All posts filed under: Tech

Brexit Will Scare Away Scientists, Even if the Funding Remains

2016 was the year of astounding election results.  Although 45’s win certainly takes the prize for the biggest shock to complacent liberals, the Brexit vote put almost every aspect of the UK’s future in a haze of uncertainty.  Only after the ballots were counted did many “Remainers” begin to contemplate the tangible effects Brexit could have: reduced freedom of movement, legitimization of xenophobia, and undermined diplomatic relations between the UK and EU member states.  We also must consider the effect of Brexit on research. Not only does the EU fund million-pound research projects but Europe, along with rest of the world, provides the most valuable resource for science: great minds. As a British scientist working in Canada, my country’s rejection of international partnership felt somewhat personal.  The message was isolationist, irrational, and spiteful.  Storms of hate had been whipped up by blatant campaign lies, including the now-infamous “Let’s give our National Health Service the £350 million the EU takes every week”.  But what would be the fate of science funding in the UK?  Between 2007 …

Techsex: The Integration of Technology in Our Sex Lives

With virtual reality and the growth of teledildonics, sex in the cyber sphere seems to have become more popular and definitely more possible. However, it still feels like there is some societal hesitation when its comes to teledildonics and the incorporation of more complex technology in our sex lives. Virtual reality refers to software and hardware that create a simulation of different auditory, visual, and tactile sensations usually depending on a virtual reality headset. Moreover teledildonics is a form of technology for remote sex (or mutual masturbation), where sensations are sent from one device to another. The idea of techsex, or technology incorporated into our sex lives, I think is moving towards becoming the future of our sexual interactions. Although there may be some uncertainty towards incorporating teledildonics in our lives, there has been an increase in support, and I think we’re headed in the right direction. Nonetheless, I do have my reservations how we need to proceed considering that it adds another complexity into our already complicated sex lives. Given how we struggle to …

Chikungunya: Making its way from the Caribbean to the United States and Canada

  To the majority of North Americans, Chikungunya is a foreign concept – the word itself seems to speak of an untold terror.   Even though there has been a lack of proper news media coverage, it is important to be aware of Chikungunya, especially during this time of year when a trip to the Caribbean seems like the ideal thing to do. In Canada alone, there have already been 320 confirmed travel-related Chikungunya cases. Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus that results in high fever and severe joint pain and is currently making its way around the Caribbean, up to Florida and Canada. First described during an outbreak in Tanzania in 1952, the disease is named Chikungunya (pronounced “chik-en-gun-ye”) for a reason. The word finds its origin from the Kimakonde language of Mozambique and Tanzania and it means “those which bend up”, referring to the distorted posture of people affected with severe joint pain and arthritic-like symptoms associated with the disease. The virus is transmitted to humans from female mosquitoes of the species A. albopictus …

The Panic of Ebola: Necessary Measures

Looking back on the Ebola Crisis, it can be said that reactions were both overblown and inefficient in handling the situation. The following was written at the time of the crisis in November. In August, Korean Air Lines suspended all flights to Kenya, a country located in East Africa where there are no cases of Ebola. And just two weeks ago in Bronx, New York, two young Senegalese boys, ages 13 and 11, were beaten up by bullies on the playground who repeatedly chanted, “You’re Ebola.” What both incidences demonstrate is the ignorance that has been rampant across the globe partly due to the media coverage of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak. The first known Ebola outbreak was confirmed in Guinea, in March of this year, spreading across West Africa. Despite rumors, the virus can only be spread through contact with fluids (including breast milk) and blood from an infected patient. Once in the body, Ebola attacks internal organs and connective tissues, causing severe bleeding, vomiting, aches, mental impairment and dementia Ebola should not be placed …

Mustard Oil: A Potential Breakthrough in the Antimalarial Drug Market?

Jessie MacAlpine, a second year student at University of Toronto, has done outstanding research in the field of malaria. She has developed a drug that has the potential to be the most effective, inexpensive and accessible antimalarial treatment on the market. In order to understand how important this discovery really is as a solution to combat the global issue of malaria, let’s first take a look at what this infectious disease really is and what its effects are on the micro, and macro, levels of the populations most affected. Malaria, buzzing its way from one person to the next Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a single-celled parasite called Plasmodium. This parasite can be transmitted through Anopheles mosquitoes, where it can multiply in its intestines. When an infected mosquito bites a human, the parasite enters the bloodstream in the human body, multiplies in the liver and infects the red blood cells. This causes symptoms that usually arise between 10-15 days after the bite of the infected mosquito. These first few symptoms include fever, headache, …

Ghosts of Days Gone By: An Analysis of Polio and its Re-emergence in Syria

The re-emergence of a disease all but eradicated in the developed world, polio,  in Syria reflects cracks in the nation’s public health system. It is often contended that in order to create, one must first destroy. This is the ideal upon which revolutions of the past have been built –that is, by bidding farewell to the present and ushering in a novel era. However, when you rip out the foundations of an existing society, the lives of the people who make up that society are invariably thrown into chaos. This trend has been observed throughout the course of history whether it was the Communist revolution in Russia or the French revolution of the 1700s. Landing in the present day, the civil war in Syria has been a major cause of rising tensions in the Middle East. With political giants, the army and militants engaged in a bloody struggle for power, the common people too, as a consequence, fight their own battles against hunger, poverty, disease and the multitude of other problems that follow in an …