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


That is at present’s version of The Obtain, 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

Because the Nineteen Seventies, we’ve despatched numerous huge issues to Mars. However when NASA efficiently despatched twin Mars Dice One spacecraft, the dimensions of cereal packing containers, to the pink planet in November 2018, it was the primary time we’d ever despatched one thing so small.

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

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

—David W. Brown

This story is from our most up-to-date print difficulty of MIT Know-how Evaluation, which is all about society’s hardest issues, and the way we must always deal with them. If you happen to don’t subscribe already, join now to get future points once they land.

RSV is on the rise however preventative medication are briefly provide

This 12 months we had been alleged to have extra instruments than ever earlier than to guard children from RSV (brief 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.

However now—simply as charges of illness are rising—this drugs is briefly 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 circumstances that place them at highest danger for extreme RSV. 

The state of affairs is irritating to folks and pediatricians alike. However shouldn’t forecasting demand for this sort of preventative be comparatively easy? And why was there such a mismatch between provide and demand within the first place? Learn the total story.

—Cassandra Willyard

This story first appeared in The Checkup, MIT Know-how Evaluation’s weekly biotech e-newsletter. Join to obtain it in your inbox each Thursday.

The must-reads

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

1 Sam Bankman-Fried has been discovered responsible on all seven fraud prices 
However he’ll have to attend till March subsequent 12 months to search out out his sentence. (Economist $)
+ The tech business 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 worth
Simply because Llama 2 is publicly out there doesn’t imply it’s low-cost. (The Data $)
+ AI corporations actually don’t need to pay for coaching information. (Insider $)

3 We shouldn’t get complacent about covid this winter
The very fact vaccines are a lot tougher to get today isn’t serving to. (The Atlantic $)
+ Who advantages most from the brand new covid vaccines? (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

4 The AI growth is lining Large 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 
Metropolis councils are investing in Fusus AI methods, however not all residents are comfortable. (404 Media)
+ Marseille’s battle towards the surveillance state. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

6 Zoonotic ailments are a rising risk
Animal-to-human ailments are forecast to kill many extra folks in future many years. (FT $)
+ Meet the scientist on the heart of the covid lab leak controversy. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

7 Overlook the leap second—it’s time for the leap minute
Technically, it might bridge the 2 methods we inform the time. However 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 cellular cash supercharged Kenya’s sports activities betting habit. (MIT Know-how Evaluation)

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

10 Everyone knows eating regimen soda is unhealthy for us 🥤
Perhaps candy protein substitutes might provide a more healthy different. (Proto.Life)

Quote of the day

“The crypto business is likely to be new, the gamers like Sam Bankman-Fried could also be new, however this sort of fraud is as outdated as time and we have now no endurance for it.”

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

The massive story

Contained in 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 car 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 Know-how Evaluation discovered the info was collected utilizing a instrument known as Intrepid Response, a simple technique to virtually immediately de-anonymize protest attendees and maintain tabs on their actions. For some, the instrument’s use is a harmful step within the route of authoritarianism. Learn the total story.

—Sam Richards & Tate Ryan-Mosley

We will nonetheless have good issues

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

+ Due to the wonders of AI, we’ve been blessed with one final Beatles music.
+ 65 years in the past at present, Laika the canine turned the primary canine in orbit! 🪐
+ Working as a Disney animation mannequin appears to be like completely exhausting.
+ The world’s most distant lighthouses is a good topic for a e book.
+ Historic England is on the hunt for ghost indicators—these superbly light painted indicators promoting companies and merchandise of the previous.





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