The Obtain: changing animal testing, and underwater drones


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

Is that this the tip of animal testing?

Animal research are notoriously unhealthy at figuring out human remedies. Round 95% of the medicine developed by animal analysis fail in folks, however till lately there was no different possibility.

Now organs on chips, also referred to as microphysiological techniques, could supply a very viable different. They’re triumphs of bioengineering, intricate constructions furrowed with tiny channels which are lined with dwelling human tissues that broaden and contract with the circulate of fluid and air, mimicking key organ features like respiration, 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 resolve one of many largest issues in medication at the moment. Learn the complete story.

—Harriet Brown

This story is from the forthcoming print difficulty of MIT Know-how Evaluation, which explores the theme of Play. It’s set to go reside on Wednesday June 26, so for those who don’t already, subscribe now to get a replica when it lands.

How underwater drones might form a possible Taiwan-China battle

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

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, drones have been aiding in what navy specialists describe as the primary three steps of the “kill chain”—discovering, concentrating on, and monitoring a goal—in addition to in delivering explosives. Drones like these could be far much less helpful in a doable invasion of Taiwan. As a substitute, a battle with Taiwan would seemingly make use of undersea and maritime drones to scout for submarines. Learn the complete story.

—James O’Donnell

Ought to social media include a well being warning?

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

However the relationship between this know-how and well being isn’t black and white. Social media can have an effect on customers in several methods—usually positively. So let’s take a better have a look at the considerations, the proof behind them, and the way greatest to sort out them. Learn the complete story.

—Jessica Hamzelou

This story is from The Checkup, our weekly well being and biotech publication. Enroll to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

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

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 manner an excessive amount of for prescribed drugs
And shadowy pharmacy profit managers are partly responsible. (NYT $)
+ The UK has been hit by a drug scarcity, too. (The Guardian)

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

4 Automotive sellers have been locked out of their promoting techniques
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 manner for a lot much less massive language fashions
They’re a fraction of the dimensions, however simply as efficient. (IEEE Spectrum)
+ Giant language fashions can do jaw-dropping issues. However no one is aware of precisely why. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

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

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

8 keep away from falling for scams on Amazon
Learn these product critiques tremendous rigorously. (Wired $)

9 Tech corporations are nonetheless fascinated with making sensible glasses 👓
Regardless of Meta being the only real large participant. (The Data $)

10 The web regarded very totally different 30 years in the past
An entire lot extra fascinating, some may say. (Quick Firm $)
+ repair the web. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

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 Publish stories.

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 check 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 system is an preliminary step towards automating IVF, and doubtlessly making the process cheaper and way more frequent than it’s at the moment. However that will probably be removed from straightforward. Learn the complete story.

—Antonio Regalado

We are able to nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction to brighten up your day. (Acquired 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 chances are you’ll not learn about one of many world’s most well-known work: Vermeer’s Woman with a Pearl Earring.
+ Admire this newly-discovered form, which is at present with out a identify.