Science X Newsletter Thursday, Jul 2

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 2, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Dye-sensitized solar cells that adapt to different light conditions

A three-dimensional phase diagram of heavy-fermion compound with competing quantum phases

How old is your dog in human years? Scientists develop better method than 'multiply by 7'

Scientists dissociate water apart efficiently with new catalysts

Astronomers observe nova V659 Sct during outburst

Tiny mineral particles are better vehicles for promising gene therapy

Slow earthquakes in Cascadia are predictable

Facebook designs ultra-thin VR eyeglasses

Crystal structure discovered almost 200 years ago could hold key to solar cell revolution

Review finds major weaknesses in evidence base for COVID-19 antibody tests

Learn from the pandemic to prevent environmental catastrophe, scientists argue

Twenty-year study tracks a sparrow song that went 'viral' across Canada

Anaplasmosis bacterium tinkers with tick's gene expression to spread to new hosts

Scientists reveal why tummy bugs are so good at swimming through your gut

Mini-marsquakes measured by InSight lander show effects of sun and wind

Physics news

A three-dimensional phase diagram of heavy-fermion compound with competing quantum phases

URu2Si2 is a metal that belongs to the family of heavy-fermion compounds in which several quantum phases (e.g., magnetism and superconductivity) can compete or coexist. These metals exhibit small energy scales that are easy to tune, a characteristic that makes them ideal for testing new physical ideas and concepts.

Researchers observe branched flow of light for the first time

A team of researchers from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology has observed branched flow of light for the very first time. The findings are published in Nature and are featured on the cover of the July 2, 2020 issue.

Thermophones offer new route to radically simplify array design, research shows

Scientists have pioneered a new technique to produce arrays of sound produced entirely by heat.

Looping X-rays to produce higher quality laser pulses

Ever since 1960, when Theodore Maiman built the world's first infrared laser, physicists dreamed of producing X-ray laser pulses that are capable of probing the ultrashort and ultrafast scales of atoms and molecules.

New method measures temperature within 3-D objects

University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have made it possible to remotely determine the temperature beneath the surface of certain materials using a new technique they call depth thermography. The method may be useful in applications where traditional temperature probes won't work, like monitoring semiconductor performance or next-generation nuclear reactors.

A path to new nanofluidic devices applying spintronics technology

Researchers in the ERATO Saitoh Spin Quantum Rectification Project in the JST Strategic Basic Research Programs have elucidated the mechanism of the hydrodynamic power generation using spin currents in micrometer-scale channels, finding that power generation efficiency improves drastically as the size of the flow is made smaller.

Spintronics: Faster data processing through ultrashort electric pulses

Physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Lanzhou University in China developed a simple concept that could significantly improve magnetic-based data processing. Using ultrashort electric pulses in the terahertz range, data can be written, read and erased very quickly. This would make data processing faster, more compact and energy efficient. The researchers confirmed their theory by running complex simulations, and the results were published in the journal NPG Asia Materials.

Astronomy and Space news

Astronomers observe nova V659 Sct during outburst

Using the TIGRE telescope, astronomers have conducted spectroscopic observations of recently discovered nova known as V659 Sct during multiple phases of its outburst. Results of this observational campaign, presented in a paper published June 24 on the arXiv pre-print server, shed more light on the properties of this event.

Mini-marsquakes measured by InSight lander show effects of sun and wind

Compared with our own planet Earth, Mars might seem like a "dead" planet, but even there, the wind blows and the ground moves. On Earth, we study the ambient seismic noise rippling mainly due to ocean activity to peek underground at the structure of the Earth's interior. Can we do the same on Mars, without an ocean?

Discovery of a luminous galaxy reionizing the local intergalactic medium 13 billion years ago

Astronomers have discovered a luminous galaxy caught in the act of reionizing its surrounding gas only 800 million years after the Big Bang. The research, led by Romain Meyer, Ph.D. student at UCL in London, UK, has been presented today at the virtual annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society (EAS).

Stellar fireworks celebrate birth of giant cluster

Astronomers created a stunning new image showing celestial fireworks in star cluster G286.21+0.17.

Image: Hubble spots feathered spiral

The spiral pattern shown by the galaxy in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is striking because of its delicate, feathery nature. These "flocculent" spiral arms indicate that the recent history of star formation of the galaxy, known as NGC 2775, has been relatively quiet. There is virtually no star formation in the central part of the galaxy, which is dominated by an unusually large and relatively empty galactic bulge, where all the gas was converted into stars long ago.

Gaia revolutionises asteroid tracking

ESA's Gaia space observatory is an ambitious mission to construct a three-dimensional map of our galaxy by making high-precision measurements of over one billion stars. However, on its journey to map distant suns, Gaia is revolutionising a field much closer to home. By accurately mapping the stars, it is helping researchers track down lost asteroids.

Unprecedented ground-based discovery of two strongly interacting exoplanets

Several interacting exoplanets have already been spotted by satellites. But a new breakthrough has been achieved with, for the first time, the detection directly from the ground of an extrasolar system of this type.

Scientists detect rapid changes in a black hole that may explain gamma-ray bursts

Some of the most massive and distant black holes in the universe emit an enormous amount of extraordinarily energetic radiation called gamma rays. This type of radiation occurs, for example, when mass is converted into energy during fission reactions that run nuclear reactors on Earth. But in the case of black holes, gamma radiation is even more energetic than that produced in nuclear reactors and is the product of very different processes; there, the gamma rays are created by collisions between light rays and highly energetic particles born in the vicinity of black holes by means of mechanisms that are still poorly understood.

Video: Flight over Korolev Crater on Mars

This movie was created using an image mosaic made from single orbit observations from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on Mars Express, which was first published in December 2018. The mosaic combines data from the HRSC nadir and colour channels; the nadir channel is aligned perpendicular to the surface of Mars, as if looking straight down at the surface.

Technology news

Dye-sensitized solar cells that adapt to different light conditions

Solar cells made of semi-transparent photovoltaic (PV) materials typically have a fixed optical transmission, which results in either high transparency or high efficiency, but rarely both. In order to perform optimally when integrated on buildings, however, they should be able to generate electricity efficiently, while also changing how much they transmit light based on the intensity of natural light in their surroundings.

Facebook designs ultra-thin VR eyeglasses

Facebook said this week it has developed the thinnest virtual reality headset in the world. Although it remains a prototype for now, the device does away with the bulky boxlike headgear commonly associated with virtual reality setups and instead sports the look of a large pair of sunglasses with lenses just under .3 inches thick.

Reverse engineering of 3-D-printed parts by machine learning reveals security vulnerabilities

Over the past 30 years, the use of glass and carbon-fiber reinforced composites in aerospace and other high-performance applications has soared along with the broad industrial adoption of composite materials.

Research reflects how AI sees through the looking glass

Things are different on the other side of the mirror.

A pinch where it hurts: Can Facebook weather the ad boycott?

On Wednesday, more than 500 companies officially kicked off an advertising boycott intended to pressure Facebook into taking a stronger stand against hate speech. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with its organizers early next week.

China tech giant Tencent duped by saucy scammers

Chinese tech giant Tencent has been fooled by impostors posing as representatives of the country's most famous chilli sauce brand, police said, in a saga that nearly pitched the two famous brands against each other in court.

Global NGOs rap Google's Fitbit buyout

An international group of consumer advocates and NGOs denounced Google's bid for sports smartwatch-maker Fitbit Thursday, saying it would threaten privacy and grant Google unfair access to a new market.

US regulators complete test flights on Boeing 737 MAX

Air safety regulators successfully completed three days of flight tests on the Boeing 737 MAX, a key step in recertifying the plane, US officials said Wednesday.

Spotify Premium Duo: New streaming option bundles two premium memberships into one plan

Spotify is launching a new subscription tier that bundles two premium memberships onto a single, more affordable plan.

Science fiction becomes fact: Teleportation helps to create live musical performance

Teleportation is most commonly the stuff of science fiction and, for many, would conjure up the immortal phrase "Beam me up, Scotty".

White Rabbit, a CERN-born technology, sets a new global standard

White Rabbit (WR) is a technology developed at CERN to provide the LHC accelerator chain with deterministic data transfer, sub-nanosecond accuracy and a synchronization precision of a few picoseconds. First used in 2012, the technology has since then expanded its applications outside the field of particle physics and is now deployed in numerous scientific infrastructures worldwide. It has shown its innovative potential by being commercialized and introduced into different industries, including telecommunications, financial markets, smart grids, the space industry and quantum computing.

Clean energy revolution may leave disadvantaged communities behind

Historically disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles County are at risk of getting left behind in the transition to lower-carbon energy sources and energy-efficient technologies, according to a new study by the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA.

NOVID is the most accurate app for contact tracing

NOVID, a contact tracing app that anonymously traces users' exposure to COVID-19, is the first such app in the world to demonstrate the distance accuracy required to perform contact tracing without significant false positives. In a newly released systematic experiment, the app correctly classified 99.8% of the faraway interactions as such.

Printed flexible electronics—one step closer to smart clothing

The researchers of the University of Oulu, together with their partners from VTT Research Center and Polar Electro, developed a new system of electrodes that can be implemented into our clothing and withstand our daily routines.

Team develops remote specimen collection robot

The Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) under the Ministry of Science and ICT developed a remote specimen collection robot that eliminates direct contact between medical personnel and patients.

European police crack encrypted phones, arrest hundreds

European police delivered a major blow to organized crime after cracking an encrypted communications network, allowing them to covertly watch "over the shoulder" of criminals in real time as they planned drug trafficking, arms sales, assassinations and torture, officers announced Thursday.

Tesla 2Q deliveries rise over 1Q despite factory shutdown

Tesla says it delivered more electric vehicles worldwide in the second quarter than it did in the first. The increase came even though coronavirus restrictions forced it to shut down its only U.S. factory for much of the period.

Tesla battery cooling system is subject of federal safety probe

Federal safety officials are probing allegations of defective cooling systems installed in early-model Tesla vehicles.

US Senate panel OKs online child protection bill amid privacy fears

A US Senate panel Thursday approved legislation aimed at combatting online child exploitation as civil liberties activists warned the measure could lead to an array of constitutional and privacy problems.

Workers: Tesla threatens firing if they don't return to jobs

Some Tesla workers and labor activists say the company is threatening to fire employees who haven't returned to the company's California factory since it reopened because they're afraid of catching the coronavirus.

The remote British village that built one of the fastest internet networks in the UK

Nestled between Lancashire's stand-out beauty, the Forest of Bowland, and the breathtaking vistas of the Yorkshire Dales, the serene, postcard-perfect village of Clapham seems far removed from the COVID-19 pandemic. But when the British government announced a nationwide lockdown in mid-March, Clapham went on high alert.

Analysts: Fire at Iran nuclear site hit centrifuge facility

A fire and an explosion struck a centrifuge production plant above Iran's underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility early Thursday, analysts said, one of the most-tightly guarded sites in all of the Islamic Republic after earlier acts of sabotage there.

American and 4 other airlines reach loan agreements with US

American Airlines and four smaller carriers have reached agreement with the government for billions more in federal loans, a sign of the industry's desperate fight to survive a downturn in air travel caused by the virus pandemic.

Airbus seeks aid to minimise job cuts as workers fret

European aircraft builder Airbus dangled a lifeline Thursday for some employees menaced by 15,000 layoffs planned worldwide over the coronavirus, saying government aid could rescue thousands of factory workers fearing for their livelihoods.

Africa airline industry lost $55 bn from virus shutdowns

Africa's travel and tourism industry has lost $55-billion due to the closure of borders to limit the spread of coronavirus, the African Union said Thursday.

Facebook's Zuckerberg to meet activists, won't act on boycott

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to a new meeting with activists on the social media giant's content policies while vowing to resist pressure from an advertiser boycott, the company said Thursday.

Facebook to advise use of masks amid latest virus spike

Facebook said Thursday it would offer reminders to its users to wear protective masks, responding to the latest surge in US coronavirus cases, which has sparked renewed fears of containing the pandemic.


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Before the iPhone, this flip phone change the world

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11 years before iPhone, the first flip phone changed the world
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