Science X Newsletter Week 45

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 45:

New way of cooking rice removes arsenic and retains mineral nutrients, study shows

Cooking rice in a certain way removes over 50 percent of the naturally occurring arsenic in brown rice, and 74 percent in white rice, according to new research.

Mars plays shepherd to our moon's long-lost twin, scientists find

An international team of planetary scientists led by astronomers at AOP have found an asteroid trailing behind Mars with a composition very similar to the moon's. The asteroid could be an ancient piece of debris, dating back to the gigantic impacts that formed the moon and the other rocky planets in our solar system like Mars and the Earth. The research, which was published in the journal Icarus, also has implications for finding such primordial objects associated with our own planet.

Rare 8,000 year old child burial reveals secrets of the dead

ANU Archeologists have discovered a rare child burial dating back 8,000 years on Alor Island, Indonesia.

Has the hidden matter of the universe been discovered?

Astrophysicists consider that around 40% of the ordinary matter that makes up stars, planets and galaxies remains undetected, concealed in the form of a hot gas in the complex cosmic web. Today, scientists at the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay) may have detected, for the first time, this hidden matter through an innovative statistical analysis of 20-year-old data. Their findings are published on November 6, 2020 in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Researchers reconstruct the first complete brain of one of the oldest dinosaurs

The study of the brain of extinct organisms sheds lights on their behaviors. However, soft tissues, like the brain, are not usually preserved for long periods. Hence, researchers reconstruct the brains of dinosaurs by analyzing the cranial cavities under computed tomography. It demands well-preserved braincases, which is the region that envelops the brain tissues. To date, complete and well-preserved neurocrania from the oldest dinosaurs worldwide have not been found.

Physicists develop efficient modem for a future quantum internet

The first quantum revolution brought about semiconductor electronics, the laser and finally the internet. The coming, second quantum revolution promises spy-proof communication, extremely precise quantum sensors and quantum computers for previously unsolvable computing tasks. But this revolution is still in its infancy. A central research object is the interface between local quantum devices and light quanta that enable the remote transmission of highly sensitive quantum information. The Otto-Hahn group "Quantum Networks" at the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching is researching such a "quantum modem". The team has now achieved a first breakthrough in a relatively simple but highly efficient technology that can be integrated into existing fiber optic networks. The work is published this week in Physical Review X.

Seeing dark matter in a new light

A small team of astronomers have found a new way to 'see' the elusive dark matter haloes that surround galaxies, with a new technique 10 times more precise than the previous-best method. The work is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Ancient squid-like creature with paperclip-shaped shell may have lived for hundreds of years

A pair of researchers at Syracuse University has found evidence that an ancient squid-like creature with a paperclip-shaped shell may have lived for hundreds of years. Linda Ivany and Emily Artruc outlined their research at this year's online meeting of the Geological Society of America. They also spoke to the press about their findings.

NASA contacts Voyager 2 using upgraded Deep Space Network dish

On Oct. 29, mission operators sent a series of commands to NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft for the first time since mid-March. The spacecraft has been flying solo while the 70-meter-wide (230-foot-wide) radio antenna used to talk to it has been offline for repairs and upgrades. Voyager 2 returned a signal confirming it had received the "call" and executed the commands without issue.

A 520-million-year-old, five-eyed fossil reveals arthropod origin

Arthropods have been among the most successful animals on Earth since the Cambrian Period, about 520 million years ago. They are the most familiar and ubiquitous, and constitute nearly 80% of all animal species today, far more than any other animals.

New cause of COVID-19 blood clots identified

Blood clots continue to wreak havoc for patients with severe COVID-19 infection, and a new study explains what may spark them in up to half of patients.

Explaining gravity without string theory

For decades, most physicists have agreed that string theory is the missing link between Einstein's theory of general relativity, describing the laws of nature at the largest scale, and quantum mechanics, describing them at the smallest scale. However, an international collaboration headed by Radboud physicists has now provided compelling evidence that string theory is not the only theory that could form the link. They demonstrated that it is possible to construct a theory of quantum gravity that obeys all fundamental laws of physics, without strings. They described their findings in Physical Review Letters last week.

An Amazonian tea stimulates the formation of new neurons

One of the main natural components of ayahuasca tea is dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which promotes neurogenesis —the formation of new neurons—according to research led by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM).

Early big-game hunters of the Americas were female, researchers suggest

For centuries, historians and scientists mostly agreed that when early human groups sought food, men hunted and women gathered. However, a 9,000-year-old female hunter burial in the Andes Mountains of South America reveals a different story, according to new research conducted at the University of California, Davis.

Warming of 2 C would release billions of tons of soil carbon

Global warming of 2°C would lead to about 230 billion tons of carbon being released from the world's soil, new research suggests.

Researchers demonstrate a superconductor previously thought impossible

Superconductivity is a phenomenon in which an electric circuit loses its resistance and becomes extremely efficient under certain conditions. There are different ways in which this can happen, which were thought to be incompatible. For the first time, researchers have discovered a bridge between two of these methods to achieve superconductivity. This new knowledge could lead to a more general understanding of the phenomenon, and one day to applications.

Using quantum properties of light to transmit information

Researchers at the University of Rochester and Cornell University have taken an important step toward developing a communications network that exchanges information across long distances by using photons, mass-less measures of light that are key elements of quantum computing and quantum communications systems.

Next-gen astronomical survey makes its first observations toward a new understanding of the cosmos

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey's fifth generation collected its very first observations of the cosmos at 1:47 a.m. on October 24, 2020. This groundbreaking all-sky survey will bolster our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies—including our own Milky Way—and the supermassive black holes that lurk at their centers.

Researchers discover a new way to produce hydrogen using microwaves

A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) has discovered a new method that makes it possible to transform electricity into hydrogen or chemical products solely using microwaves—without cables and without any type of contact with electrodes. This represents a revolution in the field of energy research and a key development for the process of industrial decarbonisation, as well as for the future of the automotive sector and the chemical industry, among many others. The study has been published in the latest edition of Nature Energy, where the discovery is explained.

New mineral from the moon could explain what happens in the Earth's mantle

A team of European researchers discovered a new high-pressure mineral in a lunar meteorite which is helping to explain what happens to materials within the extreme pressures of the Earth's mantle.


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