Science X Newsletter Week 43

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 43:

Researchers create blueprint for 'quantum battery' that doesn't lose charge

Scientists from the universities of Alberta and Toronto developed a blueprint for a new quantum battery that doesn't leak charge.

Rats trained to drive tiny cars find it relaxing, scientists report

Sometimes life really can be a rat race.

A crisis in cosmology: New data suggests the universe expanding more rapidly than believed

A group of astronomers led by University of California, Davis has obtained new data that suggest the universe is expanding more rapidly than predicted.

Magneto-inertial fusion experiment nears completion

Assembly of the Plasma Liner Experiment (PLX) at Los Alamos National Laboratory is well underway with the installation of 18 of 36 plasma guns in an ambitious approach to achieving controlled nuclear fusion (Figure 1). The plasma guns are mounted on a spherical chamber, and fire supersonic jets of ionized gas inward to compress and heat a central gas target that serves as fusion fuel. In the meantime, experiments performed with the currently installed plasma guns are providing fundamental data to create simulations of colliding plasma jets, which are crucial for understanding and developing other controlled fusion schemes.

Scientists reveal how the fossil fuel industry misled the public about climate change

An international group of scientists show that fossil fuel corporations have, for decades, denied the public's right to be accurately informed about climate change by funding efforts to deceive people about the dangers of their product. A report illustrating how the industry "polluted the information landscape," and how the damage could be undone is published today [Monday 21 October].

'Artificial leaf' successfully produces clean gas

A widely-used gas that is currently produced from fossil fuels can instead be made by an 'artificial leaf' that uses only sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, and which could eventually be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to petrol.

Engineers develop a new way to remove carbon dioxide from air

A new way of removing carbon dioxide from a stream of air could provide a significant tool in the battle against climate change. The new system can work on the gas at virtually any concentration level, even down to the roughly 400 parts per million currently found in the atmosphere.

The night gardeners: Immune cells rewire, repair brain while we sleep

Science tells us that a lot of good things happen in our brains while we sleep—learning and memories are consolidated and waste is removed, among other things. New research shows for the first time that important immune cells called microglia—which play an important role in reorganizing the connections between nerve cells, fighting infections, and repairing damage—are also primarily active while we sleep.

The Amazon hasn't stopped burning. There were 19,925 fire outbreaks last month, and 'more fires' are in the future

The proliferation of fires in the Amazon rainforest drew international attention in August, especially when French President Emmanuel Macron called for urgent action.

Mystery solved: Ocean acidity in the last mass extinction

A new study led by Yale University confirms a long-held theory about the last great mass extinction event in history and how it affected Earth's oceans. The findings may also answer questions about how marine life eventually recovered.

First identification of a heavy element born from neutron star collision

For the first time, a freshly made heavy element, strontium, has been detected in space, in the aftermath of a merger of two neutron stars. This finding was observed by ESO's X-shooter spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and is published today in Nature. The detection confirms that the heavier elements in the Universe can form in neutron star mergers, providing a missing piece of the puzzle of chemical element formation.

Poor toilet hygiene, not food, spreads antibiotic-resistant E. coli superbugs

Antibiotic-resistant E. coli is more likely to be spread through poor toilet hygiene than undercooked chicken or other food, according to new research from a consortium including the University of East Anglia.

Archaeologists uncover 2,000-year-old street in Jerusalem built by Pontius Pilate

An ancient walkway most likely used by pilgrims as they made their way to worship at the Temple Mount has been uncovered in the "City of David" in the Jerusalem Walls National Park.

Quantum leap in computing as Google claims 'supremacy' (Update)

Scientists claimed Wednesday to have achieved a near-mythical state of computing in which a new generation of machine vastly outperforms the world's fastest super-computer, known as "quantum supremacy".

Study shows class bias in hiring based on few seconds of speech

Candidates at job interviews expect to be evaluated on their experience, conduct, and ideas, but a new study by Yale researchers provides evidence that interviewees are judged based on their social status seconds after they start to speak.

California's crashing kelp forest

First the sea stars wasted to nothing. Then the purple urchins took over, eating and eating until the bull kelp forests were gone. The red abalone starved. Their fishery closed. Red sea urchins starved. Their fishery collapsed. And the ocean kept warming.

What was the first color in the universe?

The universe bathes in a sea of light, from the blue-white flickering of young stars to the deep red glow of hydrogen clouds. Beyond the colors seen by human eyes, there are flashes of X-rays and gamma rays, powerful bursts of radio, and the faint, ever-present glow of the cosmic microwave background. The cosmos is filled with colors seen and unseen, ancient and new. But of all these, there was one color that appeared before all the others, the first color of the universe.

Mindfulness meditation enhances positive effects of psilocybin: study

Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the clinical application of classic psychedelics in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Researchers of the University of Zurich have now shown that mindfulness meditation can enhance the positive long-term effects of a single dose of psilocybin, which is found in certain mushrooms.

Cosmic Yeti from the dawn of the universe found lurking in dust

Astronomers accidentally discovered the footprints of a monster galaxy in the early universe that has never been seen before. Like a cosmic Yeti, the scientific community generally regarded these galaxies as folklore, given the lack of evidence of their existence, but astronomers in the United States and Australia managed to snap a picture of the beast for the first time.

Researchers accurately estimate the sex of skeletons based on elbow features

An elbow can help determine the sex of a skeleton.


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