Science X Newsletter Thursday, Jun 24

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for June 24, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers create an artificial tactile skin that mimics human tactile recognition processes

Genome study reveals East Asian coronavirus epidemic 20,000 years ago

Multiple dinosaur species not only lived in the Arctic, they also nested there

Protocells spring into action

No lab required: New technology can diagnose infections in minutes

Ultralight material withstands supersonic microparticle impacts

Nanotech and AI could hold key to unlocking global food security challenge

Nesher Ramla Homo: New fossil discovery from Israel points to complicated evolutionary process

Scientists can predict and design single atom catalysts for important chemical reactions

Asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs still shaping life beneath impact crater

Unusual coronavirus protein is potential drug target to fight COVID-19

Observing a prethermal discrete time crystal

Cosmic dawn occurred 250 to 350 million years after Big Bang

How mRNA vaccines help fight cancer tumors

Physicists use electric fields to induce oscillations in tiny particles

Physics news

Observing a prethermal discrete time crystal

A framework of statistical physics can be extended to the nonequilibrium setting to discover previously unidentified phases of matter catalyzed by periodic driving. Scientists aim to reduce the runaway heating associated with driving a strongly interacting quantum system in order to investigate newly discovered phases.

Physicists use electric fields to induce oscillations in tiny particles

A challenging frontier in science and engineering is controlling matter outside of thermodynamic equilibrium to build material systems with capabilities that rival those of living organisms. Research on active colloids aims to create micro- and nanoscale "particles" that swim through viscous fluids like primitive microorganisms. When these self-propelled particles come together, they can organize and move like schools of fish to perform robotic functions, such as navigating complex environments and delivering "cargo" to targeted locations.

How physics breaks down in a black hole

One of the most cherished laws of physics—the conservation of charge—has come under fire in "startling" research by physicists.

The fifth quartet: Excited neon discovery could reveal star qualities

Scientists from the Department of Physics and the Research Center for Nuclear Physics (RCNP) at Osaka University, in collaboration with Kyoto University, used alpha particle inelastic scattering to show that the theorized "5α condensed state" does exist in neon-20. This work may help us obtain a better understanding the low-density nucleon many-body systems.

Theoretical proof that a strong force can create lightweight subatomic particles

Using only a pen and paper, a theoretical physicist has proved a decades-old claim that a strong force called Quantum Chromo Dynamics (QCD) leads to light-weight pions, reports a new study published on June 23 in Physical Review Letters.

Mechanism behind XFEL-induced melting of diamond unveiled

The ultrafast melting of diamond under intense x-ray irradiation has been visualized for the first time by RIKEN researchers. This observation will help scientists improve experimental methods that use high-intensity x-ray pulses to determine the structures of materials.

Quantum simulation: Measurement of entanglement made easier

University of Innsbruck researchers have developed a method to make previously hardly accessible properties in quantum systems measurable. The new method for determining the quantum state in quantum simulators reduces the number of necessary measurements and makes work with quantum simulators much more efficient.

Calibration method enables microscopes to make accurate measurements in all 3 dimensions

Conventional microscopes provide essential information about samples in two dimensions—the plane of the microscope slide. But flat is not all that. In many instances, information about the object in the third dimension—the axis perpendicular to the microscope slide—is just as important to measure.

A high-resolution microscope built from LEGO and phone bits

Microscopy is an essential tool in many fields of science and medicine. However, many groups have limited access to this technology due to its cost and fragility. Now, researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Münster have succeeded in building a high-resolution microscope using nothing more than children's plastic building bricks and affordable parts from a mobile phone. They then went on to show that children aged nine to 13 had significantly increased understanding of microscopy after constructing and working with the LEGO microscope. Their results were published in The Biophysicist.

Rearranging orchestral musicians to reduce disease-spreading aerosols

A team of researchers at the University of Utah Salt Lake City has found, via simulation, that it is possible to rearrange musicians playing wind instruments in an orchestra to reduce the spread of disease-laden aerosols. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes simulations they ran that showed airflow patterns during orchestral performances and what they found.

Researchers resolve magnetic structures of different topological semimetals

Topological semimetals are one of the major discoveries in condensed-matter physics in recent years. The magnetic Weyl semimetal, in which the Weyl nodes can be generated and modulated by magnetization, provides an ideal platform for the investigation of the magnetic field-tunable link between Weyl physics and magnetism. But due to the lack of appropriate or high quality specimens, most of the theoretically expected magnetic topological semimetals have not been experimentally confirmed. Therefore, exploration of new magnetic topological semimetals is of great importance.

Scientists present new measurements of β-delayed two-proton decay of 27S

Two-proton decay is a quantum tunneling process. The tunneling probability depends on the available energy and the height of the Coulomb barrier, which in turn depends on the nuclear charge Z (number of protons). Two-proton emission is a typical three-body breakup process, including the daughter nucleus and two protons, in which pairing correlations play an important role. Therefore, a detailed study of two-proton emission is of great significance for exploring the open quantum system, pairing correlations and exotic nuclear structure.

Artificial intelligence speeds forecasts to control fusion experiments

Machine learning, a technique used in the artificial intelligence (AI) software behind self-driving cars and digital assistants, now enables scientists to address key challenges to harvesting on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars. The technique recently empowered physicist Dan Boyer of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) to develop fast and accurate predictions for advancing control of experiments in the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U)—the flagship fusion facility at PPPL that is currently under repair.

A simple method to enhance responsivity of terahertz radiation detectors

Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with colleagues from Spanish universities have offered a simple method how to enhance the responsivity of terahertz radiation detectors by 3.5 times using a small Teflon cube. The 1 mm cube must be put on the surface of the detector without changing the inner design of the detector.

Astronomy and Space news

Cosmic dawn occurred 250 to 350 million years after Big Bang

Cosmic dawn, when stars formed for the first time, occurred 250 million to 350 million years after the beginning of the universe, according to a new study led by researchers at University College London (UCL) and the University of Cambridge.

Astrophysicists prepare for age of multi-messenger astronomy, build galaxy catalog to study black holes

Led by postdoctoral fellow researcher Maria Charisi, a team of international researchers known as the NANOGrav collaboration has created a catalog of 45,000 galaxies to detect gravitational waves created by pairs of black holes known as binaries. Using pulsars—the most precise clocks of the sky—a galactic scale detector dubbed a pulsar timing array and infrared data from across the sky, Charisi used the catalog to input hypothetical binaries to measure differences in the masses of the two black holes or their distance from each other within a galaxy. "Since we haven't found gravitational waves with pulsar timing arrays yet, we can play with our binary parameters and a range of gravitational wave frequencies to find the limits of the sizes of black hole binaries in specific galaxies," Charisi said.

Cosmic 'hand' hitting a wall

Motions of a remarkable cosmic structure have been measured for the first time, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The blast wave and debris from an exploded star are seen moving away from the explosion site and colliding with a wall of surrounding gas.

Research looks to outer space to learn about human health on Earth

As an oncologist, Adam Dicker has seen how cancer treatments can pummel the body to knock out tumors, sometimes leading to deteriorating bones, more infections, and haywire sleep cycles. But others have observed similar ailments in a group of healthy people: astronauts who spend time in space.

Scientists explain the behavior of the optical emission of blazars

Researchers from St. Petersburg University have analyzed data from optical telescopes covering more than eight years and managed to explain the mechanism of polarization plane rotations in blazars.

Image: Thomas and the blue marble

A snap of ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet during the second spacewalk to upgrade the International Space Station's power system, taken by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough.

Technology news

Researchers create an artificial tactile skin that mimics human tactile recognition processes

Over the past few decades, roboticists and computer scientists have developed artificial systems that replicate biological functions and human abilities in increasingly realistic ways. This includes artificial intelligence systems, as well as sensors that can capture various types of sensory data.

New, tiny battery powers big insight into fish passage for hydropower

With the worldwide decline of lamprey and eel populations, tracking their movement and survival is a first step toward conservation. However, some tracking sensors—or tags—are too large for smaller fish.

First demonstration of Mcity's test concept for highly automated vehicles

Highly automated vehicles need a different kind of test to prove they are safe before testing moves to public roads, leaders of Mcity at the University of Michigan said today as they conducted the first demonstration of a protocol they developed to do just that.

Microsoft issues warning about a malware campaign involving a call center

Microsoft, via its Security Intelligence account on Twitter, has issued a warning to Windows users of a new type of phishing scam that involves emails requesting users to dial a call center. They warn users to not dial the call center because following the instructions given by a human operator can lead to malware infections. The malware scam only works with Windows computers that have Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft debuts Windows 11, first major update in 6 years

Microsoft has unveiled the next generation of its Windows software, called Windows 11, that has sleeker visual features and is more open to third-party apps.

Making phone displays see better

Every few months smartphone companies release a newly designed phone—one with a larger screen, or a clearer camera. A selling point for many, the camera's capabilities are an important factor for consumers and amateur photographers alike. In an effort to improve the aesthetics of the display by maximizing its area, the cameras are now situated beneath the screen, which ultimately impacts picture clarity.

Recycling next-generation solar panels fosters green planet

Tossing worn-out solar panels into landfills may soon become electronics waste history.

China's crypto-miners look abroad as regulators tighten noose

When a prefecture in northwestern China's Xinjiang region ordered a halt on cryptocurrency mining projects this month, Chris Zhu scrambled to move clients' machines southward, spending over a week to reassemble in Sichuan.

Designing temporal networks that synchronize under resource constraints

Synchronization is critical for the function of many distributed systems—whether it's computers or power grids or neuronal populations—but doing it using the least amount of energy and resources possible can be a daunting task.

Optical music recognition with convolutional neural network

Optical character recognition (OCR) commonly used to convert the text in scanned documents into a searchable and editable form on the computer is a well-established digitisation technique. But, what about other kinds of documents, rich with meaning, such as musical manuscripts? New work in the International Journal of Arts and Technology discusses the possibility of optical musical recognition, OMR.

Cramming cities full of electric vehicles means we're still depending on cars—and that's a huge problem

This week, the NSW government announced almost A$500 million towards boosting the uptake of electric vehicles. In its new electric vehicle strategy, the government will waive stamp duty for cars under $78,000, develop more charging infrastructure, offer rebates to 25,000 drivers, and more.

Ransomware, data breach, cyberattack: What do they have to do with your personal information?

The headlines are filled with news about ransomware attacks tying up organizations large and small, data breaches at major brand-name companies and cyberattacks by shadowy hackers associated with Russia, China and North Korea. Are these threats to your personal information?

Solar geoengineering could limit global warming, but Canada should study risks and benefits first

The Swedish Space Corporation recently canceled a field test of a high altitude balloon, intended to better understand solar geoengineering techniques that might be used to cool the Earth.

European system speeds data flow with 50,000 links

Valuable data is flowing rapidly from Earth observing satellites back to the planet, thanks to the most sophisticated laser communication network ever built.

Dutch group launches data harvesting claim against TikTok

A Dutch consumer group is launching a 1.5 billion euro ($1.8 billion) claim against TikTok over what it alleges is unlawful harvesting of personal data from users of the popular video sharing platform.

Google delays phase out of tracking tech by nearly 2 years

Google will delay by nearly two years the phase out of Chrome web browser technology that tracks users for ad purposes, saying that it needs more time to develop a replacement system.

BuzzFeed to become a publicly traded company

Digital media company BuzzFeed is setting its sights on growth. It plans to become a publicly traded company with an implied value of $1.5 billion through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company.

France takes Apple to court over 'abusive' practices

A Paris court will hear in September a lawsuit supported by the French government against Apple that alleges the US tech giant uses abusive commercial practices against startups, a source said Thursday.

From Windows 1.0 to Windows 10: A history of Microsoft's signature PC software

On Thursday, PC owners got a first look at the future of Windows.

Uber pays $3.4M for Seattle gig worker leave law mistakes

Uber has agreed to pay more than $3.4 million to 15,000 drivers after making mistakes related to Seattle's pioneering paid sick leave law covering gig workers.

Microsoft's Windows 11 will allow for Android apps

Microsoft on Thursday unveiled a new version of the Windows software powering most of the world's computers, opening the door to apps tailored for Google-backed Android operating system.

Tsunamis, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns, pandemic: What Japan has learned from centuries of disaster

A decade on from 3/11—the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe that hit Japan—the country is again amid a crisis caused by COVID-19.

Scientists unveil new sound blind which reduces noise while allowing air to flow freely

A pioneering material that gives unprecedented control on sound and noise is to be trialed in hospitals and other noisy locations such as beside motorways.

Beeple, the artist behind $69M NFT auction, unveils website where you can buy moments as NFT collectibles

Earlier this year, digital artist Mike Winkelmann, commonly known as Beeple, made headlines after Christie's auctioned his artwork as an NFT for $69 million.

US lawmakers advance major antitrust package targeting Big Tech

US lawmakers advanced blockbuster legislation Thursday aimed at curbing the power of Big Tech firms with a sweeping reform of antitrust laws, setting the stage for a tough floor fight in Congress.

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Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Jun 23

Dear ymilog,

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for June 23, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

The first observation of the superscattering effect of metamaterials

Bird migration takes plants in wrong direction to cope with climate change

Life in these star-systems could have spotted Earth

Low-cost imaging technique shows how smartphone batteries could charge in minutes

Pandemic air quality due to weather, not just lockdowns

New algorithm helps autonomous vehicles find themselves, summer or winter

Astronomers discover three new faint dwarf galaxies

Self-healing liquid-metal elastomers

Mind the gap: Scientists use stellar mass to link exoplanets to planet-forming disks

Sound-induced electric fields control the tiniest particles

Songbirds and humans share some common speech patterns

Cities 'must become car-free to survive'

Asymmetry in carbon dioxide emissions and removals could skew climate targets: research

Researchers design new techniques to bolster memory safety

Natural hazards threaten 57% of US structures

Physics news

The first observation of the superscattering effect of metamaterials

Entering an invisible doorway to catch a train at King's Cross station in London is a renowned fictional scene from the Harry Potter series. In recent decades, physicists have been trying to produce a similar effect by focusing their research efforts on illusion devices.

Sound-induced electric fields control the tiniest particles

Engineers at Duke University have devised a system for manipulating particles approaching the miniscule 2.5 nanometer diameter of DNA using sound-induced electric fields. Dubbed "acoustoelectronic nanotweezers," the approach provides a label-free, dynamically controllable method of moving and trapping nanoparticles over a large area. The technology holds promise for applications in the fields ranging from condensed matter physics to biomedicine.

ATLAS experiment measures top quark polarization

Unique among its peers is the top quark—a fascinating particle that the scientific community has been studying in detail since the 90s. Its large mass makes it the only quark to decay before forming bound states (a process known as hadronisation) and gives it the strongest coupling to the Higgs boson. Theorists predict it may also interact strongly with new particles—if it does, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the ideal place to find out as it is a "top-quark factory."

Viruses as communication molecules: Modeling viral aerosol transmission

How long do virus-laden particles persist in an elevator after a person infected with COVID-19 leaves? And is there a way to detect those particles? A group of electrical engineers and computer scientists at KAUST set out to answer these questions using mathematical fluid dynamics equations.

Concepts from physics explain importance of quarantine to control spread of COVID-19

Mathematical models that describe the physical behavior of magnetic materials can also be used to describe the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Astronomy and Space news

Life in these star-systems could have spotted Earth

Scientists at Cornell University and the American Museum of Natural History have identified 2,034 nearby star-systems—within the small cosmic distance of 326 light-years—that could find Earth merely by watching our pale blue dot cross our sun.

Astronomers discover three new faint dwarf galaxies

By analyzing the data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international team of astronomers has conducted a search for nearby faint dwarf galaxies. In result, they detected three such objects around the Sculptor Galaxy. The finding is reported in a paper published June 16 on

Mind the gap: Scientists use stellar mass to link exoplanets to planet-forming disks

Using data for more than 500 young stars observed with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), scientists have uncovered a direct link between protoplanetary disk structures—the planet-forming disks that surround stars—and planet demographics. The survey proves that higher mass stars are more likely to be surrounded by disks with "gaps" in them and that these gaps directly correlate to the high occurrence of observed giant exoplanets around such stars. These results provide scientists with a window back through time, allowing them to predict what exoplanetary systems looked like through each stage of their formation.

Nightside radio could help reveal exoplanet details

We can't detect them yet, but radio signals from distant solar systems could provide valuable information about the characteristics of their planets.

First clear view of a boiling cauldron where stars are born

University of Maryland researchers created the first high-resolution image of an expanding bubble of hot plasma and ionized gas where stars are born. Previous low-resolution images did not clearly show the bubble or reveal how it expanded into the surrounding gas.

Less metal, more X-rays: New research unlocks key to high luminosity of black holes

A recent article published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, led by Dr. Kostas Kouroumpatzakis, of the Institute of Astrophysics at the Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas (IA-FORTH), and the University of Crete, provides new insights into the connection between the X-ray luminosity of accreting black holes and neutron stars and the composition of the stellar populations they are associated with. This research was conducted at the Institute of Astrophysics of FORTH and the University of Crete.

Earth-like biospheres on other planets may be rare

A new analysis of known exoplanets has revealed that Earth-like conditions on potentially habitable planets may be much rarer than previously thought. The work focuses on the conditions required for oxygen-based photosynthesis to develop on a planet, which would enable complex biospheres of the type found on Earth. The study is published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

NASA's Webb Telescope will use quasars to unlock the secrets of the early universe

Quasars are very bright, distant and active supermassive black holes that are millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun. Typically located at the centers of galaxies, they feed on infalling matter and unleash fantastic torrents of radiation. Among the brightest objects in the universe, a quasar's light outshines that of all the stars in its host galaxy combined, and its jets and winds shape the galaxy in which it resides.

To find out how galaxies grow, we're zooming in on the night sky and capturing cosmic explosions

Across Australia, astronomers are using cutting-edge technologies to capture the night sky, hoping to eventually tackle some of our biggest questions about the universe.

Space telescopes could provide next-level images of black hole event horizons

Back in 2019, the world was treated to the first-ever image of a black hole, which was originally captured in 2017. The feat was widely heralded as a leap forward for astrophysics, supporting Einstein's theory of relativity. Now, a team led by the Radboud University proposes sending instruments into space to estimate black hole parameters more accurately by an order of magnitude. The newest paper, led by Dr. Volodymyr Kudriashov, translates science goals into technical requirements and focuses on the instrumentation needed for the Event Horizon Imager, as the mission is called.

Image: Jezero Crater's 'Delta scarp'

A Perseverance rover scientist's favorite shot from the young Mars mission provides a new angle on an old and intriguing surface feature.

Video: Simulating atmospheric reentry in a plasma wind tunnel

Simulating the burn-up during atmospheric reentry of one of the bulkiest items aboard a typical satellite using a plasma wind tunnel.

Europe seeks disabled astronauts, more women in space

The European Space Agency says it was "blown away" by the record number of applicants—more than 22,000—hoping to become the continent's next generation of space travelers, including more women than ever and some 200 people with disabilities.

CIBER-2 experiment successfully completes first flight

By sending a Black Brant IX rocket on a 15-minute flight to space and back, researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology, Caltech, Kwansei Gakuin University, and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute glimpsed traces of light from the earliest stages of the universe. The Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment-2 (CIBER-2) completed a successful first launch on June 7 at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the first of four planned over the next several years.

Xi lauds 'new horizon' for humanity in space chat with astronauts

President Xi Jinping on Wednesday lauded the work of three astronauts building China's first space station as opening "new horizons" in humanity's bid to explore the cosmos.

Technology news

Low-cost imaging technique shows how smartphone batteries could charge in minutes

Researchers have developed a simple lab-based technique that allows them to look inside lithium-ion batteries and follow lithium ions moving in real time as the batteries charge and discharge, something which has not been possible until now.

New algorithm helps autonomous vehicles find themselves, summer or winter

Without GPS, autonomous systems get lost easily. Now a new algorithm developed at Caltech allows autonomous systems to recognize where they are simply by looking at the terrain around them—and for the first time, the technology works regardless of seasonal changes to that terrain.

Researchers design new techniques to bolster memory safety

Because corporations and governments rely on computers and the internet to run everything from the electric grid, healthcare, and water systems, computer security is extremely important to all of us. It is increasingly being breached: Numerous security hacks just this past month include the Colonial Pipeline security breach and the JBS Foods ransomware attacks where hackers took over the organization's computer systems and demanded payment to unlock and release it back to the owners. The White House is strongly urging companies to take ransomware threats seriously and update their systems to protect themselves. Yet these attacks continue to threaten all of us on an almost daily basis.

Antiferromagnetic-based memory device could bolster computing applications and answers fundamental questions

A research team from Northwestern Engineering and the University of Messina in Italy have developed a new magnetic memory device that could lead to faster, more robust Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. Composed of antiferromagnetic materials, the memory technology is immune to external magnetic fields and could one day improve a variety of computing systems, including AI hardware, cryptocurrency mining, and space exploration programs.

Zoox releases updated in-depth safety report for its robo-taxi

The team at Amazon-owned Zoox has released an in-depth safety report detailing the safety features engineers have built into the company's autonomous vehicle, a robo-taxi, and have published it online.

Harvesting drinking water from humidity around the clock

Fresh water is scarce in many parts of the world and must be obtained at great expense. Communities near the ocean can desalinate sea water for this purpose, but doing so requires a large amount of energy. Further away from the coast, practically often the only remaining option is to condense atmospheric humidity through cooling, either through processes that similarly require high energy input or by using "passive" technologies that exploit the temperature swing between day and night. However, with current passive technologies, such as dew-collecting foils, water can be extracted only at night. This is because the sun heats the foils during the day, which makes condensation impossible.

Mouse movements reveal your behavior

In two recently published research papers, computer scientists from the University of Luxembourg and international partners show how mouse movements can be used to gain additional knowledge about the user behavior. While this has many interesting applications, mouse movements can also reveal sensitive information about the users such as their age or gender. Scientists want to raise awareness about these potential privacy issues and have proposed measures to mitigate them.

How to make lithium-ion batteries invincible

In our future electrified world, the demand for battery storage is projected to be enormous, reaching to upwards of 2 to 10 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual battery production by 2030, from less than 0.5 TWh today. However, concerns are growing as to whether key raw materials will be adequate to meet this future demand. The lithium-ion battery—the dominant technology for the foreseeable future—has a component made of cobalt and nickel, and those two metals face severe supply constraints on the global market.

Advancing research on environmentally friendly, hydrogen-enriched fuel

As you drive down the highway, you may notice an increasing number of hybrid and electric vehicles. Alternative energy automobiles are on the rise contributing to the global effort to reduce carbon emissions. As we move together down this road, researchers are looking to determine new solutions to this ongoing problem.

Google gives workers tool for remote work planning

Google on Tuesday unveiled a platform that lets its workers calculate pay and benefits for remote work, and how this would change if they move to a cheaper—or more expensive—city.

US lawmakers open contentious debate on Big Tech regulation

US lawmakers Wednesday launched a contentious debate on legislation aimed at curbing the power of Big Tech firms with a sweeping reform of antitrust laws.

Smart street furniture in Australia: Public service or surveillance and advertising tool?

Smart street furniture—powered and digitally networked furniture that collects and generates data—is arriving in Australia. It comes in a variety of forms, including benches, kiosks, light poles and bus stops. Early examples in Australia include ChillOUT Hubs installed by Georges River Council in the Sydney suburbs of Kogarah, Hurstville and Mortdale, and information kiosks and smart light poles in the City of Newcastle as part of its Smart City Strategy.

Fabrication of printed high-performance thin-film transistors operable at one volt

NIMS has developed low-temperature-catalyzed, solution-processed SiO2 (LCSS), which subsequently enabled printing of high-performance thin-film transistors (TFTs) and three-dimensional circuits connecting various elements. These TFTs with an LCSS insulating layer, produced through printing alone, exhibited the highest field-effect mobilities among fully-printed TFTs ever recorded (70 cm2 V-1 s-1) at an operating voltage of 1 V or less. These results may facilitate the development of various printed devices, such as printed displays and highly sensitive sensors.

Robot farmers—with responsible development—could improve jobs, fight climate change

Farming robots that can move autonomously in an open field or greenhouse promise a cleaner, safer agricultural future. But there are also potential downsides, from the loss of much-needed jobs to the safety of those working alongside the robots.

Machines learn pandemic prediction

Might machine learning and big data allow us to predict how an emerging disease might spread and so be more prepared than we were for the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic? A new survey from India of the various techniques published in the International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation suggests so.

Producing methane for energy in underground repositories using solar energy

During the winter months, renewable energy is in short supply throughout Europe. An international project is now considering an unconventional solution: Renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide are pumped into the ground together, where naturally occurring microorganisms convert the two substances into methane, the main component of natural gas.

No more targeted online ads? EU not so sure

Highly personalised targeting of web users for advertising is a central part of the internet today, but some in the EU want to ban it, potentially upending a business model that made Google and Facebook giants.

Bitcoin fund launches on Dubai bourse in Mideast first

The Middle East's first bitcoin fund launched on the Dubai bourse on Wednesday, with Canadian digital asset manager 3iQ Corp seeking to raise around $200 million in the offering.

UK to regulate streaming giants in media shake-up

The British government on Wednesday announced plans to subject online streaming platforms to tighter regulation as part of a wider shake-up of the country's media landscape.

Peloton reportedly working on digital heart rate wearable device

Peloton is reportedly venturing into the digital wearables market.

A novel energy storage solution featuring pipes and anchors

What do pipes and anchors have to do with storing energy? More than you might think. A new IIASA-led study explored the potential of a lesser known, but promising sustainable energy storage system called Buoyancy Energy Storage.

Aging Japanese nuclear reactor restarted after a decade

A more than 40-year-old nuclear reactor in central Japan which suffered a deadly accident has resumed operation after being taken offline for a decade after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, as Japan pushes to meet its carbon emissions reduction goal.

New study suggests ways to mitigate fuel shortages

In New England, constraints in the supply of natural gas have led to nearly a quarter of all unscheduled power plant outages. In a new study, researchers used data from power plant failures in the 2010s to develop a supply curve of the costs required for generators to mitigate fuel shortages in the region. The study found that storing both oil and gas on-site could reduce dependence by power plants on gas grids in geographic areas with few pipelines.

Amazon 'Prime Day' spend soars amid reopening

Amazon's annual "Prime Day" online shopping bonanza racked up more than $11 billion in sales at the e-commerce platform, market tracker Adobe reported on Wednesday.

Lifting off? Sudden travel surge tests US airlines

US airlines are scrambling to ramp back up to meet soaring travel demand that has transformed America's airports from cavernous to crowded almost overnight.

Seamless cross-border 5G connectivity achieved in autonomous cars

Swedish luxury automobile manufacturer Volvo Cars and leading ICT provider Ericsson have taken an important step towards achieving seamless cross-border 5G connectivity in vehicles. Partners in the EU-backed 5GCroCo project, the two companies successfully tested the handover of connected cars between two national mobile 5G networks.

McAfee founder found dead by suicide in Spanish jail: prison official (Update)

Antivirus software pioneer John McAfee was found dead in his jail cell in Spain on Wednesday, a prison official said, shortly after a court approved his extradition to the United States where he was wanted for tax evasion.

Teamsters aims to step up efforts to unionize Amazon workers

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union that represents 1.4 million delivery workers, is setting its sights on Amazon.

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