Science X Newsletter Week 04

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 04:

Gravity: We might have been getting it wrong this whole time

Symmetry has been one of the guiding principles in physicists' search for fundamental laws of nature. What does it mean that laws of nature have symmetry? It means that laws look the same before and after an operation, similar to a mirror reflection, the same but right is now left in the reflection.

Researchers trace coronavirus outbreak in China to snakes

Emerging viral infections—from bird flu to Ebola to Zika infections—pose major threats to global public health, and understanding their origins can help investigators design defensive strategies against future outbreaks. A new study provides important insights on the potential origins of the most recent outbreak of viral pneumonia in China, which started in the middle of December and now is spreading to Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Japan. The findings are published early online in the Journal of Medical Virology.

Ultrafast camera takes 1 trillion frames per second of transparent objects and phenomena

A little over a year ago, Caltech's Lihong Wang developed the world's fastest camera, a device capable of taking 10 trillion pictures per second. It is so fast that it can even capture light traveling in slow motion.

Researchers find a way to harness the entire spectrum of sunlight

Scientists for the first time have developed a single molecule that can absorb sunlight efficiently and also act as a catalyst to transform solar energy into hydrogen, a clean alternative to fuel for things like gas-powered vehicles.

Marburg virus found in Sierra Leone bats

Scientists have detected Marburg virus in fruit bats in Sierra Leone, marking the first time the deadly virus has been found in West Africa. Eleven Egyptian rousette fruit bats tested positive for active Marburg virus infection. Research teams caught the bats separately in three health districts.

Fat cells can sense sunlight—not getting enough increases metabolic syndrome risk

Yes, fat cells deep under your skin can sense light. And when bodies do not get enough exposure to the right kinds of light, fat cells behave differently.

Black 'rock' from AD 79 Italy eruption is part of exploded brain

It looks like a piece of rock - black, shiny and unexceptional.

Gravitational wave echoes may confirm Stephen Hawking's hypothesis of quantum black holes

Echoes in gravitational wave signals suggest that the event horizon of a black hole may be more complicated than scientists currently think.

New research provides evidence of strong early magnetic field around Earth

Deep within Earth, swirling liquid iron generates our planet's protective magnetic field. This magnetic field is invisible but is vital for life on Earth's surface: it shields the planet from harmful solar wind and cosmic rays from the sun.

Surprise discovery shakes up our understanding of gene expression

A group of University of Chicago scientists has uncovered a previously unknown way that our genes are made into reality.

First ancient DNA from West Africa illuminates the deep human past

A team of international researchers, which includes a Saint Louis University Madrid anthropologist, dug deep to find some of the oldest African DNA on record, in a new study published in Nature.

Chemists find fungal shrapnel in the air

In a discovery that has implications for our understanding of the air we breathe, UCI chemists report that they've found nanoscale fragments of fungal cells in the atmosphere. The pieces are extremely small, measuring about 30 nanometers in diameter, and much more abundant than previously thought, the researchers say in a study published this week in Science Advances.

2.229 billion years: Scientists date world's oldest meteor crater

A crater in western Australia was formed by a meteor strike more than 2.2 billion years ago and is the world's oldest known impact site, new research published Wednesday shows.

Can I mix those chemicals? There's an app for that!

Improperly mixed chemicals cause a shocking number of fires, explosions, and injuries in laboratories, businesses, and homes each year.

ESA opens oxygen plant, making air out of moondust

ESA's technical heart has begun to produce oxygen out of simulated moondust.

Local water availability is permanently reduced after planting forests

River flow is reduced in areas where forests have been planted and does not recover over time, a new study has shown. Rivers in some regions can completely disappear within a decade. This highlights the need to consider the impact on regional water availability, as well as the wider climate benefit, of tree-planting plans.

Betelgeuse continues to dim, diminishes to 1.506 magnitude

Betelgeuse keeps getting dimmer, and everyone is wondering what exactly that means. The star will go supernova at the end of its life, but that's not projected to happen for tens of thousands of years or so. So what's causing the dimming?

Ozone-depleting substances caused half of late 20th-century Arctic warming, says study

A scientific paper published in 1985 was the first to report a burgeoning hole in Earth's stratospheric ozone over Antarctica. Scientists determined the cause to be ozone-depleting substances—long-lived artificial halogen compounds. Although the ozone-destroying effects of these substances are now widely understood, there has been little research into their broader climate impacts.

Cardiac and visual degeneration arrested by taurine supplement

UNIGE researchers have discovered a new gene that causes blindness and cardiomyopathy. They have also managed to halt the progression of eye disease and treat cardiac disease by administering a food supplement.

'Universal memory' research passes new milestone

Physicists at Lancaster University have demonstrated that their invention of a new type of memory device could transform the way computers, smartphones and other gadgets work.


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