Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Aug 25

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 25, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Study unveils the role of the basal ganglia in the control of learned motor skills

Study demonstrates the quantum speed up of supervised machine learning on a new classification task

Researchers describe a new fossil species representing the ancient forerunner of most modern reptiles

In a first, scientists capture a 'quantum tug' between neighboring water molecules

Tropical forests in Africa's mountains store more carbon than previously thought—but are disappearing fast

Study investigates radio properties of supernova remnant G107.0+9.0

New research shows men and women of Roman Herculaneum had different diets

Researcher discovers 'neck-like' vertebral motion in fish

Genetic mapping boosts hopes for restoring prized lake trout

Evolutionary 'time travel' reveals enzyme's origins, possible future designs

Detecting an unprecedented range of potentially harmful airborne compounds

Protecting gardens and crops from insects using the 'smell of fear'

'Nanojars' capture dissolved carbon dioxide, toxic ions from water

Portable MRI provides life-saving information to doctors treating strokes

Peabody fossils illuminate dinosaur evolution in eastern North America

Physics news

Study demonstrates the quantum speed up of supervised machine learning on a new classification task

In recent years, several computer scientists and physicists have been exploring the potential of quantum-enhanced machine learning algorithms. As their name suggests, quantum machine learning approaches combine quantum algorithms with machine learning techniques.

In a first, scientists capture a 'quantum tug' between neighboring water molecules

Water is the most abundant yet least understood liquid in nature. It exhibits many strange behaviors that scientists still struggle to explain. While most liquids get denser as they get colder, water is most dense at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, just above its freezing point. This is why ice floats to the top of a drinking glass and lakes freeze from the surface down, allowing marine life to survive cold winters. Water also has an unusually high surface tension, allowing insects to walk on its surface, and a large capacity to store heat, keeping ocean temperatures stable.

Cooling technique allows easier measurements of key particle property

Scientists from the BASE-collaboration, led by RIKEN scientists, have developed a new cooling method that will allow easier measurements of a property of protons and antiprotons called the magnetic moment. This is one of the properties that is being investigated to solve the mystery of why our universe contains matter but almost no antimatter.

Physicists make laser beams visible in vacuum

A new method developed at the University of Bonn simplifies ultra-precise adjustment for quantum optics experiments.

The boiling crisis and how to avoid it

It's rare for a pre-teen to become enamored with thermodynamics, but those consumed by such a passion may consider themselves lucky to end up at a place like MIT. Madhumitha Ravichandran certainly does. A Ph.D. student in Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE), Ravichandran first encountered the laws of thermodynamics as a middle school student in Chennai, India. "They made complete sense to me," she says. "While looking at the refrigerator at home, I wondered if I might someday build energy systems that utilized these same principles. That's how it started, and I've sustained that interest ever since."

Installation demonstrates how terawatt lasers can control and safely divert lightning

Almost 270 years since Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod, lightning protection is still based on this same concept. Although we can't deny the benefits of lightning rods, major drawbacks do remain. Installing permanent lightning rods isn't often feasible, and lightning rods also only protect against the direct effects of lightning. By attracting lightning strikes to conduct their current to the ground, lightning rods may even cause additional and more severe indirect effects, such as electromagnetic interference and voltage surges in devices and appliances.

Harnessing the particle-tracking power of the algorithm

A simple camera system paired with a sophisticated image-processing algorithm can achieve faster and more accurate reconstructions of particle flow.

Fully-gapped pairing in the new vanadium-based Kagome superconductors

Due to its unique geometry, the Kagome lattice intrinsically exhibits topological electronic structures and flat bands, making it an ideal platform for studying novel emergent states. In the recently discovered Kagome superconductors AV3Sb5 (A = K, Rb, Cs), V atoms form an ideal Kagome lattice. As a rare realization of superconductivity on the ideal Kagome lattice, and because superconductivity emerges in the presence of topological surface states and an unusual charge order, these material have drawn immense interest from the physics community. In addition to elucidating the nature of the unusual charge order and its interplay with superconductivity, the superconducting pairing symmetry and pairing mechanism are key issues that need to be addressed.

A new platform for integrated photonics

SiC photonics has been developed for over a decade, one of the major obstacles is the difficulty of fabricating ultralow optical loss SiC thin-films. Scientists in China have fabricated an ultralow loss 4H-SiCOI platform with a record-high-Q factor of 7.1 × 106. Nonlinear photonics process, including second-, third- and fourth-harmonic generations, Raman lasing, and Kerr frequency combs have been observed. This demonstration represents a milestone in the development of SiC photonic devices.

Biophotonic probes for bio-detection and imaging

Sensitive detection and imaging in bio-microenvironment is highly desired in biophotonic and biomedical applications. However, conventional photonic materials inevitably show incompatibility and invasiveness to bio-systems. To address this issue, Scientists in China reviewed recent progresses of biophotonic probes, including bio-lasers, biophotonic waveguides, and bio-microlenses, made from biological entities with inherent biocompatibility and minimal invasiveness, with applications for bio-detection and imaging. These biophotonic probes open up entirely new windows for biophotonic researches and biomedical applications.

Astronomy and Space news

Study investigates radio properties of supernova remnant G107.0+9.0

Astronomers from Germany and China have performed detailed radio observations of a supernova remnant (SNR) known as G107.0+9.0. Results of the observational campaign yield important insights into the radio properties of this source. The study was published August 19 on

NASA's Psyche mission moves closer to launch

As part of NASA's Discovery Program, the mission to explore a metal-rich asteroid is well on its way to an August 2022 launch.

Automatic Observation Management system to coordinate telescope network

The incorporation of distinct telescopes into larger coordinated networks can enhance the discovery and follow-up capacity. However, challenges still remain in scaling, deploying, organizing and scheduling such networks.

Team captures data from unarmed Minuteman III test launch

A team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) successfully collected data from the recent operational test of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Watch: 14 hours of Enceladus geyser action

What a parting gift the Cassini mission gave us.

Technology news

Virgin Hyperloop lays out its plans for the future

The team at Virgin Hyperloop has released a video detailing the company's plans for building its version of a hyperloop system. In the video, a voiceover describes the type of hyperloop the company plans to build, and differences between it and other designs.

New tool could help authors bust writer's block in novel-length works

Authors experiencing writer's block could soon have a new way to help develop the next section of their story.

Scientist leads study on faster charging energy storage

An award-winning Tulane University researcher has led a team in discoveries that could result in significantly faster charging electric vehicles and portable devices such as cell phones and laptops. The team, led by Michael Naguib, the Ken & Ruth Arnold Early Career Professor in Science and Engineering, engineered novel materials at the nanoscale to achieve high power and energy densities.

Robot mimics the powerful punch of the mantis shrimp

Mantis shrimp pack the strongest punch of any creature in the animal kingdom. Their club-like appendages accelerate faster than a bullet out of a gun and just one strike can knock the arm off a crab or break through a snail shell. These small but mighty crustaceans have been known to take on octopus and win.

Extending nuclear power accident computer code for advanced reactor designs

Nuclear power is a significant source of steady carbon-neutral electricity, making the design and construction of new and next-generation nuclear reactors critical for achieving the U.S."s green energy goals.

Fukushima nuclear water to be released via undersea tunnel

The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant said Wednesday it plans to build an undersea tunnel so that massive amounts of treated but still radioactive water can be released into the ocean about 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) away from the plant to avoid interference with local fishing.

US Senate's internet access plan rests on better broadband maps

The Senate's bipartisan infrastructure bill makes a $42.5 billion bet that the government will overcome an obstacle that has long plagued efforts to connect most Americans to the internet: notoriously inaccurate maps showing where they can get a signal—and where they can't.

Do passengers want self-driving cars to behave more or less human?

Recent studies have shown that people have negative attitudes about using autonomous systems because they don't trust them. Moreover, research shows a human-centered approach in autonomy is perceived as more trustworthy by users. This begs the question: "Do passengers want self-driving cars to mimic their personal driving behaviors or do they hold these autonomous vehicles to a different standard?"

FAA opens Boeing safety review amid reports of pressure

US air safety regulators will open a review of operations at Boeing after feedback from inspectors assigned to provide oversight for the government showed many feel unable to share their concerns.

Biden, tech leaders eye 'concrete steps' to boost cybersecurity

A White House cybersecurity gathering including Big Tech executives was set Wednesday to unveil steps aimed at improving cybersecurity following high-profile attacks which raised questions about the vulnerability of so-called critical infrastructure.

YouTube says it removed 1mn 'dangerous' videos on COVID-19

YouTube said Wednesday it has removed more than one million videos with "dangerous coronavirus misinformation" since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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