Starlink satellite signals and fun technology

Advances in reproductive technology are forcing us to rethink what it means to be parents — even at the genetic level. While IVF allows parents who will be parents to use eggs and sperm donated by others who may or may not have a role in the child’s life, it’s not just IVF. Technologies to create children with three genetic parents have been used. And others allowing four or more genetic parents may be available in the near future.

This kind of progress certainly raises important 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, as we dive into it, does genetics really matter? Read full story.

—Jessica Hamzelou

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

Things to read

I scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/fascinating stories about tech.

1 Elon Musk is planning to cut thousands of Twitter employees
Reducing a company’s workforce by about 75% would have a serious impact on a company’s ability to limit harmful content. (WP $)
+ Twitter has asked workers to ignore media speculation. (Bloomberg $)
+ Platforms are not always vipers’ nests. (FT $)

$2 billion in funding could kick-start US battery materials manufacturing
But while the cash injection is a welcome boost to the industry, there is still a thorny road ahead. (MIT Technology Review)

How a large group of ransomware flew under the radar
Schools and hospitals account for the majority of their targets. (Wired $)

4 Inside the Rise and Rise of China’s Technological Ambition
Its rapid progress has scared the United States enough to knock it down with restrictions. (Bloomberg $)

5 No one knows why federal law enforcement kidnaps protesters in 2020
And there is still no record of their arrest. (The Verge)

Nuclear fusion is ready for a visual overhaul
There’s been a lot of hype, but progress has been slow. (New Scientist $)
+ Maybe controlled chaos is the way forward. (Inverse)

7 The fitness industry needs an urgent change
It rarely delivers on the promise of healthy living. (Neo.Life)
+ How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy? (MIT Technology Review)

8 TikTok is mesmerized by fast food people
The clips give them a glimpse behind the scenes. (New Yorkers $)
+ Real estate agents are also getting involved. (WSJ $)

9 We may never catch the worst cheats
Maybe we need to make peace with it. (Atlantic $)
+ Hans Niemann is suing Magnus Carlsen over the ongoing fraud. (Motherboard)
+ I Was There When: AI masters chess. (MIT Technology Review)

10 New Instagram Anti-Bullying Measures That Could Actually Work
The nudges reminding the user to be kind seem to have the desired effect. (Vox)

Quote of the day

“Like any physicist, I’m wholeheartedly against promoting quantum mysticism, or anything with completely baseless claims.”


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