6 Ways the Coronavirus Pandemic Changed Science

This article appeared in Discover’s annual state of science issue as “The Virus That Changed Science.” Support our science journalism by becoming a subscriber.

In March, labs around the world went dark. Experiments stopped, specimens were frozen and research timelines shifted into the unknown. By the time labs began reopening, a new mode of science had emerged. It only took a microscopic virus to bring macro-level changes — some good, some bad and many with no signs of turning back.

1. Faster

The technology of the 21st century has allowed science to move forward virtually — and rapidly. The latest COVID-19 findings are shared online at warp speed, and media reports are delivered straight to smartphones in the palm of our hands. While this barrage of research fosters speedy discoveries, some scientists are concerned about the consequences of too much haste. In May, Jonathan Kimmelman, a bioethicist at McGill

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How the pandemic changed the future of work for government agencies

Written by

FedScoop Staff

In order to keep social service programs running and agencies operable during the lockdown, government leaders learned that being too cautious about updating their infrastructure had handicapped their ability to deliver on their mission.

The insights come from a series of interviews — assembled in a new report — in which agency leaders shed light on how the pandemic has accelerated their agencies’ plans to adopt cloud- and AI-enabled tools.

Read the full report.

The report, “Pandemic Fast-Tracks Plans for Future-Ready Government,” produced by FedScoop and StateScoop and underwritten by Google Cloud, highlights agencies’ response to resolving infrastructure and scaling challenges in order to stand-up a remote workforce and better service constituents.

When millions of citizens’ lives were disrupted, they turned to the government online for answers. However, websites and other digital services weren’t built to meet these high demands. The

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The One Thing Instacart’s Now-Billionaire CEO Changed After 20 Failed Startup Ideas

Instacart is having one heck of a year. The company spent $27 million on efforts to help secure the recent victory of Proposition 22 in California, which will shift labor laws that benefit gig economy-driven startups. But prior to their success at the ballot box, the company was already stacking up one achievement after another this year.

In April 2020, Instacart had its first profitable month of operation, an increasingly rare find in Silicon Valley. And successful strategic partnerships continue to emerge; in Q3, the delivery app added retail giants Sephora and Bed Bath & Beyond to its options.

Thanks to additional investment rounds in 2020, the app’s valuation has more than doubled, making founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta a billionaire at just 33 years old. But prior to founding the mammoth grocery delivery app, Mehta was a failure many times over. What was different about his approach to Instacart

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A memory revolution: we explore how flash changed the world and what the future holds

Of course, it’s not quite that simple. In fact, by 2000 Samsung had already been experimenting with flash and its predecessors for the best part of two decades. In that time the company’s engineers had quietly refined and improved the technology, steadily increasing its speed and storage capacity. In 1994, Samsung released the first 16Mb NAND flash. In 1999 it created the first NAND flash with 1Gb of storage.

A role for flash?

The question was, what to do with it? In the early days of flash, real world applications for the technology were thin on the ground. In the late 1980s, a predecessor of flash (Mask ROM) had found a market in electronic dictionaries and early handheld gaming devices, like Game Boy and Tamagotchi. By the turn of the century, flash had become ubiquitous in other small consumer devices, like digital cameras and the first generation of portable digital

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Thanks for the memories: how flash changed your world (and could shape the future)

That’s a big ask, and it’s why the type of memory your devices use is a very big deal. Talk all you want about the lightning speed of your laptop processor, or the heavyweight punch of the latest graphics card, but if you don’t also talk about storage memory you’re missing a huge part of the picture. Computer storage doesn’t just save your data, it retrieves it when you want to use it again, and how quickly and accurately it can do that makes a huge difference to your viewing, playing or working experience.

A history of innovation

Which is why, 20 years ago, Samsung put its faith in what was, back then, a limited and expensive storage technology that was considered a bit, well, niche. The company had been experimenting with the predecessors of what would become flash memory since the early 1980s, even though real world applications for

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Three ways the role of a software engineer has changed over the last decade

To say that the role of a software engineer has changed over the last decade would be an understatement. The pace that technology has advanced year upon year has meant demands of employees have increased. It’s no secret that 2020 has been a turbulent year, accelerating technological change further. The global pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of many tech-focused solutions within businesses, with many turning to digital tools to support our new way of remote working. As a result, the demand for software development has sky-rocketed.

What’s more, software development involves creating and changing software depending on user requests and requirements, and with both of these becoming more challenging and fast paced, software engineers have had to adapt quickly. There are three key advancements that have affected this role over the last decade, namely Corporate Social Responsibility, free open source software and the rise of automation.

Corporate social responsibility


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The Modern Technology Changed Our Life

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  • What Lessons Have You Learnt During This Lockdown. Start writing

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member

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The World Of Performance In IT Has Changed — And You Should, Too

Field CTO for the Americas at Infinidat.

Performance has always been a product attribute that IT vendors brag about. For decades, almost all attention was focused on CPUs — specifically how many millions of instructions per second (MIPS) they could process. Unfortunately, product specifications like MIPS don’t reflect actual customer value.

Two aspects have changed over the years that allow a realignment of priorities closer to where the value of performance in IT products actually lies:

1. When it comes to the term “IT,” or information technology, what matters most is the information. The technology is merely those things that are necessary to store, manage, process, analyze, move and protect your information.

2. Specific to the technology, when considering performance differences between products, software is usually more important than hardware.

There are three independent parts of information performance to consider:

1. Throughput: This defines how much information can

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How COVID-19 has changed the future of education

School is a lot different today than when Lansing Superintendent Sam Sinicropi became an educator almost five decades ago.

a group of people playing football on a field: Haverhill Elementary School students head into the classroom for the first day of school in Portage, Michigan on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.

© Joel Bissell/Joel Bissell | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS
Haverhill Elementary School students head into the classroom for the first day of school in Portage, Michigan on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.

What used to be a place solely dedicated to learning is now a haven providing social and emotional support to students, as well as basic needs like food, shelter and safety.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, not everyone fully recognized the needs schools fill for K-12 children, the Lansing Public Schools superintendent said. In forcing schools to move online – pulling students out of the classroom – COVID-19 has helped communities understand the full impact.

“There is more recognition of what schools do for students and families. I mean, we’re doing more – from providing meals to families, to doing more about mental

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How Predicting The Future Has Changed For Automotive In 2020

There are no crystal balls. There are no Zoltar machines at arcades that will accurately tell the future. But for automotive marketing departments, they nevertheless must predict society’s needs five to ten years into the future. Connected? Autonomous? Electric? All of these transformative, step-function changes were already making 2020 a difficult year of soothsaying, and then POOF! Covid-19 hits, and all predictions based upon historical extrapolations seemingly become a metaphorical walk on an unsupported plank. Will ridesharing truly become non-existent? Will commuting miles be “a 20th century” thing? Will California’s 2035 edict and Tesla’s $25k vehicle make the electric vehicle real rather than an on-again, off-again governmental hope? And how will an explosive U.S. election affect the global marketplace? In the end, how

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