Memory prosthesis, and rising nuclear plant risks

newsA unique form of brain stimulation that appears to enhance people’s ability to remember new information — by mimicking the way our brains create memories. A “memory prosthesis,” which involves inserting an electrode deep into the brain, also appears to work in people with memory disorders — and is most effective in people with initially poor memory, according to new research.

How it works: The memory prosthesis works by copying what happens in the hippocampus – a seahorse-shaped area deep in the brain that plays a crucial role in memory. The structure of the brain not only helps us form short-term memories, but also appears to direct memories to other regions for long-term storage.

why does it matter: In the future, more advanced versions of memory prostheses could help people with memory loss due to brain injuries, aging or degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say. Read the full story.

– Jessica Hamzilo

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I’ve combed the internet to find the most interesting/important/scary/cool stories about technology today.

1 Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has gone off the grid
The critical cooling systems of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant could be forced to run on standby power in an emergency. (The New York Times $)
+ The Kremlin will not return gas to Europe until sanctions are lifted. (Watchman)
+ What are the risks of a nuclear accident in Ukraine? (MIT Technology Review)

2 Hail is getting bigger and bigger
But while climate change is likely to play a role, it’s not the only explanation for why. (The New York Times $)
+ Heat waves and severe floods are only the beginning. (economic $)

3 Cryptocurrency Traders Are Making Big Bets Again
Upgrading the Ethereum blockchain is a potential factor. (Bloomberg $)
+ Enthusiasts hope the “merging” will clean up the reputation of cryptocurrency. (Take Crunch)
+ Why is Ethereum turning to Proof of Stake and how it will work. (MIT Technology Review)

4 Meet Paolo Benanti, the Pope’s advisor on artificial intelligence
He is deeply concerned that AI will exacerbate inequality by taking on middle-class jobs. (new world $)

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