Science X Newsletter Friday, Nov 27

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for November 27, 2020:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Exploring the use of artificial intelligence in architecture

Immune responses during embryo development could increase risk of schizophrenia

New transient ultraluminous X-ray source detected in the galaxy NGC 7090

'Turncoat' macrophages in the tumor 'micro-environment' underlie breast cancer progression

A photonic crystal coupled to a transmission line via an artificial atom

AI system finds, moves items in constricted regions

Mine ponds amplify mercury risks in Peru's Amazon

Japan spacecraft carrying asteroid soil samples nears home

The case of the missing dark matter: new suspect found in galactic mystery

It's not too late to save 102 species at risk of extinction

New research shows even small ships pose deadly threat to North American right whales

Periodic table: Scientists propose new way of ordering the elements

Climate change is making autumn leaves change colour earlier—here's why

Satellite images confirm uneven impact of climate change

Gut microbes: The key to normal sleep

Physics news

A photonic crystal coupled to a transmission line via an artificial atom

Researchers have recently displayed the interaction of superconducting qubits; the basic unit of quantum information, with surface acoustic wave resonators; a surface-wave equivalent of the crystal resonator, in quantum physics. This phenomena opens a new field of research, defined as quantum acoustodynamics to allow the development of new types of quantum devices. The main challenge in this venture is to manufacture acoustic resonators in the gigahertz range. In a new report now published on Nature Communications Physics, Aleksey N. Bolgar and a team of physicists in Artificial Quantum Systems and Physics, in Russia and the U.K., detailed the structure of a significantly simplified hybrid acoustodynamic device by replacing an acoustic resonator with a phononic crystal or acoustic metamaterial.

Unprecedented accuracy in quantum electrodynamics: Giant leap toward solving proton charge radius puzzle

Physicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have tested quantum mechanics to a completely new level of precision using hydrogen spectroscopy, and in doing so they came much closer to solving the well-known proton charge radius puzzle.

Researchers fabricate co-doped aluminosilicate fiber with high laser stability for multi-kW level laser

Multi-kilowatt (kW) (≥3kW) level fiber lasers with high stability are significant in many applications, and Yb-doped fiber is the key device in such fiber lasers. The incredible advances of the past few decades in fiber fabrication technology have led to an exponential increase in the output power of continuous-wave (CW) fiber lasers. However, with further scaling the output power, photodarkening (PD) was found to be one of the critical limit factors for long-term laser reliability under multi kW level output power.

Astronomy and Space news

New transient ultraluminous X-ray source detected in the galaxy NGC 7090

An international team of astronomers has identified a new ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) in the galaxy NGC 7090. The object, designated NGC 7090 ULX3, was found using NASA's Swift spacecraft. The finding is detailed in a paper published November 17 on the arXiv pre-print repository.

Japan spacecraft carrying asteroid soil samples nears home

A Japanese spacecraft is nearing Earth after a yearlong journey home from a distant asteroid with soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system, a space agency official said Friday.

The case of the missing dark matter: new suspect found in galactic mystery

A faraway galaxy with almost no dark matter has threatened to break our theory of galaxy formation. New evidence suggests the galaxy isn't an anomaly—but a victim of theft.

Galaxy's brightest gamma-ray binary system may be powered by a magnetar

A team of researchers led by members of the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) has analyzed previously collected data to infer the true nature of a compact object—found to be a rotating magnetar, a type of neutron star with an extremely strong magnetic field—orbiting within LS 5039, the brightest gamma-ray binary system in the Galaxy.

Earth faster, closer to black hole in new map of galaxy

Earth just got 7 km/s faster and about 2000 light-years closer to the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. But don't worry, this doesn't mean that our planet is plunging towards the black hole. Instead the changes are results of a better model of the Milky Way Galaxy based on new observation data, including a catalog of objects observed over the course of more than 15 years by the Japanese radio astronomy project VERA.

Galaxy survives black hole's feast—for now

Black holes are thought to gobble up so much surrounding material that they put an end to the life of their host galaxy. In that process they create a highly energetic object called a quasar which was previously thought to halt star birth. Now researchers have found a galaxy that is surviving the ravenous forces of a quasar by continuing to birth new stars –about 100 Sun-sized stars a year.

Comet 2019 LD2 (ATLAS) found to be actively transitioning

A comet discovered last year is offering scientists new insights into how these objects "turn on" and evolve, as it actually transitions out of the Centaur population and into the Jupiter Family of Comets (JFCs), according to a paper by Planetary Science Institute Research Scientist Jordan Steckloff.

Scientists claim controversial results of comet observations are consistent

Astrophysicists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) joined the international research team for explaining the difference in the results of observation of the comet 41P/ Tuttle—Giacobini—Kresak. Researchers believe that data obtained by three independent teams are complementary and its complex analysis helps to unravel the mystery of dust chemical composition of comet 41P and other conundrums of the Universe. A related article appears in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Catch Monday morning's subtle lunar eclipse

Howling at the Moon Sunday night? Sunday night into Monday morning November 30th features not only the penultimate Full Moon for 2020, but the final lunar eclipse of the year, with a penumbral eclipse of the Moon.

Cyprus rocky testing ground for Mars

International and Cypriot experts on Friday discussed a research project to test space equipment on the Mediterranean island before sending it to Mars to measure the age of its rocks, officials said.

ESA and Auroch Digital launch Mars Horizon game

You're controlling your very own space agency at the dawn of the space age, with the ultimate goal of setting foot on the surface of Mars. Which technologies should you research? Which rockets should you build? Should you aim for the Moon first or head straight to the Red Planet?

Technology news

Exploring the use of artificial intelligence in architecture

Over the past few decades, artificial intelligence (AI) tools have been used to analyze data or complete basic tasks in an increasing number of fields, ranging from computer science to manufacturing, medicine, physics, biology and even artistic disciplines. Researchers at University of Michigan have recently been investigating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in architecture. Their most recent paper, published in the International Journal of Architectural Computing, specifically explores the potential of AI as a tool to create new architectural designs.

AI system finds, moves items in constricted regions

Artificial intelligence is being applied to virtually every aspect of our work and recreational lives. From determining calculations for the construction of towering skyscrapers to designing and building cruise ships the size of football fields, AI is increasingly playing a key role in the most massive projects.

Electronic skin has a strong future stretching ahead

A material that mimics human skin in strength, stretchability and sensitivity could be used to collect biological data in real time. Electronic skin, or e-skin, may play an important role in next-generation prosthetics, personalized medicine, soft robotics and artificial intelligence.

Looking for ways to prevent price collusion with AI systems

A small group of economists from Italy, the U.K., and the U.S. has published a Policy Forum piece in the journal Science suggesting that consumers need to be protected from collusive price setting by AI systems. They also outline some possible ways to solve the problem.

Google's Project Guideline allows blind joggers to run without assistance

A team of researchers at Google Research has unveiled a new project they have been working on that uses AI technology to allow a blind person to follow a path without assistance. In their announcement of the project, called Project Guideline, they introduce Thomas Panek, President & CEO of an organization called Guiding Eyes for the Blind. The Goggle Research team credits Panek with coming up with the idea for the new technology and for providing guidance and inspiration for the project.

Using artificial intelligence to help drones find people lost in the woods

A trio of researchers at Johannes Kepler University has used artificial intelligence to improve thermal imaging camera searches of people lost in the woods. In their paper published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, David Schedl, Indrajit Kurmi and Oliver Bimber, describe how they applied a deep learning network to the problem of people lost in the woods and how well it worked.

Battered by virus and oil slump, biofuels fall out of favour

Hit by the coronavirus pandemic and a sharp drop in oil prices, biofuel demand has declined for the first time in two decades and may struggle to recover, according to experts.

US agency investigating Tesla front suspension failures

The U.S. government's road safety agency is investigating complaints that suspensions can fail on nearly 115,000 Tesla electric vehicles.

Man United unable to fully restore systems after cyberattack

Manchester United has been unable to fully restore its computer systems a week after being targeted in a cyberattack.

Tesla recalls 870 cars in China over defective roofs

US electric car maker Tesla is recalling 870 vehicles in China over defective roofs, part of which could fall off, China's market regulator said on Friday.

UK to launch new watchdog next year to police tech giants

Britain plans to create a new watchdog to police big tech companies including Google and Facebook to counter their market dominance and prevent them from exploiting consumers and small businesses.

For Big Tech, Biden brings a new era but no ease in scrutiny

The Obama-Biden administration was a charmed era for America's tech companies—a moment when they were lionized as innovators, hailed as job creators and largely left alone.

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