Science X Newsletter Thursday, Nov 26

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for November 26, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Study revealing the secret behind a key cellular process refutes biology textbooks

Study of threatened desert tortoises offers new conservation strategy

A route for avoiding defects during additive manufacturing

Irreversible hotter and drier climate over inner East Asia

Trillion-transistor chip breaks speed record

Keyhole wasps may threaten aviation safety

Understanding traditional Chinese medicine can help protect species

Scientists develop new gene therapy for eye disease

Neanderthal thumbs better adapted to holding tools with handles

Protein commonly screened for in pregnancy is linked to gestational diabetes

Embryonic stem cells have their own strategy for protecting chromosome ends

Study is the first to link microbiota to dynamics of the human immune system

Real-world neuroscience experiments show diversity in learning new motor skills

Foreign vs. own DNA: How an innate immune sensor tells friend from foe

Ancient Earth had a thick, toxic atmosphere like Venus—until it cooled off and became liveable

Physics news

T-ray technology reveals what's getting under your skin

A new method for analyzing the structure of skin using a type of radiation known as T-rays could help improve the diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and skin cancer.

Plasma-developed new material fundamental to Internet of Things

QUT Professor Ken Ostrikov from the School of Chemistry and Physics and QUT Centre for Materials Science said the new material could be used to develop new transistor devices for electronics and photodetectors for such applications as fibre-optic communication systems and environmental sensing.

Astronomy and Space news

Ancient Earth had a thick, toxic atmosphere like Venus—until it cooled off and became liveable

Earth is the only planet we know contains life. Is our planet special? Scientists over the years have mulled over what factors are essential for, or beneficial to, life. The answers will help us identify other potentially inhabited planets elsewhere in the galaxy.

Europe signs $102M deal to bring space trash home

The European Space Agency says it is signing a 86 million-euro ($102 million) contract with a Swiss start-up company to bring a large piece of orbital trash back to Earth.

Rapid-forming giants could disrupt spiral protoplanetary discs

Giant planets that developed early in a star system's life could solve a mystery of why spiral structures are not observed in young protoplanetary discs, according to a new study by University of Warwick astronomers.

New Hubble data explains missing dark matter

New data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provides further evidence for tidal disruption in the galaxy NGC 1052-DF4. This result explains a previous finding that this galaxy is missing most of its dark matter. By studying the galaxy's light and globular cluster distribution, astronomers have concluded that the gravity forces of the neighbouring galaxy NGC 1035 stripped the dark matter from NGC 1052-DF4 and are now tearing the galaxy apart.

Technology news

Trillion-transistor chip breaks speed record

The biggest computer chip in the world is so fast and powerful it can predict future actions "faster than the laws of physics produce the same result."

Using fabric to 'listen' to space dust

Earlier this month a team of MIT researchers sent samples of various high-tech fabrics, some with embedded sensors or electronics, to the International Space Station. The samples (unpowered for now) will be exposed to the space environment for a year in order to determine a baseline for how well these materials survive the harsh environment of low Earth orbit.

'Rules as Code' will let computers apply laws and regulations

Can computers read and apply legal rules? It's an idea that's gaining momentum, as it promises to make laws more accessible to the public and easier to follow. But it raises a host of legal, technical and ethical questions.

Video games are 'under-regulated': EU anti-terror czar

Online video games can be used to propagate extremist ideologies and even prepare attacks, the EU's anti-terrorist coordinator told AFP in an interview in which he urged more regulation.

UN experts sound alarm over AI-enhanced racial profiling

Countries must do more to combat racial profiling, UN rights experts said Thursday, warning that artificial intelligence programmes like facial recognition and predictive policing risked reinforcing the harmful practice.

Think taxing electric vehicle use is a backward step? Here's why it's an important policy advance

The South Australian and Victorian governments have announced, and New South Wales is considering, road user charges on electric vehicles. This policy has drawn scorn from environmental advocates and motor vehicle lobbyists who fear it will slow the uptake of less-polluting vehicles. But, from a longer-term transport policy perspective, a distance-based road user charge on electric vehicles is an important step forward.

Comcast will charge customers more for heavy internet usage starting next year

Comcast Corp. will charge more for heavy users of home internet in Northeast states—including Pennsylvania and New Jersey—angering customers who work and study online due to the pandemic.

A different 'super spreader': Facebook struggles with election disinfo

The US presidential election is finished: votes cast, the transition—though delayed—begun.

Black Friday: Why not save money with a refurbished Samsung Galaxy smartphone, Apple iPhone or laptop?

Sure, you can buy the latest iPhone 12 starting at $699, but doesn't a classic iPhone for $200 sound more up your alley?

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