Science X Newsletter Week 25

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 25:

Research sheds new light on intelligent life existing across the galaxy

Is there anyone out there? This is an age-old question that researchers have now shed new light on with a study that calculates there could be more than 30 intelligent civilizations throughout our Galaxy. This is an enormous advance over previous estimates which spanned from zero to billions.

Scientists reveal a lost eight billion light years of universe evolution

Last year, the Advanced LIGO-VIRGO gravitational-wave detector network recorded data from 35 merging black holes and neutron stars. A great result—but what did they miss? According to Dr. Rory Smith from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Gravitational Wave Discovery at Monash University in Australia—it's likely there are another 2 million gravitational wave events from merging black holes, "a pair of merging black holes every 200 seconds and a pair of merging neutron stars every 15 seconds" that scientists are not picking up.

Stunning new Hubble images reveal stars gone haywire

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope demonstrates its full range of imaging capabilities with two new images of planetary nebulae. The images depict two nearby young planetary nebulae, NGC 6302, dubbed the Butterfly Nebula, and NGC 7027. Both are among the dustiest planetary nebulae known and both contain unusually large masses of gas, which made them an interesting pair for study in parallel by a team of researchers.

Spectacular bird's-eye view? Hummingbirds see diverse colors humans can only imagine

To find food, dazzle mates, escape predators and navigate diverse terrain, birds rely on their excellent color vision.

Massive Sahara dust plume headed for southeastern US, could bring sensational sunsets

The southeastern U.S. is getting dusted by the Sahara.

As many as six billion Earth-like planets in our galaxy, according to new estimates

To be considered Earth-like, a planet must be rocky, roughly Earth-sized and orbiting Sun-like (G-type) stars. It also has to orbit in the habitable zones of its star—the range of distances from a star in which a rocky planet could host liquid water, and potentially life, on its surface.

First egg from Antarctica is big and might belong to an extinct sea lizard

In 2011, Chilean scientists discovered a mysterious fossil in Antarctica that looked like a deflated football. For nearly a decade, the specimen sat unlabeled and unstudied in the collections of Chile's National Museum of Natural History, with scientists identifying it only by its sci-fi movie-inspired nickname—"The Thing."

Astronomers detect regular rhythm of radio waves, with origins unknown

A team of astronomers, including researchers at MIT, has picked up on a curious, repeating rhythm of fast radio bursts emanating from an unknown source outside our galaxy, 500 million light years away.

Is teleportation possible? Yes, in the quantum world

"Beam me up" is one of the most famous catchphrases from the Star Trek series. It is the command issued when a character wishes to teleport from a remote location back to the Starship Enterprise.

Flushing toilets create clouds of virus-containing particles

Researchers used a computer simulation to show how a flushing toilet can create a cloud of virus-containing aerosol droplets that is large and widespread and lasts long enough that the droplets could be breathed in by others.

Teaching physics to neural networks removes 'chaos blindness'

Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered that teaching physics to neural networks enables those networks to better adapt to chaos within their environment. The work has implications for improved artificial intelligence (AI) applications ranging from medical diagnostics to automated drone piloting.

A cosmic baby is discovered, and it's brilliant

Astronomers tend to have a slightly different sense of time than the rest of us. They regularly study events that happened millions or billions of years ago, and objects that have been around for just as long. That's partly why the recently discovered neutron star known as Swift J1818.0-1607 is remarkable: A new study in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters estimates that it is only about 240 years old—a veritable newborn by cosmic standards.

Achievement isn't why more men are majoring in physics, engineering and computer science

While some STEM majors have a one-to-one male-to-female ratio, physics, engineering and computer science (PECS) majors consistently have some of the largest gender imbalances among U.S. college majors—with about four men to every woman in the major. In a new study published today in the peer-reviewed research journal, Science, NYU researchers find that this disparity is not caused by higher math or science achievement among men. On the contrary, the scholars found that men with very low high-school GPAs in math and science and very low SAT math scores were choosing these math-intensive majors just as often as women with much higher math and science achievement.

Newly observed phenomenon could lead to new quantum devices

An exotic physical phenomenon known as a Kohn anomaly has been found for the first time in an unexpected type of material by researchers at MIT and elsewhere. They say the finding could provide new insights into certain fundamental processes that help determine why metals and other materials display the complex electronic properties that underlie much of today's technology.

Coal-burning in Siberia led to climate change 250 million years ago

A team of researchers led by Arizona State University (ASU) School of Earth and Space Exploration professor Lindy Elkins-Tanton has provided the first ever direct evidence that extensive coal burning in Siberia is a cause of the Permo-Triassic Extinction, the Earth's most severe extinction event. The results of their study have been recently published in the journal Geology.

Super-potent human antibodies protect against COVID-19 in animal tests

A team led by Scripps Research has discovered antibodies in the blood of recovered COVID-19 patients that provide powerful protection against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease, when tested in animals and human cell cultures.

Does intelligent life exist on other planets? Technosignatures may hold new clues

In 1995 a pair of scientists discovered a planet outside our solar system orbiting a solar-type star. Since that finding—which won the scientists a portion of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics—researches have discovered more than 4,000 exoplanets, including some Earth-like planets that may have the potential to harbor life.

Virus already in Italy by December, sewers show

The coronavirus was present in two large Italian cities in December, more than two months before the first case was detected, a national health institute study of waste water has found.

Honeybee lives shortened after exposure to two widely used pesticides

The lives of honeybees are shortened—with evidence of physiological stress—when they are exposed to the suggested application rates of two commercially available and widely used pesticides, according to new Oregon State University research.

New research hints at the presence of unconventional galaxies containing two black holes

A Clemson University scientist has joined forces with an international team of astronomers to identify periodic gamma-ray emissions from 11 active galaxies, paving the way for future studies of unconventional galaxies that might harbor two supermassive black holes at their centers.


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