Science X Newsletter Friday, Nov 20

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for November 20, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Efficient light-emitting diodes made by depositing perovskites on a fluoride interface

Searching for axion dark matter conversion signals in the magnetic fields around neutron stars

Nanobubble-controlled nanofluidic transport

New solvent-based recycling process could cut down on millions of tons of plastic waste

How rotavirus causes severe gastrointestinal disease

The microbiome of Da Vinci's drawings

Plant evolves to become less visible to humans

There are microplastics near the top of Mount Everest too

Gut immune cells may help send multiple sclerosis into remission

New non-invasive technology could spot early signs of motor disorders in babies

Study finds hyperbaric oxygen treatments reverse aging process

Alternative gene control mechanism based on organization of DNA within nucleus

Researchers discover 'missing' piece of Hawaii's formation

How tissue geometry influences the movement of cells through the body

Some Amazon rainforest regions more resistant to climate change than previously thought

Physics news

Searching for axion dark matter conversion signals in the magnetic fields around neutron stars

According to theoretical predictions, axion dark matter could be converted into radio frequency electromagnetic radiation when it approaches the strong magnetic fields that surround neutron stars. This radio signature, which would be characterized by an ultranarrow spectral peak at a frequency that depends on the mass of the axion dark matter particle in question, could be detected using high-precision astronomical instruments.

'Search of a lifetime' for supersymmetric particles at CERN

A team of researchers at the University of Chicago recently embarked on the search of a lifetime—or rather, a search for the lifetime of long-lived supersymmetric particles.

Study of polycyclic aroma shows molecules following same relaxation pathway and behaving more like solids than molecules

A team of researchers from Institut Lumière Matière, Universität Heidelberg and Leiden University has found via study of a whole class of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that such molecules follow the same relaxation pathways and have size-dependent lifetimes—and behave more like solids than is typical for molecules. In their paper published in the journal Nature Physics, the group describes their work, which involved studying what happens when ultrashort X-rays are fired at large and complex molecules. Laura Cattaneo with the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics has written a News and Views piece outlining general work involved in trying to understand photochemistry in complex big molecules and the work done by the team on this new effort.

Refining the picture of the Higgs boson

To explain the masses of electroweak bosons—the W and Z bosons—theorists in the 1960s postulated a mechanism of spontaneous symmetry breaking. While this mathematical formalism is relatively simple, its cornerstone—the Higgs boson – remained undetected for almost 50 years.

Q&A: Toward the next generation of computing devices

Ever noticed how our smartphones and computing devices become faster within short spans? You can thank Moore's law for that. Back in 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore predicted that the processing power of computers would double about every two years, and incredibly this empirical rule-of-thumb has held on for over five decades.

Improving quantum dot interactions, one layer at a time

Osaka City University scientists and colleagues in Japan have found a way to control an interaction between quantum dots that could greatly improve charge transport, leading to more efficient solar cells. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Astronomy and Space news

Understanding the 'dark' universe and primordial galaxy formation

Visible matter constitutes only 16% of the universe's total mass. Little is known about the nature of the rest of that mass, which referred to as dark matter. Even more surprising is the fact that the universe's total mass accounts for only 30% of its energy. The rest is dark energy, which is totally unknown but is responsible for the universe's accelerated expansion.

Resolving long-standing mysteries about the first parallaxes in astronomy

In 1838, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel won the race to measure the first distance to a star other than our Sun via the trigonometric parallax—setting the first scale of the universe.

In December, Jupiter, Saturn will look like double planet for first time since the Middle Ages

Just after sunset on the evening of Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer together in Earth's night sky than they have been since the Middle Ages, offering people the world over a celestial treat to ring in the winter solstice.

Astronomers discover new 'fossil galaxy' buried deep within the Milky Way

Scientists working with data from the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys' Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) have discovered a "fossil galaxy" hidden in the depths of our own Milky Way.

Field geology at Mars' equator points to ancient megaflood

Floods of unimaginable magnitude once washed through Gale Crater on Mars' equator around 4 billion years ago—a finding that hints at the possibility that life may have existed there, according to data collected by NASA's Curiosity rover and analyzed in joint project by scientists from Jackson State University, Cornell University, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Hawaii.

Technology news

Efficient light-emitting diodes made by depositing perovskites on a fluoride interface

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are devices that emit light when electrical current flows through them, traditionally fabricated using semiconducting materials. Over the past few years, scientists and electronics engineers have been exploring the potential of LEDs made of perovskites, a class of materials often used to create photovoltaic (PV) technology with many possible compositions and numerous potential properties, such as superconductivity and magnetoresistance.

Software developed to help programmers prototype graphic user interfaces

A new artificial intelligence (AI) system has been developed to help ordinary untrained people to design and create applications and software for smartphones and personal computers. With the help of this system, non-designers can quickly and easily create a user-friendly mobile app.

Invention lets rotting veggies make a greener world

For generations, kids have been coaxed into finishing their vegetables after their parents sternly advised them that it is not nice to waste food when people are starving elsewhere in the world. But someday soon, kids may have a comeback: "If we eat those vegetables, we can't help fight climate change, reduce the carbon footprint or help provide power to underserved regions of our world."

Coaching sales agents? Use AI and human coaches

Researchers from Temple University, Sichuan University, and Fudan University published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that explores the growing use of AI to coach sales agents to determine if there are any caveats that inhibit the effective use of this technology.

Idaho is top pick for Energy Department nuclear test reactor

The U.S. government said Thursday that Idaho is its preferred choice ahead of Tennessee for a test reactor to be built as part of an effort to revamp the nation's fading nuclear power industry by developing safer fuel and power plants.

Tween gaming sensation Roblox to go public: filing

Popular gaming platform Roblox, a pandemic sensation among children, is aiming to raise $1 billion in an initial public offering, according to documents published Thursday.

Switch to electric vehicles could 'end oil era': analysis

Emerging markets switching from petrol and diesel engines to electric vehicles (EVs) could save $250 billion annually and slash expected growth in global oil demand by as much as 70 percent, an industry analysis showed Friday.

Apple to press ahead on mobile privacy, despite Facebook protests

Apple said Thursday it would press ahead with mobile software changes that limit tracking for targeted advertising—a move that has prompted complaints from Facebook and others.

Hope for Fortnite gamers as developer launches App Store bypass software

Gamers are now able to play previously-unavailable titles on Apple devices after developers launched software that bypasses the App Store and allows users to access PC games on the Safari browser, paving the way for Fortnite to return to iPhones.

Robots that mimic the natural world

Mosquitoes on Mars, metal birds flocking like pigeons and hoverflies with your lunch. Robots are copying nature.

Q&A: Artificial intelligence and the classroom of the future

Imagine a classroom in the future where teachers are working alongside artificial intelligence partners to ensure no student gets left behind.

What's cellular about a cellphone?

Daniel Bliss is a professor of electrical engineering at Arizona State University and the director of the Center for Wireless Information Systems and Computational Architecture. In this interview, he explains the ideas behind the original cellular networks and how they evolved over the years into today's 5G (fifth generation) and even 6G (sixth generation) networks.

Mobile e-commerce startup Wish files IPO, claims 108 mn users

The operator of the mobile e-commerce startup Wish filed documents for a share offering Friday, revealing a user base of more than 100 million.

Struggling airlines seek to stay in the skies

The airline industry holds its annual gathering by video conference next week under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic that has plunged the sector into a crisis that may yet claim more carriers.

China maintains ban on Boeing 737 MAX flights

China's aviation regulator will not yet allow Boeing's troubled 737 MAX jet to fly in the company's biggest market owing to lingering safety concerns, despite the US lifting a ban on commercial flights.

Airlines need another $70-80 bn to survive: IATA chief

Airlines need up to another $80 billion to survive, the head of the industry's trade association told a French daily on Friday, as many countries tighten restrictions to confront another wave of coronavirus infections.

Subseasonal and seasonal forecasts can help the EU speed up the transition to renewable energy

By using subseasonal and seasonal forecasts, energy companies can improve their management of weather-related risk and potentially increase their profits. Such forecasts can thus contribute to speeding up the transition to renewable energy.

A robot that tells growers when to water crops is on the way

Every backyard gardener knows how hard it can be to tell when to water the plants. Multiply that by tens or hundreds of acres and it's easy to see the challenges growers face keeping their crops healthy while managing water resources wisely.

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