UPS delivery drone fleet 🛸, gene editing squids 🦑 and Wall street surges 📈!

Technology


UPS partners with Wingcopter to develop new multipurpose drone delivery fleet

UPS is working with German startup Wingcopter to develop a new type of delivery drone, to be used for the logistics company’s growing commercial drone deliver efforts both in the U.S. and globally. Wingcopter will be working closely with UPS’ Flight Forward subsidiary, who received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to effectively operate a full-scale ‘drone airline’ at scale for the purpose of package delivery. Wingcopter has already used its aircraft to deliver critical medical supplies and life-saving equipment to hard to reach areas.

Google Invents AI That Learns a Key Part of Chip Design

It takes years to design a chip. Ideally you want a chip that’s optimized to do today’s AI, not the AI of two to five years ago. Google’s solution: have an AI design the AI chip. After studying chip designs long enough, it can produce a design for a Google Tensor Processing Unit in less than 24 hours that beats several weeks-worth of design effort by human experts in terms of power, performance, and area. The team hopes AI systems like theirs will lead to the design of “more chips in the same time period, and also chips that run faster, use less power, cost less to build, and use less area.”

Science


New Genetic Editing Powers Discovered in Squid

Scientists have discovered that squid massively edit their own genetic instructions not only within the nucleus of their neurons, but also within the axon — the long, slender neural projections that transmit electrical impulses to other neurons. This is the first time that edits to genetic information have been observed outside of the nucleus of an animal cell. “That means, theoretically, they can modify protein function to meet the localized demands of the cell. That gives them a lot of latitude to tailor the genetic information, as needed.”

Isoflavones, in tofu and plant proteins, associated with lower heart disease risk

Consuming tofu, which is high in isoflavones, more than once a week was associated with a 18% lower risk of heart disease, compared to those who ate tofu less than once a month. Populations that traditionally consume isoflavone-rich diets including tofu, such as in China and Japan, have lower heart disease risk compared to populations that follow a largely meat-rich and vegetable-poor diet. Chickpeas, fava beans, pistachios, peanuts and other fruits and nuts are also high in isoflavones. Caution is recommended when interpreting these results.

Business


Wall Street surges on hopes of $2 trillion rescue package

Wall Street snapped back from three-year lows and the Dow jumped more than 1,500 points, as hopes of Washington passing an economic rescue package provided a shot of optimism to markets reeling under the biggest selloff since the financial crisis. All three main U.S. stock indexes jumped about 6%, swinging back from another brutal selloff in the previous session as the virus outbreak forced entire nations to shut down. Investors hope that the U.S. Senate will pass a $2 trillion stimulus bill, aimed at providing financial aid to Americans out of work and help distressed industries.

Trucking Companies Increase Hiring to Bolster Supply Chain

Some sectors of the trucking industry, which already has a driver shortage of more than 61,000, are actively looking for drivers because grocery stores and other retailers have been swamped. Grocery giant Albertsons, the parent company of brands such as Jewell-Osco, Safeway and Tom Thumb are said to be looking for drivers. The hiring situation is especially acute in several southern locations, including Dallas-Fort Worth, where Albertsons says it could hire as many as 4,000 new employees.

Miscellaneous


Tokyo 2020 Olympics officially postponed until 2021

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by about one year. The opening ceremony had been planned for July 24. The Olympic flame will also remain stored and displayed in Fukushima. The Olympics had never been rescheduled for something other than war (In 1916, 1940 and 1944). The organizers of Tokyo 2020 estimated the cost to be roughly $12.6 billion, while other experts have put that figure closer to $25 billion.

India, population 1.3 billion, orders ‘complete’ coronavirus lockdown

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a “complete” lockdown for India’s 1.3 billion people, warning that “many families will be destroyed forever” if the country didn’t get to grips with its coronavirus outbreak in the next three weeks. Modi said the lockdown would start at midnight local time, would last for a minimum of 21 days, and would apply to all of India’s 36 states and territories. India is the world’s second most populous country and the fifth biggest economy, but so far, it has appeared to avoid the full hit of the pandemic.

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