Genetic therapy, and preserving email memories

In addition, Meta has been heavily fined by the European Union.

This is today’s download., Our weekly newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s happening in the world of technology.

FDA approves genetic therapy to help children like “butterfly”

The news: Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of the first gene therapy to be applied directly to the body and the first to be used repeatedly in the same person.

How it works: By introducing the missing gene into the skin cells, the treatment can make collagen. It’s already helping people with dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a rare genetic disorder that causes the skin to break off surprisingly easily. The topical ointment helps to heal the chronic and flaring wounds of the disease, the eye drop version prevents the formation of scars in the eyeballs and improves their vision.

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Next Steps: Gene therapy is unusual because it does not involve injections or altering the immune system outside the body. It suggests that similar methods may have profitable applications. The big question now is how much it will cost the families who need it. Read the full story.

– Antonio Regalado

How to protect your digital memories

– Tat Ryan-Mosley

My email folder contains precious messages that mark important days in my life: an acceptance letter to graduate school, travel plans with my sisters, a job offer at Tech Review, an invitation to reconnect with a friend I lost touch with.

I never really thought about what to do with all these digital records. I always had some kind of hope that I could access and manage my emails on my own terms. And while I don’t particularly save important ones these days, maybe I should change that.

This is because, in reality, I am renting a space owned by a tech company. Google and Twitter recently announced new policies to remove inactive accounts, and it’s a reminder of just how static and fragile our digital lives are. Read the full story.

Te’s story is from The Technocrat, her weekly newspaper that covers policy power struggles in Silicon Valley. sign up To receive it in your inbox every Friday.

It should be read

I’ve scoured the internet for the most entertaining/important/scary/amazing stories about technology today.

1 The European Union slapped Meta with a record €1.2 billion fine.
Failing to protect users’ data in transit from Europe to the US. (politics)
+ Meta has been given five months to stop transferring any further personal data to the US. (Bloomberg $)

2 Carbon removal is becoming big business.
That doesn’t mean it will do much to combat climate change. (Economist $)
+ Grass roofs are helping Brazil’s favelas to beat the punishing heat. (darkness)
+ What it takes to get an affordable carbon removal. (MIT Technology Review)

3 The chip industry is under threat.
“Forever Chemicals” Barriers Threaten Chip Makers’ Manufacturing Process (FT$)+ China says it has security concerns in US-made Micron chips. (Bloomberg $)

4 China is ramping up its satellite network plans.
Startup sites are being prepared, and new companies are being added. (WSJ$)
+ Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to act like GPS – whether SpaceX likes it or not. (MIT Technology Review)

SpaceX’s second private mission is on its way to the ISS.
The three paying customers spend a week aboard the space station. (CNN)

6 E-Sports is not a money-spinning once upon a time
Spectators seem to be losing interest, and team owners are selling. (NYT$)

7 The Bitcoin blockchain is being taken over by memecoins and NFTs.
And bitcoin purists are not happy about this. (Bloomberg $)

8 Caring robots don’t always keep their promises.
Some people’s caregivers find that it can be more difficult than it should be. (the guard)
+ Automating Elderly Care in Japan’s Longitudinal Experiment. (MIT Technology Review)

9 MDMA therapy may be on the horizon.
However, taking psychiatry in medical settings does not always produce the desired results. (Vox)
+ Mind-altering substances are being overused as a wonder drug. (MIT Technology Review)

10 Why Voicemail Won’t Go Anywhere 📞
There is no better option for one. (Atlantic $)

Quote of the day

“AI is not magic. Many people will be involved- PeopleHe said.

— Computer scientist Timnit Gebru, who was fired by Google in 2020 for sounding the alarm over AI bias, bucked the trend to see the technology as a miracle to The Guardian.

The big story

What cities need now

April 2021

The latest modern urban projects bear similarities to previous iterations. Again and again, these initiatives promise new “solutions” to urban “problems.”

After a decade of pilot projects and bold demonstrations, it’s still unclear whether modern urban technologies can truly solve or mitigate the challenges cities face. Read the full story.

– Jennifer Clarke

We can still have something good.

A place of comfort, relaxation and distraction in these strange times. (Do you have an idea? Drop me a line Or Tweet at me.)

+ Who knew that Neolithic people were incredibly effective planners?
+ As for these brave scientists, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.
+ These delicious pancakes can take a while. 🥞
+ We are learning more about Mars than we already know about Earth.
+ A healthy breakfast and positive emotions are some of the top tips for living a long and happy life.

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