Science X Newsletter Monday, Jan 13

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for January 13, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Hyperuniform disordered waveguides and devices for near infrared silicon photonics

TESS dates an ancient collision with our galaxy

How the solar system got its 'Great Divide,' and why it matters for life on Earth

Global database of all bird species shows how body shape predicts lifestyle

Nano-objects of desire: Assembling ordered nanostructures in 3-D

Influential electrons? Physicists uncover a quantum relationship

Tuning optical resonators gives researchers control over transparency

Carbon nanotube film produces aerospace-grade composites with no need for huge ovens or autoclaves

Another state change of the variable gamma-ray pulsar PSR J2021+4026 observed by astronomers

Team builds the first living robots

Iodine may slow ozone layer recovery

How do X-ray images helped reveal insects' physiological responses to gravity?

Meteorite contains the oldest material on Earth: 7-billion-year-old stardust

Gold bar found in Mexico was Aztec treasure: study

Glasses talk, ears focus, in OrCam's tech showcase

Physics news

Hyperuniform disordered waveguides and devices for near infrared silicon photonics

In a new report published on Scientific Reports, Milan M. Milošević and an international research team at the Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics, Etaphase Incorporated and the Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy, in the U.S. and the U.K. Introduced a hyperuniform-disordered platform to realize near-infrared (NIR) photonic devices to create, detect and manipulate light. They built the device on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform to demonstrate the functionality of the structures in a flexible, silicon-integrated circuit unconstrained by crystalline symmetries. The scientists reported results for passive device elements, including waveguides and resonators seamlessly integrated with conventional silicon-on-insulator strip waveguides and vertical couplers. The hyperuniform-disordered platform improved compactness and enhanced energy efficiency as well as temperature stability, compared to silicon photonic devices fabricated on rib and strip waveguides.

Influential electrons? Physicists uncover a quantum relationship

A team of physicists has mapped how electron energies vary from region to region in a particular quantum state with unprecedented clarity. This understanding reveals an underlying mechanism by which electrons influence one another, termed quantum "hybridization," that had been invisible in previous experiments.

Tuning optical resonators gives researchers control over transparency

In the quantum realm, under some circumstances and with the right interference patterns, light can pass through opaque media.

Divorce in a one-dimensional world

In everyday objects, there is no left without right or front without back. Just as inseparable seem to be the electron's electric charge and its "spin." But in a strictly one-dimensional quantum world, both quantum properties are separable from each other. This 50-year-old prediction has now been confirmed by an experiment conducted by a team from the Munich Center for Quantum Science and Technology (MCQST).

Memory storage for super cold computing

Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have experimentally demonstrated a novel cryogenic, or low temperature, memory cell circuit design based on coupled arrays of Josephson junctions, a technology that may be faster and more energy efficient than existing memory devices. If successfully scaled, this type of cryogenic memory array could advance a variety of applications including quantum and exascale computing.

Isotopically enriched cubic boron nitride reveals high thermal conductivity

An international team of physicists, materials scientists, and mechanical engineers has confirmed the high thermal conductivity predicted in isotopically enriched cubic boron nitride, the researchers report in the advance electronic edition of the journal Science.

Reducing the risk of blood clots in artificial heart valves

Most people are familiar with turbulence in aviation: certain wind conditions cause a bumpy passenger flight. But even within human blood vessels, blood flow can be turbulent. Turbulence can appear when blood flows along vessel bends or edges, causing an abrupt change in flow velocity. Turbulent blood flow generates extra forces which increase the odds of blood clots to form. These clots grow slowly until they may be carried along by the bloodstream and cause stroke by blocking an artery in the brain.

Astronomy & Space news

TESS dates an ancient collision with our galaxy

A single bright star in the constellation of Indus, visible from the southern hemisphere, has revealed new insights on an ancient collision that our galaxy the Milky Way underwent with another smaller galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus early in its history.

How the solar system got its 'Great Divide,' and why it matters for life on Earth

Scientists, including those from the University of Colorado Boulder, have finally scaled the solar system's equivalent of the Rocky Mountain range.

Another state change of the variable gamma-ray pulsar PSR J2021+4026 observed by astronomers

Using NASA's Fermi telescope, astronomers have detected a state change of the gamma-ray emission and spin-down rate of the variable radio-quiet gamma-ray pulsar PSR J2021+4026. Such behavior was first observed in this pulsar in 2011, and the new detection could shed light on the mechanism of state switching in gamma-ray pulsars. The finding is detailed in a paper published January 2 on

The interiors of stars

The interiors of stars are largely mysterious regions because they are so difficult to observe directly. Our lack of understanding about the physical processes there, like rotation and the mixing of hot gas, introduces considerable ambiguity about how stars shine and how they evolve. Stellar oscillations, detected through brightness fluctuations, offer one way to probe these subsurface regions. In the Sun, these vibrations are due to pressure waves generated by turbulence in its upper layers (the layers dominated by convective gas motions). Helioseismology is the name given to the study of these oscillations in the Sun, and astroseismology is the term used for other stars.

Virtual Telescope Project confirms 2020 AV2— the first asteroid found to move entirely inside the orbit of Venus

Gianluca Masi, an astrophysicist working on the Virtual Telescope Project,which he founded, has announced the confirmation of 2020 AV2—the first asteroid orbiting entirely within the orbit of Venus. Masi describes on the Virtual Telescope Project web page the discovery by a team at the Zwicky Transient Facility and his confirmation of its orbit.

Rippling ice and storms at Mars' north pole

ESA's Mars Express has captured beautiful images of the icy cap sitting at Mars' north pole, complete with bright swathes of ice, dark troughs and depressions, and signs of strong winds and stormy activity.

Stars need a partner to spin universe's brightest explosions

When it comes to the biggest and brightest explosions seen in the Universe, University of Warwick astronomers have found that it takes two stars to make a gamma-ray burst.

'Space unites us': First Iranian-American astronaut reaches for stars

Jasmin "Jaws" Moghbeli earned her fierce nickname during her time as a decorated helicopter gunship pilot who flew more than 150 missions in Afghanistan.

Oxygen line opens new perspective on the far universe

A team of astronomers of Leiden University and the University of Texas (Austin, United States) has discovered a new way to map distant galaxies. They did so by observing the fingerprint of oxygen in a distant galaxy, something that is usually not possible from Earth. The researchers will publish their findings in the journal the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Could invisible aliens really exist among us? An astrobiologist explains

Life is pretty easy to recognise. It moves, it grows, it eats, it excretes, it reproduces. Simple. In biology, researchers often use the acronym "MRSGREN" to describe it. It stands for movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition.

Wanted: Girlfriend to fly to the Moon with Japanese billionaire

A Japanese billionaire has launched an online wanted ad for a girlfriend who will fly around the Moon with him on a SpaceX rocket.

Technology news

Team builds the first living robots

A book is made of wood. But it is not a tree. The dead cells have been repurposed to serve another need.

Glasses talk, ears focus, in OrCam's tech showcase

OrCam Technologies at this year's CES made a name for itself as solutions bearer for wearable assistive technology. They have developed wearable aides for hearing and for reading. These make use of computer vision and machine learning technologies.

Samsung's home helper shaped like ball and rolled to CES

Samsung at CES showed its ball-shaped rolling robot that follows you around, beeps and performs tasks as your personal assistant. The company posted a video showing just how Ballie would help out in your home.

Cybercriminals: Things are about to get a lot more confusing for you

There are three boxes on a table. Two are made of cardboard and sealed with packaging tape. The third is made of steel with a series of locks blocking entry. Obviously, you think, as an imaginary criminal, the goods are in the steel box. After successfully picking the locks, you realize there's nothing inside. As you stare into the empty box, authorities grab your arms from behind and, all of a sudden, you're in handcuffs.

'Holy Grail' digital effects rewinding the clock for actors

With Martin Scorsese's "The Irishman" expected to battle "Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood" and "1917" for the best picture Oscar in February, all eyes are on the special effects team that made the sprawling crime epic possible.

Jack Ma, Grab eye opportunities in Singapore digital bank battle

Singapore is opening up its banking industry to digital lenders in a reform that could shake up the sector across Southeast Asia, with Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and ride-hailer Grab among those seeking licences.

Spanish delivery firm Glovo out to conquer the world

With an ambitious 27-year-old boss and a growing army of computer engineers, Spanish start-up Glovo is chasing international growth by expanding beyond food deliveries, despite criticism of the working conditions of its drivers.

Abu Dhabi-based agency calls for clean energy investments to double

An international agency promoting clean energy called Sunday for investments in renewable energy projects to be more than doubled, redirecting funds from fossil fuels.

Pioneering tool to manage media industry's digital carbon footprint

A collaboration between computer scientists at the University of Bristol and nine major media companies, including ITV and BBC, will help the media industry understand and manage the significant carbon impacts of digital content.

Hate speech countered by detecting, highlighting 'help speech'

Complete the following sentence: Rohingya refugees should go to ... —

A low-power, highly responsive and reusable sweat pH monitor

Sweat, which contains a wide range of biochemical markers, can tell us a lot about our health. Variations in sweat pH (i.e. acidity or alkalinity), for instance, can tell us whether our body is dehydrated and can aid the diagnosis of skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne and other skin infections. In diabetic patients, sweat pH may serve as a good indicator of other life-threatening conditions, for instance, a high sweat pH during excessive sweating and night sweating may have been caused by a prolonged period of low blood glucose that warrants medical intervention.

A green battery for home use in rural Africa

EPFL startup hiLyte has developed an eco-friendly battery that will allow people in Sub-Saharan Africa to light their homes and charge their cell phones. The technology is currently being tested by families in Tanzania.

First 3-D-printed, sensor-operated prosthetic arm for toddlers prototyped

A prototype for the first 3-D-printed, sensor-operated prosthetic arm designed for toddlers under two years-old has been developed by UK engineers.

Cyberspace is the next front in Iran-US conflict – and private companies may bear the brunt

Iran and other nations have waged a stealth cyberwar against the United States for at least the past decade, largely targeting not the government itself but, rather, critical infrastructure companies. This threat to the private sector will get much worse before it gets better and businesses need to be prepared to deal with it.

Corvette wins car of year award, Kia Telluride takes top SUV

The new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette won the North American Car of the Year award on Monday.

Microsoft ends free Windows 7 security updates on Tuesday

If you're still using Microsoft's Windows 7, your computer might soon be at risk.

Chat logs, emails show cavalier attitude by Boeing employees

Internal documents reveal that Boeing employees were aware of problems with the Max 737 jet ahead of two deadly crashes, and that the company emphasized speed over safety during the approval process with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Boeing says no severance package for ousted CEO Muilenburg

Former Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg, who was criticized for his handling of the 737 MAX crisis, will receive no severance package, the company disclosed Friday.

New CEO tells staff Boeing must be 'transparent'

New Boeing Chief Executive David Calhoun told employees on Monday the company must strengthen its culture, focus on "integrity" and be "transparent," according to an email sent to staff.

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