Science X Newsletter Friday, Apr 2

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for April 2, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers find that rare rewards amplify dopamine responses during learning

From stardust to pale blue dot: Carbon's interstellar journey to Earth

ProteinGAN: A generative adversarial network that generates functional protein sequences

Diversity can prevent failures in large power grids

Evidence of Antarctic glacier's tipping point confirmed for first time

The first non-invasive biomarker to track and verify efficacy of senolytic drugs

Hidden diversity of coral more important for conservation than previously thought

US deaths normally change less than 2% each year; in 2020, they rose nearly 23%

Science has not kept pace with aquaculture

Unravelling the secret of a critical immune cell for cancer immunity

Chance finds dating back 9,000 years tell new story of 'Dream Island'

Research confirms ingredient in household cleaner could improve fusion reactions

New diagnosis scores make it easier to identify heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

Cutting-edge cryo-EM reveals key insight into vital DNA repair process

A dinosaur tail vertebra leads researchers on the right track

Physics news

Research confirms ingredient in household cleaner could improve fusion reactions

Want to improve your chances of making electricity from fusion? Look no further than the cleaners under your kitchen sink.

Qubits composed of holes could be the trick to build faster, larger quantum computers

A new study indicates holes the solution to operational speed/coherence trade-off, potential scaling up of qubits to a mini-quantum computer.

Astronomy and Space news

Image: Hubble revisits the Veil Nebula

This image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope revisits the Veil Nebula, which was featured in a previous Hubble image release. In this image, new processing techniques have been applied, bringing out fine details of the nebula's delicate threads and filaments of ionized gas.

Getting CubeSats moving: M-Argo will be first to traverse interplanetary space under its own power

ESA's M-Argo mission will be the first CubeSat to traverse interplanetary space under its own power. Due to launch in 2024-5, the suitcase-sized spacecraft will travel to a near-Earth asteroid, up to 150 million km away.

Technology news

Diversity can prevent failures in large power grids

The recent power outages in Texas brought attention to its power grid being separated from the rest of the country. While it is not immediately clear whether integration with other parts of the national grid would have completely eliminated the need for rolling outages, the state's inability to import significant amounts of electricity was decisive in the blackout.

Biden aims to juice EV sales, but would his plan work?

Dangling tax credits and rebates in his drive to fight climate change, President Joe Biden wants you to trade your gas-burning car, truck or SUV for a zero-emissions electric vehicle.

The road not taken: South Korea's self-driving professor

Decades before the race to build a self-driving car became a multi-billion-dollar contest between tech giants such as Tesla and Google, a South Korean professor built an autonomous vehicle and test-drove it across the country—only for his research to be consigned to the scrapheap.

Scientists studying solar try solving a dusty problem

The layer of dust and pollen that settles on the windshield of your car is easily removed with a turn of the lever that activates wipers and water. Removing that layer from a solar panel—especially one inconveniently located from any source of moisture—requires considerably more work.

NFTs: Why digital art has such a massive carbon footprint

How much would you be willing to pay for a one-of-a-kind work of art? For some collectors, the limit lies somewhere in the region of hundreds of millions of dollars. What about a work of art that has no tangible form, and exists only as a digital token that's no more "real" than a JPEG file? Welcome to the strange world of crypto art collectibles, also known as NFTs.

Britain's betting on buses: How far will boosting services reduce carbon emissions?

A move to "make buses the transport of choice, reducing the number of car journeys and improving quality of life for millions" has been launched as part of a national bus strategy in the UK. It seeks to make bus services more reliable and affordable to get people out of the cars that still dominate transport in the country.

Google's AI advertising revolution: More privacy, but problems remain

In March 2021, Google announced that it was ending support for third-party cookies, and moving to "a more privacy first web." Even though the move was expected within the industry and by academics, there is still confusion about the new model, and cynicism about whether it truly constitutes the kind of revolution in online privacy that Google claims.

Tesla 1Q sales of 185K more than double last year's numbers

Tesla says it delivered nearly 185,000 electric vehicles in the first quarter despite a shortage of computer chips that has hit the global auto industry.

CEO of Google's self-driving car spinoff steps down from job

The executive who steered the transformation of Google's self-driving car project into a separate company worth billions of dollars is stepping down after more than five years on the job.

US looks to keep critical sectors safe from cyberattacks

A top Biden administration official says the government is undertaking a new effort to help electric utilities, water districts and other critical industries protect against potentially damaging cyberattacks.

Travel rebound: United plans to hire about 300 new pilots

United Airlines said Thursday it plans to hire about 300 pilots, another sign that airlines feel more confident that a recent increase in travel will continue.

Airbus, Dassault reach deal on European fighter jet prototype

Airbus and Dassault Aviation have reached an accord on building a test version of Europe's next-generation fighter jet, after weeks of strained negotiations that put the plane's development in doubt, sources close to the project said Friday.

Air Canada, Transat call off merger deal

Air Canada has called off its planned takeover of tour operator Transat over EU regulatory hurdles, they announced Friday—scuppering a deal that would have created a domestic giant with a 60 percent share of the Canadian travel market.


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