Big Tech &
Impossible Foods to launch meatless pork in U.S., Hong Kong, and Singapore (2 minute read)
Impossible Foods' plant-based pork product will be available in the US, Hong Kong, and Singapore in the coming months. It is the company's third commercial launch. The pork alternative is made primarily from soy and provides the same amount of protein as real pork but with no cholesterol, one-third less saturated fat, and far fewer calories. 54 percent of Hong Kong consumers preferred the meatless pork product in a recent blind taste test.
A New Battery-Free System Gives Devices an 'Infinite Lifetime' (3 minute read)
BFree is a system that allows devices to smoothly operate any time power is available. It uses a power-failure resistant version of Python and energy-harvesting hardware. Anyone can use the system to make their own sustainable electronics. Last year, the researchers behind the technology unveiled a Game Boy powered by the kinetic energy of button presses. The project hopes to reduce the number of dead batteries that end up as e-waste.
‘Jumping gene’ may have erased tails in humans and other apes—and boosted our risk of birth defects (2 minute read)
A graduate student from New York University has found a gene that may be the reason humans and other great apes are missing tails. The gene is a short DNA insertion called an Alu element. Alu sequences can move around the genome and are sometimes called jumping genes or transposable elements. They can have complex effects on how proteins are expressed, making them a huge driver of evolutionary variation. Mice that had been genetically modified to have the gene had a mix of tail lengths, from none to nearly normal, suggesting that other genes must be working together to eliminate all tail development in apes.
Programming, Design & Data Science
StoreKit 2 with updates to in-app purchases and subscriptions now available for developers (1 minute read)
StoreKit 2 is now available as part of iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and watchOS 8. It improves the way in-app purchases and subscriptions work. Developers will receive up-to-date information about their apps and users will have more secure purchases, an easier refund process, and the ability to manage their individual app subscriptions. The App Store Server API has been updated to add real-time purchase notifications for developers. Developers will now be able to see users' in-app purchase history and get subscription expiration, offer redemption, and refund notifications.
btop++ (GitHub Repo)
btop++ is a resource monitor that shows processor, memory, disks, network, and process usage and stats. It features a game-inspired menu system, full mouse support, a function to send any signal to selected processes, themes, and much more. Screenshots are available.
Watch Nanobot Carry Lazy Sperm to Fertilize Living Eggs (2 minute read)
A team of scientists from Germany have developed tiny motors that can make sperm swim better, essentially acting as a taxi to an egg. The spermbots consist of a spiraling piece of metal that wraps around a sperm's tail. It is guided to the egg using a magnetic field. The motor slips off the sperm once it reaches its destination. No cells are harmed in the process, but researchers are unsure how the immune system would react to the micromotors. A video of the spermbots in action is available in the article.
China Aims for a Permanent Moon Base in the 2030s (6 minute read)
China and Russia are aiming to build an international moon base. All interested countries and partners are invited to cooperate in the project. China has planned a series of missions to set up infrastructure beginning in the early 2030s. This article details the plans so far to build the International Lunar Research Station. It includes diagrams of the vehicles that will be used in each mission.