Instead of Computer Code, ‘Plant Hackers’ Tinker with Genetics
Genetically modifying plants—as a hobby or an art project.
—Brian Bergstein, executive editor
Being Frozen ‘to Death’ Saved This Man’s Life. It Could Save Others’, Too.
The science of bringing “frozen” people back from the brink may also help save gunshot victims and premature infants.
—Michael Reilly, senior editor, news and commentary
Nevada’s Bizarre Decision to Throttle Its Own Solar Industry, Explained
Vox’s David Roberts has a good explainer of the brewing controversy over recent changes to the policies governing the solar power industry in Nevada.
—Mike Orcutt, research editor
Why Google Quit China—and Why It’s Heading Back
Google left China in 2010 after a series of attacks on its networks and users’ data that originated inside the company. Now it’s getting ready to return—and to coöperate with Chinese government censors.
—Tom Simonite, San Francisco bureau chief
A Flag for No Nations
British artist and writer James Bridle sketches the history of the space blanket (which is essentially an energy conservation technology). This “single technology—the vacuum-deposition of metal vapor onto a thin film substrate—makes its consecutive and multiple appearances at times of stress and trial”: at the dawn of the space age, at the finish line of major marathons, in the ongoing wars in the mountains of Afghanistan, and on the beaches of southern Europe, where space blankets are handed out to Middle Eastern refugees straggling out of the sea. “We are still pulling bodies from the water wrapped in material which was meant to send us into space,” Bridle concludes.
—Richard Martin, senior editor, energy
Largest Known Prime Number Discovered in Missouri
Dr. Cooper, at the University of Central Missouri, can be thanked for this ultimate find.
—J. Juniper Friedman, associate Web producer
Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging
The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.
Yann LeCun has a bold new vision for the future of AI
One of the godfathers of deep learning pulls together old ideas to sketch out a fresh path for AI, but raises as many questions as he answers.
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.
A quick guide to the most important AI law you’ve never heard of
The European Union is planning new legislation aimed at curbing the worst harms associated with artificial intelligence.
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