Science X Newsletter Friday, Jun 12

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for June 12, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A reconfigurable ferroelectric field-effect transistor for frequency multiplication

Physicists publish worldwide consensus of muon magnetic moment calculation

Ingredients for life appear in stellar nurseries long before stars are born

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

Artificial intelligence makes blurry faces look more than 60 times sharper

Plug-and-play bug exposes millions of network devices

Innovative model provides insight into the behavior of the black hole at the center of our galaxy

Half the Earth relatively intact from global human influence

Type III interferons: Protective or harmful in COVID-19?

Stiffer roadways could improve truck fuel efficiency

In light of COVID-19, study looks at tradeoffs between economic value and public health

New approach to DNA data storage makes system more dynamic, scalable

Adding noise for completely secure communication

Unlocking PNA's superpowers for self-assembling nanostructures

Brain organoids with the potential to predict drug permeability

Physics news

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.

Adding noise for completely secure communication

How can we protect communications against eavesdropping if we don't trust the devices used in the process? This is one of the main questions in quantum cryptography research. Researchers at the University of Basel and ETH Zurich have succeeded in laying the theoretical groundwork for a communication protocol that guarantees 100% privacy.

Scientists propose data encoding method for the 6G standard

Researchers around the world are working on methods to transfer data in the terahertz (THz) range, which would make it possible to send and receive information more quickly than today's technology. But it is much more difficult to encode data in the THz range than in the GHz range currently used by 5G technology. A group of scientists from ITMO University has demonstrated the possibility of modifying terahertz pulses in order to use them for data transmission. They have published their results in Scientific Reports.

Quantum effect observed in 'large' metal

In the world of materials science, sometimes main discoveries can be found in unexpected places. While working on the resistivity of a type of delafossite—PdCoO2—researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Quantum Materials discovered that the electrons in their sample did not behave entirely as expected. When a magnetic field was applied, the electrons retained signatures of their wave-like nature, which could be observed even under relatively high temperature conditions and appeared in relatively large sizes. These surprising results, obtained in collaboration with several research institutions, could prove useful, for example in the quest for quantum computing. The research will be published today in the prestigious journal Science.

ATLAS Experiment searches for rare Higgs boson decays into a photon and a Z boson

The Higgs boson was discovered by the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations at CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012 through its decays into pairs of photons, W bosons and Z bosons. Since then, physicists at these experiments have gained great insight into the properties of the Higgs boson through the study of its different production and decay processes. Decays to pairs of tau leptons and bottom quarks were established, as was the coupling to top quarks. However, the question remains whether the Higgs boson may also interact with yet-unknown particles or forces.

Study shows optical fields can modify electrons in metal

Pittsburgh research coauthored by team from the Department of Physics and Astronomy reveals that optical fields have the ability to modify electronic properties of a solid.

Astronomy and Space news

Ingredients for life appear in stellar nurseries long before stars are born

https://uanews.arizona.edu/story/ingredients-life-appear-stellar-nurseries-long-stars-are-born

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.

Innovative model provides insight into the behavior of the black hole at the center of our galaxy

Like most galaxies, the Milky Way hosts a supermassive black hole at its center. Called Sagittarius A*, the object has captured astronomers' curiosity for decades. And now there is an effort to image it directly.

NASA selects Astrobotic to fly water-hunting rover to the moon

NASA has awarded Astrobotic of Pittsburgh $199.5 million to deliver NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) to the moon's South Pole in late 2023.

New Horizons conducts the first interstellar parallax experiment

For the first time, a spacecraft has sent back pictures of the sky from so far away that some stars appear to be in different positions than we'd see from Earth.

NASA's IBEX charts 11 years of change at the boundary to interstellar space

Far beyond the orbits of the planets are the hazy outlines of the heliosphere, the magnetic bubble in space that we call home. This flexible cosmic bubble stretches and shrinks in response to the sun's gasps and sighs.

Pandemic shuts Earth's eyes on the skies

It's as if the Earth has closed its eyes, some scientists say: the coronavirus pandemic has forced astronomers in northern Chile to shut down the world's most powerful telescopes, running the risk of missing out on supernovas and other spectacles in space.

Once Starship prototypes stop exploding, we could see an orbital launch this year

SpaceX has had a lot of ups and downs lately. On Saturday, May 30, the company made history when their Crew Dragon spacecraft took off from the NASA Kennedy Space Center, carrying two astronauts to space. But just a day before, SpaceX engineers and ground crews watched their fourth Starship prototype (SN4) explode on its testbed during a static fire test, making it the fourth prototype in a row to be lost.

Have you got what it takes to become an astronaut in the new era of human spaceflight?

Millions of people watched breathlessly as astronauts for the first time successfully travelled to the International Space Station (ISS) in a privately funded spacecraft, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule, on May 30. The historic launch, which marks a new chapter in human spaceflight, is likely to lead to renewed interest in spaceflight.

Image: Hubble glimpses a galaxy among many

Looking deep into the universe, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope catches a passing glimpse of the numerous arm-like structures that sweep around this barred spiral galaxy, known as NGC 2608. Appearing as a slightly stretched, smaller version of our Milky Way, the peppered blue and red spiral arms are anchored together by the prominent horizontal central bar of the galaxy.

ESAIL maritime satellite ready for launch

The ESAIL microsatellite for tracking ships worldwide—developed under an ESA Partnership Project—has completed its accommodation on Vega's new dispenser for small satellites and is ready for launch.

NASA names first woman to head human spaceflight

The NASA official who managed the inaugural private crewed flight into space last month has been promoted to become the first female head of human spaceflight, the agency said Friday, as it prepares to return people to the Moon in 2024.

NASA's Mars rover drivers need your help

You may be able to help NASA's Curiosity rover drivers better navigate Mars. Using the online tool AI4Mars to label terrain features in pictures downloaded from the Red Planet, you can train an artificial intelligence algorithm to automatically read the landscape.

Technology news

A reconfigurable ferroelectric field-effect transistor for frequency multiplication

Frequency multipliers, circuits that can produce signals with multiple frequencies, are essential components for a number of technological tools, particularly wireless communications systems. Most existing multipliers, however, are built using filtering and amplification circuits that are bulky and rapidly drain a lot of power.

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.

Plug-and-play bug exposes millions of network devices

A bug in a protocol used by virtually all Internet of Things devices exposes millions of users to potential attack, a researcher reported Monday. The fault centers on the Universal Plug and Play protocol, a 12-year-old implementation that simplifies connections among network devices such as computers, printers, mobile devices and Wi-Fi access points.

Stiffer roadways could improve truck fuel efficiency

Every time you hear a deep rumble and feel your house shake when a big truck roars by, that's partly because the weight of heavy vehicles causes a slight deflection in the road surface under them. It's enough of a dip to make a difference to the trucks' overall fuel efficiency.

New approach to DNA data storage makes system more dynamic, scalable

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a fundamentally new approach to DNA data storage systems, giving users the ability to read or modify data files without destroying them and making the systems easier to scale up for practical use.

Platform developed to help users control their personal data

The trove of digital data we generate in our daily lives can potentially make us more efficient, increase sustainability and improve our health, among other benefits, but it also poses threats to privacy.

Web inventor: Closing digital divide must be top priority

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee said Thursday the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates "the gross inequality" of a world where almost half the population is unable to connect to the internet.

Sony pulls back curtain on PlayStation 5 console

Sony on Thursday gave the world the first look at its upcoming PlayStation 5, along with a glimpse at action-packed games being tailored for the next-generation consoles.

Finding privacy choices on websites is hard for average users—but experts also find it difficult

In a study published last year, a group of CyLab researchers found that many websites make it difficult for people to find privacy settings or opt out of targeted advertising. Those findings were based on expert opinion, so the researchers wondered how hard it might be for actual users to access these choices.

Improving the operation and performance of Wi-Fi networks for the 5G/6G ecosystem

An article published in the advanced online edition of the journal Computer Communications shows that machine learning can improve the operation and performance of the future Wi-Fi networks of the 5G/6G ecosystem. The research was conducted by Marc Carrascosa and Boris Bellalta, researchers with the Wireless Networking Research Group at the UPF Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC).

TikTok rival Zynn blames Google Play removal on 'isolated incident'

Video app Zynn on Friday blamed its removal from Google Play Store on an "isolated incident" that should soon be resolved following accusations that stolen content appeared on the Chinese-made TikTok rival.

UK regulators investigate Facebook's purchase of Giphy

British regulators have opened an investigation into Facebook's recent purchase of Giphy over concerns that it will stifle competition.

PlayStation 5: These were the 10 biggest game announcements Thursday

Video game fans finally got their first look at the PlayStation 5.

Airbnb reaches settlement with New York on host data

Airbnb and New York City officials announced an agreement Friday settling a long-running dispute over a municipal requirement that the home-sharing platform disclose data on hosts.

Japan court backs Karpeles conviction for data manipulation

A Japanese high court on Thursday upheld a lower court's decision that the French head of Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange that went bankrupt after a massive hacking attack, was guilty of manipulating electronic data but not embezzlement.

Cyber attack shuts Australia's biggest brewer just as pubs reopen

A ransomware attack has shut down the biggest brewer in Australia and New Zealand, cutting supplies to pubs and restaurants just as the countries emerge from coronavirus lockdown, the company said Friday.

Airlines launch legal action against UK over quarantine

British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair said on Friday they have launched legal action against the UK government over what they said was a "flawed" coronavirus quarantine system.

Twitter deletes Chinese 'state-linked' disinformation network

Twitter said Friday it had deleted more than 170,000 accounts linked to a Chinese government disinformation campaign that targeted Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement and sought to discredit the United States.

Apple unveils WWDC schedule, including opening keynote on June 22

Apple released new details about its upcoming online Worldwide Developers Conference this month, which sheds light on new features coming to the iPhone.

'You're crazy if you're not using LinkedIn': How to master the business social network

You may be using Twitter and Facebook to promote your business, and that's fine, says David Cancel, who runs a Boston-based software company. But "you're crazy if you're not using LinkedIn," he says.

Possible leaked PlayStation 5 price would set new high mark, but it's likely not real

Video game enthusiasts may have felt a tremor in their wallets when a potential price for the upcoming PlayStation 5 console showed up online Wednesday.


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