Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Dec 22

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for December 22, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Study sheds more light on the complex morphology of supernova remnant IC 443

Researchers find hydrogen-supported life beneath glaciers

Two dimensional heterostructures composed of layers with slightly different lattice vectors

A groggy climate giant: subsea permafrost is still waking up after 12,000 years

Hormone metabolites found in poop give researchers new insight into whale stress

Light signal emitted during photosynthesis used to quickly screen crops

Regulatory RNAs promote breast cancer metastasis

Neuroscientists isolate promising mini antibodies against COVID-19 from a llama

Scientists discover mutations associated with early onset dementia

Even after long-term exposure, bionic touch does not remap the brain

Too much of a good thing—persistent IFN╬│ depletes progenitor blood cells via BST2

Controlling cardiac waves with light to better understand abnormally rapid heart rhythms

Pregnant women with COVID-19 pass no virus but fewer-than-expected antibodies to newborns

Cornell University to extract energy from manure to meet peak heating demands

Masks not enough to stop COVID-19's spread without distancing: study

Physics news

Masks not enough to stop COVID-19's spread without distancing: study

Simply wearing a mask may not be enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without social distancing.

Diamonds are not just for jewelry anymore

When it comes to the semiconductor industry, silicon has reigned as king in the electronics field, but it is coming to the end of its physical limits.

Multiparty entanglement: When everything is connected

Entanglement is a ubiquitous concept in modern physics research: it occurs in subjects ranging from quantum gravity to quantum computing. In a publication that appeared in Physical Review Letters last week, UvA-IoP physicist Michael Walter and his collaborator Sepehr Nezami shed new light on the properties of quantum entanglement—in particular when many particles are involved.

Three flavors are better than one—in ice cream and supernova research

Any Neapolitan ice cream lover knows three flavors are better than one. New research from Northwestern University has found that by studying all three "flavors" involved in a supernova, they've unlocked more clues as to how and why stars die.

New experiment provides better understanding of fundamental photo-induced X-ray processes

An international team from Germany, Sweden, Russia and the USA, led by scientists from European XFEL, has published the results of an experiment that could provide a blueprint for the analysis of transitions states in atoms and molecules. This would open up new opportunities to gain insights into important processes such as photocatalysis, elementary steps in photosynthesis and radiation damage.

Putting on the pressure improves glass for fiber optics

Rapid, accurate communication worldwide is possible via fiber optic cables, but as good as they are, they are not perfect. Now, researchers from Penn State and AGC Inc. in Japan suggest that the silica glass used for these cables would have less signal loss if it were manufactured under high pressure.

Chemists describe a new form of ice

Scientists from the United States, China and Russia have described the structure and properties of a novel hydrogen clathrate hydrate that forms at room temperature and relatively low pressure. Hydrogen hydrates are a potential solution for storage and transportation of hydrogen, the most environmentally friendly fuel. The research was published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Astronomy and Space news

Study sheds more light on the complex morphology of supernova remnant IC 443

Italian astronomers have developed a 3-D model for the supernova remnant (SNR) IC 443 in order to investigate the morphology of this source. The model allowed the researchers to gain more insights into the complex morphology of SNR IC 443 and provided crucial information about X-ray emission from this object. The study was detailed in a paper published December 15 on arXiv.org.

An updated way to calculate the likelihood of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations

A small team of researchers from California Institute of Technology, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Santiago High School has developed an updated version of an old equation to calculate the likely existence of extraterrestrial civilizations. The team has uploaded their paper to the arXiv preprint server.

China's new Long March-8 rocket makes first flight

China's new carrier rocket, the Long March-8, made its maiden flight on Tuesday, the country's space agency said, the first phase of a strategy to deploy launch vehicles that can be reused.

Image: Instruments installed on Euclid spacecraft

The optical and infrared instruments of Euclid, ESA's mission to study dark energy and dark matter, have passed the qualification and acceptance review and are now fully integrated into the spacecraft's payload module. This marks an important step forward in the assembly of the Euclid space telescope, which is scheduled for launch in 2022.

The world's oldest story? Astronomers say global myths about 'seven sisters' stars may reach back 100,000 years

In the northern sky in December is a beautiful cluster of stars known as the Pleiades, or the "seven sisters." Look carefully and you will probably count six stars. So why do we say there are seven of them?

A blazar in the early Universe

The supersharp radio 'vision' of the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) has revealed previously unseen details in a jet of material ejected at three-quarters the speed of light from the core of a galaxy some 12.8 billion light-years from Earth. The galaxy, dubbed PSO J0309+27, is a blazar, with its jet pointed toward Earth, and is the brightest radio-emitting blazar yet seen at such a distance. It also is the second-brightest X-ray emitting blazar at such a distance.

Technology news

Cornell University to extract energy from manure to meet peak heating demands

Cornell University is developing a system to extract energy from cattle manure to meet the campus's peak demands for heat in the winter months. In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, scientists involved with the project give a detailed analysis of the issues required to make this work, including scientific, economic, and energy policy considerations.

OnePlus 8T Concept phone has color-shifting, camera-camouflage features

As smartphone manufacturers race to reach faster transmission speeds, greater storage capacities and quicker charging times, it's a change of pace to find a new phone that ignores all of those pursuits.

The first endovascular technology that can explore capillaries

At EPFL, Lucio Pancaldi, a Ph.D. student, and Selman Sakar, an assistant professor, have harnessed hydrokinetic energy (mechanical energy resulting from the motion of liquids) to get an instrument into places in the human body without resorting to invasive methods. "Large proportions of the brain remain inaccessible because the existing tools are unwieldy, and exploring the tiny, intricate cerebral vascular system without causing tissue damage is extremely difficult," says Sakar.

It's electrifying! This is how Earth could be entirely powered by sustainable energy

Can you imagine a world powered by 100% renewable electricity and fuels? It may seem fantasy, but a collaborative team of scientists has just shown this dream is theoretically possible—if we can garner global buy-in.

Australian regulator delays decision on Google-Fitbit merger

Australia's competition regulator on Tuesday delayed for three months its decision on Google's plan to buy fitness gadget maker Fitbit for $2.1 billion despite the European Union giving conditional approval to the deal.

Researchers identify which West Coast regions hold greatest wave energy potential

Washington and Oregon coastlines are home not only to sea stacks and vistas, they also hold the most promising areas to pull power from West Coast waves, according to a recent study published in the journal Energy and led by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Wi-Fi technology with fibre-optic-like performance for Industry 4.0

Despite significant advances in wireless technology, the manufacturing industry continues to turn to wired forms of communication such as Ethernet or fiber optics for its most critical tasks. A new study by Cristina Cano and the full professor Xavier Vilajosana, researchers from the Wireless Networks (WiNe) group at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), opens the door to the use of wireless technologies with power and reliability that are comparable to fiber optics and that could replace cabled connections. The research project, published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, has created the first parameterization of a millimeter-band signal propagation model, a wireless technology capable of transmitting a huge amount of data per second, in an industrial environment. According to the researchers, this new model is the first step towards understanding how this type of signal behaves in an industrial plant and could have a significant impact on the development of Industry 4.0.

Anti-counterfeiting technology performs reliable AI authentication under extreme conditions

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have invented a new method of anti-counterfeiting called DeepKey. This security innovation uses two dimensional (2-D)-material tags and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled authentication software.

Google, Facebook, coordinated antitrust response: report

Google and Facebook worked together to help fend off an antitrust investigation into the two tech giants which dominate digital advertising, according to a media report citing a draft of a state lawsuit.

Can we be manipulated into sharing private info online? Yes, says study

Online users are more likely to reveal private information based on how website forms are structured to elicit data, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have determined.

Lyft to offer 60 million free and discounted rides to vaccination sites

Lyft announced it would provide 60 million rides to and from vaccination sites for low-income, uninsured and at-risk communities as vaccines roll out.

Cyberattack hit key US Treasury systems: senator

Hackers broke into systems used by top US Treasury officials during a massive cyberattack on government agencies and may have stolen essential encryption keys, a senior lawmaker said Monday.

EasyJet delays delivery of Airbus planes

EasyJet has delayed delivery of new Airbus planes, the British no-frills airline announced Tuesday, as the coronavirus pandemic destroys demand for air travel.

EA Sports' sees momentum in 'Madden NFL 21' and other sports games amid coronavirus pandemic

Professional and college sports have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. But sports played on virtual athletic fields and courts have thrived.


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