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Spotlight Stories Headlines

Study investigates enhancements in the superconductivity of electronic nematic systems

Multivariate patterning of human pluripotent cells reveals induced paracrine factors in kidney organoid development

Kirigami designs hold thousands of times their own weight

Solving a biological puzzle: How stress causes gray hair

General relativity used to find optimal airplane boarding speed

Team develops an electrochemical method for extracting uranium, and potentially other metal ions, from solution

Interdisciplinary study reveals new insights into the evolution of sign languages

Vomiting bumblebees show that sweeter is not necessarily better

Urine fertilizer: 'Aging' effectively protects against transfer of antibiotic resistance

Caterpillar loss in tropical forest linked to extreme rain, temperature events

Suppression of newly found protein could lead to future treatments to slow Alzheimer's progression

Persistent environmental contaminant changes the gut microbiome of mice

Researchers test cells with silicon anodes, alumina coatings that protect cathodes

GM's Cruise heads down new road with new robotaxi concept

New tool for investigating brain cells, Parkinson's, and more

Physics news

Study investigates enhancements in the superconductivity of electronic nematic systems

High-temperature superconductors, materials that become superconducting at unusually high temperatures, are key components of a variety of technological tools, including MRI machines and particle accelerators. Recently, physicists have observed that the two families of known high-temperature superconductors—copper- and iron-based compounds—both exhibit a unique phenomenon in which electronic degrees of freedom can break the overall crystal rotational symmetry and form what is known as the electronic nematic phase.

Creating and observing current vortices in 2-D materials

Researchers at the University of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new method to measure how photocurrents flow in a 2-D material—a result that could have implications for developing quantum sensors and next-generation electronics.

Signals from inside the Earth: Borexino experiment releases new data on geoneutrinos

Scientists involved in the Borexino collaboration have presented new results for the measurement of neutrinos originating from the interior of the Earth. The elusive "ghost particles" rarely interact with matter, making their detection difficult. With this update, the researchers have now been able to access 53 events—almost twice as many as in the previous analysis of the data from the Borexino detector, which is located 1,400 metres below the Earth's surface in the Gran Sasso massif near Rome. The results provide an exclusive insight into processes and conditions in the earth's interior that remain puzzling to this day.

Mapping the path of climate change

Since 1880, the Earth's temperature has risen by 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit and is predicted to continue rising, according to the NASA Global Climate Change website. Scientists are actively seeking to understand this change and its effect on Earth's ecosystems and residents.

Physicists trap light in nanoresonators for record time

An international team of researchers from ITMO University, the Australian National University, and Korea University have experimentally trapped an electromagnetic wave in a gallium arsenide nanoresonator a few hundred nanometers in size for a record-breaking time. Earlier attempts to trap light for such a long time have only been successful with much larger resonators. In addition, the researchers have provided experimental proof that this resonator may be used as a basis for an efficient light frequency nanoconverter. The results of this research have raised great interest among the scientific community and were published in Science, one of the world's leading academic journals. Scientists have made suggestions about drastically new opportunities for subwavelength optics and nanophotonics—including the development of compact sensors, night vision devices, and optical data transmission technologies.

Scientists take the first step towards extending the Standard Model in physics

Researchers of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) in collaboration with colleagues from the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and a number of German scientific organizations, calculated previously unexplored effects in atoms. The results were published in the Physical Review A, highlighted as an Editor's Choice article.

Acousto-optic modulation of photonic bound state in the continuum

Applying bound states in the continuum (BICs) in photonic integrated circuits enables low-loss light guidance and routing in low-refractive-index waveguides on high-refractive-index substrates. Here, we demonstrate high-quality integrated lithium niobate microcavities with circulating BICs and further acousto-optically modulate these BICs by surface acoustic waves. The acousto-optic coupling is well situated in the resolved-sideband regime, which leads to coherent coupling between microwave and optical photons, as exhibited by the observed electro-acousto-optically induced transparency and absorption.

Astronomy & Space news

Gravitational wave echoes may confirm Stephen Hawking's hypothesis of quantum black holes

Echoes in gravitational wave signals suggest that the event horizon of a black hole may be more complicated than scientists currently think.

New models reveal inner complexity of Saturn moon

A Southwest Research Institute team developed a new geochemical model that reveals that carbon dioxide (CO2) from within Enceladus, an ocean-harboring moon of Saturn, may be controlled by chemical reactions at its seafloor. Studying the plume of gases and frozen sea spray released through cracks in the moon's icy surface suggests an interior more complex than previously thought.

Astronomers find a way to form 'fast and furious' planets around tiny stars

New astronomy research from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) suggests giant planets could form around small stars much faster than previously thought.

Even planets have their (size) limits

Scientists have discovered over 4,000 exoplanets outside of our Solar System, according to NASA's Exoplanet Archive.

NASA sounding rocket observing nitric oxide in polar night

Aurora, also known as the northern lights, are a sight to behold as they dance across the sky when solar winds collide with the Earth's atmosphere.

The riddle of the heavenly bursts

This cosmic lightning storm is happening all around us. Somewhere in the earthly sky, there is a pulse that flashes and extinguishes in the next moment. These bursts, which must be measured with radio telescopes and last one thousandth of a second, are one of the greatest mysteries of astrophysics. Scientists doubt that militant aliens are fighting "Star Wars" in the vastness of space. But where do these phenomena—dubbed "fast radio bursts" by the experts—come from?

Canberra astronomer becomes first Australian to win major US science award in 133 years

Lisa Kewley has transformed our understanding of the early years of the Universe, the development of galaxies, and what happens when they collide.

Technology news

Kirigami designs hold thousands of times their own weight

The Japanese art of origami (from ori, folding, and kami, paper) transforms flat sheets of paper into complex sculptures. Variations include kirigami (from kiri, to cut), a version of origami that allows materials to be cut and reconnected using tape or glue.

GM's Cruise heads down new road with new robotaxi concept

General Motors' self-driving car company will attempt to deliver on its long-running promise to provide a more environmentally friendly ride-hailing service in an unorthodox vehicle designed to eliminate the need for human operators to transport people around crowded cities.

Study says that we trust our workplace robots

The only constant is change. Presumptions harden as truth but then there is occasion to throw presumptions off the table and start again. That's the deal with information technology using AI for business and with robots unleashed in the workplace. The presumptions are that such tech is potentially harmful and that if those robots rebel against you, you're toast.

First fully integrated flexible electronics made of magnetic sensors and organic circuits

Human skin is a fascinating multifunctional organ with unique properties originating from its flexible and compliant nature. It allows for interfacing with external physical environment through numerous receptors interconnected with the nervous system. Scientists have been trying to transfer these features to artificial skin for a long time, aiming at robotic applications.

Netflix holds its own in the streaming wars—for now

Netflix is holding its ground in the streaming wars, passing its first big test since Apple and Disney launched rival services.

US agency examining Tesla unintended acceleration complaint

The U.S. government's auto safety agency is looking into allegations that all three of Tesla's electric vehicle models can suddenly accelerate on their own.

UK lays out tough child data privacy rules

Social media sites, games and other online services won't be allowed to "nudge" British kids into revealing personal details or lowering their privacy settings, under tough new rules drawn up by the country's privacy regulator.

Costly 'dieselgate' chokes Daimler results in 2019

German auto giant Daimler warned Wednesday that its 2019 earnings could fall short of expectations due to massive new charges over diesel emissions cheating, further clouding the outlook for the vital car sector as a whole.

Trump says Apple 'has to help' on police access to encrypted phones

President Donald Trump weighed in Wednesday on Apple's dispute with the US government over giving law enforcement access to encrypted iPhones, saying the company "has to help."

Sustainable markets must be created and defended

Creating sustainable markets poses particular obstacles: A sustainable market must be continuously shaped and reshaped. This is the conclusion of three researchers in business administration and innovation at Linkoping University, who have used the Swedish biogas market as a case.

YouTube's algorithms might radicalize people—but we have no idea how they work

Does YouTube create extremists? A recent study caused arguments among scientists by arguing that the algorithms that power the site don't help radicalize people by recommending ever more extreme videos, as has been suggested in recent years.

Study calls for EU trade policy to anticipate ethical and responsible AI regulation

EU trade policy should carve out space for the regulation of ethical and responsible artificial intelligence (AI) in future trade talks. This is the finding of a new study by researchers from the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Institute for Information Law. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned the study to generate further knowledge about the interface between international trade law and European norms and values when it comes to the use of AI.

One ring to rule them all: Surveillance 'smart' tech won't make Canadian cities safer

Last fall, Drew Dilkens, the mayor of Windsor, Ont., set out to make the city the first Canadian urban center to connect to the Amazon Ring network, which the company calls "the new neighborhood watch."

How blockchain could prevent future data breaches

Just before the new year, approximately 15 million Canadians —about 40 percent of the entire population of Canada —learned that their sensitive personal data, collected by one of Canada's major lab diagnostic and testing services, had been breached.

New research: Human heartbeats help distinguish computer-generated faces from ours

Recent advances in computer graphics are making it possible to create computer-generated (CG) representations of human beings that are difficult to distinguish from their real-world counterparts. "Digital human face detection in video sequences via a physiological signal analysis," a paper published today in the Journal of Electronic Imaging (JEI), presents an innovative way to discern between natural humans (NAT) and CG faces within the context of multimedia forensics, using individuals' heart rate as the discriminating feature. JEI is co-published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T).

Why tech has been slow to fight wildfires, extreme weather

For two years running , California's wildfires have sent plumes of smoke across Silicon Valley. So far, that hasn't spurred much tech innovation aimed at addressing extreme-weather disasters associated with climate change.

South Africa's energy crisis has triggered lots of bad ideas for managing utilities

Since late last year South Africans have, once again, been subjected to power cuts by the power utility, Eskom. The need for what's called loadshedding—planned power outages—led to the recent resignation of Eskom's chairperson and a flurry of concern about the current and future reliability of electricity supply. It has also raised questions about the lack of progress in resolving Eskom's financial and operational crises since Cyril Ramaphosa became the country's president in early 2018.

Dating apps: How to protect your personal data from hackers, advertisers

Setting up a profile on most dating apps is simple.

Payout for Musk as Tesla value tops $100 bn

Tesla's market value hit $100 billion for the first time Wednesday, triggering a payout plan that could be worth billions for Elon Musk, founder and chief of the electric carmaker.

New coalition advocating electric vehicles counts Amazon as a founding member

Amazon is one of the initial members of a new industry group set up to help companies electrify their vehicle fleets and support policies that enable electrification.

Wednesday is deadline for claims in 2017 Equifax data breach

Wednesday is the deadline to seek cash payments and claim free services as part of Equifax's $700 million settlement over a massive data breach.

GM to spend $3.5B in Michigan under revised tax credit deal

Michigan on Wednesday agreed to revise decade-long tax breaks for General Motors in exchange for the company's commitment to spend at least $3.5 billion more over 10 years, including to build electric pickup trucks in Detroit.

Judge orders Microsoft to release tax records in IRS dispute

A federal judge says it's likely that Microsoft was trying to avoid or evade paying U.S. taxes and is ordering the company to hand over financial documents from more than a decade ago.

Michigan lifts barriers to Tesla sales, settling lawsuit

Michigan has cleared the way for Tesla to sell more electric vehicles in the state and get them serviced under a deal filed Wednesday that settles a lawsuit by the automaker.

EU auto market set for first drop in seven years: carmakers

European new car sales are forecast to fall by two percent in 2020, their first drop in seven years, the industry trade association said Wednesday as it urged governments to aid a transition to electric vehicles.

Researchers propose solutions for networking lag in massive IoT devices

The internet of things (IoT) widely spans from the smart speakers and Wi-Fi-connected home appliances to manufacturing machines that use connected sensors to time tasks on an assembly line, warehouses that rely on automation to manage inventory, and surgeons who can perform extremely precise surgeries with robots. But for these applications, timing is everything: a lagging connection could have disastrous consequences.

Amazon music service tops 55 million subscribers

Amazon on Wednesday said that its streaming music service has won more than 55 million subscribers, closing in on Apple Music.

Boeing doesn't expect Max jet to be cleared until summer

Boeing said Tuesday that it doesn't expect federal regulators to approve its changes to the grounded 737 Max until this summer, several months longer than the company was saying just a few weeks ago.

New computer system will detect bad ballot design before it reaches the voting booth

In 2000, the infamously confusing butterfly ballot led many voters in Florida's Palm Beach County to mistakenly vote for the wrong presidential candidate, altering the outcome of the election—and American history.

Data mining hyphenated headlines: Improving named entity recognition

Data mining and extraction of knowledge from disparate sources is big data, big business. But, how does the search software cope with entities that are mentioned where only part of their name is used or a name is hyphenated when it normally isn't? Research published in the International Journal of Intelligent Information and Database Systems reveals details of a new approach to improving named entity recognition and disambiguation in news headlines.

United Airlines: No Boeing 737 MAX flights this summer

United Airlines will keep the Boeing 737 MAX out of service for even longer, and does not expect to fly the plane this summer, executives said Wednesday.

Boeing should ditch MAX name says head of top leasing firm

Boeing should abandon the MAX name for its latest Boeing 737, the head of the world's top aircraft leasing firm said as the plane remains grounded pending recertification after two fatal accidents.

Boeing expects to resume MAX production before mid-2020

Boeing plans to begin ramping up 737 MAX production ahead of winning regulatory approval to resume service on the plane, Chief Executive David Calhoun said Wednesday.

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