Start-ups are utilising bacteria and fungi to generate protein and boost agriculture

By Emiko Terazono

Coming to a supermarket near you: a burger patty whose ingredients are grown from the microbes found in hot volcanic springs.

Sustainable Bioproducts, a Chicago-based start-up seeking to make edible protein from extremophiles — or micro-organisms that can survive extreme environments — is one of the growing…

Shared office space provider pledges to appoint lead independent director

By Eric Platt, James Fontanella-Khan, Adam Samson, and Philip Stafford

WeWork announced it would appoint a lead independent director by the end of the year and reduce the voting power of co-founder Adam Neumann, bowing to investor pressure as the shared workspace provider battles to dispel scepticism ahead of its…

‘Original and in-depth’ articles to be featured more prominently in results

By Patricia Nilsson

Google has adjusted its search algorithms to promote news articles it considers “significant original reporting”, its latest move to support journalism following years of criticism of its role in the industry’s decline.

The world’s most popular search engine said on Thursday that stories that provided “original and…

The need to raise donations led MIT’s Media Lab to a terrible misjudgment

By John Gapper

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab flaunts a rebellious style, dubbing itself “a house of misfits” and “the new Salon des Refusés”, after a French exhibition of rejected art works. But its relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and paedophile, was revolting.

Its decision to take…

Move marks first succession at one of China’s tech giants

By Louise Lucas

Alibaba, China’s most valuable public tech company, will mark its 20th birthday on Tuesday with a rite of succession: its founder Jack Ma will retire as executive chairman and hand the reins to chief executive Daniel Zhang.

It is the first transition at the top of a…

Any review system is prone to bias and discrimination

By Andrew Hill

I like questionnaires, oddly, but I seem to have spent hours recently filling in or fending off requests for ratings and reviews. Over-eager Airbnb hosts, useless utilities, hit-and-run couriers, family-run hotels with a TripAdvisor obsession, airlines, restaurants, even public toilets, whose panel of germ-ridden grumpy-to-smiley faces is…

Madeline Lancaster tells Clive Cookson why ‘mini-brains’ grown in laboratories are helping us understand human cognition

By Clive Cookson

Madeline Lancaster opens the door of a fridge-sized incubator in her lab at the University of Cambridge’s biomedical campus. On its gently gyrating shelves sit glass dishes containing a pinkish liquid. She takes one of them out to show what lies inside. …

‘Advances in the field are coming faster than our ability to think through the consequences’

By Stephen Foley

The list of existential threats to mankind on which wealthy philanthropists have focused their attention — catastrophic climate change, pandemics and the like — has a new addition: artificially intelligent machines that turn against their human creators.

Artificial intelligence (AI) could pose a threat “greater than the…

Former staff may be critical of Donald Trump but they will not denounce him publicly

By Edward Luce

The thing about grown-ups is they are supposed to say when enough is enough. Jim Mattis had obviously had enough when he resigned as Donald Trump’s secretary of defence in December. Now the retired general — and the former leading “adult” in Mr Trump’s administration — says…

Push for regulation comes amid backlash against tech companies over privacy concerns

By Camilla Hodgson and Madhumita Murgia

Facebook is calling for a new global data sharing standard, months after it was ordered to overhaul the way it manages user information following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The social media company said in a white paper on Wednesday it was urging regulators to…

The Financial Times

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