Science X Newsletter Thursday, Jan 2

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for January 2, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers learn more about teen-age T.Rex

Researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip

Early modern humans cooked starchy food in South Africa, 170,000 years ago

A close look at thin ice

New study estimates the global extent of river ice loss as Earth warms

All global sustainability is local

Delivering TB vaccine intravenously dramatically improves potency, study shows

Alzheimer 'tau' protein far surpasses amyloid in predicting toll on brain tissue

Heart attack discovery could give hope to people not able to be treated

Patent talk: Apple proposes speaker-illusion gift of enhanced audio

AI beats human breast cancer diagnosis

GMRT discovers a gigantic ring of hydrogen gas around a distant galaxy

Switching tracks: Reversing electrons' course through nature's solar cells

Some learning is a whole-brain affair, study shows

Researchers determine how a specific protein regulates tumor growth

Physics news

Researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip

On a hillside above Stanford University, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory operates a scientific instrument nearly 2 miles long. In this giant accelerator, a stream of electrons flows through a vacuum pipe, as bursts of microwave radiation nudge the particles ever-faster forward until their velocity approaches the speed of light, creating a powerful beam that scientists from around the world use to probe the atomic and molecular structures of inorganic and biological materials.

Flexible photonic crystal from liquid thin-film metasurface

Photonic crystals are predicted to be one of the wonders of the 21st century. In the 20th century, new understanding of the electronic band structure-the physics that determines when a solid conducts or insulates-revolutionized the world. That same physics, when applied to photonic crystals, allows us to control light in a similar manner to how we control electrons. If photonic crystals live up to their promise, all-optical transistors that consume little power and enable even more powerful computers could become a reality.

Physicists find ways to overcome signal loss in magnonic circuits

Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Kotelnikov Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics, and N.G. Chernyshevsky Saratov State University have demonstrated that the coupling elements in magnonic logic circuits are so crucial that a poorly selected waveguide can lead to signal loss. The physicists developed a parametric model for predicting the waveguide configuration that avoids signal loss, built a prototype waveguide, and tested the model in an experiment. Their paper was published in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Astronomy & Space news

GMRT discovers a gigantic ring of hydrogen gas around a distant galaxy

A team of astronomers at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) in Pune, India have discovered a mysterious ring of hydrogen gas around a distant galaxy, using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT). The ring is much bigger than the galaxy it surrounds and has a diameter of about 380,000 light-years (about 4 times that of our Milky Way).

New device in New Mexico turns back clock on astronomy

A newly forged steel instrument that can pinpoint the path of stars and planets across the night sky using the naked eye is a throwback to the years just before the advent of telescopes, returning stargazers in the hills of northern New Mexico to the essentials of astronomy in the past.

India targets new moon mission in 2020

India plans to make a fresh attempt to land an unmanned mission on the moon in 2020 after a failed bid last year, the head of the country's space programme said Wednesday.

UNC expert helps treat astronaut's blood clot during NASA mission

"My first reaction when NASA reached out to me was to ask if I could visit the International Space Station (ISS) to examine the patient myself," said Stephan Moll, MD, UNC School of Medicine blood clot expert and long-time NASA enthusiast. "NASA told me they couldn't get me up to space quickly enough, so I proceeded with the evaluation and treatment process from here in Chapel Hill."

Astronomers say SpaceX's satellites are too bright in the sky. Friday's launch will try to fix that

They were seen sparkling across the skies of Montana right around Christmas: a tidy row of lights that some mistook to be UFOs. The glowing celestial train has been spotted in California, Texas, in the Netherlands and even Chile.

Technology news

Patent talk: Apple proposes speaker-illusion gift of enhanced audio

What about enjoying enhanced virtual surround sound audio? That is a gift to the ears that has been proposed by inventors at Apple, in the form of a patent filing focused on a type of audio system, fundamentally, virtual surround sound.

Tech show offers big and flashy, up-close and (very) personal

The screens will be bigger and bolder, the cars will be smarter and some of the technology will be up-close and personal—even intimate.

Once again, iPhones top tech seller of the year, but AirPods the hit

Once again, the Apple iPhone ended the year as the best-selling tech product, with sales of some 185 million units, according to Wedbush Securities.

This simple trick stops Google, Amazon and Facebook from listening to you all the time

Smart home devices from Google, Amazon and Facebook are engineered to listen for your commands and respond to them. Usually, they only engage when you say your "wake" word such as "OK, Google" or "Hey, Google."

Volkswagen in talks to settle German 'dieselgate' mass lawsuit

Car giant Volkswagen said Thursday it would open talks on a possible settlement in a mass lawsuit brought by hundreds of thousands of German diesel car owners over emissions cheating.

Tech review: Are two screens better than one? LG's answer to flagship phone race

I've got to hand it to LG. They are trying hard to keep up in the flagship phone race.

Trump administration says it will approve largest solar farm in US

Federal officials plan to approve a massive solar farm with energy storage in the desert outside Las Vegas, paving the way for a $1-billion project that will provide electricity to Nevada residents served by billionaire Warren Buffett's NV Energy.

Amazon and Google to hit CES with digital assistants in tow

The world's biggest technology companies are heading to Las Vegas for the annual CES trade show next week, with even Apple Inc. making a rare official appearance. But don't expect any breakthrough new hardware.

In 2020, Californians will have new privacy rights online. But they might have to show ID

The internet is going to look, and work, a little different starting today. That's because Californians have new rights over how their personal information is gathered, stored and sold by any company operating in the state as of Jan. 1, thanks to the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA.

On University of Texas at Dallas' growing campus, meal-delivering robots make splashy debut

Topped with a ball cap and sporting six wheels, one of the newest members of the University of Texas at Dallas introduced itself to students and staff at the campus' annual fashion show.

Feds will investigate deadly Tesla crash in California

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the crash of a speeding Tesla that killed two people in a Los Angeles suburb, the agency announced Tuesday.

Expect faster cell phones, better weather forecasts and cashier-less stores in 2020

Better weather forecasts. Faster cellular service. Quicker wildfire detection. Easier ways to buy MTS passes. And speedy, cashier-free convenience stores.

Should Amazon pay warehouse workers while they wait for security screenings? Pa. Supreme Court will decide

Does Amazon have to pay its warehouse workers for the time they spend going though security checks after their shifts?

Has AT&T actually stopped selling your location data? We could find out in 2020

A digital rights nonprofit is pressuring a U.S. district court to force AT&T to turn over evidence that it no longer sells customers' location data collected by mobile phones to third party aggregators.


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