Facial recognition technology: privacy and political orientation

There is growing concern that the widespread use of facial recognition technology has led and will lead to the decline of privacy and civil liberties. CCTV cameras and huge databases of facial images–taken from sources such as social media and ID card registers–make it easy to identify individuals as well as track their movements and social interactions. Plus, “facial recognition can be used without subjects’…

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The causes of Alzheimer’s disease

“Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink (atrophy) and brain cells to die. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that affects a person’s ability to function independently” (from the Mayo Clinic). Featured article: *Tang, Y., Zhang, D., Gong, X., & Zheng, J. (2022). A mechanistic survey…

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Off-shore oil drilling can increase the spread of antibiotic resistance

Featured article: *Wang, J., & Jiti, Z. (2021). Petroleum exploitation enriches the sulfonamide resistance gene sul2 in offshore sediments. Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 39(3), 946-954. “Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) have been considered as emerging contaminants in nature owing to their wide distribution and human health risk. Anthropogenic activities can increase the diversity and abundance of ARGs and promote their spread in environment. Offshore…

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What will the climate in your city be like in 2050?

What will the climate in your city be like in 2050? The changing climate is driving hotter temperatures and longer and more severe droughts–which, in turn, can lead to even higher temperatures. This combination can make both rural areas and cities unliveable. To understand the issues, see: Baghdad’s record heat offers glimpse of world’s climate change future (Louisa Loveluck and Chris Mooney, The Washington Post,…

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The consequences and costs of climate risks

Climate risks are increasing in the United States and in many other parts of the world. Yet, some areas that are particular climate “hot spots”–increasingly prone to excessive heat or drought or powerful hurricanes or floods or sea level rise or destructive wildfires, etc. and sometimes more than just one risk–are currently seeing more population growth and development than areas with lesser risks. Why is…

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Race and class and heat in cities

Hot temperatures in cities and towns are not experienced the same by residents. Neighborhoods with more minority residents (especially), neighborhoods with lower-income residents, and neighborhoods with residents with lower education levels “experience hotter temperatures during summer heatwaves than nearby white residents” and residents with higher incomes and more formal education. This trend has been documented for years in major cities but research also shows that…

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