5 Things You Missed This Week: the start of a self-driving car IP war, 1-step brain hacking, and more

1. Is Waymo’s $500-million fight with Uber the first shot in a self-driving car intellectual property war?

Knowing only Waymo’s side of the story, Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski looks like he’s been caught using his former employer’s trade secrets to give the ridesharing company’s self-driving car project a boost. Levandowski and Uber have yet to publicly defend themselves, but some analysts think there’s something bigger afoot. Waymo’s suit against Uber might be the opening volley in a wider IP war that could stifle small startups.

2. One-step brain hacking

Optogenetics is one of the coolest research tools around. It lets you turn parts of an animal’s brain on or off by shining light on it. But it’s a painstaking three-surgery process. But MIT engineers have come up with device that lets you do it in one step. Mouse mind control has arrived!

3. An atomic force microscope on a chip

MEMS and a new measurement mode shrink the go-to nanoscience instrument down to chipscale.

4. A new record for brain computer interfaces

A paralyzed person managed to type eight words per minute.​

5. Creepy six-legged bug bot is faster than nature intended

A six-legged robot walks with a gait that is faster and more efficent than that of real insects.


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