Science X Newsletter Thursday, Apr 22

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for April 22, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A new method to generate and control orbital angular momentum beams

A strategy to rejuvenate dead lithium inside batteries

In first, Perseverance Mars rover makes oxygen on another planet

Researchers report possible solutions for hard-to-recycle plastics

Scientists glimpse signs of a puzzling state of matter in a superconductor

Hungry fruit flies are extreme ultramarathon fliers, traveling up to six million times body length

New AI tool calculates materials' stress and strain based on photos

The future looks bright for infinitely recyclable plastic

ANYbotics reveals full-scale robotic inspection solution

Toxic masculinity: Y chromosome contributes to a shorter lifespan in male flies

ALMA discovers rotating infant galaxy with help of natural cosmic telescope

New research finds advanced shoe technology reduces top race times for elite athletes

Faster air exchange in buildings not always beneficial for coronavirus levels

Know your ally: Cooperative male dolphins can tell who's on their team

Membranes unlock potential to vastly increase cell-free vaccine production

Physics news

A new method to generate and control orbital angular momentum beams

Artificial spin ices (ASIs) are magnetic metamaterials with exotic properties that are dependent on their geometries. Over the past few years, many physicists have studied these materials, as their unique properties could be advantageous for a number of applications.

Scientists glimpse signs of a puzzling state of matter in a superconductor

Unconventional superconductors contain a number of exotic phases of matter that are thought to play a role, for better or worse, in their ability to conduct electricity with 100% efficiency at much higher temperatures than scientists had thought possible—although still far short of the temperatures that would allow their wide deployment in perfectly efficient power lines, maglev trains and so on.

Faster air exchange in buildings not always beneficial for coronavirus levels

Vigorous and rapid air exchanges might not always be a good thing when it comes to addressing levels of coronavirus particles in a multiroom building, according to a new modeling study.

Team improves polar direct drive fusion neutron sources for use in laser experiments

Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) are working to improve polar direct drive (PDD) neutron sources on the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world's most energetic laser.

A novel optical physics method to measure the expansion of the universe

Quasars are extraordinarily distant celestial objects that throw off a massive amount of light, and astrophysicists use them to probe cosmological theories.

'Stickiness' key to better diagnostics and pharmaceuticals

The 'stickiness', or viscosity, of microscopic liquids can now be measured thousands of times faster than ever before, potentially leading to better understanding of living cells, disease diagnostics and pharmaceutical testing.

Transient grating spectroscopy with ultrafast X-rays

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have succeeded for the first time in looking inside materials using the method of transient grating spectroscopy with ultrafast X-rays at SwissFEL. The experiment at PSI is a milestone in observing processes in the world of atoms. The researchers are publishing their research results today in the journal Nature Photonics.

Using exoplanets as dark matter detectors

In the continuing search for dark matter in our universe, scientists believe they have found a unique and powerful detector: exoplanets.

Astronomy and Space news

In first, Perseverance Mars rover makes oxygen on another planet

NASA's Perseverance rover keeps making history.

ALMA discovers rotating infant galaxy with help of natural cosmic telescope

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers found a rotating baby galaxy 1/100th the size of the Milky Way at a time when the universe was only 7 percent of its present age. Thanks to assistance by the gravitational lens effect, the team was able to explore for the first time the nature of small and dark "normal galaxies" in the early universe, representative of the main population of the first galaxies, which greatly advances our understanding of the initial phase of galaxy evolution.

The science of spin—asteroseismologists confirm older stars rotate faster than expected

Stars spin faster than expected as they age according to a new study led by scientists at the University of Birmingham which uses asteroseismology to shed new light on this emerging theory.

NASA's Webb Telescope to study young exoplanets on the edge

Before planets around other stars were first discovered in the 1990s, these far-flung exotic worlds lived only in the imagination of science fiction writers.

Ultra-high-energy gamma rays originate from pulsar nebulae

The discovery that the nebulae surrounding the most powerful pulsars are pumping out ultra-high-energy gamma rays could rewrite the book about the rays' galactic origins. Pulsars are rapidly rotating, highly magnetized collapsed stars surrounded by nebulae powered by winds generated inside the pulsars.

Mars' changing habitability recorded by ancient dune fields in Gale crater

Understanding whether Mars was once able to support life has been a major driving force for Mars research over the past 50 years. To decipher the planet's ancient climate and habitability, researchers look to the rock record—a physical record of ancient surface processes which reflect the environment and the prevailing climate at the time the rocks were deposited.

Scientists propose new formation mechanism for solar coronal rain

Rain is a common phenomenon on Earth. There is a similar phenomenon on the Sun, called coronal rain. It is related to the coronal heating and magnetic field, and plays a fundamental role in the mass cycle between the hot, tenuous corona and the cool, dense chromosphere.

NASA's Mars helicopter makes second flight

NASA successfully carried out a second flight on Mars on Thursday of its mini helicopter Ingenuity, a 52-second sortie that saw it climb to a height of 16 feet (five meters).

Mars has right ingredients for present-day microbial life beneath its surface, study finds

As NASA's Perseverance rover begins its search for ancient life on the surface of Mars, a new study suggests that the Martian subsurface might be a good place to look for possible present-day life on the Red Planet.

NASA to participate in tabletop exercise simulating asteroid impact

JPL's Center for Near Earth Object Studies will lead the hypothetical impact scenario to see how international agencies respond to an actual impact prediction.

Catch comet R4 ATLAS as it nears Earth

Looking to do some springtime astronomy? With temperatures warming up in the northern hemisphere in April through May, galaxy season is upon us. At dusk, the area in the Bowl of Virgo asterism rising in the east is rife with clusters of galaxies that spill over into the adjacent constellations of Coma Berenices and Bo├Âtes…

SpaceX aims for 3rd crew launch hour before Friday's sunrise

SpaceX aimed to launch its third crew a little before sunrise Friday, this time using a recycled capsule and rocket.

How a space doctor keeps astronauts healthy on the ISS

From muscle loss to radiation exposure and the psychological effects of confinement, spaceflight takes a toll on those lucky enough to experience it.

Technology news

A strategy to rejuvenate dead lithium inside batteries

Li-ion batteries and other emerging lithium-based battery technologies are currently used to power a wide range of devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets and cameras. Despite their advantages, batteries containing lithium do not always retain their performance over time.

ANYbotics reveals full-scale robotic inspection solution

The Swiss robotics company ANYbotics has announced the launch of a new end-to-end robotic inspection system for the energy and industrial processing arenas. This solution aims to answer the call for better safety at production sites and lower downtime.

Biohybrid soft robot with self-stimulating skeleton outswims other biobots

A team of researchers working at Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology has developed a skeletal-muscle-based, biohybrid soft robot that can swim faster than other skeletal-muscle-based biobots. In their paper published in the journal Science Robotics, the group describes building and testing their soft robot.

Tesla hits China speed bump with blowback over safety, service

Electric carmaker Tesla has hit a speed bump in China with questions being raised over safety and service just as local competitors gear up to challenge the US-based company in the huge Chinese market.

Three reasons 'self-driving' cars are still a long way off

The recent crash of a Tesla car in the United States, in which two people died, has reignited debate about the capabilities and safety of today's "self-driving" technologies.

Here comes the sun: Tethered-balloon tests ensure safety of new solar-power technology

What do tiny dust particles, 22-foot-wide red balloons and 'concentrated' sunlight have in common?

The first US population to experience drone delivery gives it a seal of approval

The week of Thanksgiving last year, a postcard arrived in mailboxes in Christiansburg. A link to a survey was on the back. On the front, there was a picture that was, by then, very familiar to the residents of a town that made history in 2019 as the first place in the U.S. to have a residential drone delivery service: a yellow-winged drone with a small cardboard box tucked underneath it.

Jaguar Land Rover halts production because of chip shortage

Jaguar Land Rover said Thursday it's suspending production at two U.K. factories, becoming the latest automaker to fall victim to a global shortage of microchips.

Sustainable electricity generation at low temperatures

Low-temperature heat in the form of waste heat from industry or geothermal power plants offers big potential for sustainable and need-tailored power supply. The Modular Low-temperature Cycle Karlsruhe (MoNiKa), the only research facility of this kind in Europe, has now started operation at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). Work is aimed at enhancing efficiency and environmental compatibility of the conversion of excessive heat into electric power by means of the organic Rankine cycle (ORC).

Alaska Air touts road map to 'net zero' emissions

Alaska Airlines on Wednesday announced a plan to join the Amazon Climate Pledge and reduce the airline's carbon emissions to net zero by 2040, with interim goals for specific cuts in carbon, waste, and water use by 2025.

Airlines hope for speedy fix to latest Boeing 737 MAX issue

US regulators said Thursday they continue to work with Boeing to assess an electrical problem that has grounded more than a hundred 737 MAX planes, as airlines expressed hope for a speedy resolution.

Paris to Berlin in an hour by train? Here's how it could happen.

The hyperloop is what you get when you take a magnetic levitation train and put it into an airless tube. The lack of resistance allows the train, in theory, to achieve unseen speeds, a concept that is edging closer and closer to reality—and could provide a greener alternative to short-haul air travel.

Consumer Reports tricks Tesla to drive with no one at wheel

Consumer Reports said Thursday it was able to easily trick a Tesla into driving in the car's Autopilot mode with no one at the wheel.

Renault first-quarter sales close to 2020 level

French automaker Renault posted Thursday first quarter sales of 10 billion euros, slightly below the level recorded a year earlier as the coronavirus began to spread worldwide.

American Airlines reports Q1 loss, optimistic on vaccines

American Airlines reported another quarterly loss Thursday as COVID-19 continued to depress travel, but expressed optimism at an industry recovery with vaccinations becoming more widespread.

American Airlines posts $1.25 billion loss, delays new jets

American Airlines said Thursday that it lost $1.25 billion in the first quarter and continued to slash costs, including delaying delivery of new jets as it waits for air travel to recover from the pandemic.

AT&T shares rise after Q1 results top analyst estimates

Shares of AT&T Inc. rose Thursday after the telecom giant's first-quarter results topped analyst expectations.

Georgia Tech structure certified as 'living building'

It's not too often that tours of new buildings start with the toilets. But they're a big part of a different kind of building in Atlanta.

Google celebrates Earth Day with charming new doodle

Thursday is Earth Day, and Google is commemorating the event encouraging people to be more environmentally conscious with an update to its logo.

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