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The Download: cattle’s lethal tick-borne illness, and molten salt batteries



This is at present’s version of The Download, our weekday publication that gives a every day dose of what’s happening on the planet of know-how.

A brand new tick-borne illness is killing cattle within the US

In the spring of 2021, Cynthia and John Grano, who personal a cattle operation in Culpeper County, Virginia, began noticing a few of their cows slowing down and appearing “spacey.” They figured the animals had been affected by a typical infectious illness that causes anemia in cattle. But their veterinarian had warned them that one other illness carried by a parasite was spreading quickly within the space.

After a 3rd cow died, the Granos determined to check its blood. Sure sufficient, the check got here again constructive for the illness: theileria. And with no remedy obtainable, the cows saved dying.

Cattle house owners just like the Granos will not be alone. Livestock producers across the US are confronting this new and unfamiliar illness with out a lot data. Researchers nonetheless don’t know the way theileria will unfold, even because it rapidly spreads west throughout the nation. If states can’t get the illness underneath management, then nationwide manufacturing losses from sick cows might considerably harm each particular person operations and all the {industry}. Read the full story.

—Britta Lokting

Super-hot salt could possibly be coming to a battery close to you

The world is constructing extra capability for renewables, particularly photo voltaic and wind energy that come and go together with the climate. But for renewables to make an actual distinction, we want higher choices for storing vitality. That’s the place batteries are available. And handily, there’s a wave of other chemistries slowly percolating into the rising vitality storage market.

Some of those new gamers might ultimately be cheaper (and in numerous methods, higher) than the industry-standard lithium-ion batteries. Among probably the most promising is molten salt know-how, which Ambri, a Boston-area startup, is satisfied could possibly be as much as 50% cheaper over its lifetime than an equal lithium-ion system.

But, like its rivals experimenting with different types of vitality storage, Ambri is dealing with actual boundaries to adoption, with scaling presenting the principle, ever-present hurdle. Read the full story.

—Casey Crownhart

Casey’s story is from The Spark, her weekly publication protecting battery breakthroughs and different local weather information. Sign up to obtain it in your inbox each Wednesday.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the web to search out you at present’s most enjoyable/essential/scary/fascinating tales about know-how.

1 What comes after Twitter?
Whatever the reply, downloading information and contacts is a brilliant transfer. (NYT $)
+ It’s unlikely, nevertheless, that you simply’ll have the ability to save every thing. (Wired $)
+ A load of fired contractors aren’t planning on going quietly. (Bloomberg $)
+ One of its former information scientists is extraordinarily fearful. (Rest of World)
+ Twitter’s potential collapse might wipe out huge data of latest human historical past. (MIT Technology Review)

2 The ripple results of FTX’s collapse
The crypto change’s poor practices are triggering fears in regards to the {industry}’s future—and its staff are livid. (WSJ $)
+ Sam Bankman-Fried had an ill-advised chat with a journalist over Twitter. (Vox)
+ A category motion has been filed towards FTX within the US. (The Guardian)

3 The US’s bioweapon detection system is unreliable  
20 years after its introduction, it nonetheless prices $80 million a yr. (The Verge

4 Telehealth websites are riddled with information trackers
They might reveal delicate dependancy data that’s ripe for abuse. (Wired $)

5 Activision Blizzard’s video games are being pulled offline in China
It’s been unable to strike a cope with its Chinese distributor. (FT $)

6 Intel thinks it may well catch deepfakes with 96% accuracy
By monitoring the “blood circulate” of video pixels to detect residing people. (VentureBeat)
+ A horrifying AI app swaps ladies into porn movies with a click on. (MIT Technology Review)

7 We’ve ignored concrete’s carbon footprint for too lengthy
It’s not as massive a polluter as transport or vitality, but it surely’s in pressing want of a greener overhaul. (Knowable Magazine)
+ How Joe Biden acquired away with passing the IRA. (The Atlantic $)
+ How hydrogen and electrical energy can clear up heavy {industry}. (MIT Technology Review)

8 Lab-grown meat is fit for human consumption
The FDA has inexperienced lit lab-grown hen—but it surely must cross different exams earlier than it may be bought. (NBC News)
+ Will lab-grown meat attain our plates? (MIT Technology Review)

9 Why NASA’s astronauts aren’t allowed to TikTok from house 🪐


Even although their European counterparts are. (Vox
+ NASA’s Artemis 1 launch was an oddly muted affair. (The Atlantic $)
+ Here’s every thing the mission is taking with it to the moon. (IEEE Spectrum)

10 We might hitch a trip on a flying taxi sooner or later 🚁
By the tip of the last decade, apparently. Let’s see. (Economist $)

Quote of the day

“Ireland actually wager the farm on the way forward for tech . . . nearly on the expense of every thing else.”

—Mark O’Connell, govt chair and founding father of OCO Global, a commerce and funding centered advisory agency, tells the Financial Times why the tech sector’s mass job cuts will hit Ireland notably laborious.

The massive story

Bright LEDs might spell the tip of darkish skies

A view of Milky Way from the Grand Canyon

August 2022

Scientists have identified for years that gentle air pollution is rising and may hurt each people and wildlife. In individuals, elevated publicity to gentle at evening disrupts sleep cycles and has been linked to most cancers and heart problems, whereas wildlife suffers from interruption to their reproductive patterns, elevated hazard and lack of stealth.

Astronomers, policymakers, and lighting professionals are all working to search out methods to cut back gentle air pollution. Many of them advocate putting in light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, in outside fixtures corresponding to metropolis streetlights, primarily for his or her capacity to direct gentle to a focused space. But the excessive preliminary funding and sturdiness of recent LEDs imply cities must get the transition proper the primary time or probably face a long time of penalties. Read the full story.

—Shel Evergreen

We can nonetheless have good issues

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



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