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This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through September 17)


Five People With Lupus Went Into Complete Remission After Immunotherapy
Ed Cara | Gizmodo
“In their new research, published Thursday in Nature Medicine, Schett and his team infused five patients with treatment-resistant SLE with modified anti-CD19 T cells. And so far, all of them have experienced a remarkable recovery. Their symptoms have all improved, with none showing signs of lupus-related internal damage up to 17 months later and minimal side-effects from the therapy.”

An AI That Can Design New Proteins Could Unlock New Cures and Materials
Melissa Heikkilä | MIT Technology Review
“Traditionally researchers engineer proteins by tweaking those that occur in nature, but ProteinMPNN will open an entire new universe of possible proteins for researchers to design from scratch. ‘In nature, proteins solve basically all the problems of life, ranging from harvesting energy from sunlight to making molecules. Everything in biology happens from proteins,’ says David Baker, one of the scientists behind the paper and director of the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington.”archive page

Structure-Inflating Construction Tech Could Give 3D Printing a Run for Its Money
Ben Coxworth | New Atlas
“We’ve heard how 3D-printed concrete buildings can be constructed quickly and easily, but could there be an even faster and simpler method? According to American inventor Alex Bell, there most certainly is—and it involves inflating buildings, then pumping concrete into them. …’For our 100 square foot [9.3 sq m] and 200 square foot [18.6 sq m] prototypes, the inflation took 7 to 10 minutes with air,’ he said. ‘Then the concrete pump filled them in 1.5 hours. Including labor, our prototypes only cost $20 per square foot. This is significantly cheaper than anything else.’

2 Minutes to Midlife: The Fantastic Unspecified Future of Epigenetic Clocks
Robin Donovan | NEO.LIFE
“When Horvath first described epigenetic clocks, scientists began to speculate that altering them could reverse aging. After all, if certain patterns of DNA methylation at certain sites in cells in certain tissues of your body are hallmarks of aging, could shifting them somehow reverse aging? The short answer: It’s possible.”

Roblox’s Avatars Are About to Get More Expressive
Tanya Basu | MIT Technology Review
“Roblox users will soon be able to give their avatars facial expressions that mimic the player’s own, the platform announced today. …And soon, Roblox says, users will be able to speak directly with other avatars as in other multiplayer video games. In short, the changes might blend our real-world human experience with that of the metaverse and make avatars more like ourselves—for better or worse.”


How Long Is the Drive to the Edge of the Universe?
Randall Munroe | The New York Times
“The edge of the observable universe is about 270,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles away. If you drive at a steady 65 miles per hour, it will take you 480,000,000,000,000,000—that’s 4.8 × 10¹⁷—years to get there, or 35 million times the current age of the universe. …Be sure to pack extra snacks.

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Record-Breaking Robot Highlights How Animals Excel at Jumping
Yasemin Saplakoglu | Source
“The [robot] jumper had reached a record-breaking height of about 32.9 meters, as Keeley and his collaborators, led by Elliot Hawkes, a mechanical engineering researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, reported in April in Nature. Not only had it jumped more than three times higher than other experimental robots constructed for that task, it had jumped more than 14 times higher than any other creature in the animal kingdom. In all likelihood, their robot jumped higher than anything ever had on Earth.”

Saturn’s Rings Finally Explained After Over 400 Years
Ethan Siegel | Big Think
“Observed since the invention of the telescope back in 1609, Saturn’s rings were a wholly unique feature within our Solar System. While the other giant planets have since been discovered to have rings, they’re faint and unimpressive compared to Saturn’s. Despite all we’ve learned about our Solar System, the origin of Saturn’s rings have remained an unsolved puzzle. Perhaps, that is, until now.”

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  • Source: https://singularityhub.com/2022/09/17/this-weeks-awesome-tech-stories-from-around-the-web-through-september-17/

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