The Obtain: the world’s most costly drug, and New York Metropolis’s e-bike plan

That is at present’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a each day dose of what’s happening on the earth of expertise.

There’s a new most costly drug on the earth. Price ticket: $4.25 million

The information: There’s a new most costly drug ever—a gene remedy that prices as a lot as a Brooklyn brownstone or a Miami mansion, and greater than the typical individual will earn in a lifetime. Lenmeldy is a gene therapy for metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) and was permitted within the US on Monday. Its maker, Orchard Therapeutics, says the $4.25 million wholesale price displays the worth the therapy has for sufferers and households.

Why it issues:  MLD is a nerve dysfunction that strikes toddlers, shortly robbing them of their means to talk and stroll. Round half die, the others stay on in a vegetative state. Nevertheless it’s extremely uncommon, affecting solely round 40 children a 12 months within the US. The acute rarity of such illnesses is what’s behind the hovering price-tags of recent gene therapies, and why promoting the most recent DNA therapy may very well be a shaky enterprise. Learn the total story.

—Antonio Regalado

New York Metropolis’s plan to cease e-bike battery fires

Stroll just some blocks in New York Metropolis and also you’ll probably spot an electrical bike zipping by. They’ve turn into more and more standard lately, particularly amongst supply drivers. However the e-bike inflow has brought on a wave of fires sparked by their batteries, a few of them lethal.

Now, the town desires to battle these fires with battery swapping. A pilot program will present a small variety of supply drivers with different choices to energy up their e-bikes, together with swapping stations that offer totally charged batteries on demand. 

Proponents say this system might lay the groundwork for a brand new mode of powering small electrical automobiles within the metropolis, one which’s handy and will scale back the chance of fires. However the street to fireplace security will probably be lengthy and winding given the sheer variety of batteries we’re integrating into our each day lives, in e-bikes and past. Learn the total story.

—Casey Crownhart

To be taught extra about New York Metropolis’s battery swapping ambitions, take a look at the newest version of The Spark, MIT Expertise Evaluate’s weekly local weather and power publication. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

The must-reads

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

1 Reddit is about to go public at present
Its vocal customers have wreaked havoc on Wall Avenue prior to now. Will they once more? (Bloomberg $)
+ Redditors are understandably cautious of what the long run might maintain. (WP $)
+ That future is more and more trying prefer it’ll contain quite a lot of AI. (The Info $)
+ It’s one of many few on-line areas that also fosters neighborhood. (NYT $) 

2 Neuralink shared a video of its first affected person enjoying video games together with his mind implant
Noland Arbaugh, who’s quadriplegic, known as the surgical process “tremendous simple.” (The Verge)
+ However he additionally acknowledged that the chip wasn’t good. (Insider $)
+ Elon Musk desires extra bandwidth between individuals and machines. Do we want it? (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

three Russian disinformation campaigns are rippling throughout Europe
Its deepfake movies are designed to erode public belief forward of the European parliament elections in June. (FT $)
+ Eric Schmidt has a 6-point plan for combating election misinformation. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

Four The ‘room-temperature superconductor’ physicist engaged in analysis misconduct
At the very least 4 papers co-written by Ranga Dias have now been retracted by the journals that revealed them. (WSJ $)

5 The US authorities has awarded its largest chip grant up to now
Intel is the fortunate recipient of $8.5 billion to construct and develop its US amenities. (NYT $)
+ Intel’s planning to spend an eye fixed watering $100 billion in complete. (Reuters)

6 A report variety of individuals died attempting to enter to US in 2022
Surveillance has a physique depend. (The Verge)
+ The brand new US border wall is an app. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

7 Wherever you go, you’re being tracked throughout the net
However you may not understand simply how in depth that monitoring actually is. (Wired $)

Eight Poverty porn is YouTube’s newest fixation
It treats deprivation as miserable shock-content. (Vox)

9 China is betting on these spacecraft to gather moon samples
Whereas one has already launched, one other 4 are set to observe. (IEEE Spectrum)

10 Fitbit’s future is trying more and more unsure
Die-hard followers are shedding persistence with its proprietor Google’s current adjustments. (Ars Technica)

Quote of the day

“I can’t wait to brief the s*** outta this!”

—A Reddit consumer reacts to the information of the corporate’s IPO on the notorious r/wallstreetbets Subreddit, Vox studies.

The large story

Working Tide is going through scientist departures and rising issues over seaweed sinking for carbon elimination

June 2022

Working Tide, an aquaculture firm primarily based in Portland, Maine, hopes to set tens of 1000’s of tiny floating kelp farms adrift within the North Atlantic. The thought is that the fast-growing macroalgae will ultimately sink to the ocean ground, storing away 1000’s of tons of carbon dioxide within the course of.

The corporate has raised thousands and thousands in enterprise funding and gained widespread media consideration. Nevertheless it struggled to develop kelp alongside rope traces within the open ocean throughout preliminary makes an attempt final 12 months and has misplaced a string of scientists in current months, sources with information of the matter inform MIT Expertise Evaluate. What occurs subsequent? Learn the total story.

—James Temple

We will nonetheless have good issues

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

+ Aww, this duck is completely lovable 🦆
+ Mountaineering in India appears a reasonably worthwhile method to spend your time.
+ Kim Gordon and Chloe Sevigny: two individuals who know a factor or two about being cool.
+ These behind the scenes photographs of A Streetcar Named Need are very cool.

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