Science X Newsletter Monday, Dec 28

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for December 28, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Searching for invisible axion dark matter with a new multiple-cell cavity haloscope

The evolution of single amyloid fibrils into microcrystals

Gut cells sound the alarm when parasites invade

Best of Last Week: Planetary conjunction, accelerating vehicle research and COVID-19 infection leads to lasting immunity

Periodic and phase-locked modulation in the pulsar PSR B1929+10 investigated with FAST

Quantum philosophy: Four ways physics will challenge your reality

Mallard to go? Dig of Pompeii fast-food place reveals tastes

Ripples in space-time could provide clues to missing components of the universe

Discovery boosts theory that life on Earth arose from RNA-DNA mix

Chemists and collaborators develop a new drug discovery strategy for "undruggable" drug targets

New studies suggest vaping could cloud your thoughts

Faster, greener way of producing carbon spheres

Big bumblebees learn locations of best flowers

New quantum nanodevice can simultaneously act as a heat engine and a refrigerator

Chinese astronomers discover 591 high-velocity stars with LAMOST and Gaia

Physics news

Searching for invisible axion dark matter with a new multiple-cell cavity haloscope

Over the past few decades, many experimental physicists have been probing the existence of particles called axions, which would result from a specific mechanism that they think could explain the contradiction between theories and experiments describing a fundamental symmetry. This symmetry is associated with a matter-antimatter imbalance in the Universe, reflected in interactions between different particles.

Quantum philosophy: Four ways physics will challenge your reality

Imagine opening the weekend paper and looking through the puzzle pages for the Sudoku. You spend your morning working through this logic puzzle, only to realise by the last few squares there's no consistent way to finish it.

New quantum nanodevice can simultaneously act as a heat engine and a refrigerator

A multitasking nanomachine that can act as a heat engine and a refrigerator at the same time has been created by RIKEN engineers. The device is one of the first to test how quantum effects, which govern the behavior of particles on the smallest scale, might one day be exploited to enhance the performance of nanotechnologies.

Important milestone in the creation of a quantum computer

Quantum computer: One of the obstacles for progress in the quest for a working quantum computer has been that the working devices that go into a quantum computer and perform the actual calculations, the qubits, have hitherto been made by universities and in small numbers. But in recent years, a pan-European collaboration, in partnership with French microelectronics leader CEA-Leti, has been exploring everyday transistors—that are present in billions in all our mobile phones—for their use as qubits. The French company Leti makes giant wafers full of devices, and, after measuring, researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, have found these industrially produced devices to be suitable as a qubit platform capable of moving to the second dimension, a significant step for a working quantum computer. The result is now published in Nature Communications.

Astronomy and Space news

Periodic and phase-locked modulation in the pulsar PSR B1929+10 investigated with FAST

Using the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), astronomers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and elsewhere have conducted single-pulse observations of a pulsar known as PSR B1929+10. Results of the monitoring campaign shed more light on the periodic and phase-locked modulation in this source. The study was presented in a paper published December 18 on arXiv.org.

Ripples in space-time could provide clues to missing components of the universe

There's something a little off about our theory of the universe. Almost everything fits, but there's a fly in the cosmic ointment, a particle of sand in the infinite sandwich. Some scientists think the culprit might be gravity—and that subtle ripples in the fabric of space-time could help us find the missing piece.

Chinese astronomers discover 591 high-velocity stars with LAMOST and Gaia

A research team, led by astronomers from National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), has discovered 591 high velocity stars based on data from the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and Gaia, and 43 of them can even escape from the Galaxy.

Primordial black holes and the search for dark matter from the multiverse

The Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) is home to many interdisciplinary projects which benefit from the synergy of a wide range of expertise available at the institute. One such project is the study of black holes that could have formed in the early universe, before stars and galaxies were born.

Technology news

Japan unveils green growth plan for 2050 carbon neutral goal

Japan on Friday unveiled plans to boost renewable energy, phase out gasoline-powered cars and reduce battery costs as part of a bid to reach an ambitious 2050 carbon-neutral goal.

GoDaddy apologises for fake Christmas bonus email security test

US web company GoDaddy apologized Thursday after an email that promised employees a Christmas bonus in the midst of the economic crisis turned out to be a computer security test.

China orders Ant Group to rectify businesses

Chinese regulators have ordered Ant Group, the world's largest financial technology company, to rectify its businesses and comply with regulatory requirements amid increased scrutiny of anti-monopoly practices in the country's internet sector.

iPhone again best tech seller of the year, thanks to work-from-home trend

Once again, the best-selling tech product of 2020 was Apple's iPhone—topping the phone's sales in 2019—despite being a pandemic year when so many people were thrown out of work and money was harder to come by.

Extremely energy efficient microprocessor developed using superconductors

Researchers from Yokohama National University in Japan have developed a prototype microprocessor using superconductor devices that are about 80 times more energy efficient than the state-of-the-art semiconductor devices found in the microprocessors of today's high-performance computing systems.

China orders Ant Group to return to online payment roots

Chinese fintech giant Ant Group has been ordered by regulators to drastically change its business model and return to its roots as a payment services provider, as the state squeeze continues on the once unbridled empire of tech tycoon Jack Ma.


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