Science X Newsletter Monday, Feb 17

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for February 17, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Increasing the service life of polymer electrolyte fuel cells with a nanodispersed ionomer

An approach to fabricate stable perovskite quantum dot solar cells with high power conversion efficiencies

Perovskites reveal huge resettable single-photon response

Exploring why mindfulness meditation has positive mental health outcomes

Globular cluster system of NGC 4546 studied in detail

New green technology generates electricity 'out of thin air'

Fast-charging, long-running, bendy energy storage breakthrough

Seeding oceans with iron may not impact climate change

Atomic structures mapped in measles, mumps, flu and RSV

Mediterranean rainfall immediately affected by greenhouse gas changes

Study suggests the manosphere is becoming more toxic

Test measures immune response to improve ovarian cancer diagnosis

Extreme weather could bring next recession

The paradox of dormancy: Why sleep when you can eat?

Cutting off kidney cancer at its roots

Physics news

Exotic atomic nuclei reveal traces of new form of superfluidity

Recent observations of the internal structure of the rare isotope ruthenium-88 shed new light on the internal structure of atomic nuclei, a breakthrough that could also lead to further insights into how some chemical elements in nature and their isotopes are formed.

Scientists unlock low-cost material to shape light for industry

Researchers in Australia have found a way to manipulate laser light at a fraction of the cost of current technology.

New all-sky search reveals potential neutrino sources

For over a century, scientists have been observing very high-energy charged particles called cosmic rays arriving from outside Earth's atmosphere. The origins of these particles are very difficult to pinpoint because the particles themselves do not travel on a straight path to Earth. Even gamma rays, a type of high-energy photon that offers a little more insight, are absorbed when traversing long distances.

Lensless on-chip microscopy platform shows slides in full view

When you look through a microscope, whatever is on the stage is magnified to a degree the naked eye can hardly imagine. While traditional microscopy techniques allow miniscule details to come into view, standard equipment doesn't provide us with the full picture.

Astronomy & Space news

Globular cluster system of NGC 4546 studied in detail

Using the Gemini-South telescope, astronomers have performed a photometric study of the lenticular galaxy NGC 4546. Results of the new research provide more clues about the structure and nature of the galaxy's globular cluster system. The study was published February 7 on arXiv.org.

A submillimeter survey of protostars

The formation of stars involves the complex interactions of many phenomena, including gravitational collapse, magnetic fields, turbulence, stellar feedback, and cloud rotation. The balance between these effects varies significantly between sources, and astronomers have adopted a statistical approach to understand the typical, early-stage star formation sequence. The earliest stage is called the protostellar stage. For low-mass stars (those with masses about that of the sun) this stage is usually separated into two subclasses as the star grows by accreting material from a massive envelope whose size can extend between five hundred and ten thousand astronomical units (AU) in a process that can last roughly half a million years. There are considerable uncertainties, however: some gas is ejected back into the medium in strong outflows, for example.

Earth climate models and the search for life on other planets

In a generic brick building on the northwestern edge of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center campus in Greenbelt, Maryland, thousands of computers packed in racks the size of vending machines hum in a deafening chorus of data crunching. Day and night, they spit out 7 quadrillion calculations per second. These machines collectively are known as NASA's Discover supercomputer and they are tasked with running sophisticated climate models to predict Earth's future climate.

SpaceX re-useable rocket misses landing ship

SpaceX successfully launched its latest cluster of high-speed internet satellites into orbit Monday but was unable to land its rocket booster on an autonomous ship, missing a key milestone.

Image: Hubble embraces spiral with open arms

The spiral galaxy NGC 2008 sits center stage, its ghostly spiral arms spreading out toward us, in this image captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Technology news

An approach to fabricate stable perovskite quantum dot solar cells with high power conversion efficiencies

Past research studies have highlighted the potential of perovskite materials for the development of several technological tools, including photovoltaics (PVs) and optoelectronics. Solution-processed organic-inorganic lead halide perovskite materials have been found to be particularly promising, especially those with a common ABX formulation, where A is an organic cation, B is lead (Pb) or tin (Sn) and X is a halide.

Fast-charging, long-running, bendy energy storage breakthrough

While at the proof-of-concept stage, it shows enormous potential as a portable power supply in several practical applications including electric vehicles, phones and wearable technology.

Study suggests the manosphere is becoming more toxic

A team of researchers from EPFL, Binghamton University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University College London, Boston University and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics has found evidence showing that the "manosphere" is becoming more misogynistic and toxic. They have written a paper describing their findings and have uploaded it to the arXiv preprint server.

Las Vegas excavation gives new meaning to Tunnel Vision

Stress balls and sneakers have been valuable assets for any suitcase traveler going to Las Vegas on assignment. Nobody needs a reminder who has travelled to Vegas for work purposes that getting from place A to place B requires leg work or a lot of patience sitting in traffic. But then there is Elon Musk.

Using a shape memory polymer as a robot gripper

A team of researchers at Zhejiang University has created a new robot gripper using a shape memory polymer. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes the material, its use as a gripper, and how well it worked.

UAE issues licence for first Arab nuclear power plant

The United Arab Emirates said Monday it has issued an operating licence for a reactor at its Barakah nuclear power plant, the first in the Arab world, hailing it as a "new chapter".

German court halts site preparation for Tesla factory

A German court has temporarily halted the site preparation for Tesla Inc.'s first electric car factory in Europe.

Death in the 21st century: Our digital afterlife

Social media pages and accounts often turn into memorials when someone dies, giving people a chance to still feel connected to those they've lost. But after we're gone, who owns the information on our pages? Who can access them?

LTE vulnerability: Attackers can impersonate other mobile phone users

Exploiting a vulnerability in the mobile communication standard LTE, also known as 4G, researchers at Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum can impersonate mobile phone users. Consequently, they can book fee-based services in their name that are paid for via the mobile phone bill—for example, a subscription to streaming services.

Fear of Big Brother guides EU rules on AI

Amid fears of a Big Brother-style society ruled by machines, the EU will urge authorities and companies to think hard before rolling out facial recognition technology.

Zuckerberg meets EU officials as bloc's new tech rules loom

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met top European Union officials on a visit to Brussels on Monday, days before the bloc is expected to release new proposals on regulating artificial intelligence.

Facebook's Zuckerberg calls for new-style regulator for EU

Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg called for a new type of big tech regulator as he lobbied the EU officials who have become the world's top enforcers on Silicon Valley.

EU threatens tougher rules on hate speech after Facebook meeting

A top EU official for digital policy warned Monday that big tech companies could face tougher rules and penalties in Europe if they failed to adequately curb hate speech and disinformation.

Automakers in China gradually reopen after virus shutdown

Automakers are reopening factories in China that were idled by anti-virus controls as they try to reverse a sales slump in their biggest market.

Federal judge rips Bay Area delivery firm DoorDash: 'This hypocrisy will not be blessed'

A Bay Area federal judge has mocked and slammed gig-economy meal-delivery firm DoorDash, after thousands of its workers joined together to weaponize a controversial labor-control tactic used by the company and many Silicon Valley technology businesses.

Amazon flies Pan-African flag as signal of support, commitment to improve diversity

An enormous red, black and green Pan-African flag billowed in the breezeway between two Amazon Seattle headquarters buildings Thursday, a signal, company leaders said, of the commerce giant's recognition of diversity and commitment to improvement.

Alstom agrees to buy Bombardier's rail division

French company Alstom said on Monday it had agreed to buy the rail division of Bombardier, speeding up the Canadian firm's fire sale.


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Amazon wants to literally whip stuff into orbit

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The Future Is Neural Nets Saving the Planet

17 February 2020

Top Story

Neural Network Says These 11 Asteroids Could Smash Into Earth

A team of researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands have developed a neural network called "Hazardous Object Identifier" that they say can predict if an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. Their new AI singled out 11 asteroids that were not previously classified by NASA as hazardous, and which were larger than 100 meters in diameter — big enough to explode with the force of hundreds of nuclear weapons if they impacted Earth, potentially leveling entire cities.

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HEADLINES FROM TODAY

ONE Scientists Propose Gene Hack to Make Cocaine Less Fun

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TWO These Unsettling Medical Masks Look Like Human Faces

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THREE Endangered Gorilla Community Ravaged by Exotic Man-Borne Disease

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FOUR Bomb-Sniffing Cyborg Locusts? Bomb-Sniffing Cyborg Locusts.

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FIVE Amazon Patented a System That Literally Whips Stuff Into Orbit

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OF INTEREST

China Locks Up Activist Who Criticized State's COVID-19 Response

On Saturday evening, Chinese authorities arrested Xu Zhiyong, a legal expert and civil rights activist who criticized the government's response to the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19. Xu called on President Xi Jinping to resign in an essay earlier this month, The Guardian reports. In it, Xu specifically pointed toward the government's initial choice to censor whistleblowers and keep the outbreak quiet rather than disseminating warnings and safety tips to the public.

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NEWS IN QUOTES

" The future is to have all these devices around you, but... Your circle of trust will have to be much smaller, sometimes down to your actual body. "

 
Ben Zhao, computer science professor at the University of Chicago



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