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Can emojis be evidence in court? Forensic linguists are figuring it out

In France, a man was convicted of threatening his ex-girlfriend and sentenced to 3 months in prison. He had sent the gun emoji in a text.
Representational image | A research assistant at the artificial heart development laboratory at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur | Photo: Sumit Dayal | Bloomberg

How experts are using maths to stay ahead of the coronavirus

Mathematical epidemiology is playing a crucial role in the fight against large-scale infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

This is how my team isolated the new coronavirus to fight the global pandemic

When a new virus such as SARS-CoV-2 emerges, it isn’t obvious what particular environment that virus has adapted to, so it can be hard to grow in the lab.
Drugs in India

COVID-19 treatment may already exist in old drugs – we’re using the virus itself to find them

If we find an approved drug that even slows down the coronavirus’s progression, doctors should be able to start getting it to patients quickly and save lives.

Don’t work from your bed: What to do when working from home in time of coronavirus

You need a work-life balance when working from home too.
People in masks outside the Shanghai railway station

Why Singapore isn’t in a coronavirus lockdown — as told by a doctor of the country

Singapore has had 266 total cases with zero deaths, and its infection rate is much slower than the rest of the world. This is how we did it.
Illegal trade of pangolins (representational image) | Photo: Commons

Coronavirus should finally make us act on illegal wildlife trade

COVID-19 is revealing full scale of China’s wildlife trade industry, with the temporary ban on 20,000 captive breeding enterprises and 54 different species.
Pets

Cute as a button: Dogs look like their owners because we groom them in our own image

Ethologist Konrad Lorenz found people generally find infant-like characteristics cute. Pets piggyback on this, with their cuteness inspiring us to care for them.
Medical staff outside the special isolation ward set up for coronavirus treatment at Kochi Medical College | PTI

Coronavirus pandemic can lead to these 8 good things too

The lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic will pay dividends in the future and help human beings prevent worse ones.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a Coronavirus Task Force news conference on 17 March 2020. Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, is seen to his right | Kevin Dietsch | Bloomberg

Coronavirus won’t make Trump lose. That’s what modern history tells us

The pandemic may lead some in US to favour conservative politics – further advantaging Trump – because it easily feeds an isolationist ethic.

On Camera

Huawei is embroiled in controversy over security concerns in many countries | Photo: Qilai Shen | Bloomberg

Chinese private companies’ investment in India has grown since 2014 — with little scrutiny

From $1.6 billion in 2014, investment from China — mostly by state-controlled private firms now — has likely crossed $26 billion. What does it mean for India’s trade strategy and security?

Jails give Covid-19 parole: Can overstretched govt track prisoners’ movement and behaviour?

Prisons across India have begun to release inmates on parole after the Supreme Court directed to decongest jails to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Defence

A Pakistan Air Force F-86 Sabre in the Gunsight of an Indian Air Force MiG-21 in the 1965 war. | Photo: Author's collection

‘For just a bloody cannon’: How a MiG-21 nearly took down a PAF Sabre on debut for IAF in 1965

The story of the debut of IAF’s MiG-21 in the 1965 India-Pakistan war and its memorable encounter with Pakistan Air Force's Sabres on 4 September.

Modi’s India isn’t Mao’s China. Silly forecasts assume we’ll let corona kill millions of us

There are many scary scenarios about how badly we Indians may be affected or how many killed by Covid-19. But they presume we will do nothing to influence our fates.