Experimental embryos and the US monkeypox emergency

In the search for new forms of longevity medicine, an Israel-based biotech company says it intends to create embryonic versions of people in order to harvest tissue for use in transplant treatments.

The company, Renewal Bio, is pursuing recent advances in stem cell technology and artificial wombs, demonstrated by Jacob Hanna, a biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. Earlier this week, Hanna showed that starting with mouse stem cells, his lab could form very realistic-looking mouse embryos and keep them growing in a mechanical womb for several days until they develop hearts that throbbing, flowing blood and cranial folds.

It is the first time that such an advanced embryo has been mimicked without sperm, eggs or even a uterus. Hanna has now set her sights on extending the technology to humans: she is already experimenting with human cells and hopes to eventually produce artificial models of human embryos. “We see the embryo as the ultimate bio 3D printer,” he says. Read the whole story.

—Antoni Regalat

Automated techniques could facilitate the development of AI

Machine learning researchers have to make many decisions when designing new models, which means that complex models end up being designed by human intuition, rather than systematically. A growing field called automated machine learning, or autoML, aims to take that guesswork out, allowing algorithms to take over the decision-making, potentially simplifying the process and making machine learning more accessible.

Big Tech is paying attention. Companies like Amazon and Google already offer low-code machine learning tools that take advantage of autoML techniques, and computer scientists are excited by the idea of ​​being able to simply specify a problem before telling a computer to solve it. But researchers have a lot of work to do before autoML can be deployed more widely. Read the whole story.

Tammy Xu

Required readings

I’ve combed the internet to find you the funniest/important/scary and fascinating stories about technology.

1 The United States has declared monkeypox a public health emergency
It has exceeded 7,100 cases, more than any other country. (WSJ$)
+ Many queer men have not been able to get vaccinated. (Voice)
+ Some people will be at risk of getting both smallpox and covid. (The Atlantic $)
+ There is still no evidence to suggest that monkeypox has become more virulent. (Blackboard)
+ Everything you need to know about monkeypox vaccines. (MIT Technology Review)

2 Alex Jones must pay $4 million to parents of Sandy Hook victim
The conspiracy theorist finally faces the consequences for calling the massacre a hoax. (BBC)
+ The jury could also choose to award more damages. (Buzzfeed News)

3 Elon Musk has accused Twitter of fraud
He also claims he was “tricked” into signing the purchase agreement. (Bloomberg$)
+ A tool used to evaluate Twitter bots flagged Musk’s own account as one. (FT$)
+ Twitter lawyers are not holding back. (The edge)
+ Meanwhile, Musk predicts that the United States will go through a “mild recession” for 18 months. (Insider)

4 The cost of living crisis in the UK has led to a wave of scams
Which feels especially cruel, if sadly inevitable. (FT$)

5 Your brain seems to unlock new realities when you die 🧠
The new dimensions of reality that some dying people experience are not the same as hallucinating. (Neo.Life)

6 We are buying fewer video games than we used to
With less disposable income, shoppers are cutting back on non-essentials. (WP$)

7 The animals we know the least about are most at risk of extinction
Many are already thought to have died out before we could discover them. (motherboard)
+ Machine learning could help identify the species most at risk. (The edge)
+ Understanding how species mate is crucial to ensuring their future safety. (Knowable Magazine)

8 The internet is obsessed with tracking celebrity flights
Aviation enthusiasts are revealing the facts that the rich and famous would rather keep secret. (The Guardian)

9 Hollywood gets better at portraying young lives online
Being extremely online is no longer the preserve of the loner. (The Atlantic $)
+ How the next generation is reshaping political discourse. (MIT Technology Review)

10 TikTok has not tired of young farmers 🐄🐏
His country life is hitting the chord. (FT$)
+ Elsewhere on TikTok, users pay money to wake people up. (via cable $)

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