Science X Newsletter Week 44

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 44:

Neural network reconstructs human thoughts from brain waves in real time

Researchers from Russian corporation Neurobotics and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have found a way to visualize a person's brain activity as actual images mimicking what they observe in real time. This will enable new post-stroke rehabilitation devices controlled by brain signals. The team published its research as a preprint on bioRxiv and posted a video online showing their "mind-reading" system at work.

Researchers uncover an anomaly in the electromagnetic duality of Maxwell Theory

Researchers at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (WPI) and Tohoku University in Japan have recently identified an anomaly in the electromagnetic duality of Maxwell Theory. This anomaly, outlined in a paper published in Physical Review Letters, could play an important role in the consistency of string theory.

Lithium ion battery design can charge an electric vehicle in 10 minutes

Scientist have developed a lithium ion battery that charges at an elevated temperature to increase reaction rate but keeps the cell cool during discharge, showing the potential to add 200 miles of driving range to an electric car in 10 minutes. If scaled, the design is one potential strategy to alleviate concerns that all-electric vehicles lack sufficient cruise range to safely reach a destination without stalling mid-journey. The Pennsylvania State University researchers present the work October 30 in the journal Joule.

Scientists may have discovered whole new class of black holes

Black holes are an important part of how astrophysicists make sense of the universe—so important that scientists have been trying to build a census of all the black holes in the Milky Way galaxy.

New study sheds light on conditions that trigger supernovae explosions (Update)

Understanding the thermonuclear explosion of Type Ia supernovae—powerful and luminous stellar explosions—is only possible through theoretical models, which previously were not able to account for the mechanism that detonated the explosion.

Worldwide observations confirm nearby 'lensing' exoplanet

Researchers using telescopes around the world confirmed and characterized an exoplanet orbiting a nearby star through a rare phenomenon known as gravitational microlensing. The exoplanet has a mass similar to Neptune, but it orbits a star lighter (cooler) than the Sun at an orbital radius similar to Earth's orbital radius. Around cool stars, this orbital region is thought to be the birth place of gas-giant planets. The results of this research suggest that Neptune-sized planets could be common around this orbital region. Because the exoplanet discovered this time is closer than other exoplanets discovered by the same method, it is a good target for follow-up observations by world-class telescopes like the Subaru Telescope.

Living skin can now be 3-D-printed with blood vessels included

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a way to 3-D print living skin, complete with blood vessels. The advancement, published online today in Tissue Engineering Part A, is a significant step toward creating grafts that are more like the skin our bodies produce naturally.

A new method of extracting hydrogen from water more efficiently to capture renewable energy

A new method of extracting hydrogen from water more efficiently could help underpin the capture of renewable energy in the form of sustainable fuel, scientists say.

Two million-year-old ice provides snapshot of Earth's greenhouse gas history

Two million-year old ice from Antarctica recently uncovered by a team of researchers provides a clearer picture into the connections between greenhouse gases and climate in ancient times and will help scientists understand future climate change.

Researchers create quantum chip 1,000 times smaller than current setups

Researchers at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a quantum communication chip that is 1,000 times smaller than current quantum setups, but offers the same superior security quantum technology is known for.

Why plants panic when it rains

An international team of scientists involving The University of Western Australia's School of Molecular Sciences, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Lund University has made the surprising discovery that a plant's reaction to rain is close to one of panic.

Insect decline more extensive than suspected

Compared to a decade ago, today the number of insect species in many areas has decreased by about one-third. This is the result of a survey of an international research team led by scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The loss of species mainly affects grasslands in the vicinity of intensively farmed land—but also applies to forests and protected areas.

OmniVision announces world record for smallest image sensor

OmniVision, a developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, has announced that it has won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records with the development of its OV6948 image sensor—it now holds the record for the smallest image sensor in the world. Along with the sensor, the company also announced the development of a camera module based on the sensor called the CameraCubeChip.

Climate-fuelled flooding to imperil 300 million by 2050

Coastal areas currently home to 300 million people will be vulnerable by 2050 to flooding made worse by climate change, no matter how aggressively humanity curbs carbon emissions, scientists have warned.

Air Force's mystery space plane lands, ends 2-year mission

The Air Force's mystery space plane is back on Earth, following a record-breaking two-year mission.

Twisted physics: Magic angle graphene produces switchable patterns of superconductivity

Last year, scientists demonstrated that twisted bilayer graphene—a material made of two atom-thin sheets of carbon with a slight twist—can exhibit alternating superconducting and insulating regions. Now, a new study in the journal Nature by scientists from Spain, the U.S., China and Japan shows that superconductivity can be turned on or off with a small voltage change, increasing its usefulness for electronic devices.

Eye damage linked to popular over-the-counter vitamin that lowers cholesterol can be reversed

In a first-of-its-kind clinical report, retina specialists at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) have shown that severe vision loss from a self-prescribed high dose of over-the-counter niacin is linked to injury of a specific cell type in a patient's eye. The experts report that discontinuing the vitamin led to reversal of the condition and have published their findings in the fall issue of Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases.

Use of neonicotinoids on rice paddies linked to fishery collapse in Japan

A team of researchers with members affiliated with several institutions in Japan has found what they describe as compelling evidence of two fisheries collapsing due to use of neonicotinoid pesticides by nearby rice farmers. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their study of fishery water quality data over two decades and what they learned from it. Olaf Jensen with Rutgers University has published a Perspective piece discussing the work by the team in the same journal issue.

Anti-inflammatory agents can effectively and safely curb major depressive symptoms

Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin/paracetamol, statins, and antibiotics, can safely and effectively curb the symptoms of major depression, finds a pooled analysis of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Study suggests acetaminophen in pregnancy linked to higher risk of ADHD, autism

Exposure to acetaminophen in the womb may increase a child's risk for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder, suggests a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. The study was conducted by Xiaobing Wang, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, and colleagues. It appears in JAMA Psychiatry.


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