This is today’s edition ofDownload,Our weekday newsletter provides daily coverage of what’s happening in the tech world.
Why the sci-fi dream of cryonics never dies
When Aaron Drake flew from Arizona to Yinfeng Biological Corporation in China in 2016, he went there to guide China’s first humans into cryonics, or freezing corpses to revive them.
Drake spent the previous seven years as the medical response director of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a small nonprofit that has strived to become a longtime leader in cryonics, body freezing, and cryonics. members’ brains, with the idea of one day bringing them back to life, since 1976.
The platform, and cryonics in general, has long existed outside of mainstream acceptance. But Yinfeng’s recent involvement heralds a new era for electronics.
With impressive financial resources, government support, and scientific staff, it is one of the few new labs focused on expanding the consumer appeal of cryonics and attempt to renew to give credence to the theory of reincarnation of human existence. However, the field is still rooted in belief rather than any actual evidence that it works. Read full story.
This section is from our upcoming death-themed issue, available October 26. If you’d like to read it when it comes out, you can. ordered for MIT Technology Review for as little as $80 a year.
Are mice with human brain cells still rats?
This week, my colleague Jessica Hamzelou wrote about a fascinating experiment involving transplant human brain cells into mouse brain. Brain cells of both species can form connections and function together. Human cells become part of the mouse brain.
A few months after they were transplanted, human cells made up about one-sixth of a mouse’s brain and appeared to play a role in controlling the animals’ behavior. The conundrum: Are these animals still 100% rats? Read full story.
Jessica’s story is from The Checkup, her weekly newsletter that explores all things biotech and health. Register to get it in your inbox every Thursday.
This week, MIT Technology Review hosted the inaugural ClimateTech conference on technological solutions to climate change — a big thank you to everyone who attended in person or online!
Things to read
I scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/fascinating stories about tech.1 China is preparing for their historic Communist Party Congress
President Xi Jinping’s third term is almost certain. (Economist $)
+ The congress is an opportunity for Xi to reassert his control. (FT $)
+ All 2,3000 senior party members will attend the meeting. (Guardians)
+ Douying, Tiktok’s Chinese sister app, is muting Cantonese speakers. (The rest of the world)
2 Not everyone in California can afford an electric car
They’re expensive, and the state’s push for electric vehicle risks puts those on lower incomes. (Guardians)
+ Even the US Secretary of Transportation acknowledged the obstacles. (Recode)
+ The US has only 6,000 fast charging stations for electric vehicles. (MIT Technology Review)
3 Turkey passed flawed “misinformation bill” before the election
That, ingeniously enough, limits criticism of its President Erdoğan. (FT $)
+ The European Parliament has accused Big Tech of clandestine lobbying. (Bloomberg $)
4 Food is getting more and more expensive
Supply problems and higher gas prices are just some of the reasons why. (Vox)
+ Rising food costs have contributed to those sky-high inflation numbers. (New Yorkers $)
5 An AI is planning to run for election in Denmark
The Synthesis Party, led by AI, claims to represent the values of “Danns who don’t vote”. (Motherboard)
6 Gamers are perfect targets for cybercriminals
Young players are especially vulnerable to the advances of cheaters. (NYT $)
7 Netflix Ads Coming Next Month
The company is keen to attract new customers, after months of users canceling their subscriptions. (WSJ $)
8 High Intensity Heat Therapy Isn’t Just For Elite Athletes
Carefully controlled heat exposure can also prevent cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. (Neo.Life)
9 Your Restaurant Server Hates Hacking Your Menus
And apps are making it easier than ever to order complex concoctions anonymously. (Eater)
Quote of the day
“There will usually be one or two people running around like crazy, or doing something like making a big cartoon about a cat.”
—Antti Innanen, chief executive officer of Dot, a Finnish legal design consulting firm, explains the pitfalls of trying to get people’s attention while holding seminars to the contrary. with Financial Times.
We can still have good things
+ Hey, that’s not the way the next line of the song Go!
+ The only one Patti Smith will release a book next month — and it’s inspired by, err, Instagram.
+ This one sunny waterfall is straight out of the House of the Dragon.
+ If you ever find yourself in London, just enjoy yourself a little bar.
+ We tend to gravitate towards the familiar when something is about to end, and that’s okay.