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Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending July 18, 2015)

Another chance to catch the most interesting, and important, articles from the previous week on MIT Technology Review.
  1. The Exoskeletons Are Coming
    Some workers could soon strap on a power-assist suit before maneuvering heavy objects.
  2. A Biodegradable Computer Chip That Performs Surprisingly Well
    Researchers show that devices based on a material derived from wood work as well as the communications chip in your smartphone.
  3. Minecraft Shows Robots How to Stop Dithering
    A new approach to robot learning was tested in Minecraft, the popular open-ended computer game.
  4. Self-Charging Phones Are on the Way, Finally
    A handful of companies are coming up with ways to extend your phone’s battery life when you’re far from a power outlet.
  5. Ancestry Moves Further into Consumer Genetics
    The company that began as a source of genealogical data now hopes to marry that information with DNA data—and sell it for research.
  6. New Chips Provide a Spark for Wireless Charging
    Efficient Power Conversion has launched gallium nitride chips that promise higher efficiency and lower cost than silicon.
  7. Tiny Brain Clumps Offer New Clues into the Cause of Autism
    Brain “organoids” made from the stem cells of autism patients could help researchers determine the factors that lead to the disorder.
  8. <

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Conceptual illustration showing a file folder with the China flag and various papers flying out of it
Conceptual illustration showing a file folder with the China flag and various papers flying out of it

The US crackdown on Chinese economic espionage is a mess. We have the data to show it.

The US government’s China Initiative sought to protect national security. In the most comprehensive analysis of cases to date, MIT Technology Review reveals how far it has strayed from its goals.

Image of workers inspecting solar panels at a renewable energy plant
Image of workers inspecting solar panels at a renewable energy plant

Renewables are set to soar

The world will likely witness a wind and solar boom over the next five years, as costs decline and nations raise their climate ambitions.

light and shadow on floor
light and shadow on floor

How Facebook and Google fund global misinformation

The tech giants are paying millions of dollars to the operators of clickbait pages, bankrolling the deterioration of information ecosystems around the world.

travelers walk through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
travelers walk through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

We won’t know how bad omicron is for another month

Gene sequencing gave an early alert about the latest covid variant. But we'll only know if omicron is a problem by watching it spread.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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