The memory prosthesis and the growing risks of nuclear power plants

News: A unique form of brain stimulation boosts people’s ability to remember new information by mimicking how our brains create memories. A “memory prosthesis” that involves inserting an electrode deep into the brain also works in people with memory impairments and is even more effective in people with poor memory, according to a new study.

How it works: The memory prosthesis works by replicating what happens in the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped region deep in the brain that plays a critical role in memory. The structure of the brain not only helps us form short-term memories, but also directs memories to other areas for long-term storage.

Why is it important: In the future, more advanced versions of memory prostheses could help people with memory loss due to brain injury or as a result of aging or degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, the researchers say. Read the full story.

— Jessica Hamzelu

Required Reading

I scoured the internet to find the most hilarious/important/scary/exciting tech stories to date.

1 largest nuclear power plant in Europe was disconnected from the grid
Critical cooling systems of the Ukrainian Zaporozhye plant may be forced to operate on emergency backup power. (New York Times $)
+ The Kremlin will not restore gas supplies to Europe until sanctions are lifted. (The keeper)
+ What is the risk of a nuclear accident in Ukraine? (MIT Technology Review)

2 The city is getting bigger and bigger
But while climate change is likely to play a role, that’s not the only explanation why. (New York Times $)
+ Extreme heat and flooding are just the beginning. (Economist $)

3 Crypto Traders Betting Big Again
A likely factor is the renewal of the Ethereum blockchain. (bloomberg $)
+ Enthusiasts Hope ‘Merger’ Will Clean Up Cryptocurrency’s Reputation. (TechCrunch)
+ Why Ethereum is moving to proof of stake and how it will work. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Meet Paolo Benanti, The Pope’s Artificial Intelligence Adviser
He is extremely concerned that AI is exacerbating inequality by taking middle-class jobs. (New scientist $)

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