Science X Newsletter Friday, Jun 19

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for June 19, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Ancient societies hold lessons for modern cities

Model helps robots think more like humans when searching for objects

Three-dimensional superlattice engineering with block copolymer epitaxy

OpenAI releases powerful text generator

Is teleportation possible? Yes, in the quantum world

Simple oral health steps help improve elite athletes' performance

Are planets with oceans common in the galaxy? It's likely, NASA scientists find

The Parkinson's disease gut has an overabundance of opportunistic pathogens

Virus already in Italy by December, sewers show

Plants can camouflage odours to avoid being eaten: study

New light shone on inflammatory cell death regulator

The rate we acquire genetic mutations could help predict lifespan, fertility

Overconsumption and growth economy key drivers of environmental crises

Bacterial 'Death Stars' could be tricked into destroying themselves

Computer engineers design research platform for mixing processor cores to boost performance

Physics news

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.

BESIII reports most precise measurements of strong-phase parameters in neutral D meson decay

The BESIII collaboration has reported the most precise measurements to date of the relative strong-phase parameters in decays of neutral D mesons. These results are presented in two articles published in the journals Physical Review Letters and Physical Review D on June 15, respectively.

Single-spin electron paramagnetic resonance spectrum with kilohertz spectral resolution

A high-resolution paramagnetic resonance detection method based on the diamond nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color center quantum sensor was proposed and experimentally implemented in a study led by academician DU Jiangfeng from CAS Key Laboratory of Microscale Magnetic Resonance of University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

ATLAS Experiment measures light scattering on light and constrains axion-like particles

Light-by-light scattering is a rare phenomenon in which two photons—particles of light—interact, producing another pair of photons. Direct observation of this process at high energy had proven elusive for decades, until it was first seen by the ATLAS Experiment in 2016 and established in 2019. In a new measurement, ATLAS physicists are using light-by-light scattering to search for a hyped phenomenon beyond the Standard Model of particle physics: axion-like particles.

Measuring a tiny quasiparticle is a major step forward for semiconductor technology

A team of researchers led by Sufei Shi, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has uncovered new information about the mass of individual components that make up a promising quasiparticle, known as an exciton, that could play a critical role in future applications for quantum computing, improved memory storage, and more efficient energy conversion.

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.

Hot ring produces microwave-powered ultrasound pulses wirelessly

Ultrasound imaging is one of the workhorses in a modern hospital. It hits the trifecta of being relatively cheap, portable and non-invasive. Causing future parents to get a bit emotional over fetus images is also an appreciated perk.

Skyrmion dynamics and traverse mobility

Skyrmions could revolutionise computing exhibiting great potential in the electronic storage of information, and the key to such a breakthrough could be understanding their behaviour under applied currents.

Astronomy and Space news

Are planets with oceans common in the galaxy? It's likely, NASA scientists find

Several years ago, planetary scientist Lynnae Quick began to wonder whether any of the more than 4,000 known exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system, might resemble some of the watery moons around Jupiter and Saturn. Though some of these moons don't have atmospheres and are covered in ice, they are still among the top targets in NASA's search for life beyond Earth. Saturn's moon Enceladus and Jupiter's moon Europa, which scientists classify as "ocean worlds," are good examples.

Our deepest view of the X-ray sky

Over the course of 182 days, the eROSITA X-ray telescope has completed its first full sweep of the sky which it embarked upon about a year ago. This new map of the hot, energetic universe contains more than one million objects, roughly doubling the number of known X-ray sources discovered over the 60-year history of X-ray astronomy. Most of the new sources are active galactic nuclei at cosmological distances, marking the growth of gigantic black holes over cosmic time.

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.

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.

Flight trials for greener aviation set for take off

Commercial flight trials that use satellite-enabled communications to reduce the environmental impact of flying are scheduled to commence once normal traffic levels resume.

Technology news

Model helps robots think more like humans when searching for objects

Robots can learn how to find things faster by learning how different objects around the house are related, according to work from the University of Michigan. A new model provides robots with a visual search strategy that can teach them to look for a coffee pot nearby if they're already in sight of a refrigerator, in one of the paper's examples.

OpenAI releases powerful text generator

Artificial intelligence laboratory OpenAI announced it is making a powerful new neural network for natural language processing available for limited release to the public.

Computer engineers design research platform for mixing processor cores to boost performance

Computers are renowned for flexibility, running everything from game consoles to stock exchanges. But at the level of computation, most computers rely on arrays of identical processors called cores. Now, a team at Princeton University has built a hardware platform that allows different kinds of computer cores to fit together, allowing designers to customize systems in new ways.

How much control are people willing to grant to a personal privacy assistant?

CyLab's Jessica Colnago believes that in the future, the simple act of walking down the street is going to be a little weird.

Bringing the predictive power of artificial intelligence to health care

An important aspect of treating patients with conditions like diabetes and heart disease is helping them stay healthy outside of the hospital—before they to return to the doctor's office with further complications.

Innovative dataset to accelerate autonomous driving research

How can we train self-driving vehicles to have a deeper awareness of the world around them? Can computers learn from past experiences to recognize future patterns that can help them safely navigate new and unpredictable situations?

New system uses wind turbines to defend the national grid from power cuts

A 'smart' system that controls the storage and release of energy from wind turbines will reduce the risk of power cuts and support the increase of wind energy use world-wide, say researchers at the University of Birmingham.

Researchers model interactions between wind farm developers and landowners

Wind farms are large, highly technical projects but their development often relies on personal decisions made by individual landowners and small communities. Recognizing the power of the human element in wind farm planning, Stanford University researchers have devised a model that considers how interactions between developers and landowners affect the success and cost of wind farms.

$68 million tax breaks may go to put Tesla plant to Austin

An Austin-area school district is considering offering more than $60 million in tax incentives to attract a proposed Tesla "gigafactory" to Central Texas, Tesla revealed Thursday.

Australia under cyberattacks from state actor

Australia's prime minister revealed Friday his country was under a broad cyberattack from a "state-based actor" targeting government, public services and businesses, with suspicions falling on China.

Green aviation still has electrifying future despite virus

The aviation industry has long been under pressure to reduce pollution, and while airlines have taken a financial wallop from the coronavirus crisis it may not stop a greening of the skies.

AI-powered interviewer provides guided reflection exercises during COVID-19 pandemic

A virtual interviewer powered by natural language processing offers socially distanced support for people facing trying times. The dialog system, designed by a collaborative team from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin, takes inspiration from counseling strategies like motivational interviewing and expressive writing to guide users through written self-reflection.

Algorithms are designing better buildings

When giant blobs began appearing on city skylines around the world in the late 1980s and 1990s, it marked not an alien invasion but the impact of computers on the practice of building design.

People need to see the benefits from local renewable energy projects, and that means jobs

The Australian government's investment roadmap for low-emissions technologies promises more taxpayers' money to the gas industry but fails to deliver the policy needed for people to support a transition to renewable energy.

BMW cuts jobs, ends self-driving project with Mercedes

BMW will slash 6,000 jobs this year and freeze a major self-driving technology collaboration with rival Mercedes-Benz as the German luxury carmaker sees demand plunging because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Apple closes stores in 4 states, again, as infections rise

Apple is closing 11 stores in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina that it had reopened just few weeks ago as coronavirus infections rates in some regions in the U.S. begin to rise.

Google loses appeal against $56 million fine in France

France's highest administrative court has upheld a fine of 50 million euros ($56 million) Google was ordered to pay for not being "sufficiently clear and transparent" with Android users about their data protection options.

JD.com racks up $38B in sales in annual online shopping fest

JD.com's annual "618" online shopping extravaganza racked up a total of 269.2 billion yuan ($38 billion) worth of transactions, as consumers splurged during China's first major e-commerce sale since the pandemic began.

YouTube hit with discrimination suit by black video artists

A lawsuit filed this week in federal court accuses YouTube of discriminating against African American video makers and viewers by factoring in race when it comes to filtering or monetizing content.

CEO of scandal-hit Wirecard resigns

The founder and chief executive of scandal-hit Wirecard resigned on Friday after the German payments provider was hit with fresh fraud allegations that have left it struggling for survival.

US travel industry to see 40% drop in spending: study

Domestic US travel spending is expected to collapse this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, suffering a 40 percent decline compared to 2019, while international spending will plunge 75 percent, according to new research.

UK leads green revolution in defence and off-highway transport

As the UK seeks to deliver a 'greener' future following the government's announcement in February to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035—the University of Exeter and Supacat are helping to pave the way for a green revolution in defence and off-road transport.


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