
+ what doesn’t get sufficient appreciation? pie recipe.
+ Constructing your individual PC could also be time-consuming, however it additionally provides you an unlimited sense of wellbeing.
+ Aww, why can’t my emotional assist alligator come to the ball sport with me? 🐊
+ The prevailing thriller of what trilobites ate has lastly been solved: and it sounds fairly tasty.

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