Science X Newsletter Week 23

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 23:

Study finds that patterns formed by spiral galaxies show that the universe may have a defined structure

An analysis of more than 200,000 spiral galaxies has revealed unexpected links between spin directions of galaxies, and the structure formed by these links might suggest that the early universe could have been spinning, according to a Kansas State University study.

Discovery of ancient super-eruptions indicates the Yellowstone hotspot may be waning

Throughout Earth's long history, volcanic super-eruptions have been some of the most extreme events ever to affect our planet's rugged surface. Surprisingly, even though these explosions eject enormous volumes of material—at least 1,000 times more than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens—and have the potential to alter the planet's climate, relatively few have been documented in the geologic record.

Hubble makes surprising find in the early universe

New results from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope suggest the formation of the first stars and galaxies in the early Universe took place sooner than previously thought. A European team of astronomers have found no evidence of the first generation of stars, known as Population III stars, as far back as when the Universe was just 500 million years old.

Researchers discover a new type of matter inside neutron stars

A Finnish research group has found strong evidence for the presence of exotic quark matter inside the cores of the largest neutron stars in existence. They reached this conclusion by combining recent results from theoretical particle and nuclear physics to measurements of gravitational waves from neutron star collisions.

Astronomers discover 30 degree arc of ultraviolet emission centered on the Big Dipper

Astronomers announced the discovery of a ghostly, almost perfectly circular, arc of ultraviolet emission centered on the handle of the Big Dipper and stretching 30 degrees across the Northern sky. If the arc were extended, it would completely encircle the Big Dipper with a diameter of 60 degrees.

Humans and Neanderthals: Less different than polar and brown bears

Ancient humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans were genetically closer than polar bears and brown bears, and so, like the bears, were able to easily produce healthy, fertile hybrids according to a study, led by the University of Oxford's School of Archaeology.

Intense flash from Milky Way's black hole illuminated gas far outside of our galaxy

About 3.5 million years ago, the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy unleashed an enormous burst of energy. Our primitive ancestors, already afoot on the African plains, likely would have witnessed this flare as a ghostly glow high overhead in the constellation Sagittarius. It might have persisted for 1 million years.

Black holes? They are like a hologram

According to new research by SISSA, ICTP and INFN, black holes could be like holograms, in which all the information to produce a three-dimensional image is encoded in a two-dimensional surface. As affirmed by quantum theories, black holes could be incredibly complex, and concentrate an enormous amount of information in two dimensions, like the largest hard disks that exist in nature. This idea aligns with Einstein's theory of relativity, which describes black holes as three dimensional, simple, spherical and smooth, as depicted in the first-ever image of a black hole that circulated in 2019. In short, black holes appear to be three dimensional, just like holograms. The study, which unites two discordant theories, has recently been published in Physical Review X.

A new theorem predicts that stationary black holes must have at least one light ring

Black holes, regions in space with such an intense gravitational field that no matter or radiation can escape from them, are among the most mysterious and fascinating cosmological phenomena. Over the past five years or so, astrophysicists collected the first observations of the strong gravitational forces around black holes.

Programming 'language': Brain scans reveal coding uses same regions as speech

What goes on in the minds of programmers when they write software? This was the question posed by Prof. Dr. Janet Siegmund, Chair of Software Engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology, Prof. Dr. Sven Apel, Chair of Software Engineering at Saarland University and Dr. André Brechmann, head of the special laboratory for non-invasive imaging at the Leibniz Institute of Neurobiology in Magdeburg. To find out, the researchers used imaging techniques from the neurosciences and investigated which brain areas are activated when reading and understanding computer programs. Their amazing result: Programming is like talking. They found out that the brain regions that are most active are those that are also relevant in the processing of natural language.

One-of-a-kind microscope enables breakthrough in quantum science

Technion Professor Ido Kaminer and his team have made a dramatic breakthrough in the field of quantum science: a quantum microscope that records the flow of light, enabling the direct observation of light trapped inside a photonic crystal.

'Black nitrogen': Researchers discover new high-pressure material and solve a puzzle of the periodic table

In the periodic table of elements there is one golden rule for carbon, oxygen and other light elements: Under high pressures, they have similar structures to heavier elements in the same group of elements. But nitrogen always seemed unwilling to toe the line. However, high-pressure chemistry researchers of the University of Bayreuth have disproved this special status. Out of nitrogen, they created a crystalline structure which, under normal conditions, occurs in black phosphorus and arsenic. The structure contains two-dimensional atomic layers, and is therefore of great interest for high-tech electronics. The scientists have presented this "black nitrogen" in Physical Review Letters.

Magnetic fields force new perspective on Milky Way's black hole

Observations from Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) indicate that the magnetic field near our galaxy's core is strong enough to control the material moving around the black hole, even in the presence of the black hole's enormous gravitational forces.

City foxes are becoming more similar to domesticated dogs as they adapt to their environment

Urban red foxes are becoming more similar to domesticated dogs as they adapt to their city environment, according to a new analysis.

Could face shields replace masks in preventing COVID-19?

(HealthDay)—Face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but some people find them awkward, uncomfortable or downright unbearable to wear.

Synthetic red blood cells mimic natural ones, and have new abilities

Scientists have tried to develop synthetic red blood cells that mimic the favorable properties of natural ones, such as flexibility, oxygen transport and long circulation times. But so far, most artificial red blood cells have had one or a few, but not all, key features of the natural versions. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have made synthetic red blood cells that have all of the cells' natural abilities, plus a few new ones.

Chance of finding young Earth-like planets higher than previously thought

Research from the University of Sheffield has found that the chance of finding Earth-like planets in their early stages of formation is much higher than previously thought.

Researchers develop viable sodium battery

Washington State University (WSU) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researchers have created a sodium-ion battery that holds as much energy and works as well as some commercial lithium-ion battery chemistries, making for a potentially viable battery technology out of abundant and cheap materials.

Scientists discover what an armored dinosaur ate for its last meal

More than 110 million years ago, a lumbering 1,300-kilogram, armor-plated dinosaur ate its last meal, died, and was washed out to sea in what is now northern Alberta. This ancient beast then sank onto its thorny back, churning up mud in the seabed that entombed it—until its fossilized body was discovered in a mine near Fort McMurray in 2011.

Scientists find a switch to flip and turn off breast cancer growth and metastasis

Researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine identified a gene that causes an aggressive form of breast cancer to rapidly grow. More importantly, they have also discovered a way to "turn it off" and inhibit cancer from occurring. The animal study results have been so compelling that the team is now working on FDA approval to begin clinical trials and has published details in the journal Scientific Reports.

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