Science & Technology

Robots are coming and the fallout will largely harm marginalized communities

Those who are most affected in the labour market by robots are those who tend to already be marginalized. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu) Constantine Gidaris, McMaster University COVID-19 has brought about numerous, devastating changes to people’s lives globally. With the number of cases rising across Canada and globally, we are also witnessing the development and use of robots to perform jobs …

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Dead Sea Scrolls: two scribes probably wrote one of the manuscripts

Shutterstock/Lerner Vadim Peter Phillips, Durham University Ever since the Dead Sea Scrolls were accidentally discovered over 70 years ago in a cave in the Palestinian territories, they have been a source of fascination. The scrolls are famous for containing the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible. But exactly who wrote these important documents has been a mystery. Now, thanks to …

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how everyday chemicals are destroying sperm counts in humans and animals

Male fertility: SciePro/Shutterstock Alex Ford, University of Portsmouth and Gary Hutchison, Edinburgh Napier University Within just a few generations, human sperm counts may decline to levels below those considered adequate for fertility. That’s the alarming claim made in epidemiologist Shanna Swan’s new book, “Countdown”, which assembles a raft of evidence to show that the sperm count of western men has …

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Should cyberwar be met with physical force? Moral philosophy can help us decide

seaonweb/Shutterstock Christopher J. Finlay, Durham University In conventional warfare, it’s accepted that if a state finds itself under attack, it’s entitled to respond – either with defensive force, or with a counterattack. But it’s less clear how countries should respond to cyber-attacks: state-backed hacks which often have dangerous real-world implications. The 2020 SolarWinds hack, attributed to state-backed Russian hackers, breached …

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We studied the DNA of African and Asian leopards and found big differences between the two

African leopard. Ben Goodheart, Author provided Axel Barlow, Nottingham Trent University and Johanna L.A. Paijmans, University of Leicester Leopards are among the most widespread carnivores today, living in a wide range of habitats, from deserts to rainforests, and from the lowland plains to the mountainous highlands. Over the past century, they’ve experienced extreme habitat losses due to human activity, both …

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Scientists invent home COVID-19 test using coffee machine capsules

Nespresso machines, which brew espresso and coffee from coffee capsules, can be used for covid tests. Manu Padilla/Shutterstock Mark Lorch, University of Hull Transitioning to home working had its challenges for us all, but when your job involves researching biological applications for nanotechnology, those trials are a little more complicated than juggling the household’s broadband usage. So barred from his …

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Horses can recognise themselves in a mirror — new study

Looking good. Shutterstock/Edoma Ali Boyle, University of Cambridge If you ask people to list the most intelligent animals, they’ll name a few usual suspects. Chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants are often mentioned, as are crows, dogs and occasionally pigs. Horses don’t usually get a look in. So it might come as a surprise that horses possess an unusual skill, widely considered …

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Suez Canal container ship accident is a worst-case scenario for global trade

Rory Hopcraft, University of Plymouth; Kevin Jones, University of Plymouth, and Kimberly Tam, University of Plymouth It’s estimated that 90% of the world’s trade is transported by sea. As consumers, we rarely give much thought to how the things we buy make their way across the planet and into our homes. That is, until an incident like the recent grounding …

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