Science X Newsletter Week 13

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 13:

Researchers achieve world's first manipulation of antimatter by laser

Researchers with the CERN-based ALPHA collaboration have announced the world's first laser-based manipulation of antimatter, leveraging a made-in-Canada laser system to cool a sample of antimatter down to near absolute zero. The achievement, detailed in an article published today and featured on the cover of the journal Nature, will significantly alter the landscape of antimatter research and advance the next generation of experiments.

First X-rays from Uranus discovered

Astronomers have detected X-rays from Uranus for the first time, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This result may help scientists learn more about this enigmatic ice giant planet in our solar system.

NASA's InSight detects two sizable quakes on Mars

NASA's InSight lander has detected two strong, clear quakes originating in a location of Mars called Cerberus Fossae—the same place where two strong quakes were seen earlier in the mission. The new quakes have magnitudes of 3.3 and 3.1; the previous quakes were magnitude 3.6 and 3.5. InSight has recorded over 500 quakes to date, but because of their clear signals, these are four of the best quake records for probing the interior of the planet.

Lab-made hexagonal diamonds stiffer than natural diamonds

Nature's strongest material now has some stiff competition. For the first time, researchers have hard evidence that human-made hexagonal diamonds are stiffer than the common cubic diamonds found in nature and often used in jewelry.

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

Researchers have confirmed for the first time that Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica could cross tipping points, leading to a rapid and irreversible retreat which would have significant consequences for global sea level.

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.

New drug to regenerate lost teeth

The tooth fairy is a welcome guest for any child who has lost a tooth. Not only will the fairy leave a small gift under the pillow, but the child can be assured of a new tooth in a few months. The same cannot be said of adults who have lost their teeth.

Controversial test flight aimed at cooling the planet cancelled

US and European scientists have called off a controversial balloon test flight that was to take place in Sweden's far north in June, part of a disputed solar geoengineering experiment to artificially cool the planet.

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover takes selfie with 'Mont Mercou'

At the start of March, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover began approaching an impressive rock formation that scientists dubbed "Mont Mercou," a nickname taken from a mountain in France. Standing about 20 feet (6 meters) tall, the outcrop is captured in all its majesty in a new selfie, as well as in a pair of panoramas that offer a 3D view. The selfie shows Curiosity in front of Mont Mercou with a new drill hole nearby at a rock sample nicknamed "Nontron"—the mission's 30th sample to date.

Low-cost solar-powered water filter removes lead, other contaminants

A new invention that uses sunlight to drive water purification could help solve the problem of providing clean water off the grid.

Physicists observe new phase in Bose-Einstein condensate of light particles

About 10 years ago, researchers at the University of Bonn produced an extreme aggregate photon state, a single "super-photon" made up of many thousands of individual light particles, and presented a completely new light source. The state is called an optical Bose-Einstein condensate and has captivated many physicists ever since, because this exotic world of light particles is home to its very own physical phenomena. Researchers led by Prof. Dr. Martin Weitz, who discovered the super photon, and theoretical physicist Prof. Dr. Johann Kroha now report a new observation: a so-called overdamped phase, a previously unknown phase transition within the optical Bose-Einstein condensate. The study has been published in the journal Science.

Early Earth's hot mantle may have led to Archean 'water world'

A vast global ocean may have covered early Earth during the early Archean eon, 4 to 3.2 billion years ago, a side effect of having a hotter mantle than today, according to new research.

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

We are made of stardust, the saying goes, and a pair of studies including University of Michigan research finds that may be more true than we previously thought.

Australasian genetic influence spread wider in South America than previously thought

A team of researchers from Universidade de São Paulo, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, has found evidence of a genetic Australasian influence in more parts of South America than just the Amazon. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of a genomic dataset from multiple South American populations across the continent.

First interstellar comet may be the most pristine ever found

New observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (ESO's VLT) indicate that the rogue comet 2I/Borisov, which is only the second and most recently detected interstellar visitor to our Solar System, is one of the most pristine ever observed. Astronomers suspect that the comet most likely never passed close to a star, making it an undisturbed relic of the cloud of gas and dust it formed from.

Researchers discover how animals grow their pointy body parts

An interdisciplinary team at Monash University discovered a new universal rule of biological growth that explains surprising similarities in the shapes of sharp structures across the tree of life, including teeth, horns, claws, beaks, animal shells, and even the thorns and prickles of plants.

Black hole seeds key to galaxies behemoths

A new black hole breaks the record—not for being the smallest or the biggest—but for being right in the middle.

Physicists flip particle accelerator setup to gain a clearer view of atomic nuclei

Physicists at MIT and elsewhere are blasting beams of ions at clouds of protons —like throwing nuclear darts at the speed of light—to map the structure of an atom's nucleus.

Scientists zero in on the role of volcanoes in the demise of dinosaurs

Earth has experienced five major mass extinction events over the past 500 million years. Massive volcanic eruptions have been identified as the major driver of the environmental changes that precipitated at least three of these extinction events. The fifth and most recent event—the end-Cretaceous mass extinction—occurred 66 million years ago and was responsible for wiping out dinosaurs. Researchers have long debated whether gas emissions from volcanic eruptions from the Deccan Traps (an enormous volcanic province located in India) or the impact of a large asteroid is most responsible for causing the climate changes that triggered that event. Now, a multi-institutional research team led by scientists from The Graduate Center, CUNY has analyzed the amount and timing of CO2 outgassing (one of the main gases released by the Deccan Traps) to further determine the role that volcanism played in climate shifts around the time of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

Female monkeys use males as 'hired guns' for defense against predators, study says

Researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Congo Program and the Nouabalé-Ndoki Foundation found that female putty-nosed monkeys (Cercopithecus nictitans) use males as "hired guns" to defend from predators such as leopards.


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