In just a matter of years, we've gone from flip phones to full-blown facial recognition technology. Facial recognition is a versatile and impressive concept that's being applied to everything from unlocking smartphones to identifying people of interest. But, with this groundbreaking technology comes a decent amount of backlash, mostly concerning privacy and human rights.
With the widespread use of facial recognition, chances are someone will recognize you everywhere you go. Cameras and monitors will pick up your image and store it in a database, so there's no hiding your [...]
In recent years, the awareness of our planet's plastic problem is growing. The population is now well-informed about the plastic content in our favorite foods, or so we thought. According to new research, the amount of plastics we consume on a daily basis is significant, particularly in the form of microplastics in food.
Microplastics are what their name suggests. They are small particles of plastic waste that are found in the ocean, soil, and, eventually, the atmosphere. Over time, these pieces of plastic are washed over by waves and currents or worked into the soil, [...]
To meet the goals outlined by the 2015 Paris Agreement, countries need to shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. While a total shift to renewable energy sources could prevent climate change disasters, it will have other environmental impacts, too. According to a 2019 Earthworks report, by 2050 the demand for renewable energy could lead to a noticeable metal shortage.
Metals like copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel, neodymium, silver and tellurium are all necessary for renewable energy technologies. Nearly all electronics use copper because of its conducting [...]
Like all other Earth Days, today we celebrate our planet and show our encouragement for all of the environmental efforts being made on its behalf. But this Earth Day 2020 has an enormous, unmistakably important variable added to the equation: Coronavirus.
According to an article in LiveScience, the first known case of coronavirus dates back to November 2019. The outbreak was first contained in China, but through the heavy use of air travel, the virus began to spread like wildfire. Not long after the first case was identified, many other countries became hotspots for the disease, causing [...]
As tech continues to improve, so does healthcare. Our medical professionals are working alongside the power of technology to improve the longevity and quality of human life. From less invasive methods of cancer detection to 3-D printed organs, we're living in a time where man and machine are combining forces for the greater good, bringing AI and healthcare together.
There are many areas in healthcare where humans alone can't be the only answer. Undoubtedly, humankind has made huge advances when it comes to medicine. We've discovered vaccinations to save lives, potent cures for [...]
We’ve all been there. You open the fridge to grab that yogurt you’ve been eyeing for days, only to read the disappointing set of numbers that shows your snack to be “past date.” Into the trash it goes.
With prepackaged foods everywhere we look, we’ve become accustomed to living and breathing by the dates scribbled on our packaging. Whether it be the “best by” or “eat by” dates, those numbers hold a ton of power when it comes to the average consumer's mind. But how accurate are they really, if at all? These numbers seem pretty [...]
Plastic is undoubtedly the most popular packaging material across the world. Hailed for its versatility and effectiveness, plastic is used for everything from packaging to consumer goods to coating. However, we are now facing a plastic epidemic from overuse and lack of recycling. In the wake of this issue is the rise of an alternative that promises much better results for the environment, all while remaining effective and convenient: plant-based packaging.
There are numerous options available when it comes to plant-based packaging. Not all of them are equal in terms of their versatility and [...]
Plastic is a notorious polluter. When not disposed of properly, plastic products litter the streets and can wash into storm drains or rivers. Eventually, it can wind up in the ocean. And lots of it has.
About 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, plastics accounted for five of the top 10 kinds of trash picked up during the 2017 International Coastal Cleanup. Plastic harms the marine life that consume it, and eventually humans, as plastic makes its way up through the food chain.
Even if plastic stays out of [...]
As we have heard time and time again, we are living in unprecedented times. In what felt like just a matter of days, many peoples’ lives were upended in the wake of coronavirus. Jobs were lost, food was stocked up, and the doors were closed for a period of quarantine and social distancing.
But with this mandatory shift in day-to-day life comes the increased demand for delivery services, especially grocery delivery. For years, grocery delivery has been an available service in most areas of our country, the main partakers being city dwellers and busy professionals. Given our current [...]
Reforestation is undoubtedly one of the top ecological concerns at hand. Each year, roughly 15 billion trees are cut down globally. Their materials are used for commercial goods, energy, and other commodities, but their absence in the forest is hardly replaced. Instead, the trees are cut down and transformed to fit our needs, leaving a gap in ecosystems across the planet.
The logical answer to this problem would be to plant a tree for every tree that's cut down, right? Unfortunately, it's not that simple. There's the time frame that it takes for a tree to reach full maturity, plus the [...]
The World Health Organization states that less than half of the global population uses safely managed sanitation services. Just 31 percent of people use private sanitation facilities connected to wastewater treatment systems. Sanitation is a complicated and expensive problem to solve, impacting social, economic, health and other sectors. Engineers from the University of South Florida have developed the NEWgenerator, a wastewater treatment system, to address some of these problems. State of SanitationAlthough the United Nations has recognized access to safe drinking water and sanitation as[...]
Amidst all of the buzz about lab-grown meat, one country seems to have it all in order: Asia. For centuries, many different cultures around Asia have been dabbling in what's known as "homemade meat." Dating back to as early as the Tang Dynasty, people have been experimenting with fake meats such as imitation pork and mutton. With this long-standing tradition comes the receptiveness of Asian consumers for the alternative meat market, and the outstanding science to back it up.
In America, we are just starting to expand our tastebuds into the realm of alternative meats. With the [...]
Well before last December, the world had already faced two coronavirus outbreaks in the past 20 years. Scientists began furiously working to develop vaccines, but none were successful, and many scientists turned away from this work once the outbreaks, and funding, dissipated. Some scientists kept working on coronavirus vaccines. In 2016, scientists at the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's hospital had a promising vaccine candidate and just needed some funding to start testing in humans. But investors weren't interested.
That's because vaccine development, and a great deal of [...]
Memory is essential to human identity. Not only do they provide a mental record of our past selves, but they help us learn and make decisions. Recent research shows that components of this human capability may have evolved from viruses.
Scattered across the genomes of just about all organisms are pieces of viral DNA. To replicate, viruses inject their genetic material into the cells of their host organisms. Through millions of years of infections and evolution, bits of viral genes have embedded in the DNA of bacteria, plants and animals.One such gene, called Arc, encodes a protein found in [...]
When we think of tech, we think of the more robotic, impersonal side. Autonomous software and steel gray machines fill our minds, but there is so much more to the picture. Technology is changing the way that we live our lives and complete our daily tasks, but it's also manifesting in the rise of new art forms and creativity. Art is no longer reduced to various mediums; it's now an expression of the dreams of the human mind paired with the potential of technological innovation.
Art is an ever-changing thing in itself, much like technology. Artists are constantly on the lookout for[...]
The United Nations estimates that more than two billion people live in water-stressed countries and about half the population experience severe water scarcity at least one month per year. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, some of this water stress comes from agriculture, which uses 69 percent of the world's freshwater resources. Fertilizers and pesticides from agricultural operations also diminish freshwater resources, polluting rivers and lakes.
Climate change is also threatening freshwater resources. Dry regions are becoming dryer, experiencing more frequent [...]
Practically every news source, social media account, and email have been expressing the importance of hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic. Washing our hands and practicing social distancing are recommended on replay, but there’s one major aspect that’s being overlooked: Mental health.
For some, social distancing is extremely difficult. On day 1 of the quarantine, many people made jokes and chuckled at coronavirus memes, but come day 2, the tone changed. The seriousness of the situation kicked in, and concerns began mounting. No matter your age, this virus affects us [...]
There's definitely not a shortage of opinions when it comes to genetically modified food. Scientists and climate experts say it's the way of the future, considering our warming planet and growing population. Those against it say messing with nature will ruin our health. Where do the facts lie? Who is right in this debate?
Climate change and an increase in population means a shortage of food. As our marketplaces go global, the demand for fresh fruits and vegetables from near and far increases. But with all of the changing environmental factors, sustaining the proper amount of food for the [...]
Coffee is a beloved beverage across the world. Over time, its reputation as a delicious and health-boosting drink has gained a worldwide following, with America alone sipping up 400 million cups per day. But, not everyone can handle the caffeine content in a single cup of coffee, which is where the runner-up option, decaf coffee, comes in.
Decaf coffee is a relatively new invention. In the early 1900s, a German merchant by the name of Ludwig Roselius discovered that when soaked in water for a prolonged period of time, coffee beans naturally lose a large amount of [...]
At this point in time, practically everyone is searching for the holy grail of clean energy. Solar, wind, biomass, geothermal... the list goes on. But one area is showing enormous potential and has been arguably overlooked for decades now; water. Also known as hydropower, the clean energy that is generated from water sources has great promise going forward. In fact, scientists from Stanford University are building upon the solid renewable energy foundation of water, creating what's now known as "blue energy."
Luckily for all of us, this technology doesn't discriminate. It can work by using [...]