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Butterflies offer beauty and a lot of science

butterflies offer beauty and a lot of science

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Chris Enroth University of Illinois Extension
Published

4:07 am CDT, Saturday, August 15, 2020

A tiger swallowtail butterfly flutters through a field.
A tiger swallowtail butterfly flutters through a field.

Photo: Penny Moore-Garner

Photo: Penny Moore-Garner

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A tiger swallowtail butterfly flutters through a field.
A tiger swallowtail butterfly flutters through a field.

Photo: Penny Moore-Garner

Butterflies offer beauty and a lot of science

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Like a lot of parents, we have decided to homeschool our children. Right now, I’m trying to remember what in the heck did I do in third grade? Time to brush up on the reading, writing and arithmetic skills.

Sidenote: I should probably start a therapy fund for my kids when they get older.

One subject I have a bit of experience with is science. It was always my favorite subject in school, after recess of course. You might be thinking, how am I going to teach science? I don’t have Bunsen burners and beakers. Fortunately, science is all around us.

Many people, myself included, thought of science as an ivory tower of facts. It wasn’t until I was in the field, I saw that it is far …

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Emotional Robots: Can Robots be our Emotional Companion?

emotional robots: can robots be our emotional companion?

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The current pandemic has made us befriend one technology which is often considered as our intellectual rival: robots. We have read several accounts of how robots have been resourceful in helping us fight the harrowing effects of COVID, like assisting us in our mission to find a cure drug and even sanitize public spaces. However, the crisis has also shown that robots can be our emotional support too. The scientists from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, have programmed robots to address the instances of loneliness caused due to social distancing and isolation that have become new normal and mandatory due to COVID. This is not the first time that researchers around the world have been experimenting with emotional AI for the greater good of humans. Mauro Dragone, who is the project’s lead scientist, believes that this study can help understand the needs of the most vulnerable at this time and what technology could be used to make their lives better.
Her team at Heriot-Watt University, are working to incorporate robots in social care as a potential solution to reach out to vulnerable groups affected by the social distancing measures that have resulted in decreased visits and restricted activities. In this …

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What the far-left might learn from Cardinal Bellarmine’s view of science

what the far-left might learn from cardinal bellarmine’s view of science

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(RNS) — If we know anything about the long-running culture war between faith and science, we know that conservative religious types will stifle scientific data if it challenges their ideological orthodoxy. This narrative extends back at least to the Renaissance, when the Catholic Church forced Galileo Galilei to recant his support for the idea that the Earth moves around the Sun.
These days, the positions seem to have flipped. From Bari Weiss’ dramatic resignation from The New York Times in July to recent banter on Twitter about “wokeism,” the accusations of stifling orthodoxy have flowed toward certain kinds progressives, who have chilled and even censored free and open debate of complex topics in the name of a faith whose god is wokeness.
This use of quasi-religious language has been noted in quarters critical of “wokeism” — a lamentable term that nonetheless expresses how much it looks and acts like a religion in the middle of an awakening.
Galileo Galilei, 1636 portrait by Justus Sustermans. Image courtesy of Creative Commons
We are faced with Washington Post headlines that refer to “problematic books” and disturbing images of book-burning at the Portland protests. June saw the #ShutDownSTEM movement to raise awareness of ways in which science …

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Are robotic pets the best for what may ail us?

are robotic pets the best for what may ail us?

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CNN reports that lifelike robotic pets are helping senior citizens in some of the same ways real pets do.Now these are not the robot pets of our youth. You know, the wind-up, painted metal toy with grinding gears? They had a lever which simulated a bark, followed by a backflip, when pulled,These fancy new ones are produced by Ageless Innovation, and can be found at joyforall.com. They retail for more than $100.Senior care agencies in Alabama, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania have partnered with the manufacturer to provide the products in senior care centers, especially now, during mandatory COVID-19 quarantine measures. Their goal is to provide companionship for isolated seniors.The company’s story is pretty remarkable and certainly speaks to the designers and leadership who saw opportunity. Many previously worked for one of the nation’s biggest toy companies and left to take the chance at success.But are these robot pets meant for adults? The fact is, industry foresight showed an enormous deficit in the market for products that bring fun and play to the older adult market.“Play knows no age limit?” Hey, count me in.The product line is called, “Companion Pets.”Yes, …

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Startups Push for Faster COVID-19 Tests ━ Times Publishing Group, Inc.

startups push for faster covid-19 tests ━ times publishing group, inc.

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By Jondi Gumz
Three biotech companies based at Startup Sandbox in Santa Cruz are working on faster tests for the contagious coronavirus COVID-19, which has caused six deaths in Santa Cruz County and shutdowns that cripple the local economy.
They are competing with others such as Quidel in San Diego and Becton Dickinson in New Jersey, which already have emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and produce results in 15 minutes – much faster than the so-called PCR, which require lab processing with a turnaround time at Quest Diagnostics of two to three days, and it has been longer.

One of the local companies, SanguineDx, was founded in 2010 and is headed by medical device veteran David Sierra of Aptos.
Another is Ontera, which started out as Two Pore Guys in 2011, raised $32.6 million in funding, and changed names a year ago.
The third is PinPoint Science, founded in 2017 and headed by Lisa Diamond, a tech veteran who holds two patents for novel molecular diagnostics.

All three made presentations Aug. 5 at the virtual Biotech Startups event hosted by Santa Cruz Works, the nonprofit supporting the local tech community.
David Sierra
David Sierra, SanguineDx CEO, said the company has a …

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Robot boat completes three-week Atlantic mission

robot boat completes three-week atlantic mission

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A UK boat has just provided an impressive demonstration of the future of robotic maritime operations.The 12m-long Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) Maxlimer has completed a 22-day-long mission to map an area of seafloor in the Atlantic.SEA-KIT International, which developed the craft, “skippered” the entire outing via satellite from its base in Tollesbury in eastern England.The mission was part-funded by the European Space Agency.Robot boats promise a dramatic change in the way we work at sea.Already, many of the big survey companies that run traditional crewed vessels have started to invest heavily in the new, remotely operated technologies. Freight companies are also acknowledging the cost advantages that will come from running robot ships.But “over-the-horizon” control has to show it’s practical and safe if it’s to gain wide acceptance. Hence, the demonstration from Maxlimer.

The USV was despatched from Plymouth in late July and sent to a location some 460km (220 miles) to the south-west.With a multi-beam echo-sounder attached to its hull, the boat mapped more than 1,000sq km of continental shelf area, down to about a kilometre in depth.This was a segment of seafloor that had essentially no modern data registered with the UK …

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How will COVID-19 affect the coming flu season? Scientists struggle for clues

how will covid-19 affect the coming flu season? scientists struggle for clues

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Fearing that a combination of seasonal influenza and COVID-19 will overwhelm hospitals, many countries are stepping up campaigns to increase flu vaccination.

Speed Media/Icon Sportswire

By Kelly ServickAug. 14, 2020 , 4:30 PM

Science’s COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.

In March, as the Southern Hemisphere braced for winter flu season while fighting COVID-19, epidemiologist Cheryl Cohen and colleagues at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) set up a plan to learn from the double whammy. They hoped to study interactions between seasonal respiratory viruses and SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Does infection with one change a person’s risk of catching the other? How do people fare when they have both?

But the flu season—and the answers—never came. NICD’s Centre for Respiratory Disease and Meningitis, which Cohen leads, has logged only a single flu case since the end of March. In previous years, the country’s surveillance platforms have documented, on average, about 700 cases during that period, Cohen says. “We’ve been doing flu surveillance since 1984, and it’s unprecedented.” 

Related

Some cases probably got overlooked as clinics temporary closed and people with mild symptoms avoided medical offices and clinics, …

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Facebook’s former PR chief explains why no one is paying attention to your startup

facebook’s former pr chief explains why no one is paying attention to your startup

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At TechCrunch Early Stage, I spoke with Coatue Management GP Caryn Marooney about startup branding and how founders can get people to pay attention to what they’re building.
Marooney recently made the jump into venture capital; previously she was co-founder and CEO of The Outcast Agency, one of Silicon Valley’s best-regarded public relations firms, which she left to become VP of Global Communications at Facebook, where she led comms for eight years.
While founders often may think of PR as a way to get messaging across to reporters, Marooney says that making someone care about what you’re working on — whether that’s customers, investors or journalists — requires many of the same skills.
One of the biggest insights she shared: at a base level, no one really cares about what you have to say.
Describing something as newsworthy or a great value isn’t the same as demonstrating it, and while big companies like Amazon can get people to pay attention to anything they say, smaller startups have to be even more strategic with their messaging, Marooney says. “People just fundamentally aren’t walking around caring about this new startup — actually, nobody does.”
Getting someone to care first …

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Robotics and Automation News Review: Fanuc and Kuka launch new robots, Pittsburgh ready to go to ‘infinity and beyond’, Foxconn moves operations out of China, and much more…

robotics and automation news review: fanuc and kuka launch new robots, pittsburgh ready to go to ‘infinity and beyond’, foxconn moves operations out of china, and much more…

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Robotics and Automation News Review: Fanuc and Kuka launch new robots, Pittsburgh ready to go to ‘infinity and beyond’, Foxconn moves operations out of China, and much more…

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Trailblazing tech exec wants to make sure Israeli girls follow her path in the male-dominated industry

trailblazing tech exec wants to make sure israeli girls follow her path in the male-dominated industry

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After the umpteenth time in which she entered a room to discover that once more she was the only woman in attendance, Neta Blum realized that she must act. The result, the At (Hebrew for “you,” feminine) program which encourages young girls all over Israel to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Blum, and some 250 of the country’s female tech leaders, including representatives from Google, Microsoft and Cybereason, visit high schools across the country explaining to young girls why a successful career in tech is open to them just as it is to the boys in their classroom, and at the same time serving as role models and living proof to their claims.
 Young girls would be hard-pressed to find a more impressive role model than Blum, who at 27 has not only founded At, but also heads the Ministry of Defense’s Flight Technologies Department at the Directorate of Defense Research and Development, the first woman and youngest person ever in this position. In fact, Blum is the only female employee among the dozens working in the Flight Technologies Department. She is simultaneously carving out a career in academia as a Technion Ph.D. student in …

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