ARM supercomputer 🖥️ Flowering genes 🌺 Second hand clothing rises👖!

Technology News

ARM-based Japanese supercomputer is now the fastest in the world

A Japanese supercomputer has taken the top spot in the biannual Top500 supercomputer speed ranking. Fugaku, a computer in Kobe co-developed by Riken and Fujitsu, makes use of Fujitsu’s 48-core A64FX system-on-chip. It’s the first time a computer based on ARM processors has topped the list. Fugaku turned in a Top500 HPL result of 415.5 petaflops, 2.8 times as fast as IBM’s Summit, the nearest competitor. Fugaku also attained top spots in other rankings that test computers on different workloads, including Graph 500, HPL-AI, and HPCG. No previous supercomputer has ever led all four rankings at once.

NVIDIA and Mercedes partner to create a next-gen car computer

NVIDIA and Mercedes Benz are teaming up for the auto-makers next generation of luxury automobiles in 2024. Touted as “the most sophisticated and advanced computing architecture ever deployed in an automobile.” This new software system will enable Level 3 driving autonomy – exceeding the current abilities of Tesla’s Autopilot. Based on NVIDIA’s DRIVE platform, the system will be able to “automate driving of regular routes from address to address.” The system will feature over-air updates, enabling customers to buy and remotely install additional safety and convenience features, software applications, and subscription services.

Science News

Researchers identify genes that tell plants when to flower

How do plants know when it is time to flower? Researchers have studied this question and identified two genes that are key to this process. They were able to show that the ELF3 and GI genes control the plants’ internal clock, which monitors the length of daylight and determines when it is the right time to flower. “Plants orient themselves to the ratio between the hours of sunlight and darkness. Some plants only flower when the days are particularly long. Others only flower when the nights exceed a certain length of time.” The findings could help to breed plants that are better adapted to their environments.

Super-strong surgical tape detaches on demand

Last year, MIT engineers developed a double-sided adhesive that could quickly and firmly stick to biological tissue. Now, they have developed their adhesive so that it can be detached from the underlying tissue without causing any damage. The new version can be peeled away like a slippery gel in case it needs to be adjusted during surgery or removed once the tissue has healed. The team designed their original adhesive out of biocompatible polymers including polyacrylic acid, a highly absorbent material commonly used in diapers and pharmaceuticals, that soaks up water, then quickly forms weak hydrogen bonds with the tissue’s surface.

Business News

Resale market expected to be valued at $64 billion in 5 years

The secondhand apparel market is valued at about $28 billion today and is forecast to reach $64 billion within five years, ThredUp said in its annual report. The resale market grew 25 times faster than the overall retail market last year, with an estimated 64 million people buying second-hand products in 2019. According to the report, secondhand goods are expected to make up 17% of a person’s share of closet space by 2029, up from just 3% in 2009. That would put it behind only merchandise bought from off-price outlets such as TJ Maxx, at 19%. Department stores’ share of a closet is expected to be at 7% in 2029, down from 22% two decades earlier. 

Gilead to buy 49.9% stake in cancer drug developer Pionyr for $275 million

Gilead Sciences said it would buy a 49.9% stake in privately held cancer immunotherapies developer Pionyr for $275 million. The drugmaker said it has also secured the right to acquire the rest of Pionyr for a $315 million option exercise fee. Pionyr’s immuno-oncology product candidates, PY314 and PY159, have shown potential against solid tumors in animal studies and it plans to file applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the third quarter to begin human testing. Gilead has been expanding its oncology portfolio having announced a $4.9 billion deal for Forty Seven, adding an experimental treatment that targets blood cancer.

Miscellaneous News

A suspect package sent six people to the hospital and caused an evacuation — its contents turned out to be some very smelly fruit

Twelve German postal workers received medical treatment and dozens more were evacuated due to a pungent suspect package — which turned out to be a shipment of the notoriously smelly durian fruit. The entire building was evacuated, with around 60 employees forced to leave, before the package was carefully examined.It turned out to contain four Thai durian fruits, which a 50-year-old resident of the town had sent home from a friend in Nuremberg. “A total of twelve postal workers who complained of nausea had to be taken care of on site.”

Thai vets perform mass sterilisation as hungry monkeys terrorise tourist city

Thailand has started sterilising hundreds of monkeys in a city famous for its macaque population, as the coronavirus pandemic leaves them hungry, aggressive and wrestling food from terrified residents. Since Thailand closed its borders on Apr 4 to control coronavirus infections, the monkeys are not adapting well to their new normal.”They’re so used to having tourists feed them and the city provides no space for them to fend for themselves. With the tourists gone, they’ve been more aggressive, fighting humans for food to survive.”

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