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The top 10 science and environment stories of 2018

A mannequin sits in a red sports car, with the Earth in the background.
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If you didn’t get the chance to read as many science stories as you would have liked in 2018, fear not: CBC has compiled its top 10 list just for you. From the discovery of an ancient Mayan city to evidence of Planet X, there’s no shortage of fascinating stories to review.

Why do we call computer glitches “bugs”?

A page from the Harvard Mark II electromechanical computer's log, featuring a dead moth that was removed from the device.
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The term “bug” is another way of saying something is wrong with our computer or software, but where did the term come from? While many attribute the reference to computer scientist Grace Hopper, this article from Curiosity explains that it dates back to Thomas Edison’s private journals.

The Future of Food Safety: Bacterial Detection through a Smartphone

Clumping together of Janus molecules after binding with E.coli substitute
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Researchers at MIT and the Max Planck Institute have developed a method for quick, on-site E. coli detection in food. While current food safety testing either requires days to complete or expensive equipment, this new method, paired with a smartphone and QR code, will make testing inexpensive and portable. The new detection process uses Janus emulsions, droplets consisting of two hemispheres of different densities. In water, the less dense, hydrocarbon hemisphere sits above the denser hemisphere

Seaweed: From superfood to superconductor

Seaweed: From superfood to superconductor
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Seaweed, an edible algae with a long history in Atlantic Canada (e.g. dulse seaweed) and some Asian cuisines, could turn out to be an essential ingredient in another trend: the development of more sustainable ways to power our devices. Researchers are using a seaweed-derived material to replace traditional non-renewable carbon materials to help boost the performance of superconductors, lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells in a sustainable way.

How does Los Angeles get its water?

How does Los Angeles get its water?
Engineering & Technology
Earth & Environment
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Technology From hundreds of miles away, mostly. More people live in the sunbaked cities of Los Angeles County than the local water supply can support. So the metropolis steals what it needs from regions all over…