Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Jan 21

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for January 21, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

High-precision distributed sensing using an entangled quantum network

A new strategy for directly detecting light particle dark matter

Eyeing a cure: Scientists examine strategies to end of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic

Astronomers perform a comprehensive study of young open cluster NGC 1960

Astronomers use 'cosmic echolocation' to map black hole surroundings

Study uses physics to explain democratic elections

First detailed electronic study of new nickelate superconductor

Global study finds predators are most likely to be lost when habitats are converted for human use

Europe's guardian of stem cells and hopes, real and unrealistic

Plugin vulnerability finders tell WordPress users to update asap

Preparing land for palm oil causes most climate damage

Flight through the comet Chury's dust cloud resolves chemical mystery

Plants absorb lead from perovskite solar cells more than expected

Emissions of potent greenhouse gas rises, contradicting reports of huge reductions

Life's constant struggle against ferroptosis

Physics news

High-precision distributed sensing using an entangled quantum network

Quantum-enhanced metrology has been an active area of research for several years now due to its many possible applications, ranging from atomic clocks to biological imaging. Past physics research established that having a non-classical probe, such as squeezed light or an entangled spin state, can have significant benefits compared to classical probes. This idea was explored further in several recent works, some of which also considered the benefits of examining multiple distinct samples with non-classical probes.

A new strategy for directly detecting light particle dark matter

For almost a century, astronomers have hypothesized that the universe contains more matter than what can be observed by the human eye. It is now believed that approximately 80 percent of the universe's mass is made up of a type of matter that does not emit light or energy and that scientists are still unable to observe directly, referred to as dark matter.

Study uses physics to explain democratic elections

It may seem surprising, but theories and formulas derived from physics turn out to be useful tools for understanding the ways democratic elections work, including how these systems break down and how they could be improved.

First detailed electronic study of new nickelate superconductor

The discovery last year of the first nickel oxide material that shows clear signs of superconductivity set off a race by scientists around the world to find out more. The crystal structure of the material is similar to copper oxides, or cuprates, which hold the world record for conducting electricity with no loss at relatively high temperatures and normal pressures. But do its electrons behave in the same way?

Computing with spins of light

A laser system that generates spinning light particles could lead to the strong kind of computational power needed to solve complex biological problems. The system, which improves on previous ones, is described in the journal Quantum Science and Technology.

New technique to study molecules and materials on quantum simulator discovered

A new technique to study the properties of molecules and materials on a quantum simulator has been discovered.

Low power metal detector senses magnetic fingerprints

Most traditional electromagnetic methods for detecting hidden metal objects involve systems that are heavy, bulky and require lots of electricity.

Transformative 'green' accelerator achieves world's first 8-pass full energy recovery

Scientists from Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) have successfully demonstrated the world's first capture and reuse of energy in a multi-turn particle accelerator, where electrons are accelerated and decelerated in multiple stages and transported at different energies through a single beamline. This advance paves the way for ultra-bright particle accelerators that use far less energy than today's machines.

Astronomy & Space news

Astronomers perform a comprehensive study of young open cluster NGC 1960

Indian astronomers have conducted a comprehensive photometric, kinematic and variability study of a young open cluster known as NGC 1960. Results of the research shed more light on the properties of this cluster and its member stars. The study was detailed in a paper published January 13 on arXiv.org.

Astronomers use 'cosmic echolocation' to map black hole surroundings

Material falling into a black hole casts X-rays out into space—and now astronomers have used the echoes of this radiation to map the dynamic behavior and surroundings of a black hole itself.

Flight through the comet Chury's dust cloud resolves chemical mystery

Under the leadership of astrophysicist Kathrin Altwegg, Bernese researchers have found an explanation for why very little nitrogen could previously be accounted for in the nebulous covering of comets: the building block for life predominantly occurs in the form of ammonium salts, the occurrence of which could not previously be measured. The salts may be a further indication that comet impacts may have made life on Earth possible in the first place.

Global Gaia campaign reveals secrets of stellar pair

A 500-day global observation campaign spearheaded more than three years ago by ESA's galaxy-mapping powerhouse Gaia has provided unprecedented insights into the binary system of stars that caused an unusual brightening of an even more distant star.

Mars' water was mineral-rich and salty

Presently, Earth is the only known location where life exists in the Universe. This year the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three astronomers who proved, almost 20 years ago, that planets are common around stars beyond the solar system. Life comes in various forms, from cell-phone-toting organisms like humans to the ubiquitous micro-organisms that inhabit almost every square inch of the planet Earth, affecting almost everything that happens on it. It will likely be some time before it is possible to measure or detect life beyond the solar system, but the solar system offers a host of sites that might get a handle on how hard it is for life to start.

Astrophysicists find massive black holes wandering around dwarf galaxies

A new search led by Montana State University has revealed more than a dozen massive black holes in dwarf galaxies that were previously considered too small to host them, and surprised scientists with their location within the galaxies.

Source position and duration of a solar type III radio burst observed by LOFAR

Type III solar radio bursts are generated by non-thermal electron beams propagating through the solar corona and interplanetary space. In dynamic spectra, the flux of solar type III radio bursts have a time profile of rising and decay phases at a given frequency, which has been actively studied since the 1970s.

Warming up for the sun

Today, the Solar Orbiter control team is simulating launch for the penultimate time, before the sun-seeking spacecraft lifts-off for real.

Budget battle hampers EU in space

Space is becoming increasingly militarised and European satellites are under-protected, experts warned Tuesday, voicing dismay at cuts proposed in the EU's draft budget.

EU announces funding for Ariane 6 and other space-tech

The European Union on Tuesday announced 200 million euros ($222 million) of funding for the Ariane 6 rocket launcher and for small and medium-sized space technology companies.

China's 500-meter FAST radio telescope is now operational

The world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope is officially open for business, according to Xinhua, China's official state-run media. The FAST Radio Telescope saw fist light in 2016, but has been undergoing testing and commissioning since then. FAST stands for Five-hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope.

Technology news

Plugin vulnerability finders tell WordPress users to update asap

Three WordPress plugins have been picking up quite the glare of attention this month after researchers found serious vulnerabilities in them—and the numbers are sobering, in that these plugins have been installed on more than 400,000 websites—with users too wide open for cyberattacks to ignore.

Uber sells meal delivery service in India to competitor

Ride-share giant Uber has sold its meal delivery business in India to Zomato, one of its local competitors, as it steps up efforts to achieve profitability.

Facebook to boost site safety with 1,000 more UK staff

Facebook on Tuesday said it plans to create 1,000 more London-based jobs this year to improve safety on the social network with the aid of artificial intelligence.

Disney+ European streaming launch set for March 24

US entertainment behemoth Disney said Tuesday that it would begin rolling out its Disney+ streaming service in Europe on March 24, its latest challenge to established on-demand television and movie providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple.

Huawei chief says US may 'escalate' but confident on business

The chief executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei on Tuesday said he was ready for the United States to escalate a "campaign" against the firm this year but insisted it would not have a significant effect on business.

Cybercrime: Internet erodes teenage impulse controls

Many Australian teenagers are struggling to control their impulses on the internet, in a scramble for quick thrills and a sense of power online. This potentially increases their risks of becoming cybercriminals.

Using social media at work: Effect depends on platform used, says research

A new study by researchers in the U.S. suggests that the use of social media can sometimes have a negative impact on a work project and sometimes correlate positively with success. Writing in the International Journal of Information Technology and Management, the team suggests that using one of the most well-known social media systems, Facebook, can have a negative effect on project success whereas LinkedIn has a positive effect.

What will it take for the government to protect your privacy?

Is 2020 the year when the government finally does something real to protect your privacy? Up until now, it has been all on you, the consumer.

First flight of Boeing's 777X set for Thursday: sources

Following months of delay on a plane under development, Boeing plans the first flight for its new long-range 777X on Thursday, two people with knowledge of the matter said Tuesday.

Airbus to build second production line in France for A321 jets

European aircraft maker Airbus said Tuesday it will build a new production line for its hugely popular A321 single-aisle jet in France, adding to the output of the original plant in Germany.

Germany launches raids over suspected Mitsubishi diesel fraud

German prosecutors on Tuesday said they were searching business premises across the country as part of an investigation into suspected diesel emissions cheating involving Mitsubishi cars.

US military claimed 'success' in hacking ISIS: documents

The US military claims to have "successfully" disrupted the online propaganda efforts of the Islamic State in a hacking operation dating back at least to 2016, according to declassified national security documents released Tuesday.

Central banks join to study possible digital currencies

Major central banks have joined together to explore whether they should issue digital currencies as the use of cash declines and more people turn to electronic forms of paying.

South Africa Airways cancels flights in bid to save cash

Beleaguered national airline South African Airways (SAA) announced on Tuesday it was cancelling 10 domestic and one international flight in an effort to streamline services and save cash.

Unbuilding cities as high-rises reach their use-by date

We are entering a new world where skyscrapers and other huge buildings are becoming redundant and need significant overhaul or replacement. The process is called unbuilding or, if you're a bit highfalutin, deconstruction.

An integrated travel solution for Manchester

Wouldn't it be great if you could have your own travel manager on you with instant access to car hire, trains, buses and trams? And what if you could plan, book and pay for each journey using a mobile app? Now you can contribute to positive change in travel habits using shared or public transport, walking and cycling, instead of driving your car. These are all possible now thanks to the EU-funded IMOVE project introduced to speed up the uptake and unlock the scalability of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) schemes in Europe.

Boeing shares tumble as it sees mid-2020 MAX return

Boeing officially pushed back the timeframe for the 737 MAX's return on Tuesday, saying the jet will not win regulatory approval to resume service before mid-2020.


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