In the spotlight
New video game takes aim at COVID-19 misinformation
A University of Waterloo student is helping to combat COVID-19 misinformation with a little help from an adorable animation called Dr. Pixel. Science student Ridhi Patel used her basic coding and graphic design knowledge to develop the game COVID-19 Quarantrivia with Dr. Pixel.
This AI startup is tackling the coronavirus disinformation deluge
Founded in 2017, Logically has around 20,000 regular users, the majority of them in India, where Jain’s family is from, and the UK. Although the app has been soft-launched in the UK, a full roll-out is planned for the end of 2020, together with Logically’s arrival to the US. “2020 was supposed to be all about the US election,” Jain sighs.
Facebook steps up fight against US election misinformation
Facebook has announced measures to combat misinformation during the US election season. Social media giants are under pressure to do more to tackle fake news on topics ranging from voting to the coronavirus pandemic.
Russian Intelligence Agencies push disinformation on Coronavirus pandemic
Russian intelligence services have been spreading disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to newly declassified intelligence, material that demonstrates how Moscow is continuing to try to influence Americans as the election draws closer.
Agriculture & Environment
How climate change strategies that use biomass can be more realistic
In the flat farmland outside Decatur, Illinois, a dump truck filled with ears of corn rolls into a warehouse at one end of an ethanol plant run by commodities giant Archer-Daniels-Midland Company. The corn is sent into a big fermentation vat that converts it to ethanol, which will be trucked to a refinery that will blend it with gasoline for sale nationwide.
Building on experience
Europe is known for its valuable built environment, which includes many historic homes and beautiful buildings. But peel back this façade and you’ll find that many are grossly inefficient. In fact, Europe’s buildings consume 40% of all the energy used across the continent and, in doing so, are responsible for 36% of all CO2 emissions.
Rethinking sustainability in the middle of a pandemic
2020 is making us rethink our lives, per the pandemic and other worldwide events, which is why sustainability is fast becoming the new business reality. Some people would call 2020 “biblical.”
Transport & Energy
EU holding urgent talks on Greece-Turkey energy dispute
European Union foreign ministers prepared Friday for urgent talks on military tensions between Greece and Turkey as the neighboring countries’ navies continued a game of brinkmanship over eastern Mediterranean drilling rights.
The great energy debate: is nuclear power the solution to climate change?
The phase-out led to massive investments in clean energy, including wind and solar, which wouldn’t have happened without that decision. Qvist: True, Germany has done fantastic things for the climate, being an early investor that plunged a lot of money into wind and solar.
Science has a new tool in the fight against climate change: good data
A European network of carbon monitoring stations is using new approach to data capture that may be the key to reversing the climate crisis.
A Third of TikTok’s U.S. Users May Be 14 or Under, Raising Safety Questions
It might be buying something else, too: a big population of users ages 14 and under. The minimum age for using TikTok is 13. In July, TikTok classified more than a third of its 49 million daily users in the United States as being 14 years old or younger, according to internal company data and documents that were reviewed by The New York Times.
Food & Health
Science and politics tied up in global race for a coronavirus vaccine
No, Russia isn’t having a Sputnik moment. The announcement Tuesday by Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country was the first to approve a coronavirus vaccine did not provoke the awe and wonder of the Soviet Union’s launch of the first satellite into orbit in 1957.
Researchers identify a protein that may help SARS-CoV-2 spread rapidly through cells
Eric Ross and Sean Cascarina, biochemistry and molecular biology researchers at Colorado State University, have released a research paper identifying a protein encoded by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, that may be associated with the quick spread of the virus through cells in the human body.
How did it happen? America’s unique failure to control coronavirus
Nearly every country has struggled to contain the and made mistakes along the way. coronavirus China committed the first major failure, silencing doctors who tried to raise alarms about the virus and allowing it to escape from Wuhan. Much of Europe went next, failing to avoid enormous outbreaks.
Science policy & Communication
Three ways 2020 has changed the social media landscape
This year has been action-packed: So far, there’s been a presidential impeachment trial, a pandemic and a worldwide movement for equality (not to mention the SpaceX launch and the Tiger King phenomenon). Popular culture has made amazingly sharp twists and turns and, unsurprisingly, social media has been right on its heels.
Blocking TikTok opens a can of worms for Facebook and Google
Be careful what you wish for. You might think that the Trump administration banning Chinese ownership of video-sharing app TikTok in the U.S. on national security grounds would be a win for social-media competitors such as Facebook, Alphabet and Twitter.
How to make open science work
As open science gains momentum, universities must maintain their academic independence by arming themselves against possible takeover of critical infrastructure, research information and data by private parties.
EU hydrogen strategy to bolster green recovery
The European Commission unveiled EU strategies for energy system integration and hydrogen Wednesday, saying they will pave the way towards a more efficient and interconnected energy sector.
The EU is launching a market for personal data. Here’s what that means for privacy.
In a radical shift for the EU’s data governance strategy, the Trusts Project promotes data sharing as a civic duty. The European Union has long been a trendsetter in privacy regulation. Its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and stringent antitrust laws have inspired new legislation around the world.
Horizon Europe public-private partnerships slowly taking shape
Public-private research projects, including newly agreed efforts on water transport, smart cities and antimicrobial resistance, are taking shape, with the European Commission publishing more detailed plans for 26 of what may eventually be about 50 consortia.
Coronavirus: How ghost cruise ships became a summer tourist attraction
One of the more unusual sights of the coronavirus pandemic has been that of cruise ships drifting around in the English Channel, apparently abandoned at sea. But why are they there? And how did they become a holiday attraction? Paul Derham is welcoming passengers onboard when he picks up the phone.