Starlink’s satellite signals and cheerless technology

Advances in reproductive technology are forcing us to rethink what it means to be parents—even on a genetic level. While IVF allows potential parents to use eggs and sperm donated by others, which may or may not play a role in the life of the resulting child, IVF isn’t just about it. Technologies that result in babies with three genetic parents are already in use. And others that allow for four or more genetic parents may be available in the near future.

This kind of progress inevitably raises vital questions. What is it about a genetic contribution that may or may not make a person a parent? Is there an ideal number of parents a child can have? And coming back to that, does genetics even play a role? Read the full story.

– Jessica Hamzelou

This story comes from The Checkup, our new weekly health and biotech newsletter. Sign up to get it in your inbox every Thursday.

The must reads

I’ve scoured the internet to find today’s funniest/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Elon Musk plans to lay off thousands of Twitter employees
Reducing the company’s workforce by approximately 75% would have a severe impact on its ability to contain malicious content. (WP$)
+ Twitter has urged workers to ignore media speculation. (Bloomberg dollar)
+ The platform isn’t always a total viper’s nest. (FT$)

2 billion in funding could boost US battery materials industry
But while the cash injection is a welcome boost for the industry, there’s still a rocky road ahead. (MIT Technology Review)

3 How a large ransomware group flew under the radar
Schools and hospitals make up the majority of their targets. (wired$)

4 insights into the rise and rise of China’s tech ambitions
Its rapid advance frightened the US enough to hit them with restrictions. (Bloomberg dollar)

5 Nobody knows why federal law enforcement abducted protesters in 2020
And there is still no record of their arrests. (The edge)

6 Nuclear fusion is ready for an image overhaul
There was a fair amount of hype, but progress has been slow. (New Scientist $)
+ Maybe controlled chaos is the way to go. (Vice versa)

7 The fitness industry is in dire need of a revolution
It rarely keeps its promises of a healthy life. (Neo.Life)
+ How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy? (MIT Technology Review)

8 TikTok is fascinated by fast food workers
The clips give you a look behind the scenes. (New York $)
+ Real estate agents are also involved. (WSJ$)

9 We may never catch the worst chess cheats ♟️
Maybe we need to make our peace with that. (The Atlantic $)
+ Hans Niemann is suing Magnus Carlsen in the ongoing fraud dispute. (motherboard)
+ I was there when: AI mastered chess. (MIT Technology Review)

10 Instagram’s New Anti-Bullying Measures Might Actually Work
Nudges reminding users to be friendly seem to have the desired effect. (Voice)

quote of the Day

“Like any physicist, I am wholeheartedly opposed to promoting quantum mysticism or anything with utterly baseless claims.”


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