News: Last month, Stanford’s Sewage Corona Virus Alert Network, or SCAN, added monkeypox to the list of viruses it tests wastewater for daily. Since then, the virus has been detected in 10 of 11 sewer systems that SCAN tests, including those in Sacramento, Palo Alto and several other cities in the Bay Area.
Why it matters: The World Health Organization declared the spread of monkeypox a global health emergency at the weekend, after weeks of indecision over whether the situation was serious enough to be considered an international threat. While the US has recorded 2,891 confirmed cases of the virus as of July 22, according to the latest data from Centers for Disease Control and PreventionSCAN’s wastewater analysis methods could detect more cases, much faster.
How does it work: SCAN’s researchers use the data to estimate the actual number of people infected with monkeypox in the communities they monitor by modeling the correlation between wastewater data and monkeypox cases from the past month. This estimate, which could be updated daily, would be a much faster way to track community spread than waiting for symptomatic patients to see a doctor and get tested, and would help catch infection much earlier. Read the full story.
Read on: Homophobic misinformation makes it harder to contain the spread of monkeypox. Read the full story.
I’ve combed the internet to find you the funniest/most important/scary/fascinating stories about technology today.
1 China has its domestic tech tycoons in a stranglehold
Companies that promised to disrupt the status quo ended up taking over. (The Guardian)
+ He is working on a system that will help Chinese firms comply with American rules. (FT $)
+ How the biggest Chinese influencers on the Internet fell from their thrones. (MIT Technology Review)
2 Joe Biden’s Semiconductor Act Makes Unlikely Political Allies
Bernie Sanders and Republicans argue that the bill would simply line the pockets of the already rich. (ABC)
+ Meanwhile, China is making progress in producing its own chips. (WSJ $)
3 South Carolina has banned websites that explain how to get an abortion
The chilling law could set a precedent for conservative states. (WP $)
+ Abortion surveillance could spark a refugee crisis across the US. (Fast Company $)
+ Big Tech remains silent on US data privacy issues after Roe. (MIT Technology Review)
4 Paris internet cables sabotaged in mysterious attack
Three months later, we still don’t know why. (Wired $)
5 Europe is not built to withstand extreme heat
But what was once considered strange weather is becoming frighteningly common. (Slate)
+ Do these heat waves mean that climate change is happening faster than expected? (MIT Technology Review)
6 Google sells advanced AI surveillance to Israel
Which would give her government even more power over her people. (Intercept)
+ Why is business booming for a military AI startup?. (MIT Technology Review)
7 Erotica has been transferred to the gig economy
But while this helps newcomers find an audience, readers fear their favorite writers will be exploited. (The rest of the world)
8 We should not forget about Hubble 🔭
The James Webb Space Telescope may have been in the headlines recently, but Hubble still has an important role to play. (CNET)
+ Why Hubble is unlike any other satellite in history. (MIT Technology Review)
+ The Wentian Module is on its way to the Tiangong Space Station. (The Verge)
+ NASA brand clothing is everywhere, because we all want to be astronauts. (CNN)
9 Influencers no longer want followers – they want communities
Creating like-minded groups breaks down the boundaries between creators and fans. (WP $)
+ Meme creators on Instagram are fed up with deplatforming. (Buzzfeed)
+ It’s also even harder to make a living on TikTok these days. (Information $)
10 Don’t mess with this chess-playing robot ♟️
Or you might walk away with a broken finger. (The Guardian)
Quote of the day
“You’ve always had people selling snake oil. But they had to go door to door, and now with social media they can sit at home and be present in every corner of the world.”