Monitoring online posts by consumers could help improve food safety

Credit: CC0 Public Domain An estimated 48 million cases of foodborne illness are contracted in the United States every year, causing about 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In some instances, the source is well known, such as a batch of tainted ground beef that infected 209 people […]

Free online tool calculates risk of COVID-19 transmission in poorly-ventilated spaces

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (blue) heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (red), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID The vital role of ventilation in the spread of COVID-19 has been quantified by researchers, who have found that in […]

These apps bring the magic of a house party online

Virtual house parties are not exactly like this, but at least you won’t have to worry about cleaning up in the morning. (Maurício Mascaro / Pexels/) Since the pandemic began, we’ve learned to appreciate the upsides of virtual parties (no parking problems, no heels, no designated drivers). But house party classics, like moving from room […]

Start 2021 by fixing your online privacy

Are you using an authenticator app for your accounts? It’s a good move. (Pixabay`/) Going into 2021, the idea of New Year’s resolutions can seem fruitless. After the onslaught of 2020, it can feel downright silly to think you’re going to make any revolutionary changes in your life in a time when every day blurs […]

Apple App Store privacy labels show how developers track you online

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The art of materials science and teaching online

Image credit: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash The pandemic and lockdown challenges of 2020 — envisioned to continue into 2021 — have forced me to completely rethink the way I have been teaching materials science in the chemistry department at the University of Toronto for half a century. Arriving at the university as an assistant professor […]

Player behavior in the online game EVE Online may reflect real world country

In-game country profiles are generated by combining several measures of in-game socioeconomic behavior of players. Upon clustering the countries in groups with highly similar profile, one finds clusters that reflect real-world geography. Credit: Belaza et al, PLOS ONE, 2020 Virtual worlds may reflect social and economic behavior in the real world, according to a study […]

Become a better writer with these online tools

Everyone can type, but can you write? (Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash/) Writing good, clear sentences is harder than it sounds. When you’ve absolutely got to hit a word count, it’s just so easy to elongate your work by adding in superfluous, unnecessary words so that an idea that should be a brief 10-word sentence ends […]