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  • Pioneering Stem Cell Trial Seeks to Cure Babies Before Birth
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    Pioneering Stem Cell Trial Seeks to Cure Babies Before Birth

    Even before she was born, Elianna Constantino had already cheated death. Elianna has a rare inherited blood disorder called alpha thalassemia major, which prevents her red blood cells from forming properly. The disease, which has no cure, is usually fatal for a developing fetus. But while still in her mother’s womb, Elianna received a highly… More

  • Can Hawaii Go Carbon Neutral by 2045?
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    Can Hawaii Go Carbon Neutral by 2045?

    If you’ve done any research into climate change, you’re almost certainly familiar with the Keeling Curve. This sawtoothed upward curve tracks the inexorable increase in carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, and the rate of increase is proportional to the amount of fossil fuels burned that year (around half of what we emit is absorbed by… More

  • This New Chip Design Could Make Neural Nets More Efficient and a Lot Faster
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    This New Chip Design Could Make Neural Nets More Efficient and a Lot Faster

    Neural networks running on GPUs have achieved some amazing advances in artificial intelligence, but the two are accidental bedfellows. IBM researchers hope a new chip design tailored specifically to run neural nets could provide a faster and more efficient alternative. It wasn’t until the turn of this decade that researchers realized GPUs (graphics processing units)… More

  • Microsoft’s Wild New Project Puts Servers at the Bottom of the Ocean
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    Microsoft’s Wild New Project Puts Servers at the Bottom of the Ocean

    Last week, a few miles off the northern coast of Scotland, a cylinder the size of a shipping container was carefully lowered to the bottom of the ocean floor. Sounds like a clever (if complex) way to bury evidence, or treasure, or something similarly mysterious. But what’s actually inside the undersea capsule are 864 Microsoft… More

  • This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through June 9)
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    This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through June 9)

    ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE The World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer Is Tailor Made for the AI EraMartin Giles | MIT Technology Review “The team at Oak Ridge says Summit is the first supercomputer designed from the ground up to run AI applications, such as machine learning and neural networks.” CRYPTOCURRENCIES One Firm Is Way Ahead of Wall Street… More

  • 5 Reasons Car Companies Are Betting Big on Energy Storage
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    5 Reasons Car Companies Are Betting Big on Energy Storage

    An increasing number of major car manufacturers are developing solutions in a space that at first glance may seem like a strange choice: energy storage. BMW recently signed a contract that adds 500 of its i3 battery packs to the UK national energy grid. Audi is running a pilot project. Renault is turning some of… More

  • Robots Will Be Able to Feel Touch With This Artificial Nerve
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    Robots Will Be Able to Feel Touch With This Artificial Nerve

    When the disembodied cockroach leg twitched, Yeongin Kim knew he had finally made it. A graduate student at Stanford, Kim had been working with an international team of neuroengineers on a crazy project: an artificial nerve that acts like the real thing. Like sensory neurons embedded in our skin, the device—which kind of looks like… More

  • How Cyanobacteria Could Help Save the Planet
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    How Cyanobacteria Could Help Save the Planet

    It’s very easy to forget that complex life on Earth almost missed the boat entirely. As the Sun’s luminosity gradually increases, the oceans will boil away, and the planet will no longer be in the habitable zone for life as we know it. Okay, we likely have a billion years before this happens—by which point… More

  • 5 Sci-Fi Books Biotech Geeks Should Read Right Now
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    5 Sci-Fi Books Biotech Geeks Should Read Right Now

    From space colonization to resurrection of dinosaurs to machine intelligence, the most awe-inspiring visions of humanity’s future are typically born from science fiction. But among an abundance of time travel, superheroes, space adventures, and so forth, biotech remains underrepresented in the genre. This selection highlights some outstanding works (new and not so new) to fill… More

  • This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through June 2)
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    This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through June 2)

    BIOTECH Gene Therapy Is Saving Children’s Lives—but Screening to Discover Who Needs It Is Lagging BehindEmily Mullin | MIT Technology Review “The company behind the drug, AveXis, is seeing the most dramatic results in children who are treated in the first month or two of life. That means identifying patients as soon as possible—ideally at… More

  • How We Discovered 840 Minor Planets Beyond Neptune—and What They Can Tell Us
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    How We Discovered 840 Minor Planets Beyond Neptune—and What They Can Tell Us

    Our solar system is a tiny but wonderfully familiar corner of the vast, dark universe—we have even been able to land spacecraft on our celestial neighbors. Yet its outer reaches are still remarkably unmapped. Now we have discovered 840 small worlds in the distant and hard-to-explore region beyond Neptune. This is the largest set of… More

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