Experimental embryos and the American monkeypox emergency

In the search for new longevity drugs, an Israel-based biotech company has said it intends to create embryonic-stage humans so it can harvest tissue for transplant therapy.

The company, Renewal Bio, is pursuing the latest advances in stem cell technology and artificial wombs, as evidenced by biologist Jacob Hanna of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. Earlier this week, Hannah showed that starting with mouse stem cells, his lab can form highly realistic mouse embryos and grow them in mechanical wombs for days until they develop beating hearts, flowing blood and cranial folds.

This is the first time such an advanced embryo has been simulated without sperm, eggs or even a uterus. Now Hanna has his sights set on bringing the technology to humans—he is already experimenting with human cells and hopes to eventually produce artificial models of human embryos. “We think embryos are the best 3D bioprinter,” he said. Read the full article.

– Antonio Regado

Automation technology can make it easier to develop artificial intelligence

Machine learning researchers have to make many decisions when designing new models, which means that complex models are ultimately designed by human intuition rather than systematically. A growing field called automated machine learning, or autoML, aims to remove this guesswork, allowing algorithms to take over decision-making, which can both simplify the process and make machine learning more accessible.

Big tech is paying attention. Companies like Amazon and Google already offer low-code machine learning tools that leverage autoML techniques, and computer scientists are excited about the concept of being able to simply specify a problem before a computer solves it. But researchers still have a lot of work to do before autoML can be deployed more widely. Read the full article.

Tamish

must read

I combed the internet to find you the funniest/most important/scariest/most fascinating tech stories of the day.

1 U.S. declares monkeypox a public health emergency
It has more than 7,100 cases, more than any other country. (Wall Street Journal $)
+ Many queer men cannot be vaccinated. (sound)
+ Some people will be at risk of contracting both monkeypox and the new coronavirus. (atlantic organization $)
+ There is still no evidence that monkeypox has become more deadly. (slate)
+ Everything you need to know about the monkeypox vaccine. (MIT Technology Review)

2 Alex Jones must pay Sandy Hook victim’s parents $4 million
Conspiracy theorists finally face the consequences of calling the Holocaust a hoax. (BBC)
+ The jury may also choose to pay further damages. (Buzzfeed News)

3 Elon Musk accuses Twitter of fraud
He also claimed he was “tricked” into signing a purchase agreement. (Bloomberg $)
+ A tool for evaluating Twitter bots reportedly flagged Musk’s own account as one. (foot $)
+ Twitter’s lawyers didn’t hold back. (edge)
+ Meanwhile, Musk predicts a “mild recession” in the U.S. for 18 months. (Insider)

4 The UK cost of living crisis has spawned a wave of scams
It feels especially brutal, if sadly inevitable. (foot $)

5 When you die, your brain seems to switch on a new reality 🧠
The new dimension of reality that some dying people experience is different from hallucinations. (new life)

6 We buy fewer video games than we used to
Shoppers are cutting back on non-essential purchases due to lower disposable income. (Wettable powder $)

7 Animals We Least Know About Are Most At Risk Of Extinction
Many were thought to be extinct before we discovered them. (motherboard)
+ Machine learning can help identify the most dangerous species. (edge)
+ Understanding how species mate is critical to ensuring their future safety. (well-known magazine)

8 The Internet Is Obsessed With Tracking Celebrity Flights
Aviation enthusiasts are revealing data that the rich and famous would rather keep secret. (protector)

9 Hollywood is getting better at portraying young online lives
Extremely online is no longer just for the lonely. (atlantic organization $)
+ How the next generation will reshape political discourse. (MIT Technology Review)

10 TikTok can’t get enough young farmers 🐄🐏
Their country life resonated with people. (foot $)
+ Elsewhere on TikTok, users are paying to wake people up. (wired $)

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