Science X Newsletter Thursday, Aug 12

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 12, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Study takes unprecedented peek into life of 17,000-year-old mammoth

Black hole size revealed by its eating pattern

Early land plants evolved from freshwater algae, fossils reveal

Spektr-RG spacecraft detects its first tidal disruption events

New semiconductor device possibilities using black phosphorous

NASA blames Mars rover sampling fiasco on bad, powdery rock

Climate change will transform cooling effects of volcanic eruptions, study suggests

Novel technique seamlessly converts ammonia to green hydrogen

Understanding lung damage in patients with COVID-19

Non-line-of-sight imaging with picosecond temporal resolution

Supercomputing resources power energy savings analysis

How the 'sponge' made by the bacteria Geobacter soaks up uranium

Uncovering molecular mechanisms behind cell signaling

New blood: Lab-grown stem cells bode well for transplants, aging research

People in the Philippines have the most Denisovan DNA

Physics news

New semiconductor device possibilities using black phosphorous

Stress and strain, applied in just the right manner, can sometimes produce amazing results.

Non-line-of-sight imaging with picosecond temporal resolution

Usually, the traditional optical imaging strategies can only image the target objects within the field of camera. However, through the non-line-of-sight (NLOS) which can record the time-of-flight information about single-photon, the target imaging outside of the camera view can also be captured successfully with the assistance of related computational imaging algorithms.

Effective temperatures connect equilibrium and nonequilibrium systems

What is temperature? A direct understanding of temperature is the specific number shown on thermometers. A much more scientific definition of temperature is a statistical concept in equilibrium systems. However, what about nonequilibrium systems?

The Wendelstein 7-X concept proves its efficiency

One of the most important optimisation goals underlying the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald has now been confirmed. An analysis by IPP scientists in the journal Nature shows: In the optimized magnetic field cage, the energy losses of the plasma are reduced in the desired way. Wendelstein 7-X is intended to prove that the disadvantages of earlier stellarators can be overcome and that stellarator-type devices are suitable for power plants.

The best of both worlds: Combining classical and quantum systems to meet supercomputing demands

Quantum entanglement is one of the most fundamental and intriguing phenomena in nature. Recent research on entanglement has proven to be a valuable resource for quantum communication and information processing. Now, scientists from Japan have discovered a stable quantum entangled state of two protons on a silicon surface, opening doors to an organic union of classical and quantum computing platforms and potentially strengthening the future of quantum technology.

A personal dosimeter is in your first aid kit

When proper precautions are taken, radioactive substances are extremely safe to use. But what if they leak into the environment in an uncontrolled manner? Then it becomes crucial to find out the dose of radiation people may have absorbed. Unfortunately, the average person does not possess a radiation dosimeter. The Institute of Nuclear Physics PAS has a new solution to this problem—and it can be found in your first aid kit.

Astronomy and Space news

Black hole size revealed by its eating pattern

The feeding patterns of black holes offer insight into their size, researchers report. A new study revealed that the flickering in the brightness observed in actively feeding supermassive black holes is related to their mass.

Spektr-RG spacecraft detects its first tidal disruption events

Using the eROSITA telescope onboard the Spektr-RG (SRG) spacecraft, astronomers have detected 13 new tidal disruption events (TDEs). This is the first time when Spektr-RG identifies such events. The discovery is reported in a paper published August 5 on the arXiv pre-print server.

NASA blames Mars rover sampling fiasco on bad, powdery rock

NASA is blaming unusually soft rock for last week's sampling fiasco on Mars.

Analysis can predict individual differences in cardiovascular responses to altered gravity

With recent forays into space travel by business moguls like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, visiting the edge of space has never been more within the grasp of commercial travel. However, at these altitudes, passengers experience weightlessness, or more generally, altered gravity, that can affect the body's normal physiology.

During close pass, Solar Orbiter captures Venus' glare

On Aug. 9, 2021, ESA/NASA's Solar Orbiter spacecraft passed within 4,967 miles (7,995 kilometers) of the surface of planet Venus. In the days leading up to the approach, the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager, or SoloHI, telescope captured this gleaming view of the planet.

Indian launch attempt of earth observation satellite fails

An Indian rocket failed in its attempt Thursday to put a satellite into orbit to provide real-time images used to monitor cyclones and other potential natural disasters.

NASA facility in Ohio named for native son Neil Armstrong

A NASA research facility in Ohio has been renamed after astronaut Neil Armstrong, who was born in the state and returned shortly after he became the first man to walk on the moon.

New project will simulate life on Mars, pave way for NASA's 'next giant leap'

As NASA prepares for its "next giant leap"—meaning astronauts on Mars—technology developed by Austin-based 3D printing construction company Icon is helping pave the way.

Technology news

Supercomputing resources power energy savings analysis

A study from Oak Ridge National Laboratory looked at which energy-saving measures would be the most effective across a swath of buildings in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Answer to thorny question could unlock internet security

Is it easier to check that a solution to a problem is correct than it is to solve the problem?

Swimming robot gives fresh insight into locomotion and neuroscience

Thanks to their swimming robot modeled after a lamprey, EPFL scientists may have discovered why some vertebrates are able to retain their locomotor capabilities after a spinal cord lesion. The finding could also help improve the performance of swimming robots used for search and rescue missions and for environmental monitoring.

Facebook engineers announce development of Time Cards

A pair of Facebook engineers have announced the development of Time Cards—PCIe cards that can be used in x86 architecture machines to serve as a timekeeping device. In their announcement on the Facebook Engineering blog page, Ahmad Byagowi and Oleg Obleukhov note that the technology behind the Time Cards is open source.

Codex, an AI system that translates natural language to programming code

Artificial intelligence research company OpenAI has announced the development of an AI system that translates natural language to programming code—called Codex, the system is being released as a free API, at least for the time being.

Researchers take step toward next-generation brain-computer interface system

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) are emerging assistive devices that may one day help people with brain or spinal injuries to move or communicate. BCI systems depend on implantable sensors that record electrical signals in the brain and use those signals to drive external devices like computers or robotic prosthetics.

Teaching AI to see depth in photographs and paintings

Researchers in SFU's Computational Photography Lab hope to give computers a visual advantage that we humans take for granted—the ability to see depth in photographs. While humans naturally can determine how close or far objects are from a single point of view, like a photograph or a painting, it's a challenge for computers—but one they may soon overcome.

Is your mobile provider tracking your location? This new technology could stop it.

Right now, there is a good chance your phone is tracking your location—even with GPS services turned off. That's because, to receive service, our phones reveal personal identifiers to cell towers owned by major network operators. This has led to vast and largely unregulated data-harvesting industries based around selling users' location data to third parties without consent.

Touted as clean, 'blue' hydrogen may be worse than gas, coal

"Blue" hydrogen—an energy source that involves a process for making hydrogen by using methane in natural gas—is being lauded as a clean, green energy to help reduce global warming. But Cornell and Stanford University researchers believe it may harm the climate more than burning fossil fuel.

Accenture claims 'no impact' in apparent ransomware attack

Cybercriminals have breached Accenture in an apparent ransomware attack but the global consulting giant says the incident was immediately contained with no impact on it or its systems.

US legislation aims to break grip on app stores

A bill introduced on Wednesday by US senators seeks to loosen the grip Apple and Google have on their lucrative online shops for apps and other digital content.

Smart-car identity and access management (IAM) system developed

A postgraduate student in City's Institute for Cyber Security (ICS) is attempting to plug the vulnerability gaps of smart cars to hacking and security breaches.

Lethal autonomous weapons and World War III: It's not too late to stop the rise of 'killer robots'

Last year, according to a United Nations report published in March, Libyan government forces hunted down rebel forces using "lethal autonomous weapons systems" that were "programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the munition." The deadly drones were Turkish-made quadcopters about the size of a dinner plate, capable of delivering a warhead weighing a kilogram or so.

UK watchdog: Facebook's ownership of Giphy hurts competition

Facebook's ownership of Giphy will hurt competition for animated images, U.K. regulators said Thursday, meaning the social network could ultimately be forced to unwind the deal if the provisional findings are confirmed.

The curious case of the $600 million crypto heist

Cryptocurrency investors have been transfixed over the past few days by the antics of a mysterious hacker who stole more than $600 million—before gradually giving it back.

Apple aims to push more patient data to doctors. But who can gauge its impact on health?

Soon, Apple announced recently, it will enable doctors to monitor health data from their patients' phones and watches between visits, part of the push into health care that Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, has declared will constitute the company's greatest contribution to mankind.

TikTok adds privacy updates for teens, including limits on notifications

TikTok is rolling out updates aimed at its teen users, including options such as choosing who can view videos and limits on when younger users get notifications.

Encouraging coexistence: New model cuts measurement needs for spectrum sharing by about 33%

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a modeling technique that can save time and money in estimating how to configure wireless communications systems to share the same transmission frequencies. The NIST model reduces the number of measurements needed to estimate reliable configurations by about 33%.

Using deep learning algorithms to give bicyclists the 'green wave' at traffic signals

Led by Dr. Stephen Fickas of the University of Oregon (UO), transportation researchers are working to give bicyclists smoother rides by allowing them to communicate with traffic signals via a mobile app.

Applying data-driven multimodal speed management strategies for safe, efficient transportation

How can we use a variety of data-driven speed management strategies to make transportation safer and more efficient for all modes—whether you're driving, walking or taking transit?

Google employees could face pay cuts if they choose to permanently work from home

Google employees who choose to work from home permanently may face pay cuts, according to a report by Reuters.

Disney+ subscriptions climb as earnings beat expectations

US entertainment giant Disney said Thursday subscriptions to its streaming service hit 116 million as it beat earnings expectations in the third quarter.

Crime data feared lost from Dallas police computer network

A massive amount of information on criminal cases dating to July 2020 has been lost from the Dallas Police Department computer database, authorities revealed on Wednesday.

Twitch vows to fight racist 'hate raids'

Video game platform Twitch on Wednesday vowed to battle "hate raids" in response to complaints about harassment of women and players of color.

5 tools to help your remote-work business click

Pre-pandemic, working from home was often considered a perk rather than a requirement. But once COVID-19 struck, many companies shifted to a remote-first work environment—a change that's now permanent in some cases.


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