Science X Newsletter Thursday, Jul 9

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 9, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A system for swarm robotics applications inspired by pheromone communication in insects

Researchers apply the anti-de Sitter/conformal field theory to cosmology

A 'regime shift' is happening in the Arctic Ocean, scientists say

Brain benefits of exercise can be gained with a single protein

Capacitance of thin films containing polymerized ionic liquids

5G networks have few health impacts, study finds

Gall fly outmaneuvers host plant in game of "Spy vs. Spy"

Extreme rainfall events cause top-heavy aquatic food webs

The human brain: not just large but finely shaped

Lung cancer in non-smokers likely to respond differently to treatment

15-foot-long skeleton of extinct dolphin suggests parallel evolution among whales

Safer CRISPR gene editing with fewer off-target hits

Socio-economic, environmental impacts of COVID-19 quantified

Global wildlife surveillance could provide early warning for next pandemic

Fair justice systems need open data access

Physics news

Researchers apply the anti-de Sitter/conformal field theory to cosmology

The anti-de Sitter/conformal field theory (AdS/CFT) correspondence, also referred to as gauge/gravity duality, hypothesizes the existence of a relationship between two types of physics theories, namely gravity theories in AdS spacetimes and CFTs. Over the past few decades, gauge/gravity duality constructs have been applied in a wide range of scientific research fields. For instance, some researchers tried to use AdS/CFT to advance the development of a full quantum theory of gravity.

The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are striving to bring forth a technological revolution by leveraging this newfound knowledge in engineering applications. Spintronics is an emerging field that aims to surpass the limits of traditional electronics by using the spin of electrons, which can be roughly seen as their angular rotation, as a means to transmit information.

Novel 'dual-resonant method' in 2-D materials can spur advances in the field of photonics

Scientists at Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, have developed a new process that provides an ultrafast process of photon generation in two-dimensional materials. This process can potentially fuel the development of advanced optical devices in the field of photonics.

Calculating the true pressure required to propel penguin feces

A pair of researchers, one with Kochi University, the other Katsurahama Aquarium, both in Japan, has refined the estimate of the amount of pressure required by an Adélie penguin to shoot its feces a necessary distance. Hiroyuki Tajima and Fumiya Fujisawa have written a paper describing their new calculations and what it could mean for zookeepers.

T-ray camera speed boosted a hundred times over

Scientists are a step closer to developing a fast and cost effective camera that utilises terahertz radiation, potentially opening the opportunity for them to be used in non-invasive security and medical screening.

Scientists dive deep into hidden world of quantum states

A research team led by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has developed a technique that could lead to new electronic materials that surpass the limitations imposed by Moore's Law, which predicted in 1975 that the number of transistors packed into a tiny silicon-based computer chip would double every two years. Their findings were reported in the journal Nature Communications.

Cosmic cataclysm allows precise test of general relativity

In 2019, the MAGIC telescopes detected the first Gamma Ray Burst at very high energies. This was the most intense gamma-radiation ever obtained from such a cosmic object. But the GRB data have more to offer: with further analyses, the MAGIC scientists could now confirm that the speed of light is constant in vacuum—and not dependent on energy. So, like many other tests, GRB data also corroborate Einstein's theory of General Relativity. The study has now been published in Physical Review Letters.

Cherned up to the maximum

In topological materials, electrons can display behavior that is fundamentally differentfrom that in 'conventional' matter, and the magnitude of many such 'exotic' phenomena is directly proportional to an entity known as the Chern number. New experiments establish for the first time that the theoretically predicted maximum Chern number can be reached—and controlled—in a real material.

The darkness at the end of the tunnel

The Cage, as the elevator is called, leaves at exactly 7:30 a.m. Latecomers are out of luck.

CERN: physicists report the discovery of unique new particle

The LHCb collaboration at CERN has announced the discovery of a new exotic particle: a so-called "tetraquark". The paper by more than 800 authors is yet to be evaluated by other scientists in a process called "peer review", but has been presented at a seminar. It also meets the usual statistical threshold for claiming the discovery of a new particle.

Radio-over-fiber compression poised to advance 5G wireless networks

Although new 5G networks can offer much faster and more efficient wireless data transfer, the fiber optic networks currently used to connect wireless devices to the internet cannot easily support the increased load. A new study shows that a compression scheme for radio-over-fiber links could help solve this problem for a variety of 5G formats.

CERN: The first accelerators are back in action

The CERN Control Centre is back in shift work mode, with walls of screens showing the status of the beams, and coffee flowing freely day and night. On Friday, 3 July, the Long Shutdown 2 accelerator coordination team handed over the key of the PS Booster to the accelerator operators. Linac 4 and the PS Booster thus become the first two accelerators to be recommissioned, 18 months after the start of LS2.

Astronomy and Space news

VERITAS: exploring the deep truths of Venus

Imagine Earth. Now fill the skies with thick, sun-obscuring clouds of sulfuric acid; boil off the oceans by cranking up the temperature to 900 degrees Fahrenheit (nearly 500 degrees Celsius), and boost the air pressure high enough to flatten you like a pancake. What you now have is Venus, a rocky planet similar in size to Earth but different in almost every other way.

Making the case for slingshotting past Venus on the way to Mars

A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, North Carolina State University and NASA, has proposed, via whitepaper, that NASA should direct its Mars-bound spacecraft to fly by Venus first. In their paper, uploaded to the arXiv preprint server, the researchers outline their arguments for an opposition mission, as opposed to a conjunction mission.

Supermassive binary black hole hunter: SKA pulsar timing array

Recently, researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences quantified the potential of gravitational wave detection in the era of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA). The study was published in Physical Review D.

New comet NEOWISE graces the skies

A comet visiting from the most distant parts of our solar system is putting on a spectacular nighttime display. The comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE made its once-in-a-lifetime close approach to the sun on July 3 and will cross outside the Earth's orbit on its way back to the outer parts of the solar system by mid-August.

Languages will change significantly on interstellar flights

It's a captivating idea: build an interstellar ark, fill it with people, flora, and fauna of every kind, and set your course for a distant star. The concept is not only science fiction gold, it's been the subject of many scientific studies and proposals. By building a ship that can accommodate multiple generations of human beings (a generation ship), humans could colonize the known universe.

A new telescope to study solar flares

The cold, dark chaos of space is filled with mystery.

The Euclid space telescope is coming together

ESA's Euclid mission has reached another milestone on its journey towards launch. Its two instruments are now built and fully tested. These have been delivered to Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, where they are now being integrated with the telescope to form the mission's payload module.

Image: New European rack delivered to ISS

After a successful launch aboard the Japanese HTV9 cargo vehicle, a new experiment facility was recently installed in the European laboratory Columbus as part of a comprehensive upgrade of Europe's International Space Station module.

Technology news

A system for swarm robotics applications inspired by pheromone communication in insects

Nature is one of the most valuable sources of inspiration for researchers developing new robots and computational techniques. Over the past few decades, technological advances have enabled the creation of increasingly sophisticated systems replicating naturally occurring processes and phenomena, such as animal behaviors and biological mechanisms.

New cathode coating extends lithium-ion battery life, boosts safety

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, in collaboration with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), has developed a new particle-level cathode coating for lithium-ion batteries meant to increase their life and safety.

Team develops ways to keep buildings cool with improved super white paints

A research team led by UCLA materials scientists has demonstrated ways to make super white paint that reflects as much as 98% of incoming heat from the sun. The advance shows practical pathways for designing paints that, if used on rooftops and other parts of a building, could significantly reduce cooling costs, beyond what standard white 'cool-roof' paints can achieve.

Nvidia brings Ampere A100 GPUs to Google Cloud

Just over a month after announcing its latest generation Ampere A100 GPU, Nvidia said this week that the powerhouse processor system is now available on Google Cloud.

Twitter shares take wing on plan for subscription platform

Twitter shares closed the formal trading day up more than 7 percent after word spread of a team codenamed "Gryphon" working on a subscription platform.

Reducing noise transmitted through an open window

A new device that can reduce the intensity of sound passing through open windows is presented in a proof-of-principle study in Scientific Reports. It fits into a two-panel sliding window and can decrease the perceived loudness of urban transportation noises by up to half (10 decibel reduction).

Researchers develop method for using vertical line array to extract broadband modes in shallow water

Broadband mode extraction, including the horizontal wavenumber and modal depth function estimation, is a classical research task in shallow-water acoustics. Traditional approaches require a priori waveguide environment, a large-aperture array or a moving source.

Companies are increasingly turning to social media to screen potential employees

As businesses around the world slowly start to reopen after being forced to shut down operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduates of the class of 2020 are sharpening their presentation skills and updating their resumes to look for employment opportunities. But will their polished resumes make them more competitive relative to their peers?

Avoiding malware on the move

Mobile devices are a fairly ubiquitous feature of our lives. Some would say that their huge and yet compact computing power has made life easier for millions of people by providing information, entertainment, and services at a tap or a swipe. Of course, every technology has its abusers and our always-connected smartphones, tablets, and laptops are no different.

What if cell service were portable?

When Hurricane Maria, a deadly category 5 hurricane, hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, it caused catastrophic destruction that cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. As residents attempted to communicate with emergency services and with loved ones, they found it impossible; nearly all of Puerto Rico's cellular infrastructure was taken out with the storm.

Germany seizes server hosting pilfered US police files

At the behest of the U.S. government, German authorities have seized a computer server that hosted a huge cache of files from scores of U.S. federal, state and local law enforcement agencies obtained in a Houston data breach last month.

UK, Australia investigate Clearview facial recognition firm

Privacy watchdogs in Britain and Australia have opened a joint investigation into facial recognition company Clearview AI over its use of personal data "scraped" off social media platforms and other websites.

World entering new military 'drone age': UN expert

The world is entering a military "second drone age" with uncontrolled proliferation and no standards governing their use, a United Nations expert told the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday.

YouTube doesn't need to tattle on film pirates, says top EU Court

YouTube is not obliged to reveal private information on the identity of people posting illegal content on its platform, an EU court ruled on Thursday.

Musk says Tesla close to developing fully autonomous car

Tesla founder Elon Musk said Thursday that the world's recently crowned most valuable auto company could achieve a fully autonomous car by the end of 2020.

Why stakeholders in the 'wind energy vs. biological conservation' conflict have low mutual trust

Wind energy is considered to be one of the most promising forms of renewable energy. Yet, each year, wind turbines are responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of airborne animals such as bats which die from collisions with turbine blades. To find a constructive way out of this "green-green" dilemma, companies building and running wind turbines might have to work together with environmental experts and conservationists. Yet a lack of trust between them is likely to hinder effective and creative collaboration.

Google selects Mississippi site for 1st US operations center

Google's first U.S. operations center is coming to northwest Mississippi.

New machine learning framework enables efficiencies in quantum information processing

A new machine learning framework could pave the way for small, mobile quantum networks.

Amazon aviation fuel deal adds to demand for lower-emissions alternatives

Amazon will buy an aviation fuel blend made from used fats, oils and greases over the next 12 months as it searches for ways to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of its growing air cargo operations.

T-Mobile aims first wireless broadband service at rural homes

T-Mobile US Inc., taking a first step in its long-promised assault of cable and phone companies' landline businesses, is launching wireless broadband service to homes in rural areas.

Winds of change? Company looks at weather's effect on ball

The wind blowing out at Wrigley Field. The tricky breeze in San Francisco. The heat in Los Angeles.

TikTok's Hong Kong exit a 'win-win' business move

Viral video platform TikTok's withdrawal from Hong Kong is a savvy commercial move that sidesteps thorny privacy issues but it will not shield the app completely from accusations of collusion with China, experts say.

Profits at India's TCS slump 13.8% as virus batters demand

India's largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) reported a 13.8 percent fall in quarterly net profits Thursday after the country's coronavirus lockdown disrupted its operations and pushed Western clients to cut spending.

Delta CEO: latest COVID-19 spike crushing travel demand

After a brief uptick in flying interest this spring, the jump in US coronavirus cases has crushed travel demand during the normally busy summer season, the head of Delta Air Lines said Thursday, warning of job cuts ahead.

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