Science X Newsletter Tuesday, May 25

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

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Soft X-ray method promises nanocarrier breakthroughs for smart medicine

Rice physicists' RAMBO reveals magnetic phenomenon useful for quantum simulation and sensing

New energetic pulsar discovered in the Small Magellanic Cloud

New insights into how phytochromes help plants sense and react to light, temperature

Mapping the local cosmic web: Dark matter map reveals hidden bridges between galaxies

Intermittent fasting in mice effective at promoting long term memory retention

Ancient fish bones reveal non-kosher diet of ancient Judeans, say researchers

Team builds first hacker-resistant cloud software system

Can antibiotics treat human diseases in addition to bacterial infections?

Wolves scare deer and reduce auto collisions 24%, study says

Press (re)play to remember: How the brain strengthens memories during sleep

Silver attacks bacteria, gets 'consumed'

For men, low testosterone means high risk of severe COVID-19

Cocaine's effect on the brain: Fruit fly research shows impact at the cellular level

Harnessing next generation sequencing to detect SARS-CoV-2

Physics news

Rice physicists' RAMBO reveals magnetic phenomenon useful for quantum simulation and sensing

Sometimes things are a little out of whack, and it turns out to be exactly what you need.

As water sources become scarce, understanding emerging subsurface contaminants is key

In the last year, one thing has become clear: we cannot live life without risk. In fact, every part of our daily routines became subject to analysis: How risky is the action and is its value worth the potential cost?

Probing deeper into origins of cosmic rays

Cosmic rays are high-energy atomic particles continually bombarding Earth's surface at nearly the speed of light. Our planet's magnetic field shields the surface from most of the radiation generated by these particles. Still, cosmic rays can cause electronic malfunctions and are the leading concern in planning for space missions.

Astronomy and Space news

New energetic pulsar discovered in the Small Magellanic Cloud

Using ESA's XMM-Newton spacecraft, an international team of astronomers has detected a new energetic rotation-powered pulsar in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The newly found pulsar, designated PSR J0058–7218, appears to be the most energetic pulsar so far discovered in the SMC. The finding is detailed in a paper published May 17 on arXiv.org.

Mapping the local cosmic web: Dark matter map reveals hidden bridges between galaxies

A new map of dark matter in the local universe reveals several previously undiscovered filamentary structures connecting galaxies. The map, developed using machine learning by an international team including a Penn State astrophysicist, could enable studies about the nature of dark matter as well as about the history and future of our local universe.

Pacific readies for 'Super Blood Moon' celestial show

Stargazers across the Pacific Rim can cast their eyes skyward on Wednesday night and behold a "Super Blood Moon", as the heavens align to bring a rare celestial twin treat.

Prebiotic ethanolamine found in a molecular cloud near the center of the Milky Way

An international team of researchers has found evidence of prebiotic ethanolamine (NH2CH2CH2OH) in a molecular cloud near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of the amino alcohol and why they believe it could have contributed to the development of life on earth.

Does the Milky Way move like a spinning top?

An investigation carried out by the astrophysicists of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) Žofia Chrobáková, a doctoral student at the IAC and the University of La Laguna (ULL), and Martín López Corredoira, questions one of the most interesting findings about the dynamics of the Milky Way in recent years: the precession, or the wobble in the axis of rotation of the disc warp is incorrect. The results have just been published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Who's an astronaut as private spaceflight picks up speed?

As more companies start selling tickets to space, a question looms: Who gets to call themselves an astronaut?

Why the sun's atmosphere is hundreds of times hotter than its surface

The visible surface of the sun, or the photosphere, is around 6,000°C. But a few thousand kilometers above it—a small distance when we consider the size of the sun—the solar atmosphere, also called the corona, is hundreds of times hotter, reaching a million degrees celsius or higher.

New research to provide safer and more accurate space weather predictions

A team of space weather experts from Northumbria University has been awarded more than £400,000 to explore how to better predict the conditions in near-Earth space.

Do supermassive black holes merge to form binary systems?

At the center of most galaxies are black holes so massive—up to several billion times the mass of our sun—that they have earned the descriptor "supermassive." Compare this to your run-of-the-mill stellar-mass black hole, a measly 10 to 100 times our sun's mass. Understanding these supermassive black holes will help astronomers understand the origin and evolution of galaxies. One open question is whether they can form binaries.

Candid cosmos: eROSITA cameras set benchmark for astronomical imaging

Recently, the eROSITA (extended Roentgen Survey with an Imaging Telescope Array) X-ray telescope, an instrument developed by a team of scientists at Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik (MPE), has gained attention among astronomers. The instrument performs an all-sky survey in the X-ray energy band of 0.2-8 kilo electron volts aboard the Spectrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) satellite that was launched in 2019 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

PUNCH mission passes important milestone

On May 20, 2021, the Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH) mission achieved an important milestone, passing NASA's Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of its spacecraft and payload experiments. Southwest Research Institute is leading PUNCH, a NASA Small Explorer (SMEX) mission that will integrate understanding of the Sun's corona, the outer atmosphere visible during total solar eclipses, with the "solar wind" that fills the solar system.

Technology news

Team builds first hacker-resistant cloud software system

Whenever you buy something on Amazon, your customer data is automatically updated and stored on thousands of virtual machines in the cloud. For businesses like Amazon, ensuring the safety and security of the data of its millions of customers is essential. This is true for large and small organizations alike. But up to now, there has been no way to guarantee that a software system is secure from bugs, hackers, and vulnerabilities.

Shape-shifting computer chip thwarts an army of hackers

We have developed and tested a secure new computer processor that thwarts hackers by randomly changing its underlying structure, thus making it virtually impossible to hack.

More efficient lidar sensing for self-driving cars

If you see a self-driving car out in the wild, you might notice a giant spinning cylinder on top of its roof. That's a lidar sensor, and it works by sending out pulses of infrared light and measuring the time it takes for them to bounce off objects. This creates a map of 3D points that serve as a snapshot of the car's surroundings.

Two new attacks break PDF certification

A security issue in the certification signatures of PDF documents has been discovered by researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. This special form of signed PDF files can be used, for instance, to conclude contracts. Unlike a normal PDF signature, the certification signature permits certain changes to be made in the document after it has actually been signed. This is necessary to allow the second contractual party to also sign the document. The team from the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security in Bochum showed that the second contractual party can also change the contract text unnoticed when they add their digital signature, without this invalidating the certification. The researchers additionally discovered a weakness in Adobe products that enables attackers to implant malicious code into the documents.

New AI technology protects privacy in healthcare settings

Researchers at TUM and Imperial have developed a technology that protects patients' personal data while training healthcare algorithms.

After years in the making, Google releases new Fuchsia OS

Years after its first-generation consumer device Nest Hub went public, Google has finally announced the release of the new Fuchsia OS, which will operate on the Hub.

Researchers propose an attractive cheap organic material for batteries

A new report by Skoltech scientists and their colleagues describes an organic material for the new generation of energy storage devices, which structure follows an elegant molecular design principle. It has recently been published in ACS Applied Energy Materials and made the cover of the journal.

Huawei to unveil new OS, push into software to weather US pressure

Chinese tech giant Huawei on Tuesday said it would launch a long-awaited new operating system for smartphones next week, part of an all-out push into the software industry aimed at weathering US sanctions and taking on Google's Android.

Cyberattacks: Bigger, smarter, faster

From paralysing the internet in Estonia to a $4.4-million ransom being paid last week after the shutdown of a major US pipeline, we take a look back at 15 years of cyberattacks.

Operating in the shadows: US Cyber Command

If the Pentagon's Cyber Command launches an online attack and nobody knows about it, does it deter anyone?

Rising cyberattacks in West highlight vulnerabilities

A series of high-profile cyberattacks on targets in the West have highlighted the vulnerability of companies and institutions, making the issue a higher public priority but with no easy solution.

Judge offers tough questions as Epic-Apple trial draws to close

A federal judge peppered attorneys for Apple and Epic Games with pointed questions Monday on the workings of the massive Apple online marketplace as a high-stakes trial with implications for the mobile commerce world concluded.

Going electric and banning new petrol-powered cars could be Australia's next big light bulb moment

In 2007, Malcolm Turnbull turned off an industry's life support without blinking.

AI is used to profile people from their head vibrations: Is there evidence to support it?

Digital video surveillance systems can't just identify who someone is. They can also work out how someone is feeling and what kind of personality they have. They can even tell how they might behave in the future. And the key to unlocking this information about a person is the movement of their head.

New research model reveals how contagion spreads among network of connected people

What do misinformation and disease have in common? They spread easily.

German regulator probes Google's market position, data use

German regulators have launched an investigation into Google's position in the market, and how the search engine and advertising giant handles user data.

Voice-assisted AI is becoming smarter, but consumers have higher expectations

When Huan Chen started researching how consumers think about and perceive artificial intelligence in marketing communications, she was surprised at a major finding: They understand marketing and think it's unavoidable today.

Carbon heat pumps smart option for hotels in cold climates

Energy consumption in the hotel industry is high and contributes to global warming.

Oil companies are all-in on petrochemicals—green chemistry needs help to compete

Global oil consumption declined by roughly 9% in 2020 as the pandemic reduced business and pleasure travel, factory production and transportation of goods. This abrupt drop accelerated an ongoing shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Tesla to build data centre in China after backlash, spying fears

Tesla on Tuesday announced it had set up a data centre in mainland China to store the information collected from users, following a backlash from users and officials in the world's biggest electric vehicle market.

Scientific software: Quality not always good

Computational tools are indispensable in almost all scientific disciplines. Especially in cases where large amounts of research data are generated and need to be quickly processed, reliable, carefully developed software is crucial for analyzing and correctly interpreting such data. Nevertheless, scientific software can have quality quality deficiencies. To evaluate software quality in an automated way, computer scientists at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have designed the SoftWipe tool.

Technique to evaluate wind turbines may boost wind power production

With a global impetus toward utilizing more renewable energy sources, wind presents a promising, increasingly tapped resource. Despite the many technological advancements made in upgrading wind-powered systems, a systematic and reliable way to assess competing technologies has been a challenge.

Amazon hit with antitrust suit in US capital city

Amazon was hit Tuesday with an antitrust suit from the US capital city Washington, claiming the tech giant abuses its dominant position in online retail sales, harming consumers.

Holograms increase solar energy yield

The energy available from sunlight is 10,000 times more than what is needed to supply the world's energy demands. Sunlight has two main properties that are useful in the design of renewable energy systems. The first is the amount power falling on a fixed area, like the ground or a person's roof. This quantity varies with the time of day and the season. The second property is the colors or spectrum of the sunlight.

iOS 15: What we know about the next software update for iPhones

The annual rite of passage kicked off Monday for anyone who owns—or plans to buy—an iPhone.

Biden administration unveils offshore wind plan for California

The federal government plans to open California's coast to offshore wind development, the Biden administration announced Tuesday. The move could provide the state with a major source of renewable energy and cut its climate-warming emissions.

New prototype LED lightbulb emits less of that troublesome blue light

LED lightbulbs offer considerable advantages over other types of lighting. Being more efficient, they require much less electricity to operate. They do not give off unwanted heat the way old-school incandescent bulbs do, and the best of them long outlast even fluorescent lightbulbs.

GM now says it will support union at new battery factories

General Motors now says it will support efforts by the United Auto Workers union to organize employees at two U.S. electric vehicle battery factories that it's building in Ohio and Tennessee with a joint-venture partner.


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