The Download: NASA’s tiny spacecraft, and the RSV vaccine scarcity

The Download: NASA’s tiny spacecraft, and the RSV vaccine scarcity

This is right this moment’s version of The Download, our weekday e-newsletter that gives a day by day dose of what’s occurring on the planet of know-how.

Inside NASA’s bid to make spacecraft as small as attainable

Since the Seventies, we’ve despatched plenty of large issues to Mars. But when NASA efficiently despatched twin Mars Cube One spacecraft, the scale of cereal bins, to the crimson planet in November 2018, it was the primary time we’d ever despatched one thing so small.

Just making it this far heralded a brand new age in area exploration. NASA and the neighborhood of planetary science researchers caught a glimpse of a future lengthy sought: a pathway to rather more inexpensive area exploration utilizing smaller, cheaper spacecraft. 

There was a catch, although—one which NASA quickly needed to grapple with. Miniaturization can solely go to this point earlier than it involves a crashing halt towards some very elementary legal guidelines of physics. Read the full story.

—David W. Brown

This story is from our most up-to-date print difficulty of MIT Technology Review, which is all about society’s hardest issues, and the way we must always sort out them. If you don’t subscribe already, sign up now to get future points after they land.

RSV is on the rise however preventative medication are in brief provide

This 12 months we had been alleged to have extra instruments than ever earlier than to guard children from RSV (quick for respiratory syncytial virus), together with a brand new shot that’s given preventively to infants and weak toddlers to guard them from the worst results of the virus.

But now—simply as charges of illness are rising—this medication is in brief provide. The CDC issued an alert final week advising pediatricians to ration doses, reserving them for infants youthful than six months and people with underlying situations that place them at highest threat for extreme RSV. 

The scenario is irritating to oldsters and pediatricians alike. But shouldn’t forecasting demand for this type of preventative be comparatively easy? And why was there such a mismatch between provide and demand within the first place? Read the full story.

—Cassandra Willyard

This story first appeared in The Checkup, MIT Technology Review’s weekly biotech e-newsletter. Sign up to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

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

1 Sam Bankman-Fried has been discovered responsible on all seven fraud costs 
But he’ll have to attend till March subsequent 12 months to seek out out his sentence. (Economist $)
+ The tech trade has already moved on, although. (NYT $)
+ It’s unlikely that SBF would be the final of his variety. (The Atlantic $)

2 Meta’s open-source AI comes at a value
Just as a result of Llama 2 is publicly obtainable doesn’t imply it’s low-cost. (The Information $)
+ AI companies actually don’t need to pay for coaching information. (Insider $)

3 We shouldn’t get complacent about covid this winter
The truth vaccines are a lot tougher to get nowadays isn’t serving to. (The Atlantic $)
+ Who advantages most from the brand new covid vaccines? (MIT Technology Review)

4 The AI increase is lining Big Tech’s pockets
The wealthy have gotten even richer because of their cloud investments. (WSJ $)

5 Surveillance tech is coming to a metropolis close to you 
City councils are investing in Fusus AI methods, however not all residents are pleased. (404 Media)
+ Marseille’s battle towards the surveillance state. (MIT Technology Review)

6 Zoonotic illnesses are a rising risk
Animal-to-human illnesses are forecast to kill many extra individuals in future a long time. (FT $)
+ Meet the scientist on the heart of the covid lab leak controversy. (MIT Technology Review)

7 Forget the leap second—it’s time for the leap minute
Technically, it may bridge the 2 methods we inform the time. But is the world prepared? (NYT $)

8 How on-line playing ensnared a complete technology of Africans
Its governments are ill-equipped to guard residents who’re changing into more and more addicted. (Bloomberg $)
+ How cell cash supercharged Kenya’s sports activities betting dependancy. (MIT Technology Review)

9 Airbnb isn’t what it was
Its value is on the rise—and so are complaints. (Vox)
+ New York’s struggle towards Airbnb has made it much more costly to go to. (The Atlantic $)

10 We all know food regimen soda is dangerous for us
Maybe candy protein substitutes may supply a more healthy various. (Proto.Life)

Quote of the day

“The crypto trade could be new, the gamers like Sam Bankman-Fried could also be new, however this type of fraud is as outdated as time and we’ve got no endurance for it.”

— Damian Williams, the US legal professional who led the prosecution of disgraced crypto founder Sam Bankman-Fried, has a solemn message for reporters outdoors the Manhattan courtroom, Reuters experiences.

The large story

Inside the app Minnesota police used to gather information on journalists at protests

March 2022

Photojournalist J.D. Duggan was masking a protest in Minnesota in April 2021 when cops surrounded him and others, and informed them to get on the bottom.

Officers sorted the press from the protesters, walked them to a parking zone, and started photographing them, one after the other. They informed Duggan the photographs can be saved in an app. 

An investigation by MIT Technology Review discovered the information was collected utilizing a instrument referred to as Intrepid Response, a simple approach to virtually immediately de-anonymize protest attendees and hold tabs on their actions. For some, the instrument’s use is a harmful step within the route of authoritarianism. Read the full story.

—Sam Richards & Tate Ryan-Mosley

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.)

  • Thanks to the wonders of AI, we’ve been blessed with one last Beatles song.
    + 65 years in the past right this moment, Laika the dog turned the primary canine in orbit! 🪐
    + Working as a Disney animation model seems to be completely exhausting.
    + The world’s most remote lighthouses is a good topic for a ebook.
    + Historic England is on the hunt for ghost signs—these superbly pale painted indicators promoting companies and merchandise of the previous.



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