Starlink Satellite Signals and Joyless Technology

Advances in reproductive technology are forcing us to reconsider what it means to be a parent, even at the genetic level. While IVF allows intended parents to use eggs and sperm donated by others, which may or may not have a role in the life of the resulting child, it is not just IVF. Technologies that result in babies with three genetic parents are already in use. And others that allow four or more genetic parents may be available in the near future.

This kind of progress inevitably raises vital questions. What 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, in the end, does genetics really matter? Read the full story.

—Jessica Hamzelou

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

The unavoidable

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

1 Elon Musk plans to cut thousands of Twitter employees
Reducing the company’s workforce by around 75% would have a serious impact on its ability to combat harmful content. (WP$)
+ Twitter told workers to ignore media speculation. ($Bloomberg)
+ The platform is not always a real viper’s nest. (FT$)

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

3 How a major ransomware group flew under the radar
Schools and hospitals constitute the bulk of their targets. (Wired $)

4 Inside China’s rising and rising tech ambitions
Its rapid progress frightened the United States enough to impose restrictions on it. ($Bloomberg)

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 Set For An Image Overhaul
There has been a lot of hype, but progress has been slow. (New Scientist $)
+ Maybe controlled chaos is the way to go. (Reverse)

7 The Fitness Industry Needs An Urgent Overhaul
He rarely keeps his promises of healthy living. (Neo.Life)
+ How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy? (MIT Technology Review)

8 TikTok Is Captivated By Fast Food Workers
The clips give them a behind-the-scenes look. (New Yorkers $)
+ Real estate agents get involved too. (WSJ$)

9 We May Never Catch The Worst Cheaters In Chess ♟️
Maybe we should make peace with him. (Atlantic $)
+ Hans Niemann pursues Magnus Carlsen in the ongoing cheating line. (Motherboard)
+ I was there when: AI mastered chess. (MIT Technology Review)

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

quote of the day

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

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