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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.
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Inside Charm Industrial’s big bet on corn stalks for carbon removal

The startup used plant matter and bio-oil to sequester thousands of tons of carbon. The question now is how reliable, scalable, and economical this approach will prove.

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The hype around DeepMind’s new AI model misses what’s actually cool about it

Some worry that the chatter about these tools is doing the whole field a disservice.

images created by Google Imagen
images created by Google Imagen

The dark secret behind those cute AI-generated animal images

Google Brain has revealed its own image-making AI, called Imagen. But don't expect to see anything that isn't wholesome.

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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