Solar EV ☀️ DMT Trial 🌈 Water futures🚰!

Technology News

A startup opened orders for a $26,000 solar-powered EV that it claims never needs charging. The first batch sold out in 24 hours.

Aptera has announced a solar-powered vehicle that it claims most drivers will never need to charge. The top model will offer 1,000 miles of range, while three lower-trim versions will go 250, 400, and 600 miles on a charge. An integrated solar array that the company says can provide up to 45 miles of range per day or 11,000 miles per year in most parts of the world. The three-wheeler is made of lightweight carbon fiber, kevlar, and hemp, and has an aerodynamic profile that looks like a small plane without the wings. Aptera says it can mass-produce the vehicle quickly, since it has just four main components and will be built using 3D-printing technology.

Samsung’s first consumer MicroLED TV is finally arriving in early 2021

The company launched its commercial MicroLED model back in 2018 it looks like the consumer version will be available soon. Samsung is quoting a peak brightness rating of 2000 nits in regard to this new MicroLED TV, which makes it around twice as bright as even the best OLEDs. What’s more, unlike OLED TVs, MicroLEDs are inorganic, so don’t degrade and can’t suffer from image. A niche feature of Samsung’s new MicroLED TV is that it can display up to four sources at once by splitting the screen into smaller portions. Splitting the screen into quarters essentially gives you four 55-inch displays, and each one can be playing something different.

Science News

World-First Clinical Trial Explores Safety and Efficacy of DMT for Major Depression

The world’s first clinical trial testing the efficacy of the psychedelic compound N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) with counselling psychotherapy has won approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The trial will test the safety of DMT and the efficacy of its treatment in a small number of patients with major depressive disorder. “DMT has distinct advantages in that the psychedelic experience is short in comparison to that induced by other psychedelics but based on the intensity of the experience, and on the psychotherapy provided with DMT, the therapeutic benefit is likely to be significant.”

Gene therapy injection in one eye surprises scientists by improving vision in both

In a landmark phase 3 clinical trial, the team successfully treated 37 patients suffering from Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). The researchers injected rAAV2/2-ND4 – a viral vector containing modified cDNA – into the vitreous cavity at the back of one eye. “We expected vision to improve in the eyes treated with the gene therapy vector only. Rather unexpectedly, both eyes improved for 78% of patients in the trial following the same trajectory over 2 years of follow-up.” It suggests that the improvement in vision in untreated eyes could be due to the transfer of viral vector DNA from the injected eye.

Business News

Wall Street Begins Trading Water Futures as a Commodity

Wall Street has begun trading water as a commodity, like gold or oil. The country’s first water market launched on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange with $1.1 billion in contracts tied to water prices in California. The market allows farmers, hedge funds, and municipalities to hedge bets on the future price of water and water availability in the American West. Proponents argue the new market will clear up some of the uncertainty around water prices for farmers and municipalities, helping them budget for the resource. But some experts say treating water as a tradable commodity puts a basic human right into the hands of financial institutions and investors.

Facebook must be broken up, the US government says in a groundbreaking lawsuit

Dozens of states and the federal government sued Facebook in twin antitrust lawsuits, alleging that the social media giant has abused its dominance in the digital marketplace and engaged in anticompetitive behavior. The Federal Trade Commission is seeking a permanent injunction in federal court that could, among other things, require the company to divest assets, including Instagram and WhatsApp, effectively breaking up Facebook as we know it. “By using its vast troves of data and money, Facebook has squashed or hindered what the company perceived to be potential threats.”

Miscellaneous News

Over 900 cars paid for each other’s meals at a Dairy Queen drive-thru in Minnesota

A man came by the drive-thru window oand asked if he could pay for his meal and for the car behind him. Tina Jensen, the store manager, told her cashier this tends to happen once in a while but at most it lasts for 15 or 20 cars and fizzles out. This time, the chain continued for two and a half days with over 900 cars participating, raking in $10,000 in sales. When the next customer came to the fast food chain’s window, Jensen explained what the man in front of them had done — and the acts of kindness continued to multiply.

The world’s first underwater roundabout is opening in the Faroe Islands

An aquatic-themed underwater roundabout – the first in the world – will soon open below the Atlantic Ocean, linking up two of the Faroe Islands. The structure, made of natural rock and decorated by Faroese artist Tróndur Patursson, resembles a jellyfish and is illuminated with blue and green lights. Local leaders hope that the improved transportation link will help encourage tourism after the coronavirus pandemic subsides. The travel time between the capital of Tórshavn and Runavík/Strendur will be cut from more than an hour (64 minutes) to just 16 minutes.

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