Science X Newsletter Week 18

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 18:

New findings suggest laws of nature 'downright weird,' not as constant as previously thought

Not only does a universal constant seem annoyingly inconstant at the outer fringes of the cosmos, it occurs in only one direction, which is downright weird.

Researchers crack COVID-19 genome signature

Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists have identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences.

Hubble captures breakup of comet ATLAS

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has provided astronomers with the sharpest view yet of the breakup of Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS). The telescope resolved roughly 30 fragments of the fragile comet on 20 April and 25 pieces on 23 April.

Archaeologists have a lot of dates wrong for North American indigenous history – but new techniques are correcting it

Columbus famously reached the Americas in 1492. Other Europeans had made the journey before, but the century from then until 1609 marks the creation of the modern globalized world.

New fossils rewrite the story of dinosaurs and change the appearance of Spinosaurus

Scientists have long opposed the idea that dinosaurs lived in aquatic habitats. Now, an international team of researchers, supported by the National Geographic Society, has discovered unambiguous evidence that Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, the longest predatory dinosaur known to science, was aquatic and used tail-propelled swimming locomotion to hunt for prey in a massive river system. It is the first time that such an adaptation has been reported in a dinosaur.

Researchers see path to quantum computing at room temperature

Army researchers predict quantum computer circuits that will no longer need extremely cold temperatures to function could become a reality after about a decade.

Researchers dig into case of geologic amnesia

A team of geologists led by the University of Colorado Boulder is digging into what may be Earth's most famous case of geologic amnesia.

Quantum electrodynamics experiment 'major step toward' large-scale implementation

The fundamental laws of physics are based on symmetries that determine the interactions between charged particles, among other things. Using ultracold atoms, researchers at Heidelberg University have experimentally constructed the symmetries of quantum electrodynamics. They hope to gain new insights for implementing future quantum technologies that can simulate complex physical phenomena. The results of the study were published in the journal Science.

Sustainable light achieved in living plants

The movie Avatar evoked an imaginary world of lush bioluminescent jungles. Now the popular fascination for sustainably glowing foliage is being realized through advances in designer genetics. This week in Nature Biotechnology, scientists have announced the feasibility of creating plants that produce their own visible luminescence.

African skeletons from early colonial Mexico tell the story of first-generation slaves

Five centuries after Charles I of Spain authorized the transport of the first African slaves to the Viceroyalty of New Spain, the ancestry of the hundreds of thousands of abducted and enslaved people forms an integral part of the genetic and cultural heritage of the Americas. The origins and experiences of those enslaved individuals, however, remains largely unknown.

Superconductivity: It's hydrogen's fault

Last summer, a new age for high-temperature superconductivity was proclaimed—the nickel age. It was discovered that there are promising superconductors in a special class of materials, the so-called nickelates, which can conduct electric current without any resistance even at high temperatures.

Newly discovered exoplanet dethrones former king of Kepler-88 planetary system

Our solar system has a king. The planet Jupiter, named for the most powerful god in the Greek pantheon, has bossed around the other planets through its gravitational influence. With twice the mass of Saturn, and 300 times that of Earth, Jupiter's slightest movement is felt by all the other planets. Jupiter is thought to be responsible for the small size of Mars, the presence of the asteroid belt, and a cascade of comets that delivered water to young Earth.

One small South Carolina county's big coronavirus problem

It may have been the dollar bills he exchanged with a cashier at a mini-mart or the merchandise he picked up while shopping at a large retail store.

Economic damage could be worse without lockdown and social distancing, study finds

The worst thing for the economy would be not acting at all to prevent disease spread, followed by too short a lockdown, according to research based on US data.

Researchers detect a supercurrent at the edge of a superconductor with a topological twist

A discovery that long eluded physicists has been detected in a laboratory at Princeton. A team of physicists detected superconducting currents—the flow of electrons without wasting energy—along the exterior edge of a superconducting material. The finding was published in the May 1 issue of the journal Science.

Textbook formulas for describing heat flow characteristics, crucial in many industries, are oversimplified, study shows

Whether it's water flowing across a condenser plate in an industrial plant, or air whooshing through heating and cooling ducts, the flow of fluid across flat surfaces is a phenomenon at the heart of many of the processes of modern life. Yet, aspects of this process have been poorly understood, and some have been taught incorrectly to generations of engineering students, a new analysis shows.

Essential oil diffusers may cause pollution in home says watchdog

Essential oil diffusers could be a source of pollution in the home, the French food and environmental safety agency warned Tuesday.

'Gargantuan' hail in Argentina may have smashed world record

A supercell thunderstorm pelted a city center in Argentina a few years ago with hailstones so large scientists suggested a new category to describe them—gargantuan hail.

Marooned on Mesozoic Madagascar: Researchers discover 66-million-year-old 'crazy beast'

In evolutionary terms, islands are the stuff of weirdness. It is on islands where animals evolve in isolation, often for millions of years, with different food sources, competitors, predators, and parasites...indeed, different everything compared to mainland species. As a result, they develop into different shapes and sizes and evolve into new species that, given enough time, spawn yet more new species.

Spitzer Telescope reveals the precise timing of a black hole dance

Black holes aren't stationary in space; in fact, they can be quite active in their movements. But because they are completely dark and can't be observed directly, they're not easy to study. Scientists have finally figured out the precise timing of a complicated dance between two enormous black holes, revealing hidden details about the physical characteristics of these mysterious cosmic objects.


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