This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter by MIT Technology Review that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology.

– James Ball

What do psychedelic drugs do to our brain? AI can help us find it

Big picture: Psychedelic drugs have long been considered a potential treatment for mental-health disorders such as depression and PTSD. But very little is really known about how these substances actually affect our brains. Understanding how they work can help unlock their potential.

New method: Some scientists are using AI to find it. A team from McGill University in Montreal used the natural language process to study written “trip reports” of users’ experiences with a range of drugs. The team then compiled these data with a record of which neurotransmitter receptors each drug is known to interact with in the brain. Together, these steps allow the team to identify which receptors are associated with specific drug experiences.

What’s next: Work can shed light on how arousal stimulates certain mental states, whether it is excitement, anxiety, or a sense of belonging to the world. It could also help create new drugs for mental health disorders – something some companies are already trying to do. Read the full story.

-Jessica Hemzello

Must read

I used the internet to find the most fun / important / scary / pictorial stories about technology today.

1 Russia has stepped up its campaign to bomb civilians in Ukraine
The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a packed theater in Marupol, killing hundreds of people. (AP)
+ US intelligence estimates that Russia has already lost more than 7,000 troops. (NYT)
+ Zelensky urges more US companies to leave Russia(Quartz)
+ Biden pledges an additional $ 800 million for Ukraine’s war efforts, including drones and anti-aircraft systems. (Reuters)
+ Tractor has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. (Sub)
, Ukrainian influencers are documenting what is happening. (The Verge)
+ What is the risk of nuclear war? It’s not zero. (NYT)

2 Facebook and YouTube remove Ukrainian President’s Deepfake
He was shown surrendering to Russia – but was quickly rescinded. (CNN)
+ Not before creating a bit of chaos yesterday, though(Sub)
+ Deepfake’s biggest threat is not Deepfake itself. (TR)

3 Covid-19 is a link between death and Internet access
It’s not clear exactly why, though. (Vox)
Cavid cases are on the rise again around the world. (Ars Technica)
+ Civic science is making a comeback. (Wired $)

4 NASA releases its first image from the James Webb Telescope
And that’s stunning. (Ars Technica)
+ The first test of NASA’s early warning system to detect asteroids(CNN)

5 parts of Kenya are slowly slipping underwater
And as a result, thousands of people are being displaced. (The Guardian)
+ How rising groundwater due to climate change can devastate coastal communities. (TR)
+ Promise of Solar Canal Panel(The Next Web)

6 How Chinese professors got caught up in espionage panic in the US
And, in some cases, their livelihoods were disrupted as a result. (New Yorker 2)
+ The US government is ending the China initiative. What now (TR)

7 Inside a group chat of ransomware gangs
The Conti gang embezzled 180 180 million from companies last year. Now he wants to diversify his crypto projects. (Wired $)

8 Netflix believes it could blame you for paying for the passwords you share
Only then did he significantly increase the price. Good luck with that. (Gizmodo)

9 How can Instagram avoid hosting stolen NFTs?
It sounds like a small consideration but it really isn’t, although the world of NFTs is full of them. (The Next Web)
+ Spotify is planning to join the crypto craze. (FT)

10 Elon Musk is collaborating with Chechnya’s brutal dictator on Twitter
Warning: Extremely high levels of toxic masculinity discovered. (Sub)

“I think he’s a war criminal.”

– President Joe Biden gives Russian leader Vladimir Putin his sharpest rebuke yet.

We can still have good things

A place for relaxation, pleasure and distraction in these strange times. (Any ideas? Drop me a line or tweet them to me.)

+ Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who celebrate it! And before you decide whether to celebrate it or not, you want to take this quiz.
+ These social media accounts are bound to excite you.
+ A living legend or a surprisingly touching interview with Denzel Washington.
+ Gutted to learn the world’s largest ‘potato’, in fact, not potatoes.
+ Where you will see some of the best sunsets and sunrises in the world.
+ My inner child was thrilled with this totally meaningless, yet totally hilarious, weapon.
+ A type of bat not found in 40 years has been found in Rwanda.

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