Inverse Daily: The drug athletes have been waiting for

CBD is increasingly supported by athletes who tout the drug's ability to reduce training-related pain.

While I wonder which excellent new Netflix doc to watch first tonight, here’s what we’ve got cooking for you on this Monday morning: health, CBD, astronaut gloves, and more stories that should change how you view the world.

I’m Nick Lucchesi, executive editor at Inverse, and this is Inverse Daily. Let’s get into it.

This article is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day.


“Tesla is a pretty polarizing company.”

— Tesla Solar Roof owner Amanda Tobler.

Who will trust Facebook’s “Preventative Health” tool?

Facebook has created a tool that reminds users to get cancer screenings, routine checkups, and flu vaccines. It also enables them to keep track of doctor appointments within the Facebook app and share their status with friends.

But is Facebook able to motivate people to head to a clinic? The answer isn’t so clear.

Unveiled in October 2019, “Preventative Health” is Facebook’s second venture into the world of digital health care. (The first foray was a feature that tipped users to blood drives in their area.) Preventative Health takes a more personal approach to individuals’ health, nudging Facebook app users to take better care of themselves.

Experts tell Inverse that Preventative Health has promise. But Facebook itself may be Preventative Health’s downfall.

Read our feature story on Facebook’s damaged rep and its new health plan →

More digital health news:

CBD could be the drug athletes have been waiting for

Elite athletes are extremely picky about what goes into their bodies, but some are eager to embrace the promise of cannabidiol, or CBD for short.

CBD is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids chemicals present in marijuana. It works within the body’s endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors and neurotransmitters that can influence pain perception, memory, and stress, amongst other things. Unlike the cannabinoid THC, CBD doesn’t impart marijuana’s characteristic “high.”

Despite a ban on cannabis in the US, athletes are speaking out in favor of CBD.

“The problem we have with cannabis is that elite athletes still influence culture, beliefs, and opinions. The potential of marijuana for pain management has driven an athlete-driven movement toward acceptance,” Stuart Silverman, Ph.D., of UCLA, tells Inverse.

Could all stars help change attitudes about CBD? Read our story →

More CBD information:

Scientists have learned something slightly terrifying about the measles

Measles is one of the most contagious viruses known to man. If you catch it, it can move quickly to other people through coughing and sneezing, infecting between 12 to 18 others.

But the virus may be even more harmful than previously thought, causing potentially deadly damage to immune memory, according to new research.

Two investigations into a recent measles outbreak in the Netherlands revealed that the virus deletes parts of the immune system’s memory, much like wiping a hard drive. That leaves patients vulnerable to a host of other infections, bacteria, pathogens, and diseases.

“If you’re in an accident and you hit your head, you can forget things; you may have some form of amnesia and can’t remember what happened before you got hit. Everyone understands that. The measles is like an accident that happens to your immune system,” Stephen Elledge, Ph.D., one of the study authors, tells Inverse. “We know how to prevent head injuries. They’re called seat belts. A vaccine is really a seat belt for your immune system.”

Read the full story here →

Go deeper:

Mic Check

Like you, we spend a lot of time on the internet. We also spend a lot of time managing the stress that comes with staying informed.

Mic Check is a place where we can work through what’s happening in the world together, and have a little fun in the process.

For a daily morning brief on politics and culture, sign up here

Smart gloves will give Mars astronauts the power to control robots

Spacesuits are bulky and don’t leave astronauts much room for mobility, which can be problematic when they’re trying to operate delicate equipment like drones. New “smart glove” technology — designed in part by NASA and SETI — may change that.

These smart gloves use motion control technology that converts the motions of an astronaut’s hand to commands that are relayed remotely to a drone or other device.

Researchers say this remote control would enable astronauts to more easily maneuver these machines, especially in terrain in which it would be unsafe for them to travel by foot.

So far, these gloves have only been tested on Earth, but the researchers have high hopes for their future use on the ISS, the moon, and even Mars.

Read more and see photos of the smart space gloves →

More recent spacesuit updates:

Solar car has Tesla-like range with the energy of a tea kettle

A new electric car, packed with solar panels, promises to offer double the range of a Tesla Model 3 while using the same amount of energy needed to boil a tea kettle.

Students from the University of Cambridge in the UK have developed the Helia, a four-seater electric vehicle built with the help of Formula 1 experts and a series of suppliers. Xiaofan Zhang, program director for Cambridge University Eco Racing, tells Inverse that the car uses 50 watt-hours per mile. The Tesla Model 3, by comparison, uses around 250 watt-hours per mile. That means where the Model 3 is advertised with a WLTP-tested range of 348 miles per charge, the Helia can reach over 560 miles per charge — and that’s without using the solar cells.

Here’s how they did it (and see the photos) →

Related stories:

Today’s good thing

Today’s good thing comes in the form of the below quote from Siya Kolisi, the first Black captain of the South African rugby team, after the national side won the Rugby World Cup final this weekend in Japan.

“We have so many problems in our country. [The team] come from different backgrounds and different races and we came together with one goal and we wanted to achieve it.

“I really hope we’ve done that for South Africa, to show that we can pull together if we want to achieve something.”

You must watch the speech here to start your day off on the right foot.

Meanwhile …

  • Exoplanets in the so-called ‘habitable zone’ might not be the safe, Earth-like oases they’re cracked up to be.
  • Laurie Blake on Watchmen is even more important than you might think.
  • The first Spider-Verse 2 teaser includes a possible ‘90s animated series Easter egg.
  • Star Wars IX preview suggests the Sith Troopers could have Force powers.

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That’s all for today!

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Stay tuned for a surprise tomorrow.