Big Tech &
New 'Google Illustrations' tool lets you build a custom profile picture for Gmail (2 minute read)
Google has released a new Google Illustrations tool that lets users build custom profile pictures. The tool contains hundreds of illustrations from various cultures, interests, and backgrounds. Users can adjust the illustrations' colors and focus and pick individual elements. The tool is now available for Gmail for Android and it will be rolled out on other apps and platforms late this year or in early 2022.
Celebrating Imgur's Next Chapter (2 minute read)
Imgur has been acquired by MediaLab. The image-sharing site reaches 300 million people and is home to one of the largest single independent communities online. MediaLab owns a range of internet brands, including Whisper, Kik, and WorldStarHipHop. Its resources and shared services will help the Imgur team add new features and tools and help grow the site.
Twist Biosciences: The DNA API (18 minute read)
This article explores the business and science behind Twist Bioscience and the biotech industry. Twist is a DNA manufacturing and software company. The company produces sequences of DNA that cells use to produce molecular products and molecular work. Twist uses a printing technique to produce thousands of DNA sequences at a time on silicon chips with very low error rates. The business has automated its processes, making it an API business and more like a tech company than a manufacturing company.
Supercooling advances human tissue preservation (4 minute read)
Researchers from UC Berkeley successfully revived human heart tissue after it had been preserved in a subfreezing, supercooled state using a technique called isochoric supercooling. The supercooling did not alter the structural integrity, beat rate, or beat waveform of the heart tissue. Isochoric supercooling involves keeping samples in liquid in a sealed, air-free rigid container. It creates conditions that make it difficult for ice to form, even at temperatures below freezing. The technique could eventually become viable for preserving donor tissue and organs.
Programming, Design & Data Science
go-stash (GitHub Repo)
go-stash is a server-side data processing pipeline that takes data from Kafka, processes it, then sends it to ElasticSearch. It is fast and easy to deploy as it is only one executable file.
How I Make CSS Art (9 minute read)
This article explains how to create CSS art. Readers will learn how to create a cute ghost CSS art from scratch. It breaks down the process and explains the code.
Coinbase dives deeper into banking by letting users deposit paychecks into their accounts (2 minute read)
Coinbase users will soon be able to use a direct deposit service to deposit any percentage of their paycheck into the platform. The service can hold the money in dollars or convert it to cryptocurrency for no fee. Other popular finance apps already allow for direct deposit. Coinbase recently canceled plans for a high-interest lending product due to legal threats by the SEC. The SEC has called for more crypto oversight, arguing that most digital assets traded need to register with the agency.
Male seahorses grow placentas to incubate their young (3 minute read)
The seahorse placenta is a fascinating example of convergent evolution. Male seahorses' brood pouches develop and function like human placentas. During pregnancy, the males provide embryos with everything they need. As the embryos grow, the brood pouch becomes thinner and sprouts more blood vessels, much like a mammalian placenta. This allows the baby seahorses to breathe inside the pouch. The pouch reverts to its prepregnancy form 24 hours after giving birth.