Inverse Daily: Should we limit births?

Talking about major changes to human reproduction is bound to be controversial, but researchers say it's a necessary part of the climate change conversation.

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“Voyager’s fame came from its exploration of the planets.”

— Dan Reisenfeld, a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Should we limit births?

To bring climate change under control, humans have to make big changes to arguably the most basic human act: having babies.

That’s the upshot of a recommendation to control population growth, backed by more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries, reports Nina Pullano. The recommendation is one of six outlined in a new call to curb climate change. The statement declares a climate emergency and outlines policy strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The researchers don’t put an exact number on just how many babies would be acceptable. But they do say that the number of babies born across the globe would need to stabilize or reduce from the current rate…

Here’s the controversial suggestion →

The more you know:

Fetal brain scans reveal a “blueprint”

The blueprint of the adult brain may be mapped out far earlier than we thought. In fact, some 60 percent of the circuits that make up the adult brain may take shape before we are even born, according to a new study.

The groundwork for a lifetime of brain development is laid in gestation. Regions of the fetal brain start to wire together, forming early signatures of what scientists call the “functional connectome,” according to a paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience.

“We have this connectional blueprint,” Moriah Thomason, lead author and professor at New York University’s School of Medicine tells Inverse’s Emma Betuel. “Across the second and third trimester it begins to start advancing into something you’d recognize as an adult-like structure.”

Read the full story →

Go deeper:

SpaceX vs. Boeing heats up

SpaceX and Boeing are taking off in a big way, reports Inverse’s Mike Brown.

Over the weekend, SpaceX announced via Twitter that it had successfully completed 13 tests in a row of the Crew Dragon’s upgraded parachute system. Eagle-eyed fans noted that the company planned to complete 10 successful launches in a row before using the capsule to launch astronauts. CEO Elon Musk has previously described the Mark 3 chutes as offering the “highest safety factor for astronauts.”

Meanwhile, at around 9 a.m. Eastern on Monday, Boeing successfully tested its launch pad abort system test for the CST-100 Starliner capsule. The test was hosted at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico at Launch Complex 32.

Read the full story here →

Related stories from around the web:

What’s happening in the world?

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.

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The science of “grit”

The secret to success in the most demanding situations may not lie with intelligence alone, according to a new study of more than 11,000 military cadets at West Point Academy.

Instead, to survive and thrive in trying times, physical ability and grit — the ability to tough it out, no matter the cost — may be just as critical to success as are more conventional predictors, like grades and educational attainment.

“We need to move beyond this aptitude myopia to fully developing a scientific understanding of these other attributes — how to measure them and therefore understand the impact they have on human success,” Mike Matthews, one of the study’s authors and a professor at West Point, tells Inverse’s Alexandra Pattillo. While intelligence matters, less-studied noncognitive factors like passion and perseverance may be the secret sauce for success.

Read the full story here to learn more about the power of “grit.” →

More evergreen stories on mental toughness:

Make like a tree

Researchers have found a way to capture and convert polluting carbion dioxide into lesss-harmful methanol by mimicking a tried-and-tested natural process: photosynthesis.

For Inverse, Sarah Wells reports that this process could help automotive, aviation, and chemical production industries reach carbon neutrality by enabling them to convert CO2 into methanol, which then can be used as a form of alternative fuel — or as a way to produce plastics and fibers found in our day-to-day products.

This reduction in emissions from such industries would be an important step forward toward curbing damaging environmental effects globally and could ultimately even be a more viable economic choice as well.

Read more about this innovation →.

Leaf it to me:

Today’s Good Thing

In the United States, today is election day. The right to vote is pretty good, so head to to figure out where to cast your ballot.

Meanwhile …

  • It’s gotten so hot in Qatar’s cities that places like Doha are now using air conditioning in some outdoor areas.
  • This survey on 359 adults shows one question can save a relationship.
  • Sony exec hints the PlayStation 5 price may be lower than expected.
  • The Mandalorian may involve a surprising connection to Yoda, according to recent leaks.
  • C-3PO book may reveal a new detail about the Knights of Ren in Star Wars IX.

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