Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Mar 3

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for March 3, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers unveil issues with nuclear theory, observe no magic behavior at N=32 in charge radii of potassium isotopes

Quick-learning cuttlefish pass 'the marshmallow test'

Structure and dynamics of key receptor in migraine pain determined, paving way for better treatment options

Humans control majority of freshwater ebb and flow on Earth, study finds

Scientists find strongest evidence yet of 'migration gene'

Mantis shrimp inspires new breed of light sensors

Source of hazardous high-energy particles located in the Sun

Azure Percept helps Microsoft users make the most of edge AI

MUSE sheds more light on central kinematics of Messier 15

Researchers realize quantum communications milestone using light

Chemists boost boron's utility: Preventing compounds from breaking down could help chemists design new drugs

Breakthrough greatly enhances ultrafast resolution achievable with X-ray free-electron lasers

Animals fake death for long periods to escape predators

Cutting-edge analysis of prehistoric teeth sheds new light on the diets of lizards and snakes

Food for thought: New maps reveal how brains are kept nourished

Physics news

Researchers unveil issues with nuclear theory, observe no magic behavior at N=32 in charge radii of potassium isotopes

Measuring the size of atomic nuclei has sometimes been useful to probe aspects of nucleon-nucleon interaction and the bulk properties of nuclear matter. The charge radius of atomic nuclei, which can be extracted using laser spectroscopy techniques, is sensitive to both the bulk properties of nuclear matter and particularly subtle details of the interactions between protons and neutrons.

Researchers realize quantum communications milestone using light

Few terms are more ubiquitous in the scientific arena these days than "quantum."

Breakthrough greatly enhances ultrafast resolution achievable with X-ray free-electron lasers

A large international team of scientists from various research organizations, including the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, has developed a method that dramatically improves the already ultrafast time resolution achievable with X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). It could lead to breakthroughs on how to design new materials and more efficient chemical processes.

Simulations to make insight into electrokinetic transport more reliable

Researcher Remco Hartkamp and Ph.D. student Max Döpke of the Process & Energy Department have taken an important step in making simulation results for electrokinetic transport more reliable by using molecular simulations. In electrokinetics, ions play an important role in the transport of a liquid through narrow pores or of solid particles through a liquid. These types of transport properties are important in many nanotechnological or electrochemical applications and in colloidal suspensions for example for pharmaceutical applications. The research results were published this week in The Journal of Chemical Physics.

The Large Hadron Collider's official tally: 59 new hadrons and counting

How many new particles has the LHC discovered? The most widely known discovery is of course that of the Higgs boson. Less well known is the fact that, over the past 10 years, the LHC experiments have also found more than 50 new particles called hadrons. Coincidentally, the number 50 appears in the context of hadrons twice, as 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of hadron colliders: on 27 January 1971, two beams of protons collided for the first time in CERN's Intersecting Storage Rings accelerator, making it the first accelerator in history to produce collisions between two counter-rotating beams of hadrons.

Molybdenum disulfide ushers in era of post-silicon photonics

Researchers of the Center for Photonics and Two-Dimensional Materials at MIPT, together with their colleagues from Spain, Great Britain, Sweden, and Singapore, including co-creator of the world's first 2-D material and Nobel laureate Konstantin Novoselov, have measured giant optical anisotropy in layered molybdenum disulfide crystals for the first time. The scientists suggest that such transition metal dichalcogenide crystals will replace silicon in photonics. Birefringence with a giant difference in refractive indices, characteristic of these substances, will make it possible to develop faster yet tiny optical devices. The work is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Heat-free optical switch would enable optical quantum computing chips

In a potential boost for quantum computing and communication, a European research collaboration reported a new method of controlling and manipulating single photons without generating heat. The solution makes it possible to integrate optical switches and single-photon detectors in a single chip.

Researchers investigate 'imaginary part' in quantum resource theory

Recently, a research team led by academician Guo Guangcan from CAS Key Laboratory of Quantum Information of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of CAS, has made important progress in quantum information theory. Prof. Li Chuanfeng and Prof. Xiang Guoyong from the team collaborated with Dr. Strelstov from University of Warsaw to investigate the imaginary part of quantum theory as a resource, and several important results have been obtained. Relevant results are now jointly published as Editors' Suggestion in Physical Review Letters and Physical Review A.

Reading the physics hiding in data

Information is encoded in data. This is true for most aspects of modern life, but it is also true in most branches of contemporary physics, and extracting useful and meaningful information from very large data sets is a key mission for many physicists.

Plastic solar cells combine high-speed optical communication with indoor energy harvesting

Around the world, there are currently more than 18 billion internet-connected mobile devices. In the next 10 years, anticipated growth in the internet of Things (IoT) and in machine-type communication in general, will lead to a world of hundreds of billions of data-connected objects. Such growth poses two very challenging problems:

Astronomy and Space news

Source of hazardous high-energy particles located in the Sun

The source of potentially hazardous solar particles, released from the Sun at high speed during storms in its outer atmosphere, has been located for the first time by researchers at UCL and George Mason University, Virginia, U.S.

MUSE sheds more light on central kinematics of Messier 15

Using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), astronomers have performed observations of an old globular cluster known as Messier 15. The observational campaign delivered essential information about stellar kinematics of the central region of this cluster. The results were published February 24 on arXiv.org.

Aging stars provide a new cosmological yardstick

Despite a century of measurements, astronomers can't agree on the rate at which the universe is expanding. A technique that relies on measuring distances to a specific type of aging star in other galaxies—called the J-region Asymptotic Giant Branch, or JAGB method—might be able to help.

Hoinga: Debris of stellar explosion found in unexpected location

In the first all-sky survey by the eROSITA X-ray telescope onboard SRG, astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have identified a previously unknown supernova remnant, dubbed "Hoinga." The finding was confirmed in archival radio data and marks the first discovery of a joint Australian-eROSITA partnership established to explore our Galaxy using multiple wavelengths, from low-frequency radio waves to energetic X-rays. The Hoinga supernova remnant is very large and located far from the galactic plane—a surprising first finding—implying that the next years might bring many more discoveries.

Planetary science intern leads study of Martian crust

The planet Mars has no global magnetic field, although scientists believe it did have one at some point in the past. Previous studies suggest that when Mars' global magnetic field was present, it was approximately the same strength as Earth's current field. Surprisingly, instruments from past Mars missions, both orbiters and landers, have spotted patches on the planet's surface that are strongly magnetized—a property that could not have been produced by a magnetic field similar to Earth's, assuming the rocks on both planets are similar.

Fly me to the Moon: Japan billionaire offers space seats

It's the sort of chance that comes along just once in a blue Moon: a Japanese billionaire is throwing open a private lunar expedition to eight people from around the world.

Help is a long way away: The challenges of sending humans to Mars

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stepped out a lunar lander onto the surface of the moon. The landscape in front of him, which was made up of stark blacks and grays, resembled what he later called "magnificent desolation."

Study shows a sharp rise in detection rate of broad absorption line variations

Gas around black holes and interstellar medium distribution are key factors in understanding the growth of supermassive black holes and the evolution of their host galaxies. However, as a crucial parameter, gas density is hard to determine reliably, because the general method is not applicable to all quasars.

Will this solve the mystery of the expansion of the universe?

The universe was created by a giant bang; the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago, and then it started to expand. The expansion is ongoing: it is still being stretched out in all directions like a balloon being inflated.

Technology news

Mantis shrimp inspires new breed of light sensors

Inspired by the eyes of mantis shrimp, researchers have developed a new kind of optical sensor that is small enough to fit on a smartphone but is capable of hyperspectral and polarimetric imaging.

Azure Percept helps Microsoft users make the most of edge AI

Edge computing allows an increasing number of standalone mobile devices to perform tasks such as image recognition, response to voice commands and textual translation, without access to the cloud. During its 2021 Ignite digital conference, Microsoft revealed its new edge technology platform, Azure Percept.

Examining the environmental impact of computation and the future of green computing

When you think about your carbon footprint, what comes to mind? Driving and flying, probably. Perhaps home energy consumption or those daily Amazon deliveries. But what about watching Netflix or having Zoom meetings? Ever thought about the carbon footprint of the silicon chips inside your phone, smartwatch or the countless other devices inside your home?

Calculating the albedo-climate penalty of hydropower dammed reservoirs

A trio of researchers from the University of Innsbruck and the Free University of Bolzano has calculated the effect of positive radiation due to the albedo-climate penalty on hydropower dammed reservoirs. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, Georg Wohlfahrt, Enrico Tomelleri and Albin Hammerle describe studying hundreds of major hydropower stations around the world and used data from their study to calculate the albedo-climate penalty for hydropower dammed reservoirs.

Helping soft robots turn rigid on demand

Imagine a robot.

Researchers discover that privacy-preserving tools leave private data unprotected

Machine-learning (ML) systems are becoming pervasive not only in technologies affecting our day-to-day lives, but also in those observing them, including face expression recognition systems. Companies that make and use such widely deployed services rely on so-called privacy preservation tools that often use generative adversarial networks (GANs), typically produced by a third party to scrub images of individuals' identity. But how good are they?

Cooperative eco-driving automation improves energy efficiency and safety

Imagine you're driving up a hill toward a traffic light. The light is still green so you're tempted to accelerate to make it through the intersection before the light changes. Then, a device in your car receives a signal from the controller mounted on the intersection alerting you that the light will change in two seconds—clearly not enough time to beat the light. You take your foot off the gas pedal and decelerate, saving on fuel. You feel safer, too, knowing you didn't run a red light and potentially cause a collision in the intersection.

Microsoft: China-based hackers found bug to target US firms

China-based government hackers have exploited a bug in Microsoft's email server software to target U.S. organizations, the company said Tuesday.

New Zealand eyes Australia-style media deals with tech firms

New Zealand called on Google and Facebook Wednesday to strike deals with Kiwi media similar to those reached in Australia, which require the tech giants to pay for using news.

How beers and Vikings gave Bluetooth technology its name

One of the best-known modern technologies owes its name and logo to a Viking-era king with a bad tooth: a quarter century ago, two engineers hatched the idea for the moniker "Bluetooth" over beers.

Microsoft sets stage for mixed-reality future

Microsoft on Tuesday set the stage for a future in which long-distance coworkers can collaborate as though in the same room, using augmented reality glasses and cloud computing power.

Intel hit with $2.2 bn verdict in US patent trial

A federal jury in Texas on Tuesday ruled that US computer chip giant Intel should pay $2.2 billion to VLSI Technology in a patent infringement case.

NIST tool will help military vehicles fight fires using less harmful chemicals

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new, interactive spreadsheet that will help the U.S. military extinguish aircraft and vehicle fires using the latest environmentally friendly chemicals.

Google ends sale of ads using individual web tracking data

Google says it won't develop new ways to follow individual users across the internet after it phases out existing ad-tracking technology from its Chrome browser, a change that could shake up the online advertising industry.

Parler social network drops lawsuit against Amazon

Parler, the social network attracting conservatives and Donald Trump supporters, has dropped its lawsuit against Amazon for cutting off web hosting for the service.

SolarWinds hack may lead to breach notification law and stronger cyber agency

One of the lesser-known aspects of the SolarWinds hack that lawmakers and top U.S. cybersecurity officials are grappling with is figuring out how many American companies and federal agencies have been affected.

Google is paying for more information in a break with its past

Google is under growing pressure to pay for information that, for two decades, the search provider snipped from the web—and made a mint from—without paying a penny.

Clubhouse competitor: Twitter launches rival audio chat rooms feature Spaces on Android

Twitter is opening its live audio chat room, called Spaces, for Android users beginniWednesday.

Nextflix serves up TikTok-style 'Fast Laughs'

Netflix on Wednesday added a "Fast Laughs" feature to its iPhone app, serving up comic clips in rapid fire, in a move taking on the popular video app TikTok.

How physiological data can improve persuasive technologies in mobile apps and wearables

Persuasive technology, like mobile apps and wearables, can support individuals in their journey towards a better quality of life. These tools are more successful if they adapt to the user, for instance on the basis of behavior measurements and self-reported experiences. Ph.D. candidate Hanne Spelt of the department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences has investigated how constant monitoring of physiological data can complement existing methods. She defended her thesis on Tuesday 2 March.

Review: 2021 Tesla Model S vs. Porsche Taycan

The Tesla Model S debuted nearly a decade ago and instantly portended the future of electric vehicles. Here was a sleek-looking EV with intriguing new technology features and unmatched performance and range. Tesla's continual updates along the way have kept the rest of the automotive industry in catch-up mode. Only recently has a model come out to rival the Model S: the Porsche Taycan.

Stellantis CEO says 4th largest carmaker to be disruptive

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares on Wednesday said the new car company formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Peugeot would be a "disruptive" force in the industry, and that both sides would provide technologies to achieve the promised 5 billion euros ($6 billion) in cost savings each year.

Facebook to resume political ads, joining Google

Facebook said Wednesday it would resume accepting US political ads, ending a ban imposed after the November presidential election to stem misinformation.

What's popular on Facebook? Extreme far right political views and lies, study says

What's popular on Facebook? Far-right news and information.


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