Science X Newsletter Week 24

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 24:

Quantum 'fifth state of matter' observed in space for first time

Scientists have observed the fifth state of matter in space for the first time, offering unprecedented insight that could help solve some of the quantum universe's most intractable conundrums, research showed Thursday.

Scientists detect unexpected widespread structures near Earth's core

University of Maryland geophysicists analyzed thousands of recordings of seismic waves, sound waves traveling through the Earth, to identify echoes from the boundary between Earth's molten core and the solid mantle layer above it. The echoes revealed more widespread, heterogenous structures—areas of unusually dense, hot rock—at the core-mantle boundary than previously known.

Scientists close in on 12-billion-year-old signal from the end of the universe's 'dark age'

Today, stars fill the night sky. But when the universe was in its infancy, it contained no stars at all. And an international team of scientists is closer than ever to detecting, measuring and studying a signal from this era that has been traveling through the cosmos ever since that starless era ended some 13 billion years ago.

Aqua-Fi: Underwater WiFi developed using LEDs and lasers

Aquatic internet that sends data through light beams could enable divers to instantly transmit footage from under the sea to the surface.

Astrophysicists confirm cornerstone of Einstein's Theory of Relativity

An international collaboration of scientists has recorded the most accurate confirmation to date for one of the cornerstones of Einstein's theory of general relativity, 'the universality of free fall."

Human eggs prefer some men's sperm over others, research shows

Human eggs use chemical signals to attract sperm. New research from Stockholm University and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust shows that eggs use these chemical signals to choose sperm. Different women's eggs attract different men's sperm—and not necessarily their partner's.

Titan is migrating away from Saturn 100 times faster than previously predicted

By Earthly standards, Saturn's moon Titan is a strange place. Larger than the planet Mercury, Titan is swaddled in a thick atmosphere (it is the only moon in the solar system to have one) and covered in rivers and seas of liquid hydrocarbons like methane and ethane. Beneath these is a thick crust of water ice, and beneath that may be a liquid water ocean that could potentially harbor life.

Scientists engineer one protein to fight cancer and regenerate neurons

Our lungs, bones, blood vessels and other major organs are made up of cells, and one way our bodies keep us healthy is by using protein messengers known as ligands that bind to receptors on the surfaces of cells to regulate our biological processes. When those messages get garbled, it can make us ill with a host of different diseases.

Artificial intelligence makes blurry faces look more than 60 times sharper

Duke University researchers have developed an AI tool that can turn blurry, unrecognizable pictures of people's faces into eerily convincing computer-generated portraits, in finer detail than ever before.

After a century of searching, scientists find new liquid phase

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder's Soft Materials Research Center (SMRC) have discovered an elusive phase of matter, first proposed more than 100 years ago and sought after ever since.

Widespread facemask use could shrink the 'R' number and prevent a second COVID-19 wave: study

Population-wide use of facemasks keeps the coronavirus 'reproduction number' under 1.0, and prevents further waves of the virus when combined with lockdowns, a modelling study from the universities of Cambridge and Greenwich suggests.

Milkweed, only food source for monarch caterpillars, ubiquitously contaminated

New evidence identifies 64 pesticide residues in milkweed, the main food for monarch butterflies in the west. Milkweed samples from all of the locations studied in California's Central Valley were contaminated with pesticides, sometimes at levels harmful to monarchs and other insects.

Black hole's heart still beating

The first confirmed heartbeat of a supermassive black hole is still going strong more than ten years after first being observed.

Discovery of oldest bow and arrow technology in Eurasia

The origins of human innovation have traditionally been sought in the grasslands and coasts of Africa or the temperate environments of Europe. More extreme environments, such as the tropical rainforests of Asia, have been largely overlooked, despite their deep history of human occupation. A new study provides the earliest evidence for bow-and-arrow use, and perhaps the making of clothes, outside of Africa ~48-45,000 years ago, in the tropics of Sri Lanka.

Ancient crocodiles walked on two legs like dinosaurs

An international research team has been stunned to discover that some species of ancient crocodiles walked on their two hind legs like dinosaurs and measured over three meters in length.

23andME reports people with type O blood less likely to get COVID-19

Representatives with 23andMe, a direct-to-consumer genetic testing service, have reported that people who have type O blood are slightly less likely to get COVID-19. The work has not yet been peer-reviewed, and their study has not been published in a journal.

Engineers find neat way to turn waste carbon dioxide into useful material

Chemical engineers from UNSW Sydney have developed new technology that helps convert harmful carbon dioxide emissions into chemical building blocks to make useful industrial products like fuel and plastics.

Nature provides roadmap to potential breakthroughs in solar energy technology

As policymakers increasingly turn toward science in addressing global climate change, one Michigan State University scientist is looking to nature to develop the next generation of solar energy technology.

International effort reveals 157 day cycle in unusual cosmic radio bursts

An investigation into one of the current great mysteries of astronomy has come to the fore thanks to a four-year observing campaign conducted at the Jodrell Bank Observatory.

Physicists publish worldwide consensus of muon magnetic moment calculation

For decades, scientists studying the muon have been puzzled by a strange pattern in the way muons rotate in magnetic fields, one that left physicists wondering if it can be explained by the Standard Model—the best tool physicists have to understand the universe.


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