Science X Newsletter Thursday, Feb 25

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for February 25, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Wireless, implantable catheter-type oximeter designed for cardiac oxygen saturation

Research identifies obesity and infection link, as well as treatment found on healthy human skin

A 4.4 million-year-old skeleton could reveal how early humans began to walk upright

First rebbachisaurid dinosaur remains found in Asia

Reinforcement learning algorithms score higher than humans, other AI systems at classic video games

Researchers prove fragments of splitting atomic nuclei begin spinning after scission

How plant stem cells renew themselves—a cytokinin story

Did teenage 'tyrants' outcompete other dinosaurs?

Light unbound: Data limits could vanish with new optical antennas

Forests' long-term capacity to store carbon is dropping in regions with extreme annual fires

Scientists develop laser system that generates random numbers at ultrafast speeds

Nanobodies could help CRISPR turn genes on and off

A-maze-ing pheasants have two ways of navigating

On the line: Watching nanoparticles get in shape

Scientists achieve breakthrough in culturing corals and sea anemones cells

Physics news

Researchers prove fragments of splitting atomic nuclei begin spinning after scission

A large international team of researchers has proven that fragments of splitting atomic nuclei begin spinning after scission occurs during nuclear fission. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their experiments, which may one day fully explain why such fragments begin spinning in the first place.

Light unbound: Data limits could vanish with new optical antennas

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a new way to harness properties of light waves that can radically increase the amount of data they carry. They demonstrated the emission of discrete twisting laser beams from antennas made up of concentric rings roughly equal to the diameter of a human hair, small enough to be placed on computer chips.

Scientists develop laser system that generates random numbers at ultrafast speeds

An international team of scientists has developed a system that can generate random numbers over a hundred times faster than current technologies, paving the way towards faster, cheaper, and more secure data encryption in today's digitally connected world.

Researchers send entangled qubit states through a communication channel for the first time

In a breakthrough for quantum computing, University of Chicago researchers have sent entangled qubit states through a communication cable linking one quantum network node to a second node.

Researchers discover mechanism behind influence of irradiation defects on tritium permeation barrier

Recently, researchers led by Prof. Zhou Haishan from the Institute of Plasma Physics (ASIPP) of the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) reported their new findings about the influence of irradiation effects on hydrogen permeation through alpha-alumina (α-Al2O3) tritium permeation barrier (TPB).

Scientists use supercomputers to study reliable fusion reactor design, operation

Nuclear fusion, the same kind of energy that fuels stars, could one day power our world with abundant, safe, and carbon-free energy. Aided by supercomputers Summit at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Theta at DOE's Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), a team of scientists strives toward making fusion energy a reality.

Astronomy and Space news

Comet makes a pit stop near Jupiter's asteroids

After traveling several billion miles toward the Sun, a wayward young comet-like object orbiting among the giant planets has found a temporary parking place along the way. The object has settled near a family of captured ancient asteroids, called Trojans, that are orbiting the Sun alongside Jupiter. This is the first time a comet-like object has been spotted near the Trojan population.

Titan's atmosphere recreated in an Earth laboratory

Beyond Earth, the general scientific consensus is that the best place to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life is Mars. However, it is by no means the only place. Aside from the many extrasolar planets that have been designated as "potentially-habitable," there are plenty of other candidates right here in our solar system. These include the many icy satellites that are thought to have interior oceans that could harbor life.

Successful engine test brings Australian space launch capability a step closer

An Australian research consortium has successfully tested a next generation propulsion system that could enable high-speed flight and space launch services.

Technology news

Reinforcement learning algorithms score higher than humans, other AI systems at classic video games

A team of researchers at Uber AI Labs in San Francisco has developed a set of learning algorithms that proved to be better at playing classic video games than human players or other AI systems. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the researchers explain how their algorithms differ from others and why they believe they have applications in robotics, language processing and even designing new drugs.

A prototype of an intelligent underground robotic system for urban environments

The European research project BADGER, coordinated by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), has presented a prototype of an autonomous underground robot with intelligent navigation for urban environments.

Weakness is strength for this low-temperature battery

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have discovered new fundamental insights for developing lithium metal batteries that perform well at ultra-low temperatures; mainly, that the weaker the electrolyte holds on to lithium ions, the better. By using such a weakly binding electrolyte, the researchers developed a lithium metal battery that can be repeatedly recharged at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius—a first in the field.

Facebook says it will pay $1B over 3 years to news industry

Facebook, following in Google's footsteps, says it plans to invest $1 billion to "support the news industry" over the next three years.

Australia passes law to make Google, Facebook pay for news

Australia's law forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news is ready to take effect, though the laws' architect said it will take time for the digital giants to strike media deals.

Never too late: Pandemic propels older shoppers online

In November, Paula Mont did something new: The 86-year-old, who hasn't left her New Jersey senior living community in nearly a year, went shopping—online.

Image: Greener way to get satellites moving

A sustained test firing of a 'green' satellite thruster at Poland's Institute of Aviation, intended as a future alternative to today's hydrazine-based apogee engines, typically used by telecommunication satellites to maneuver into their final geostationary orbits.

We can't trust big tech or the government to weed out fake news, but a public-led approach just might work

The federal government's News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, which passed the Senate today, makes strong points about the need to regulate misinformation.

Facebook versus News: Advertising is the real problem

The fight between Facebook and the Morrison government is over almost before it began. Having drastically overplayed its hand by banning a vast range of content, Facebook has been forced to settle for what appear to be cosmetic concessions, such as a two-month period of mediation before disputes are subject to compulsory arbitration.

Why Canada should invest in 'macrogrids' for greener more reliable electricity

As the recent disaster in Texas showed, climate change requires electricity utilities to prepare for extreme events. This "global weirding" leads to more intense storms, higher wind speeds, heatwaves and droughts that can threaten the performance of electricity systems.

Low-income Californians pay unequal share of state's power costs

Californians not only pay some of the highest electricity rates in the country, but they pay two-to-three-times more for power than it costs to provide, according to a report by researchers at the Energy Institute at Haas and the non-profit think tank Next 10.

Development of child abuse response and decision making support system employing AI

Child abuse has continued to rise in recent years, with the number of child abuse reports reaching 133,778 cases in FY2017, or some 12 times the FY1999 level. However, there is an extreme shortage of staff, especially child welfare officers, working at child guidance centers, and difficulty in responding to increasing duties is pointed out.

Drought hits Taiwan drive to plug global chip shortage

Taiwan's drive to plug a global shortage of microchips has hit a snag—a lack of water for its foundries caused by a drought.

Heavy rain affects object detection by autonomous vehicle LiDAR sensors

High level autonomous vehicles (AVs) are promised by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and technology companies to improve road safety as well as bringing economical and societal benefits to us all.

Paramount+ to launch next week starting at $4.99 with ads

We finally know how much it will cost to subscribe to Paramount+, the latest streaming launching next month.

AI identifies social bias trends in Bollywood, Hollywood movies

Babies whose births were depicted in Bollywood films from the 1950s and 60s were more often than not boys; in today's films, boy and girl newborns are about evenly split. In the 50s and 60s, dowries were socially acceptable; today, not so much. And Bollywood's conception of beauty has remained consistent through the years: beautiful women have fair skin.

Zoom will launch automatic closed captioning for all free accounts

Zoom will roll out automatic closed captioning for all free accounts in the fall, according to a blog post from the company.

Twitter may let users charge their followers for special access

Twitter Inc. gave the first outline of a potential subscription product that will let people charge followers for access to special content or experiences, part of a broader effort to diversify the company's revenue sources and give high-profile users a way to make money on the service.

Driverless bus hits streets of Malaga in southern Spain

A new driverless electric bus has begun operating in the southern Spanish city of Malaga, in a project presented as a first in Europe.

Coinbase plans to go public with direct listing

Coinbase, an exchange for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, filed papers Thursday to become publicly traded in the latest sign of the rise of digital currencies.

The Texas deep freeze left the state in crisis: 3 lessons for Australia

The US state of Texas has this month experienced some of its coldest weather on record. Houston recorded a temperature of -10.6℃, which is around 20℃ below average. And Dallas-Fort Worth recorded its lowest-ever temperature of -18.9℃.

GameStop share ride: shooting star or rocket to the moon?

After rocking the stock market at the end of January due to a speculative buying frenzy, shares in video game store chain GameStop are buzzing anew on Wall Street.

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