Science X Newsletter Friday, Aug 20

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 20, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Self-healing 'living materials' used as 3D building blocks

How schools of 'microswimmers' can increase their cargo capacity

Humans ditched swiveling hips for shorter stride than chimps

China's astronauts make spacewalk to upgrade robotic arm

Risdiplam improves motor function in infants with spinal muscular atrophy

New fossils show what the ancestral brains of arthropods looked like

We can expect more emissions from oil refineries in the near-term future, analysis finds

Hackers steal $97 mn from Japanese crypto exchange

AstraZeneca hails trial results for COVID treatment

Elon Musk says Tesla's robot will make physical work a 'choice'

Team isolates antibodies that target alphaviruses

Dual-phase alloy extremely resistant to fractures

Ultrafast charge transfer in Prussian blue analogues

Flawed quality control in the brain traced through misfolded proteins

Human brain organoid model matches aspects of fragile X syndrome more closely than mice models

Physics news

How schools of 'microswimmers' can increase their cargo capacity

A new study published in Physical Review Letters describes a way to increase the cargo capacity of microscopic, self-propelled droplets known as "microswimmers." Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation found that when a school of microswimmers move in the same direction inside a narrow channel, they can increase the number of particles they can carry by 10-fold. Their findings have implications for applications ranging from drug delivery systems to materials with active coatings.  

New imaging tool visualizes cell functions in a microphysiological system

A microphysiological system (MPS), also known as an organ-on-a-chip, is a 3D organ construct using human cells that help reveal how organs respond to drugs and environmental stimuli.

Researchers open a path toward quantum computing in real-world conditions

The quantum computing market is projected to reach $65 billion by 2030, a hot topic for investors and scientists alike because of its potential to solve incomprehensibly complex problems.

Although counter-intuitive, noise can help image reconstruction

People are always eager to obtain clear imaging results through some turbid media, so a variety of methods have been developed to filter out noise and strive to improve the quality of imaging, as if noise is born as the evilest enemy.

Cross-pollinating physicists use novel technique to improve the design of facilities that aim to harvest fusion energy

Physicists are like bees—they can cross-pollinate, taking ideas from one area and using them to develop breakthroughs in other areas. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have transferred a technique from one realm of plasma physics to another to enable the more efficient design of powerful magnets for doughnut-shaped fusion facilities known as tokamaks. Such magnets confine and control plasma, the fourth state of matter that makes up 99 percent of the visible universe and fuels fusion reactions.

Astronomy and Space news

China's astronauts make spacewalk to upgrade robotic arm

Chinese astronauts edged into space on Friday to add the finishing touches to a robotic arm on the Tiangong space station.

Under the northern lights: Mesospheric ozone layer depletion explained

The same phenomenon that causes aurorae—the magical curtains of green light often visible from the polar regions of the Earth—causes mesospheric ozone layer depletion. This depletion could have significance for global climate change and therefore, understanding this phenomenon is important.

Wandering black holes

Every massive galaxy is believed to host a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at its center. Its mass is correlated with the mass of the inner regions of its host (and also with some other properties), probably because the SMBH grows and evolves as the galaxy itself grows, through mergers with other galaxies and the infall of material from the intergalactic medium. When material makes its way to the galactic center and accretes onto the SMBH, it produces an active galactic nucleus (AGN); outflows or other feedback from the AGN then act disruptively to quench star formation in the galaxy. Modern cosmological simulations now self-consistently trace star formation and SMBH growth in galaxies from the early universe to the present day, confirming these ideas.

Radiation-detecting optical fibers installed on the International Space Station

In a spacecraft, in order to protect both crew and electronics from radiation, it is mandatory to invest in effective radiation monitoring systems. The International Space Station (ISS), just like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, is a complex radiation environment that requires bespoke dosimetry devices. Optical-fiber-based technologies can provide both distributed and point radiation dose measurements with high precision.

Here comes the sun: Planetary scientists find evidence of solar-driven change on the moon

Tiny iron nanoparticles unlike any found naturally on Earth are nearly everywhere on the moon—and scientists are trying to understand why. A new study led by Northern Arizona University doctoral candidate Christian J. Tai Udovicic, in collaboration with associate professor Christopher Edwards, both of NAU's Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science, uncovered important clues to help understand the surprisingly active lunar surface. In an article recently published in Geophysical Research Letters, the scientists found that solar radiation could be a more important source of lunar iron nanoparticles than previously thought.

Musk hopes "Mechazilla" will catch and assemble the Starship and Super Heavy boosters for rapid reuse

In January of 2021, Elon Musk announced SpaceX's latest plan to increase the number of flights they can mount by drastically reducing turnaround time. The key to this was a new launch tower that would "catch" first stage boosters after they return to Earth. This would forego the need to install landing legs on future Super Heavy boosters and potentially future Starship returning to Earth.

Technology news

Hackers steal $97 mn from Japanese crypto exchange

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Liquid was scrambling Friday to recover stolen assets worth nearly $100 million, in the second such major heist by hackers in recent days.

Elon Musk says Tesla's robot will make physical work a 'choice'

After dominating the electric vehicle market and throwing his hat into the billionaire space race, Tesla boss Elon Musk announced the latest frontier he's aiming to conquer: humanoid robots.

LG sets new record for 6G transmission of data at 100 meters

A team of researchers at Korea's LG Electronics, working with a group at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, has successfully sent data 100 meters over a 6G signal. Officials at LG have posted details of their test of the next step wireless transmission technology on their company news page.

Smart material-sensing platform for laser cutters can differentiate between 30 different materials

With the addition of computers, laser cutters have rapidly become a relatively simple and powerful tool, with software controlling shiny machinery that can chop metals, woods, papers, and plastics. While this curious amalgam of materials feels encompassing, users still face difficulties distinguishing between stockpiles of visually similar materials, where the wrong stuff can make gooey messes, give off horrendous odors, or worse, spew out harmful chemicals.

China passes tough new online privacy law

China passed a sweeping privacy law aimed at preventing businesses from collecting sensitive personal data Friday, as the country faces an uptick in internet scams and Beijing targets tech giants hoovering up personal data.

Tokyo robot cafe offers new spin on disability inclusion

At a Tokyo cafe, Michio Imai greets a customer, but not in person. He's hundreds of kilometres away, operating a robot waiter as part of an experiment in inclusive employment.

Novel resilient state estimation method for process control in cyber-physical systems

A new process control method developed by researchers from Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology uses a special mathematical structure to accurately estimate the internal process variables of a system, even when external sensors are damaged.

Data mining tools combat COVID-19 misinformation and identify symptoms

UC Riverside computer scientists are developing tools to help track and monitor COVID-19 symptoms and to sift through misinformation about the disease on social media.

Cooperative control brings 'smart shipping' closer to port

Drones are not the only autonomous vehicles at the forefront of automating deliveries and human services—ships may be about to turn the corner, assisted by helpful tugboats. Researchers at the Delft University of Technology in China have developed a control strategy for ships and their partnered tugs to navigate windy and somewhat unpredictable environments safely and efficiently. They published their results in the August 2021 Issue, IEEE/CAA Journal of Automatica Sinica.

VW reins in production due to ongoing chip shortage

German car giant Volkswagen will slash production at its main plant due to ongoing problems with the global supply of computer chips, a spokesman told AFP on Friday.

Team creates software to optimize pharmaceutical development

The development of a new medication is an incredibly complex process. From laboratory research, to testing for safety and efficacy, to setting up manufacturing and obtaining regulatory approval, the process can take up to a decade—and that's only for one pharmaceutical product. Coordinating such long and complicated processes both to ensure that they are the most resource-efficient and to guarantee that the development process proceeds without delays is the difficult job of research and development schedulers.

New Chinese law tightens control over company data on users

China is tightening control over information gathered by companies about the public under a law approved Friday by its ceremonial legislature, expanding the ruling Communist Party's crackdown on internet industries.

China Telecom up nearly 20% in Shanghai debut

Shares in China Telecom surged nearly 20 percent in their Shanghai debut Friday after the world's biggest public offering of the year, coming after the company was delisted in the United States amid China-US tensions.

With Madden NFL 22 arriving, these are the best football video games ever made

Are you ready for some football?

Call of Duty: Vanguard video game will take players back to World War II and the birth of special forces

Call of Duty is parachuting back into World War II.

Going the way of Tumblr: OnlyFans to ban sexually explicit content from platform

OnlyFans will be removing sexually explicit content after it rose to fame for its ... sexually explicit content.

GM extends recall to cover all Chevy Bolts due to fire risk

General Motors is recalling all Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles sold worldwide to fix a battery problem that could cause fires.

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