Science X Newsletter Friday, Sep 11

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for September 11, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Regulating the absorption spectrum of polydopamine

Carbon-rich exoplanets may be made of diamonds

Infection higher in hospital cleaners than ICU staff: report

More than 90% of protected areas are disconnected

Researchers quantify worldwide loss of phosphorus due to soil erosion for the first time

Get diamonds, take temperature: Quantum thermometer using nanodiamonds senses a 'fever' in tiny worms C. elegans

Climate change recasts the insect communities of the Arctic

Galactic census reveals origin of most 'extreme' galaxies

In the Amazon, forest degradation is outpacing full deforestation

To repair a damaged heart, three cells are better than one

Immune cell responses in COVID-19 patients far from optimal

Nano-microscope gives first direct observation of the magnetic properties of 2-D materials

How cGAS enzyme is kept bottled up

Artificial reefs take on a towering presence as havens for marine predators

China's ecological restoration projects deplete terrestrial water stores

Physics news

Nonlinear polyatomic molecule, CaOCH3 laser-cooled to ~700 mK

A team of researchers at Harvard University has developed a way to cool nonlinear polyatomic molecules to extremely cold temperatures. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their method and possible uses for it. Eric Hudson with the University of California, Los Angeles, has published a Perspective piece in the same issue describing the decades-long history of work involved in attempting to cool complex molecules, and also outlines the work by the team in California.

A phonon laser: Coherent vibrations from a self-breathing resonator

Lasing—the emission of a collimated light beam of light with a well-defined wavelength (color) and phase—results from a self-organization process, in which a collection of emission centers synchronizes itself to produce identical light particles (photons). A similar self-organized synchronization phenomenon can also lead to the generation of coherent vibrations—a phonon laser, where phonon denotes, in analogy to photons, the quantum particles of sound.

Computational modelling explains why blues and greens are brightest colous in nature

Researchers have shown why intense, pure red colors in nature are mainly produced by pigments, instead of the structural color that produces bright blue and green hues.

Astronomy and Space news

Carbon-rich exoplanets may be made of diamonds

As missions like NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, TESS and Kepler continue to provide insights into the properties of exoplanets (planets around other stars), scientists are increasingly able to piece together what these planets look like, what they are made of, and if they could be habitable or even inhabited.

Galactic census reveals origin of most 'extreme' galaxies

Astronomers have found that the key to understanding galaxies with "extreme" sizes, either small or large, may lie in their surroundings. In two related studies, an international team found that galaxies that are either "ultra-compact" or "ultra-diffuse" relative to normal galaxies of comparable brightness appear to reside in dense environments, i.e., regions that contain large numbers of galaxies. This has led the team to speculate that these "extreme" objects could have started out resembling normal galaxies, but then evolved to have unusual sizes through interactions with other galaxies.

The evolving chemistry of protoplanetary disks

Planets form from the gas and dust in disks that surround young stars. Chemicals in the disk that evaporate easily, called volatiles, include important molecules like water, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, as well as other simple organic molecules. The amount of volatile material that accumulates in a planet as it forms is a key factor in determining the planet's atmosphere and suitability for life, and depends on the details of the gas and ice reservoirs in the disk at the time of planet formation.

Martian Moons eXploration spacecraft to take ultra-high definition images of Mars via 8K camera

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) have decided to jointly develop the Super Hi-Vision Camera that is capable of filming 4K and 8K images in space for JAXA's Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission. This would be the first time in history that 8K ultra-high-definition images of Mars and its moons are taken in proximity. By combining the actual flight data of the MMX spacecraft and the images taken by the Super Hi-Vision Camera, the exploration of the MMX spacecraft around Mars and its moons (the Martian system), 300 million kilometers from the Earth, will be recreated.

Could there be a form of life inside stars?

Are we alone in the universe?

China is building a floating spaceport for rocket launches

In the near future, launch facilities located at sea are expected to be a lot more common. SpaceX announced that it is hoping to create offshore facilities in the near future for the sake of launching the Starship away from populated areas. And China, the latest member of the superpowers-in-space club, is currently building the "Eastern Aerospace Port" off the coast of Haiyang city in the eastern province of Shandong.

Technology news

IFTTT announces Pro plan with advanced features, monthly fee

If a free app automation service starts charging a fee, then what happens next?

Are your devices spying on you? Australia's very small step to make the Internet of Things safer

From internet-connected televisions, toys, fridges, ovens, security cameras, door locks, fitness trackers and lights, the so-called "Internet of Things" (IoT) promises to revolutionize our homes.

AI tech to spot dangerous drivers

New license recognition technology could one day be used to detect dangerous drivers before problems arise.

Computer scientists use artificial intelligence to predict the frequencies of drug side effects

A new algorithm has been developed by academics at Royal Holloway, University of London, to predict the side effects of drugs before they hit the market by using the same principle by which movies are recommended to users.

Development of a multivalued optical memory composed of two-dimensional materials

The National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) has developed a memory device capable of storing multiple values using both optical and voltage input values. This device composed of layered two-dimensional materials is able to optically control the amount of charge stored in these layers. This technology may be used to significantly increase the capacity of memory devices and applied to the development of various optoelectronic devices.

Study reviews impact of wind energy on local Indiana communities

Wind power electricity generation arrived on the Indiana landscape in 2008. Early projects were concentrated in areas with favorable wind conditions. But a recent study by Purdue researchers revealed that subsequent innovations in wind power technologies, such as taller turbines with larger capacities, have made it economically viable for other Indiana areas to host utility-scale wind farms.

Airlines, unions running out of time to get more federal aid

A couple hundred flight attendants and pilots rallied this week on Capitol Hill and tweeted at lawmakers, asking them for $25 billion in additional federal funds to prevent airline furloughs next month.

Russia, China hackers targeting US vote, Microsoft warns

Microsoft said Thursday it thwarted recent cyberattacks from China, Russia and Iran targeting both Republican and Democratic presidential campaigns, as technology giants scrambled to protect election security less than two months ahead of the US vote.

$2.1 billion Asiana Airlines takeover collapses

A $2-billion-plus deal for a South Korean property developer to take over lossmaking Asiana Airlines collapsed Friday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with state-owned banks mounting a bailout to try to save 9,000 jobs.

Drone maker hurt by US-China rift, opening door to US rivals

Skateboarders, surfers and mountain bikers used to be the target customers for California startup Skydio, a maker of high-end drones that can home in on people and capture their movements on video all by themselves. Now police officers, firefighters and soldiers are interested in the self-flying machines.

EU heavyweights seek strict rules for digital currencies

Finance ministers from five of Europe's biggest economies called Friday for the European Union to produce strict rules for new, private digital currencies such as Facebook-backed Libra and ban those that don't comply.

Sculptor creates freely available design for antimicrobial touch guard to save your hands from germs

In March, Erwin Laiho, who works as a laboratory technician at the Aalto Design Factory in Finland, came across an inventive DIY tool online. A handy tool even in normal times, it was meant to avoid touching surfaces with bare hands in public places.

Trump team eyes giving TikTok's owners more time to line up sale

The Trump administration is considering whether to give more time to TikTok's Chinese owners to arrange a sale of the popular video-sharing app's U.S. operations to an American buyer, according to people familiar with the matter.

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