Science X Newsletter Friday, Oct 23

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for October 23, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Precision metrology closes in on dark matter

How the appreciation of beauty can foster perceptual learning

PESAO: An experimental setup to evaluate the perceptions of freely moving humans

New study details atmosphere on 'hot Neptune' 260 light years away that 'shouldn't exist'

Timekeeping theory combines quantum clocks and Einstein's relativity

New test method to standardize immunological evaluation of nucleic acid nanoparticles

New population of immune cells could play a role in multiple sclerosis

Seabird response to abrupt climate change 5,000 years ago transformed Falklands ecosystems: study

Coating implants with 'artificial bone' to prevent inflammation

Pump down the volume: Study finds noise-cancelling formula

New study first to link plastic ingestion and dietary metals in seabirds

Correcting each other's mistakes—why cells stuck together in early evolution

Producing less costly, greener hydrogen peroxide

Newly discovered mechanism controls cancer cell growth and metabolism

Fish exposed to estrogen produce fewer males

Physics news

Precision metrology closes in on dark matter

Optical clocks are so accurate that it would take an estimated 20 billion years—longer than the age of the universe—to lose or gain a second. Now, researchers in the U.S. led by Jun Ye's group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado have exploited the precision and accuracy of their optical clock and the unprecedented stability of their crystalline silicon optical cavity to tighten the constraints on any possible coupling between particles and fields in the standard model of physics and the so-far elusive components of dark matter.

Timekeeping theory combines quantum clocks and Einstein's relativity

A phenomenon of quantum mechanics known as superposition can impact timekeeping in high-precision clocks, according to a theoretical study from Dartmouth College, Saint Anselm College and Santa Clara University.

Pump down the volume: Study finds noise-cancelling formula

Noisy, open-plan offices full of workers hunched over desks while wearing noise canceling headphones could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to new research from The Australian National University (ANU).

Time crystals lead researchers to future computational work

Time crystals sound like something out of science fiction, but they may be the next major leap in quantum network research. A team based in Japan has proposed a method to use time crystals to simulate massive networks with very little computing power.

Exploring the source of stars and planets in a laboratory

A new method for verifying a widely held but unproven theoretical explanation of the formation of stars and planets has been proposed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The method grows from simulation of the Princeton Magnetorotational Instability (MRI) Experiment, a unique laboratory device that aims to demonstrate the MRI process that is believed to have filled the cosmos with celestial bodies.

Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) exhibit extreme pulses

Extreme events occur in many observable contexts. Nature is a prolific source: rogue water waves surging high above the swell, monsoon rains, wildfire, etc. From climate science to optics, physicists have classified the characteristics of extreme events, extending the notion to their respective domains of expertise. For instance, extreme events can take place in telecommunication data streams. In fiber-optic communications where a vast number of spatio-temporal fluctuations can occur in transoceanic systems, a sudden surge is an extreme event that must be suppressed, as it can potentially alter components associated with the physical layer or disrupt the transmission of private messages.

Astronomy and Space news

New study details atmosphere on 'hot Neptune' 260 light years away that 'shouldn't exist'

A team led by an astronomer from the University of Kansas has crunched data from NASA's TESS and Spitzer space telescopes to portray for the first time the atmosphere of a highly unusual kind of exoplanet dubbed a "hot Neptune."

Ultimate absentee ballot: US astronaut votes from space station

At least she didn't have to wait in line.

NASA, human lunar lander companies complete key Artemis milestone

NASA's Human Landing System (HLS) Program recently checked off a key milestone in its progress toward landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. The HLS Program conducted Certification Baseline Reviews (CBR) with the three U.S. companies competing to provide landers that will deliver Artemis astronauts to the Moon. These virtual meetings were the culmination of critical work by NASA and the companies since NASA announced the base period selections in April.

Technology news

PESAO: An experimental setup to evaluate the perceptions of freely moving humans

Humans regularly tackle and solve a variety of complex visuospatial problems. In contrast, most machine learning and computer vision techniques developed so far are designed to solve individual tasks, rather than applying a set of capabilities to any task they are presented with.

A math idea that may dramatically reduce the dataset size needed to train AI systems

A pair of statisticians at the University of Waterloo has proposed a math process idea that might allow for teaching AI systems without the need for a large dataset. Ilia Sucholutsky and Matthias Schonlau have written a paper describing their idea and published it on the arXiv preprint server.

A cleaning-healing-cleaning method to eliminate ionic defects on the surface of perovskite films

A team of researchers affiliated with institutions in the U.K., China and Australia has developed a cleaning-healing-cleaning method that eliminates ionic defects on the surface of 3-D perovskite films. In their paper published in the journal Nature Electronics, the group describes their process and how well it works. Huihui Zhu, Ao Liu and Yong-Young Noh with the University of Science and Technology in Korea have published a News & Views piece in the same journal issue outlining the uses for metal halide perovskite semiconductors, factors limiting their use as field-effect transistors, and the work done by the team on this new effort.

Machine translation tools find word meanings vary based on news viewership

It's not news that U.S. politics are highly polarized or that polarization affects cable news channels. But researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, using computer translation tools in an unprecedented way, have found that even the meanings of some words are now polarized.

Researchers find huge, sophisticated black market for trade in online 'fingerprints'

Security on the internet is a never-ending cat-and-mouse game. Security specialists constantly come up with new ways of protecting our treasured data, only for cyber criminals to devise new and crafty ways of undermining these defenses. Researchers at TU/e have now found evidence of a highly sophisticated Russian-based online marketplace that trades hundreds of thousands of very detailed user profiles. These personal 'fingerprints' allow criminals to circumvent state-of-the-art authentication systems, giving them access to valuable user information, such as credit card details.

Google Nest hacker finds evidence of Google considering getting rid of 'Hey Google' hot words

Jan Boromeusz is a recognized Nest Home hacker with what many in the press describe as a proven track record in discovering new Google Nest features before they are announced or released by Google. He makes his announcements via YouTube videos. In his latest effort, he has created a video that shows what he describes as Google considering the possibility of eliminating the "Hey Google" hot words. He also reveals how he finds these secret features.

Tesla 'full self-driving' vehicles can't drive themselves

Earlier this week, Tesla sent out its "full self-driving" software to a small group of owners who will test it on public roads. But buried on its website is a disclaimer that the $8,000 system doesn't make the vehicles autonomous and drivers still have to supervise it.

Intel shares tumble as pandemic hits results

Computer chipmaker Intel saw shares slide Thursday after reporting weak sales for its data center and internet of things operations that overshadowed improvement in the personal computer market.

Charging electric cars up to 90% in six minutes

With Telsa in the lead, the electric vehicle market is growing around the world. Unlike conventional cars that use internal combustion engines, electric cars are solely powered by lithium ion batteries, so the battery performance defines the car's overall performance. However, slow charging times and weak power are still barriers to be overcome. In light of this, a POSTECH research team has recently developed a faster charging and longer lasting battery material for electric cars.

Google hiring 10,000 workers in four cities by 2025

Google plans to hire 10,000 workers in four cities over the next five years, with a focus on recruiting Black talent as part of the company's racial equity commitment announced in June.

Tesla to recall 30,000 cars from China over suspension defects

US electric car manufacturer Tesla will recall almost 30,000 vehicles imported into China due to suspension defects, China's market regulator said Friday.

Facebook gives you more control over your timeline, minus algorithm

If you ever got frustrated about Facebook showing you posts it thinks you want to see, we have some good news for you.

Huawei sales up, but growth slows under virus, US pressure

Chinese tech giant Huawei, one of the biggest makers of smartphones and switching equipment, said Friday its revenue rose 9.9% in the first nine months of this year, but growth decelerated in the face of U.S. sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

Rust Belt upstart Lordstown Motors set to make Nasdaq debut

Could a new Tesla-like upstart be the savior of a once-mighty Ohio steel region ravaged by deindustrialization?

Big data firm Palantir working with US on vaccine effort

Big data company Palantir is working with US health officials on a project to track the production and distribution of future COVID-19 vaccines.

Daimler lifts outlook on higher third-quarter profits

German auto giant Daimler, maker of Mercedes-Benz, said Friday that it was upgrading its earnings forecast for the whole of 2020 after group profits rose in the third quarter.

Sweden, Denmark dig deeper to save SAS

The Swedish and Danish governments have agreed to stump up more cash to bail out ailing airline SAS in a recapitalisation plan that was finalised on Friday, the Scandinavian carrier announced.

Google hid a special treat in search for Pelé's 80th birthday. Here's where to find it

Legendary soccer player Pelé turned 80 on Friday, and Google paid tribute with a special treat hidden within search.

Don't look to stand in line at Apple Store for new iPhone, they won't let you

It wasn't that long ago that people camped out in front of Apple Stores for days to be the first on their blocks with new iPhones.

Airbus to keep A320 output at 40 per month

European aircraft giant Airbus said Friday it will maintain production of its workhorse A320 plane at 40 per month to mid-2021 when it expects the aviation industry to have recovered from the coronavirus pandemic.


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