The Download: CRISPR crops, and busting renewables myths

That is right this moment’s version of The Obtain, our weekday publication that gives a each day dose of what’s happening on the planet of know-how.

How CRISPR might assist save crops from devastation attributable to pests

For many years, the grape-growers of California have battled Pierce’s Illness, a nasty an infection which causes vines to wither. The arrival of an invasive insect across the late ‘80s supercharged the unfold of the illness, turning it from a nuisance to a nightmare.

The illness nonetheless has no remedy, and it’s vulnerable to getting worse as a result of local weather change. However an unlikely answer has arrived within the type of CRISPR gene-editing know-how, which permits researchers to alter the pest’s genome in order that it may well now not unfold the bacterium. Learn the total story.

—Emma Foehringer Service provider

Busting three myths about supplies and renewable power

With regards to renewable power, there are specific myths which can be troublesome to shake. The uncooked supplies we have to combat local weather change are sometimes discovered on the heart of a few of the most pervasive untruths or misunderstandings.

Our local weather reporter Casey Crownhart dove into three of the most important myths linked to local weather change-combatting supplies and renewable energy—demonstrating simply how vital it’s to disregard the hype, and observe the science. Learn the total story.

Casey’s story is from The Spark, her weekly power and local weather publication. Signal as much as obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to seek out you right this moment’s most enjoyable/vital/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 Keep in mind Amazon’s drone supply program?
It’s nonetheless struggling to take off. (The Data $)

2 These movies present how Iran violently suppresses protests
Safety forces are beating and opening fireplace on civilians. (WP $)
+ 1000’s of demonstrators proceed to rail towards authorities, although. (WSJ $)

3 Whisper is ChatGPT’s quieter cousin
The accuracy of the transcription mannequin, additionally made by OpenAI, is near-perfect. (New Yorker $)
+ ChatGPT is launching a subscription tier for $20 a month. (Gizmodo)
+ Microsoft’s wasted no time integrating ChatGPT into Groups. (Reuters)
+ OpenAI is an actual breeding floor for AI expertise. (The Data $)
Persons are already utilizing ChatGPT to create exercise plans. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

4 The essential function satellites will play in house warfare
They accumulate information to disclose rivals’ places and weapons programs. (Wired $)
+ The best way to combat a conflict in house (and get away with it) (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

5 Instagram’s founders have launched a AI-aggregated information app
They consider Artifact can bust the information echo chambers popularized by Twitter. (FT $)

6 We don’t absolutely understand how psychedelics can alter our brains 
All of the extra purpose to train warning earlier than you develop your thoughts. (The Atlantic $)
+ Thoughts-altering substances are being overhyped as surprise medicine. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

7 Are you able to really feel the metaverse?
Haptic tech is the subsequent step to creating immersive experiences extra life-like. (Economist $)
+ In the meantime, Meta’s metaverse labs are nonetheless hemorrhaging cash. (Insider $)

8 Neglect 3D-printers, this can be a 3D-printing manufacturing facility
It’s all about scale, child. (Bloomberg $)
+ Meet the designers printing homes out of salt and clay. (MIT Expertise Evaluate)

9 Voice-dictated textual content messages are riddled with errors
Goof duck decoding them! (WSJ $)

10 TikTok’s ‘fortunate lady syndrome’ is simply one other time period for manifesting 🍀
Gen Z has found the facility of optimistic pondering. (Vox)
+ Tiktok’s ‘darkish psychology’ development sounds lots like gaslighting to me. (Vice)

Quote of the day

“Privateness has been extinguished. It’s now a zombie.”

—Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Enterprise Faculty, highlights a similarity between western tech giants and China’s surveillance state in an interview with the Monetary Occasions.

The large story

How megacities could lead on the combat towards local weather change

April 2021

In 2050, 2.5 billion extra folks will reside in cities than do right this moment. Because the world grows extra urbanized, many cities have gotten extra populous whereas additionally making an attempt to scale back carbon emissions and blunt the impacts of local weather change.

Within the coming a long time, cities will likely be engines of financial progress. However they have to additionally play a key function in confronting local weather change. Learn the way a few of the world’s greatest cities—referred to as megacities—are rising to this problem. Learn the total story.

—Gabrielle Merite & Andre Vitorio

We will nonetheless have good issues

A spot for consolation, enjoyable and distraction in these bizarre occasions. (Obtained any concepts? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ Atlas has fallen—and I’m cackling on the blooper reel (thanks Will!)
+ Don’t fear if your own home’s trying a bit untidy nowadays, even the queen of unpolluted Marie Kondo is easing off on the dusting.
+ These exhibitions are properly value trotting the globe for.
+ I’m determined to go to this breathtaking sea serpent sculpture on a French seashore. 
+ This cat is a few form of well-hydrated genius.

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