Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Aug 3

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 3, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

One of world's rarest chameleons found clinging to survival

Indigenous fire stewardship promotes global biodiversity

Study provides first holistic assessment of plastic pollution in the Caribbean

Boeing attempts uncrewed test flight to ISS a second time

How sex cells get the right genetic mix: An interdisciplinary approach solves a century-old puzzle

Experimental model of ovarian cancer shows effect of healthy cell arrangement in metastasis

New method to solve the plastics sustainability problem

Discovery within cell cycle process to bring understanding of cellular diseases

New insight into red blood cell machinery offers clues to treating sickle cell disease

'Origami' testing app could help tackle spread of malaria

Ability of urban trees, soils to maintain critical ecosystem services

Nanoparticles could boost cancer immunotherapy

Our brains perceive our environment differently when we're lying down

Running quantum software on a classical computer

Giraffes are as socially complex as elephants: study

Physics news

Running quantum software on a classical computer

Two physicists, from EPFL and Columbia University, have introduced an approach for simulating the quantum approximate optimization algorithm using a traditional computer. Instead of running the algorithm on advanced quantum processors, the new approach uses a classical machine-learning algorithm that closely mimics the behavior of near-term quantum computers.

Artificial stomach reveals fluid dynamics of food digestion

In efforts to fight obesity and enhance drug absorption, scientists have extensively studied how gastric juices in the stomach break down ingested food and other substances. However, less is known about how the complex flow patterns and mechanical stresses produced in the stomach contribute to digestion.

Mott insulator exhibits a sharp response to electron injection

In a finding that will give theorists plenty to ponder, an all-RIKEN team has observed an unexpected response in an exotic material known as a Mott insulator when they injected electrons into it. This observation promises to give physicists new insights into such materials, which are closely related to high-temperature superconductors.

New viable means of storing information for quantum technologies?

Quantum information could be behind the next technological revolution. By analogy with the bit in classical computing, the qubit is the basic element of quantum computing. However, demonstrating the existence of this information storage unit and using it remains complex, and hence limited. In a study published on 3 August 2021 in Physical Review X, an international research team consisting of CNRS researcher Fabio Pistolesi1 and two foreign researchers used theoretical calculations to show that it is possible to realize a new type of qubit, in which information is stored in the oscillation amplitude of a carbon nanotube.

Built-in vibration control may help soundproof spaces

A different kind of design for absorbing vibrations could help better soundproof walls and make vehicles more streamlined, a new study shows.

Bringing discoveries to light: X-ray science at Argonne

For more than 25 years, the Advanced Photon Source's intense X-rays have enabled important breakthroughs. With a massive upgrade in the works, scientists will be able to see things at scale never seen before.

Acquisition of channel state information for mmWave MIMO: Traditional and machine learning approaches

Millimeter wave (mmWave) communications have attracted extensive interest from academia, industry, and government as they can make full use of abundant frequency resources at the high-frequency band to achieve ultra-high-speed data transmission. The mmWave communication systems are usually equipped with large antenna arrays, known as mmWave massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), to generate highly directional beams and compensate for the severe path loss in the high frequency band. However, the performance of directional beamforming largely relies on the accuracy of channel state information (CSI) acquisition. Compared to the traditional MIMO systems, the CSI acquisition in mmWave massive MIMO systems is challenging. On one hand, the large antenna arrays form a high dimension channel matrix, whose estimation consumes more resources, e.g., pilot sequence overhead, sounding beam overhead, and computational complexity. On the other hand, the mmWave massive MIMO typically employs a hybrid beamforming architecture, where the radio frequency (RF) chains are much fewer than the antennas. Therefore, we can only obtain a low-dimension signal from the RF chains instead of directly getting a high-dimension signal from the frontend antennas, which makes CSI acquisition much more challenging than usual.

Astronomy and Space news

Boeing attempts uncrewed test flight to ISS a second time

Boeing will be aiming to get its spaceflight program back on track Tuesday with an uncrewed flight of its Starliner capsule to the International Space Station (ISS), after its last such test in 2019 ended in failure.

NASA begins launch preparations for first mission to the Trojan asteroids

NASA's first spacecraft to explore the Trojan asteroids arrived Friday, July 30, at the agency's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. It is now in a cleanroom at nearby Astrotech, ready to begin final preparations for its October launch.

Boeing delays key uncrewed test flight to ISS

Boeing delayed an uncrewed flight of its Starliner capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday over a propulsion issue, pushing back by at least a day a key test it last attempted in 2019.

Technology news

'Origami' testing app could help tackle spread of malaria

A new approach to tackling the spread of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, which combines affordable, easy-to-administer blood tests with machine learning and unbreakable encryption, has generated encouraging early results in Uganda.

Getting smart about off-grid desalination

Small changes in membrane design can have a large impact on the performance of a new technology developed at KAUST that uses waste heat from solar cells for seawater desalination.

Researchers use AI to unlock the secrets of ancient texts

The Abbey Library of St. Gall in Switzerland is home to approximately 160,000 volumes of literary and historical manuscripts dating back to the eighth century—all of which are written by hand, on parchment, in languages rarely spoken in modern times.

AP, Reuters to help Twitter elevate more credible info

Twitter has signed a deal with The Associated Press and Reuters to help elevate accurate information on its platform. Twitter said Monday that the program will expand its existing work to help explain why certain subjects are trending on the site, to show information and news from trusted resources and to debunk misinformation.

Stellantis posts strong inaugural earnings, steps up electric drive

US-European auto giant Stellantis, formed by Peugeot and Fiat Chrysler this year, posted Tuesday a sizeable first-half net profit and announced that its Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands would go fully electric.

Aussies keen to cut emissions with clean energy at home get little support

Even after A$4,000 in repairs, Heather's $18,000 rooftop solar and battery system is still not working.

What electric vehicle manufacturers can learn from China, their biggest market

Despite the pandemic, global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) increased by 43% in 2020. Total EV sales in China were 1.3 million, an increase of 8% compared to 2019, and 41% of all EVs sold worldwide. Though Europe sold more than China for the first time since 2015, China is still the world's biggest national market for EVs.

Biofuel from kelp could provide cheaper, greener energy source

Kelp is plentiful in remote, coastal Alaska. Fuel is not. And it's expensive.

Alibaba earnings down as China tech giants face turmoil

Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group said Tuesday that it posted lower profit but maintained steady revenue growth, indicating that a government crackdown on the country's tech giants was having little impact on its core business.

Vapor-collection technology saves water while clearing the air

About two-fifths of all the water that gets withdrawn from lakes, rivers, and wells in the U.S. is used not for agriculture, drinking, or sanitation, but to cool the power plants that provide electricity from fossil fuels or nuclear power. Over 65 percent of these plants use evaporative cooling, leading to huge white plumes that billow from their cooling towers, which can be a nuisance and, in some cases, even contribute to dangerous driving conditions.

Union: NLRB officer recommends new vote for Amazon workers

The union that tried—and failed—to organize Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama may get a do-over.

Australia's Qantas to furlough 2,500 workers

Australian airline Qantas announced Tuesday it will furlough 2,500 workers as coronavirus outbreaks and regional lockdowns pummel demand for flights.

China gaming shares dive after 'spiritual opium' warning

Shares of Tencent and other major Chinese gaming companies plummeted Tuesday after a state-run media article described online games as "spiritual opium", prompting the tech giant to consider a playing ban on children under 12 altogether.

Chip shortage 'likely' to hit second half, BMW predicts

German car giant BMW posted record profit of 4.8 billion euros for the second quarter on Tuesday, but warned the second half of the year would "likely" be affected by semiconductor shortages.

China's Tencent limits gaming for minors after media outcry

China's biggest gaming company, Tencent Holdings, said Tuesday it will limit gaming time for minors and ban children under age 12 from making in-game purchases after a state media article called games "spiritual opium."

Activision Blizzard executive exits following sexism row

Activision Blizzard unveiled a management shakeup Tuesday following employee protests and a California state lawsuit alleging the "Call of Duty" game giant enabled toxic workplace conditions and discriminated against women.

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