Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Happy Friday. It’s a little dry out there this morning in the world of tech news, but we’ve pulled together a few things we reckon are worth your attention.


1. A mouse embryo from stem cells, no sperm or egg required

Scientists in the UK say they’ve pulled off a feat of genetic engineering: creating a “synthetic” mouse embryo without the need for egg or sperm cells. The embryos were created with stem cells instead and were able to begin developing a brain, heart, and other organs for up to a week. The researchers believe that their work may one day help answer why many pregnancies in humans fail early on in development and could even inform future efforts toward creating lab-grown organs for transplantation.

2. Rocket Lab to launch first private mission to Venus

SpaceX might have its sights set on Mars, but Rocket Lab is seeking to become the first private company to reach Venus and explore its clouds for signs of potential habitability. The California-based company is building a small probe that’s designed to fly through the planet’s upper atmosphere for a duration of roughly five minutes and at altitudes between 48-60 kms above the surface. The company is hoping to launch its spacecraft in May 2023 and have the probe reach Venus in October of that same year.

3. Webb Telescope has snapped its biggest image yet

Staying in space, the Webb Space Telescope has taken its biggest image yet, made up of a mosaic of 690 individual frames. In the full-scale .tif images (which can be found here), you can zoom in deeper and deeper until you completely lose sense — or perhaps better understand — the sheer scale of the cosmos. The Webb Space Telescope has also detected “unequivocal” evidence of carbon dioxide in a distant exoplanet’s atmosphere. The world is a gas giant — similar to Jupiter — about 700 light-years away.

4. Mark Zuckerberg talks metaverse with Joe Rogan

Two of the internet’s favourite and not at all divisive men, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Joe Rogan, gave themselves a space to talk freely, a three-hour uninterrupted chat between two bros (read: echo chamber). Zuck joined Rogan on his podcast to talk about the very promising and tangible metaverse, and just how much money and effort Meta is pumping into the passion project. He also discussed how hard it is to run the social behemoth site that is Facebook. Poor thing. This blurb is riddled with sarcasm, but unfortunately the podcast isn’t. Oh, the Meta Quest Pro is also apparently coming in October.

5. A Royal Commission into the Coalition’s worst ever idea

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese yesterday announced a Royal Commission into Centrelink’s automated income compliance program, colloquially known as Robodebt. We’ve got an explainer on what the Royal Commission will look into, as well as a summary of what can only be described as nearly seven years of the former government getting away with a ‘cruel’ unleashing of an algorithm that wasn’t ready.

BONUS ITEM: Today is #wearitpurple Day, and Gizmodo Australia would like to send our respect, acceptance and support to every LGBTQ+ young person, today and every day.

Enjoy your weekend, you’ve deserved it.

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