Science + Technology – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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Politicians from all parties should be asked tough questions about their support of Toronto’s Sidewalk Labs Quayside project while on the campaign trail. This is an artist’s rendering of the project. Sidewalk Toronto

Federal leaders should face tough questions about Toronto’s smart-city project

If governments can't get something like Quayside right, that bodes ill for Canada's digital future. The election gives us a chance to see where the parties stand on vital data governance issues.
An image taken by the Hubble telescope of NGC 4639, a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. NASA

Something is killing galaxies, and scientists are on the case

The first ever Canadian-led large project on one of the world's leading telescopes will investigate how the birth and death of galaxies are affected by their environment.
Technology can be used to support the caregivers of people living with dementia, however, developers and designers need to take caregiver needs into consideration. Shutterstock

Using technology to support caregivers of older people with dementia

Technological solutions may help to relieve the burden of care for family, service providers and caregivers working with the elderly.
Even though the future is unknown, Canada’s employment rate has risen steadily from 53 per cent in 1946 to more than 61 per cent today. (Shutterstock)

The future of work will still include plenty of jobs

Our inability to foresee the jobs of the future should be tempered by the realization that that jobs have always appeared in the past, regardless of technological advances.
A composite image showing the distribution of dark matter, galaxies and hot gas in a merging galaxy cluster taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii. NASA

Canada’s grand plan to explore the mysteries of the cosmos

The Canadian Long Range Plan 2020 for astronomy and astrophysics builds on Canadian research's previous success to extend Canada's role.
This image made from a fake video featuring former U.S. president Barack Obama shows elements of facial mapping that lets anyone make videos of real people appearing to say things they’ve never said. (AP Photo)

The election’s on: Now Canadians should watch out for dumbfakes and deepfakes

Fake videos pose a risk to democratic representation, participation, and discussion. Canadians need to be mindful of their existence as we head towards the federal election.
Prof. Stephen Meyers and his Geoscience 100 class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Photo by Ethan Parrish. Author provided

The profound perspective of geoscience can unite students

A science researcher's work gets twisted by a conservative news site; he considers this his wake-up call to educate as many students as possible about the importance of science to our world.
Currently, stem cell based treatments are still mostly experimental, and while some results are encouraging, several clinical trials have failed. (Shutterstock)

Stem cell treatments: Miracle cures or dangerous experiments?

Stem cells show much promise, both for testing drugs and for treating disease. But the hype around them has been dangerous, as most treatments are in very experimental stages and can cause harm.
A nuclear arms race could have devastating effects, and working towards nuclear disarmament is becoming more urgent. Shutterstock

Canada could slow the accelerating nuclear arms race

The recent nuclear explosions in Russia serve as a reminder of the threat that nuclear weapons pose. Canada is uniquely situated to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons globally.
As AI and robotics advance and produce more lifelike sex robots, there is the potential for an increase in gender-based violence. Shutterstock

Sex robots increase the potential for gender-based violence

An increasing demand for sex robots is concerning, as there are ethical concerns about a possible related increase in gender-based violence.
Teaching social and environmental responsibility to engineering students will provide them with valuable skills required for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Shutterstock

Teaching technological stewardship makes future engineers more agile and responsible

Technological stewardship is a set of values that provide members of the engineering community with guidance for responsible, responsive and agile approaches to design and implementation.
It took Thomas Edison countless failures before he succeeded in developing a marketable lightbulb. Shutterstock

Technology start-ups that fail fast succeed faster

Canadian technology start-ups that incorporate an approach that learns from failure tend to perform and innovate with greater success than start-ups that seek to assign blame.
In an attempt to address the growing problem of fake news online, an algorithm that identifies patterns in language may help distinguish between factual and inaccurate news articles. Shutterstock

The language gives it away: How an algorithm can help us detect fake news

Using machine learning and natural language processing, researchers are developing an algorithm that can distinguish between real and fake news articles.
Hundreds of clinical trials have been conducted over the past 10 years to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. They all failed. Shutterstock

Rethinking the approach to fighting Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Despite all efforts, no treatments have been found yet. To increase the odds, we need to rethink our approach and try to better understand it.
Canadian leaders face high-stakes decisions about 5G technology. In this June 26, 2019, photo, visitors tour the Huawei pavilion at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China. (Chinatopix via AP)

Canada will antagonize either the U.S. or China with wireless tech decisions

The place of Huawei in Canada's 5G network, and the associated national security implications, will be a key issue for the next federal government.
Learning about urban rat populations through genetic testing reveals information about their movements through cities. Shutterstock

Rat detective uses DNA to uncover how rats scurry around cities

Genetic analysis shows that urban rats prefer to stay near their relatives; however, some of them migrate. Knowing this could help with pest control efforts.