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The Download: transphobic panic, and the US-China chip war

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. How the idea of a “transgender contagion” went viral—and caused untold harm When Jay told his mom he was bisexual at 14, she was supportive. But when he came out as transgender a few years later, she...

Inside the software that will become the next battle front in US-China chip war

The days when computer chips were designed by hand are long gone. Where chips contained thousands of transistors in the 1970s, they have more than a hundred billion today, and it’s impossible to create these designs manually. That’s where electronic design automation (EDA) software comes in. It’s a category of tools that help electrical engineers design...

How the idea of a “transgender contagion” went viral—and caused untold harm

When Jay told his mom he was bisexual at 14, she was supportive. But when he came out as transgender a few years later, she pushed back. She felt blindsided by the news. YouTube videos and online forums soon convinced her that she was right to feel that way. To her, it was clear that Jay was simply mistaken. A trans “contagion” called “rapid-onset gender...

Tiny caps can measure activity in lab-grown minibrains

Minuscule lab-grown models of human brains can be fitted with caps that measure their activity, just as electroencephalogram (EEG) caps record electrical signals produced by full-size human brains. The minibrains are examples of organoids—three-dimensional clusters of living cells, grown in a lab, that simulate the structure and function...

The Download: electric planes, and trans men’s fertility

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. This is what’s keeping electric planes from taking off What’s happening?: Startups are exploring how electric planes could clean up air travel, which accounts for about 3% of global greenhouse-gas emissions....

This is what’s keeping electric planes from taking off

Startups are exploring how electric planes could clean up air travel, which accounts for about 3% of worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions. The problem is that today’s electric aircraft could safely carry you and about a dozen fellow passengers only around 30 miles, according to a recent analysis.  The limiting factor is the battery, in particular...

Why we can no longer afford to ignore the case for climate adaptation

This article was originally published on Undark. Read the original article. In the late 1950s, Ian Burton, then a geographer at the University of Chicago, learned about a troubling conundrum with levees. These expensive and engineering-intensive strategies—which the US Army Corps of Engineers favored for reining in floods along big river floodplains—worked...

Bright LEDs could spell the end of dark skies

Late one evening in June of 2016, John Barentine stood alone at Mather Point, an iconic and rarely empty overlook at Grand Canyon National Park. The moon slid away, leaving the darkness of a crisp, clear sky. The stars that make up our galaxy seemed to align overhead. The inky chasm of the ancient canyon spread out below, and he marveled at a feeling...

A three-parent technique could help trans men have babies

Fertility treatments can be undesirable for transgender men, as they involve pausing gender-affirming hormone therapy and undergoing potentially distressing procedures such as female hormone treatments and vaginal exams.  New evidence suggests combining two existing techniques for the first time could help sidestep those issues. The process...

The Download: China-linked hackers, and chromosome variations

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. Hackers linked to China have been targeting human rights groups for years The news: A hacking group linked to China has spent the last three years targeting human rights organizations, think tanks, news...

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