Science X Newsletter Monday, Aug 30

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 30, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers realize vertical organic permeable dual-based transistors for logic circuits

Study shows that rewarded life experiences are replayed and consolidated during sleep

Bowfin genome reveals old dogfish can teach researchers new tricks

How star-making pollutes the cosmos

Galaxy Haro 14 explored with MUSE

'Charging room' system powers lights, phones, laptops without wires

Flexible carbon nanotube fibers woven into clothing gather accurate EKG, heart rate

Perceptions of supernatural beings reveal feelings about good and bad in humans

Synthetic biology enables microbes to build muscle

Staying home, having access to primary care, and limiting contagion hubs may curb COVID-19 deaths

COVID-19 antibody study shows downside of not receiving second shot

Landmark study shows simple salt swap could prevent millions of deaths each year

Charging stations can combine hydrogen production and energy storage

Drug delivery capsule could replace injections for protein drugs

Struggling to learn a new language? Blame it on your stable brain

Physics news

Fundamental mechanics help increase battery storage capacity and lifespan

Batteries are widely used in everyday applications like powering electric vehicles, electronic gadgets and are promising candidates for sustainable energy storage. However, as you've likely noticed with daily charging of batteries, their functionality drops off over time. Eventually, we need to replace these batteries, which is not only expensive but also depletes the rare earth elements used in making them.

Scientists discover quantum mechanical switching in ferritin structures similar to those found in neural tissue

Quantum mechanics generally refers to the wave-like properties of things that are commonly considered to be particles, such as electrons. This article discusses evidence of a quantum mechanical switching function that is performed by strictly biological structures—ferritin protein layers that are found in cells including neural tissue.

Physicist helps confirm a major advance in stellarator performance for fusion energy

Stellarators, twisty magnetic devices that aim to harness on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars, have long played second fiddle to more widely used doughnut-shaped facilities known as tokamaks. The complex twisted stellarator magnets have been difficult to design and have previously allowed greater leakage of the superhigh heat from fusion reactions.

Astronomy and Space news

How star-making pollutes the cosmos

Galaxies pollute the environment they exist in, researchers have found.

Galaxy Haro 14 explored with MUSE

Using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), German astronomers have performed spectroscopic observations of a blue compact galaxy known as Haro 14. Results of the study, presented in a paper published August 20 on, shed more light on the galaxy's morphology and its stellar populations.

Space mission tests NREL perovskite solar cells

On a clear night, Kaitlyn VanSant will be able to watch her work whiz by. Knowing the success of her project, however, will have to wait until her tiny, temporary addition to the International Space Station returns to Earth.

Cold planets exist throughout the galaxy, even in the galactic bulge

Although thousands of planets have been discovered in the Milky Way, most reside less than a few thousand light years from Earth. Yet our galaxy is more than 100,000 light years across, making it difficult to investigate the galactic distribution of planets. But now, a research team has found a way to overcome this hurdle.

New mathematical solutions to an old problem in astronomy

For millennia, humanity has observed the changing phases of the Moon. The rise and fall of sunlight reflected off the Moon, as it presents its different faces to us, is known as a "phase curve". Measuring phase curves of the Moon and Solar System planets is an ancient branch of astronomy that goes back at least a century. The shapes of these phase curves encode information on the surfaces and atmospheres of these celestial bodies. In modern times, astronomers have measured the phase curves of exoplanets using space telescopes such as Hubble, Spitzer, TESS and CHEOPS. These observations are compared with theoretical predictions. In order to do so, one needs a way of calculating these phase curves. It involves seeking a solution to a difficult mathematical problem concerning the physics of radiation.

GOLD's bird's-eye reveals dynamics in Earth's interface to space

New research using data from NASA's Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, mission, has revealed unexpected behavior in the swaths of charged particles that band Earth's equator—made possibly by GOLD's long-term global view, the first of its kind for this type of measurement.

If Planet 9 is out there, here's where to look

There are eight known planets in the solar system (ever since Pluto was booted from the club), but for a while, there has been some evidence that there might be one more. A hypothetical Planet 9 lurking on the outer edge of our solar system. So far, this world has eluded discovery, but a new study has pinned down where it should be.

Space firms see launch risk from low oxygen supply amid pandemic

One consequence of the coronavirus pandemic is showing up in an unlikely place: the space industry.

Astronaut gets special ice cream delivery for 50th birthday

A space station astronaut is celebrating her 50th birthday with the coolest present ever—a supply ship bearing ice cream and other treats.

Rocket test launch for Space Force fails to reach orbit

Astra Space Inc. failed to reach orbit in its rocket launch Saturday, the latest setback for the maker of small rockets used to send satellites into space.

Technology news

Researchers realize vertical organic permeable dual-based transistors for logic circuits

Integrated circuits (ICs) based on organic transistors have many valuable applications, for instance, in the fabrication of paper-like displays or other large-area electronic components. Over the past few decades, electronics engineers worldwide have developed a variety of these transistors.

'Charging room' system powers lights, phones, laptops without wires

In a move that could one day free the world's countertops from their snarl of charging cords, researchers at the University of Michigan and University of Tokyo have developed a system to safely deliver electricity over the air, potentially turning entire buildings into wireless charging zones.

Charging stations can combine hydrogen production and energy storage

The need for reliable renewable energy is growing fast, as countries around the world—including Switzerland—step up their efforts to fight climate change, find alternatives to fossil fuels and reach the energy-transition targets set by their governments. But renewable energy can't be incorporated into power grids efficiently until there is a way to store it on a large scale.

Computer scientist warns global internet is not prepared for a large solar storm

Sangeetha Abdu Jyothi, a computer scientist at the University of California, Irvine, presented her findings last week at the SIGCOMM 2021 data communication conference regarding her concerns about vulnerability in the global internet communication structure. She believes that a major coronal mass ejection could wreak havoc on international internet communications due to vulnerabilities in the repeaters used on undersea cables. She pointed out that the world has not seen such an event since 1859, well before modern power grids and large-scale internet connections.

New design kit opens door to next generation of chips

Researchers from NC State University and Synopsys are unveiling a new computer chip design kit to facilitate the development of new chips – and are making it freely available in order to encourage growth and innovation in the field.

Researchers offer standards for studies using machine learning

Researchers in the life sciences who use machine learning for their studies should adopt standards that allow other researchers to reproduce their results, according to a comment article published today in the journal Nature Methods.

ARROW, a reconfigurable fiber optics network, aims to take on the end of Moore's law

Wide Area Networks (WANs), the global backbones and workhorses of today's internet that connect billions of computers over continents and oceans, are the foundation of modern online services. As COVID-19 has placed a vital reliance on online services, today's networks are struggling to deliver high bandwidth and availability imposed by emerging workloads related to machine learning, video calls, and health care.

Latest Samsung Galaxy Z foldable devices, out now, designed to enhance your life

Samsung's two newest foldable smartphones are out now, and the dynamic duo couldn't be more different.

Cross-resolution difference learning for change detection between multitemporal images

Recently, a team led by Prof. Lu Xiaoqiang from the Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics (XIOPM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed cross-resolution difference learning for unsupervised change detection. Their up-to-date result was published in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing.

Mutual attention inception network developed for remote sensing visual question answering

A research team led by Prof. Lu Xiaoqiang from the Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics (XIOPM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed a novel mutual attention inception network (MAIN) and a dataset named RSIVQA for remote sensing visual question answering. The results were published in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 

Artificial intelligence answers COVID questions

A chatbot that is based on an artificial neural network that can carry out natural language processing (NLP) is being developed by researchers in India. The team describes how the chatbot can be programmed to answer questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Details are to be found in the International Journal of Intelligent Engineering Informatics.

Adding value to recycled wastewater

Environmental health experts at Flinders University are advancing research into a highly sustainable wastewater recycling program by developing a cost-effective way to harvest microalgal biomass for use in biofuels and other applications.

Data privacy laws in the US protect profit but prevent sharing data for public good

In 2021, an investigation revealed that home loan algorithms systematically discriminate against qualified minority applicants. Unfortunately, stories of dubious profit-driven data uses like this are all too common.

Electric gains in battery performance

A high-performance version of the zinc-ion battery will enable stationary energy storage that promises to be cheaper, safer and more environmentally friendly than lithium-ion batteries.

Unease beyond the uncanny valley: How people react to the same faces

Increasingly, movies featuring humanoid robots, like Terminator or Ex Machina, are showing the titular "robot" akin to humans not only in intelligence but also appearance. What if Terminator-esque robots became the norm, making it difficult for us to tell them apart from actual human beings?

NASA taps Kyoto startup to make maps of the wind for drones

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is turning to a Japanese startup for help in creating maps of the wind that will make it safer for drones and air taxis to take to the skies around the world.

China limits children to 3 hours of online gaming a week

China is banning children from playing online games for more than three hours a week, the harshest restriction so far on the game industry as Chinese regulators continue cracking down on the technology sector.

Record 2020 wind installations represented 42% of new power

The U.S. installed a record amount of wind-generating capacity last year, adding nearly 17,000 megawatts of power on land, according to an Energy Department report being released Monday.

New report shows technology advancement and value of wind energy

Wind energy continues to see strong growth, solid performance, and low prices in the U.S., according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). With levelized costs of just over $30 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for newly built projects, the cost of wind is well below its grid-system, health, and climate benefits.

Improved water splitting method: A green energy innovation

Having used fossil fuels for over a century for nearly everything, humanity has triggered a climate crisis. Now, the directive is to achieve net zero emissions or carbon neutrality by 2050.

Apple plans classical music app with buy of Primephonic

Apple on Monday announced it is buying classical music streaming service Primephonic and will launch an app dedicated to the genre.

Back to school: Get a headstart on the year with these apps

Summer is almost over.

We got a sneak peek at Elden Ring, a video game collab with 'Game of Thrones' author. Here's everything we learned

In video games, there's probably no studio that generates more excitement than FromSoftware.

Capitol riot committee demands records from Google, Facebook, Reddit and Twitter related to Jan. 6 attack

Facebook, Google and Twitter and other technology companies are being asked to hand over records on efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the deadly Capitol attack.

Rating of perceived exertion model more accurately measures exercise intensity

A new self-control method of exercise intensity based on Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE), developed by researchers from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, achieved accurate control of exercise intensity without the aid of any equipment.

High-power wireless vehicle charging technology licensed by HEVO

The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has licensed its wireless charging technology for electric vehicles to Brooklyn-based HEVO. The system provides the world's highest power levels in the smallest package and could one day enable electric vehicles to be charged as they are driven at highway speeds. 

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