Science X Newsletter Week 36

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 36:

New evidence that the quantum world is even stranger than we thought

New experimental evidence of a collective behavior of electrons to form "quasiparticles" called "anyons" has been reported by a team of scientists at Purdue University.

Post-COVID syndrome severely damages children's hearts

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), believed to be linked to COVID-19, damages the heart to such an extent that some children will need lifelong monitoring and interventions, said the senior author of a medical literature review published Sept. 4 in EClinicalMedicine, a journal of The Lancet.

New mathematical method shows how climate change led to fall of ancient civilization

A Rochester Institute of Technology researcher developed a mathematical method that shows climate change likely caused the rise and fall of an ancient civilization. In an article recently featured in the journal Chaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science, Nishant Malik, assistant professor in RIT's School of Mathematical Sciences, outlined the new technique he developed and showed how shifting monsoon patterns led to the demise of the Indus Valley Civilization, a Bronze Age civilization contemporary to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt.

New Zealand startup eyes global wireless electrical grid

A startup energy company in New Zealand believes it can power the world with a wireless electric transmission system that can bring power to hard-to-reach areas and do so at lower cost than with traditional power lines.

Researchers find unexpected electrical current that could stabilize fusion reactions

Electric current is everywhere, from powering homes to controlling the plasma that fuels fusion reactions to possibly giving rise to vast cosmic magnetic fields. Now, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have found that electrical currents can form in ways not known before. The novel findings could give researchers greater ability to bring the fusion energy that drives the sun and stars to Earth.

Uncovering the acoustical properties of Stonehenge

A trio of researchers, two with the University of Salford, the third with English Heritage, has built a small-scale model of Stonehenge to test the acoustical properties of the ancient monument. In their paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Trevor Cox, Bruno Fazenda and Susan Greaney describe their efforts to recreate the acoustic properties of Stonehenge back when it was new, and what they learned.

Researchers predict location of novel candidate for mysterious dark energy

Astronomers have known for two decades that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, but the physics of this expansion remains a mystery. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa have made a novel prediction—the dark energy responsible for this accelerating growth comes from a vast sea of compact objects spread throughout the voids between galaxies. This conclusion is part of a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Japan's geologic history in question after discovery of metamorphic rock microdiamonds

A collaboration of researchers based in Kumamoto University, Japan have discovered microdiamonds in the Nishisonogi metamorphic rock formation in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. Microdiamonds in metamorphic rocks are important minerals because they form in continental collision zones and show that the crust has penetrated deeper than 120 km below the surface. This is the second area in the world, after the Italian Alps, that shows microdiamonds can form in metamorphic rock through subduction of oceanic plates.

Face shields, masks with valves ineffective against COVID-19 spread: study

If the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines aren't enough to convince you that face shields alone shouldn't be used to stop the spread of COVID-19, then maybe a new visualization study will.

Researchers identify five types of cat owner

Cat owners fall into five categories in terms of their attitudes to their pets' roaming and hunting, according to a new study.

LHC creates matter from light

The Large Hadron Collider plays with Albert Einstein's famous equation, E = mc2, to transform matter into energy and then back into different forms of matter. But on rare occasions, it can skip the first step and collide pure energy—in the form of electromagnetic waves.

Discovery of an ancient dog species may teach us about human vocalization

In a study published in PNAS, researchers used conservation biology and genomics to discover that the New Guinea singing dog, thought to be extinct for 50 years, still thrives. Scientists found that the ancestral dog population still stealthily wanders in the Highlands of New Guinea. This finding opens new doors for protecting a remarkable creature that can teach biologists about human vocal learning. The New Guinea singing dog can also be utilized as a valuable and unique animal model for studying how human vocal disorders arise and finding potential treatment opportunities. The study was performed by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, Cenderawasih University in Indonesia, and other academic centers.

New observations show planet-forming disc torn apart by its three central stars

A team of astronomers have identified the first direct evidence that groups of stars can tear apart their planet-forming disc, leaving it warped and with tilted rings. This new research suggests exotic planets, not unlike Tatooine in Star Wars, may form in inclined rings in bent discs around multiple stars. The results were made possible thanks to observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

How we sleep today may forecast when Alzheimer's disease begins

What would you do if you knew how long you had until Alzheimer's disease set in? Don't despair. New research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests one defense against this virulent form of dementia—for which no treatment currently exists—is deep, restorative sleep, and plenty of it.

Greenland ice sheet reached tipping point 20 years ago, new study finds

At the turn of the 21st century, unbeknownst to the world, the Greenland ice sheet likely entered a state of sustained mass loss that will persist for the foreseeable future, according to a new study. Though the finding has raised concern over the future of the ice sheet, scientists emphasize that reducing emissions remains critical.

Scientists develop new compound which kills both types of antibiotic resistant superbugs

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have developed a new compound that is able to kill both gram-positive and gram-negative antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Drone survey reveals large earthwork at ancestral Wichita site in Kansas

A Dartmouth-led study using multisensor drones has revealed a large circular earthwork at what may be Etzanoa, an archaeological site near Wichita, Kansas. Archaeologists speculate that the site was visited by a Spanish expedition, led by Juan de Oñate, a controversial conquistador, in 1601. The earthwork may be the remains of a so-called "council circle," as it is similar to several other circular earthworks in the region, according to the study's findings published in American Antiquity.

Decades-old mystery of lithium-ion battery storage solved

For years, researchers have aimed to learn more about a group of metal oxides that show promise as key materials for the next generation of lithium-ion batteries because of their mysterious ability to store significantly more energy than should be possible. An international research team, co-led by The University of Texas at Austin, has cracked the code of this scientific anomaly, knocking down a barrier to building ultra-fast battery energy storage systems.

Heaviest black hole merger is among three recent gravitational wave discoveries

Scientists observed what appears to be a bulked-up black hole tangling with a more ordinary one. The research team, which includes physicists from the University of Maryland, detected two black holes merging, but one of the black holes was 1 1/2 times more massive than any ever observed in a black hole collision. The researchers believe the heavier black hole in the pair may be the result of a previous merger between two black holes.This type of hierarchical combining of black holes has been hypothesized in the past but the observed event, labeled GW190521, would be the first evidence for such activity. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) Scientific Collaboration (LSC) and Virgo Collaboration announced the discovery in two papers published September 2, 2020, in the journals Physical Review Letters and Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Breakthrough narrows intelligent life search in Milky Way

An analytical breakthrough that could significantly improve our chances of finding extra-terrestrial life in our galaxy has been discovered by a team at The University of Manchester.


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