This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the tech world.
What’s next for quantum computing
For years, the quantum news cycle was dominated by headlines about record-breaking systems. But this year, researchers are getting off the hype train and diving into life in the real world, bucking the trend of packing processors with ever more quantum bits, or “qubits,” in favor of fewer qubits, but higher quality.
Companies are also announcing new chips designed to connect directly to each other. It’s a move that is expected to accelerate the shift to “modular” quantum computers and help the machines scale up significantly. Read the whole story.
How drugs that hack our circadian clocks could one day improve our health
We have more than one biological clock. Beyond advancing as we age, the circadian clock in our brains keeps our bodies in rhythm. This clock helps control when we wake up, eat and sleep.
But there is more to it than that. It also controls the finer aspects of how our bodies work, by influencing hundreds of molecular clocks across our cells and organs, from regulating our metabolisms to controlling how our genes make proteins.
Scientists are now working on ways to tailor treatments to our circadian rhythms. Drugs that specifically target clocks are being explored in the lab. Will we ever be able to hack our circadian clocks to improve our health? Read the whole story.
This story is from The Checkup, Jessica’s weekly newsletter that brings you the inside track on all things biotech. Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox every Thursday.
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+ AI is bringing the Internet to submerged Roman ruins. Technology makes it easier to track underwater archaeological sites. Read the whole story.
I’ve combed the internet to find you the funniest/important/scary and fascinating stories about technology.
1 A new subvariant of covid is sweeping the US
But there is no evidence to suggest that it is more serious than its predecessors. (The Atlantic $)
+ The WHO said it is closely monitoring its spread. (Sky News)
+ Demand for covid drugs is rising on China’s black market. (Rest of the World)
+ The European Union is “strongly” recommending that member states test arrivals from China. (BBC)
2 Former Twitter workers still waiting for severance pay
Many of them have been waiting for it for more than two months. (Bloomberg$)
+ Hackers have shared the data of 200 million Twitter users. (The Register)
+ We are witnessing the brain death of Twitter. (MIT Technology Review)
3 Celsius customers are unlikely to get their money back
Unfortunately for them, they didn’t really own most of their cryptocurrency; the collapsed lender does. (WP$)
+ The New York attorney general is suing Celsius’ founder. (NOW $)
4 Taiwan wants to build its own satellite network
In an attempt to safeguard the country from possible attacks from China. (FT$)
+ Satellite cell phones are gaining traction at this year’s CES. (WSJ$)
5 Two Wikipedia administrators have been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia
In a draconian attempt to control website information across the country. (The Guardian)
6 Inside Facebook’s political nightmare
Downplaying “sensitive” news topics was far from easy. (WSJ$)
+ Managing the goal of moving abroad has also been a headache. (The $ info)
7 Encouraging people to donate kidneys is difficult
Offering donors a financial incentive is one solution to reducing waiting lists. (via cable $)
8 Bionic penile implants could help treat erectile dysfunction
Pigs with injured penises who received patches of artificial tissue were able to experience normal erections. (motherboard)
+ Meet the wounded veteran who received a penis transplant. (MIT Technology Review)
9 How techies are adapting to life off the grid
Time to invest in a wind turbine! (The next website)
10 How meme-themed piñatas took off
Politically themed and social media designs are especially popular. (Rest of the World)
quote of the day
“The biggest risk is not running one.”
—A quote from the website of Alex Mashinsky, the CEO of bankrupt crypto lender Celsius Network, who is accused of defrauding investors out of billions of dollars, Reuters reports.
The great story
Your first lab-grown burger is coming soon, and it’s going to be “blended”
On a cool fall night in 2010, Jessica Krieger was horrified by a documentary showing the horrific ways in which animals are slaughtered for food. Then, a neuroscience major, she threw herself into what was then a fringe area of biotech research: growing and harvesting edible animal cells without killing any sentient creatures.
While lab-grown meat was busy trying to get out of the petri dish, plant-based meat substitutes were undergoing a revolution. But instead of treating their success as a threat, Krieger and several other entrepreneurs see it as the opening they need to finally bring their creations to market, in the form of “mixed meat,” which fuses the best of plants and of plant origin. cultured meat substitutes. And it might not be long before you get a chance to taste it. Read the whole story.
— Niall Firth
We can still have beautiful things
A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these strange times. (Any ideas? Drop me a line ortweet them to me.)
+ If you ever get lost in the wilderness, these essential survival skills will help you.
+ TikTok’s home cleaning tips are surprisingly easy and effective to boot.
+ Learning all major and minor scales on a piano became a breeze.
+ Soft amaretti cookies, yes please.
+ The US Transportation Security Administration has released its list of the strangest finds of 2022, including a gun hidden in peanut butter.