- These CRISPR human trial results are incredible…
- More proof that 2020 is the year of self-driving cars
- Start your car… with your iPhone?
Federal Judge Victor Marrero ruled today in favor of the combination of T-Mobile and Sprint as a wireless operator in the U.S. All I can say is “finally”!
This was such a bizarre case. Thirteen state attorneys general filed to block this merger on the grounds of its anticompetitive nature in their uninformed opinions. I say “uninformed” because neither T-Mobile nor Sprint has the necessary financial resources or the radiofrequency spectrum to launch nationwide 5G wireless networks in the U.S.
Case in point… T-Mobile has been marketing its nationwide 5G wireless network, but the network only offers a “light and fluffy” version of 5G… more marketing than reality. T-Mobile has been using the lower frequency bands, which are much lower cost to build but don’t provide the 1 gigabit per second-plus speeds and low latency that 5G enables. In other words… it’s not the real thing yet.
Without the merger, U.S. consumers would have been left with only AT&T and Verizon to choose from for real 5G services… a less competitive market with only two players.
Now the U.S. will have a more competitive market with three major players capable of building out nationwide 5G wireless networks. This is great for consumers, great for technology companies supporting 5G wireless deployments, great for the economy, and fantastic for innovation.
Now for today’s Bleeding Edge…
Penn’s three-year CRISPR trial results were finally announced…
The biggest news in tech right now is that the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) finally released the results from its CRISPR genetic editing trial. This trial had been running for three years and the results had been highly anticipated. It was the first trial approved to use CRISPR technology in humans in the U.S.
As a reminder, CRISPR is a powerful genetic editing technology. It can “edit” our genetic code as if it were software. And CRISPR has the potential to cure every single disease of genetic origin.
As for the UPenn trial, it was limited to just three advanced-stage cancer patients. The primary purpose was to test the safety of using CRISPR in humans.
Scientists used CRISPR to modify the patients’ T cells, improving their ability to find and attack cancerous cells in the body. The goal was threefold:
Demonstrate that the T cells would go to the right place (i.e., the cancer cells)
Show that the T cells could survive in the body long enough to attack the cancer
Make sure that the modified T cells did not have any adverse health impacts
And I am happy to say that the results were a screaming success.
The modified T cells went precisely where they were supposed to go. Doctors still found them in the patients’ blood nine months after the initial treatment. And none of the patients experienced any negative impacts from the CRISPR-modified T cells.
What’s more, the CRISPR treatment showed signs of working… even though the trial wasn’t designed to cure cancer.
Two of the patients saw their cancer stabilize as a result of treatment. The cancer did not get worse during the time of their treatment. And one of those two patients even saw a tumor reduction. That’s evidence that the modified T cells were doing their job.
This is incredibly promising.
It is also important to point out that UPenn’s scientists were basically using three-year-old technology. As we know, CRISPR technology has advanced tremendously since the trial began. We’ve covered new CRISPR breakthroughs seemingly every other week in these pages.
So this is even more evidence that CRISPR works. I’m excited to see what UPenn’s next steps are given the successful trial. And the markets loved the results. Companies working on CRISPR-based therapies saw their stocks jump on the news.
And bigger picture, I am now even more confident that we will see the end of human disease caused by genetic mutations within our lifetimes.
And for investors, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. It’s not every day that a technology rewrites medicine as we know it. For readers looking to gain exposure, there’s one CRISPR company that needs to be on your radar…
Based on my research, I believe this company is on the verge of curing a rare and debilitating disease. And it could release trial results any day now. All the details can be found right here.
New data just came out of Cruise’s self-driving car division…
General Motors (GM) hosted an analyst and investor day last week. GM itself is of little interest to me, but I was very interested in the updates coming out of Cruise.
As a reminder, Cruise is the early stage autonomous vehicle company that GM acquired back in 2016 for $581 million. But GM took a unique approach. It allowed Cruise to operate independently. And GM even allowed SoftBank and Honda to invest in Cruise. That resulted in a joint-ownership structure, which we have discussed before.
So Cruise operates like an innovative early stage company, but it has the resources of a stodgy incumbent. And based on new data coming out, this approach appears to be working.
Last year, Cruise had 1,000 engineers working on self-driving cars. Today, that number is up to 1,800. It has increased its engineer staff by 80%. And that’s led to some amazing results…
With the increased headcount and technological improvements, Cruise has reduced the time between major software updates by 98%. And it has cut the time it takes to train the AI by 80%. As a result, software updates are happening 45 times more frequently than before.
This approach is similar to Tesla’s.
When I see major software updates happening this frequently, it tells me that Cruise is very close to deployment. I absolutely expect to see Cruise launch its own fully autonomous vehicle this year.
And that means the race is on.
Tesla, Google’s Waymo, and Cruise are each demonstrating incredible potential. And each company will have self-driving cars on the road before the year is out. I can’t wait to watch this story unfold.
So get ready. 2020 is the year that self-driving cars become “real.” We will start to see cars with no driver buzzing around town later this year. And depending on where you live, you may have already seen a few. I used to see them every day in Silicon Valley, and Waymo’s pilot is live in the Phoenix area right now.
Apple’s update reveals the iPhone’s newest function…
Speaking of cars…
Every time Apple releases a new feature in its iOS upgrades, we get a glimpse into the future functionality that will be offered. And in the latest iOS version, 13.4, I found references to what Apple is calling “CarKey.”
CarKey will enable every iPhone and Apple Watch to lock, unlock, and even start the user’s car – as long as it is a newer model with near field communications (NFC).
This is certainly a convenient feature. With CarKey, we won’t have to worry about fingerprint authentications or facial ID. We’ll be able to control our cars right from an app. And we can even set it up so that our car automatically unlocks when our device gets close to it. We won’t even need to take our phone out of our pocket.
So this is yet another great example of how Apple prioritizes convenience and user experience. Given the number of exciting patents and software developments at Apple, we’re in for an exciting year, especially in the second half with the upcoming release of the 5G-enabled iPhone.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
P.S. Apple’s next revolutionary product is set to launch in September. That’s when the company will reveal its first 5G-enabled iPhone.
As a reminder, 5G is the next generation of wireless technology. And 5G networks will be around 100 times faster than our current 4G networks. This is going to open the door to all kinds of bleeding-edge technologies that simply aren’t possible on 4G today. Plus, only 5G-enabled phones will have access to 5G networks. 5G won’t work on old phones.
And that means Apple’s new iPhone will be leaps and bounds better than the previous models… for the first time in several years. As a result, iPhone users are going to be upgrading in droves when Apple’s 5G iPhone rolls out this fall.
Obviously, this is great news for Apple. But it is even better news for a lesser-known company that provides a critical component that goes into every single 5G-enabled phone produced. That’s why I have named this company my No. 1 5G stock for 2020.
Simply put, this is a stock that needs to be in every tech investor’s portfolio before the new 5G iPhone comes out. Investors can get all the details right here.
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