Mammoth resurrection tech

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Welcome, Tech enthusiasts.

The line between science and science fiction is blurring — and if you’ve seen Jurassic Park, you might know where this one is heading.

Colossal just hit a new milestone in its quest to revive the wooly mammoth, inching closer to a new world of genetic possibilities (and dangers). Let’s investigate…

In today’s tech rundown:

  • Colossal takes step towards Mammoth resurrection

  • Autonomous robot makes repairs on ISS

  • EU to launch Galileo rockets with SpaceX

  • Huang: AGI within the next 5 years

  • Facebook tries to revive poking

Read time: 3 minutes

TODAY’S HEADLINES

GENETIC TECH

Image source: Colossal

The Rundown: ‘De-extinction’ startup Colossal Biosciences just achieved a major milestone, successfully creating a type of stem cell from Asian elephant cells — bringing the company a step closer to its goal of reviving wooly mammoths.

The details:

  • Scientists reprogrammed elephant cells into an embryonic-like state (iPSCs) that can develop into any other cell type, enabling crucial applications.

  • With elephant iPSCs, researchers can test genetic changes to recreate mammoth traits like woolly hair without relying on living elephant samples

  • The feat opens the door to generating diverse elephant-mammoth hybrid embryos, and eventually a population of "functional mammoths" in the wild.

  • The company hopes to create the gene-edited hybrid by 2028, also working to resurrect the Dodo bird.

Why it matters: While Jurassic Park fans may cringe, the ability to reprogram cells from such a challenging species has major implications for areas like stem cell therapies, disease modeling, and conservation efforts. But ‘de-extinction’ also feels like opening Pandora’s Box — and we’ve seen how that ends in the movies.

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SPACE TECH

Image source: GITAI

The Rundown: Robotics startup GITAI just announced the successful completion of several in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing tasks outside the International Space Station, achieved using the company’s S2 autonomous robotic arm system.

The details:

  • Tasks included installing a task panel, manipulating bolts and flexible materials, and connecting/disconnecting an electric cable.

  • Both the S2 arm and a separate "inchworm-type" robotic arm have now achieved NASA's Technology Readiness Level 7, indicating the tech is fully operational in space.

  • The success marks a major milestone for GITAI's in-house robotic satellite development, aimed at providing on-orbit servicing for satellites by 2026.

Why it matters: GITAI's achievements bring the space industry closer to being able to rely on autonomous robots to handle complex tasks in orbit, reducing the cost and risk of human labor. As the world races to build out advanced space tech, capable autonomous robots will critical for inspection, maintenance, and repair.

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SNIPPETS

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said that AGI will be developed ‘within 5 years’, also suggesting that AI hallucinations are easily solvable during a presentation at the GTC conference.

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta’s Threads platform is rolling out a ‘Trending Now’ feature to allow users to see the most talked-about topics.

The EU agreed to a new deal that will allow it to use Elon Musk’s SpaceX to launch its Galileo satellites, due to delays in the development of Europe’s own Ariane 6 rocket system.

Uber lead a $100M investment in African mobility fintech Moove, bringing the company’s valuation to $750M as it expands its vehicle financing platform for ride-hailing and delivery drivers.

Amazon’s entertainment arm is reportedly investing heavily in the Indian market, planning to release over 70 new Indian TV shows and films to compete with Netflix and Disney in the country.

Facebook announced small new changes to the platform’s ‘poking’ feature, providing suggestions and search capabilities that have led to a 13x spike in usage.

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THAT’S A WRAP

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