The Download: babies in space, and the FDA’s ketamine crackdown

Despite the burgeoning interest in deep space exploration and settlement, prompted in part by billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, we still know very little about what happens to our reproductive biology when we’re in orbit. Next to no research has been done on human reproduction in space, but adding to our understanding is vital to long-term space exploration. Scientists have started to speculate on whether in vitro fertilization technology was possible beyond Earth—or could even be improved by the conditions found there. SpaceBorn United, a biotech startup, is seeking to pioneer the study of human reproduction away from Earth. Next year, it plans to send a mini lab on a rocket into low Earth orbit, where in vitro fertilization, or IVF, will take place. If it succeeds, the company’s research could pave the way for future space settlements.

As drugs go, Ketamine is pretty easy to find. It’s become readily available in the past several years, and social media ads for online ketamine clinics in the US are widely circulated online. Now, according to the FDA, it might be a little too available. Last week, the FDA issued a warning against the use of compounded versions of ketamine to treat psychiatric disorders, especially oral dissolving versions that make it possible to use the medication at home.

Commonwealth Fusion Systems’ approach to fusion builds on decades of research—and comes after decades of disappointment within the industry. Yes, the company’s first commercial reactor is still nearly 10 years away, but if it succeeds, the climate benefits will be profound.

and check out the software created to identify missing people following a hurricane. They’re combing through a mountain of footage and images to try and find loved ones. ( $) + Today the Obama-era code of Fair Credit Reporting is back in effect. ( ) Five years after Donald Trump repealed it for being “too intrusive.” ( $) + Online scammers are embracing new tactics to access people’s information. ( ) A judge overseeing the case blamed bad actors and a lack of regulation. ( ) + Cybercriminals are cloning police websites, police uniforms and ID cards. ( $) + They’re posing as law enforcement officers to demand access to sensitive data. ( ) Will actual extraterrestrial space settlements ever be achieved? Who knows. ( ) Gamers in China are being forced to pay well over the odds for its graphics card. ( $) + After 40 years of exploring the International Space Station, we’re still not entirely sure. ( ) + Social media users have had enough of its increasingly politicized Bluey memes. ( $) Ursus Magana takes a new approach to bonus content, claiming to know the secret formula to producing viral creators. ( $) Taking into account what we’ve learned from pandemics and other man-made/natural disasters. ( $) —A military force had a strange encounter with a robot dog with an absurd weapon on its back, as Reuters reported. Lucid dreaming, in which you remain aware (so to speak) within a dream’s universe, isn’t easy to explain. At its heart, it’s the ability to control and manipulate the dream’s realm while you’re in, or near, asleep. This allows users to manifest fantastical locations, see beloved figures and process stressful/emotional situations, in addition to exploring alternate ways of being—as scientists grapple with this phenomena and look for effective tactics. ( $)

If mind-bending visuals are your thing, the finalists in this year’s Nikon Small World in Motion Competition are really worth your time (thanks to Jay!). When the oldest of Germany’s rescue dogs and a fawn befriended each other, a beautiful friendship blossomed. + Combined Google Maps and NASA satellite imagery brings world history to life in limited edition postcards. + Oasis legend Liam Gallagher is surprisingly the new voice of Manchester’s Metlink tram network. + Images recently story of prisoners in Africa opening cages are absolutely horrific (u).

Robert Wilson author
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