Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Jun 8

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for June 8, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Molybdenum disulfide vertical transistors with channel lengths down to one atomic layer

Could the source of the GW190814 event be a black hole-strange quark star system?

Laser-focused on supercooled water

Why Arctic soil can go slip-sliding away

New X-ray map reveals growing supermassive black holes in next-gen survey fields

Astronomers probe planetary nebula NGC 6302 with Hubble

Defying body clock linked to depression and lower wellbeing

Super productive 3D bioprinter could help speed up drug development

Projected acidification of the Great Barrier Reef could be offset by ten years

Experiments show natural selection opposes sexual selection

How COVID-19 wreaks havoc on human lungs

Scientists discover immune cell behavior that plays a key role in Alzheimer's disease

Scientists can predict which women will have serious pregnancy complications

Motor neurons derived from patients point to new possible drug target for ALS

The next 20 are years crucial in determining the future of coal

Physics news

Could the source of the GW190814 event be a black hole-strange quark star system?

On the 14th of August 2019, the LIGO-Virgo collaboration detected a gravitational wave signal believed to be associated with the merging of a binary stellar system composed of a black hole with a mass of 23 times the mass of the sun (M⊙) and a compact object with a mass of about 2.6 M⊙. The nature of GW190814ʼs secondary star is enigmatic, since, according to the current astronomical observations, it could be the heaviest neutron star or the lightest black hole ever observed.

Laser-focused on supercooled water

Drink in this factoid: water is the weirdest liquid of all.

Subatomic particle seen changing to antiparticle and back

Physicists have proved that a subatomic particle can switch into its antiparticle alter-ego and back again, in a new discovery revealed today.

Demonstration of quantum communication over optical fibers exceeding 600 km

The Cambridge Research Laboratory of Toshiba Europe today announced the first demonstration of quantum communication over optical fibers exceeding 600 km in length. The breakthrough will enable long-distance, quantum-secured information transfer between metropolitan areas, and is a major advance towards building the future quantum internet.

Early endeavors on the path to reliable quantum machine learning

Anyone who collects mushrooms knows that it is better to keep the poisonous and the non-poisonous ones apart. In such "classification problems," which require distinguishing certain objects from one another and to assign the objects we are looking for to certain classes by means of characteristics, computers already provide useful support.

From burglar alarms to black hole detectors: Super sensors as possible outputs of a quantum gravity experiment

Last year, Anupam Mazumdar, a physicist from the University of Groningen, together with colleagues from the UK proposed an experiment that could conclusively prove whether gravity is a quantum phenomenon. This experiment would focus on observing two relatively large, entangled quantum systems in free fall. In a new article, published on 4 June in Physical Review Research, the scientists describe in more detail how two types of noise could be reduced. They suggest that quantum interference could be applied in the production of a sensitive instrument that could detect movements of objects ranging from butterflies to burglars and black holes.

Astronomy and Space news

New X-ray map reveals growing supermassive black holes in next-gen survey fields

One of the largest X-ray surveys using the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton space observatory has mapped nearly 12,000 X-ray sources across three large, prime regions of the sky. The X-ray sources represent active galactic nuclei and galaxy clusters, and the survey captures the growth of the supermassive black holes at the cores of these galaxies. This X-ray survey complements previous X-ray surveys, allowing the researchers to map active galactic nuclei in a wide range of cosmic environments.

Astronomers probe planetary nebula NGC 6302 with Hubble

Using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), astronomers have conducted near-ultraviolet through near-infrared observations of a young planetary nebula (PN) known as NGC 6302. Results of the monitoring campaign, presented May 28 on arXiv.org, could help us better understand the nature of this PN.

Organic molecules reveal clues about dying stars and outskirts of Milky Way

Researchers from the University of Arizona have detected organic molecules in planetary nebulae, the aftermaths of dying stars, and in the far reaches of the Milky Way, which have been deemed too cold and too removed from the galactic center to support such chemistries. They present their findings at the 238th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, or AAS, held virtually from June 7-9.

Cosmic cartographers map nearby Universe revealing the diversity of star-forming galaxies

A team of astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has completed the first census of molecular clouds in the nearby universe, revealing that contrary to previous scientific opinion, these stellar nurseries do not all look and act the same. In fact, they're as diverse as the people, homes, neighborhoods and regions that make up our own world.

Rosetta stone eruption on the sun could help explain solar explosions

In a dramatic, multi-staged eruption, the sun has revealed new clues that could help scientists solve the long-standing mystery of what causes the sun's powerful and unpredictable eruptions. Uncovering this fundamental physics could help scientists better predict the eruptions that cause dangerous space weather conditions at Earth.

Discovery of a dying supermassive black hole via a 3000-year-long light echo

Supermassive black holes (SMBH) occupy the center of galaxies, with masses ranging from one million to 10 billion solar masses. Some SMBHs are in a bright phase called active galactic nuclei (AGN).

Scientists identify a rare magnetic propeller in a binary star system

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have identified the first eclipsing magnetic propeller in a cataclysmic variable star system, according to research forthcoming in the Astrophysical Journal.

Earth's meteorite impacts over past 500 million years

For the first time, a unique study conducted at Lund University in Sweden has tracked the meteorite flux to Earth over the past 500 million years. Contrary to current theories, researchers have determined that major collisions in the asteroid belt have not generally affected the number of impacts with Earth to any great extent.

UFOs: How to calculate the odds that an alien spaceship has been spotted

The US military has released previously classified photos and films related to unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings, which mostly show something blurry moving strangely. Still, I hear that a friend of a friend has gone from thinking there's a 1% chance that UFOs are aliens to now believing it is 50%. Is he rational?

New Monte Carlo code for solving radiative transfer equations

Recently, YANG Xiaolin and his collaborators from Yunnan Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a new fast code, Lemon (Linear Integral Equations' Monte Carlo Solver Based on Neumann Solution), aiming to solve the radiation transfer processes (RTPs) precisely. The scheme of the code is based on linear integral equation and its Neumann series solution. The study was published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

Technology news

Molybdenum disulfide vertical transistors with channel lengths down to one atomic layer

Vertical transistors, transistors with channel lengths that are dependent on a semiconductor's thickness, could be highly valuable for the development of new generations of electronic devices. In contrast with conventional planar transistors, which are built in layers and can have all their connections on the same plane, in fact, vertical transistors might be more affordable and easier to manufacture.

Humans are ready to take advantage of benevolent AI

Humans expect that AI is benevolent and trustworthy. A new study reveals that at the same time humans are unwilling to cooperate and compromise with machines. They even exploit them.

Researchers develop solar cell with efficiency of 14%

A solar cell developed by physicists from the University of Luxembourg and Uppsala University has recently been certified with an efficiency of 14%, which comes close to the world record of 15.5%. These new findings have been recently accepted for publication in the international journal of energy research Joule.

Trying to put the brakes on car ownership

To limit pollution and traffic congestion in Beijing, officials in 2011 imposed a citywide restriction on the number of automobiles residents can purchase annually. That policy has helped limit car sales and emissions. But the system has a loophole: Beijing residents have been going elsewhere in China to purchase cars, then bringing them home.

Faster holographic imaging using recurrent neural networks

Digital holographic imaging is a commonly used microscopy technique in biomedical imaging. It reveals rich optical information of the sample, which could be used, for example, to detect pathological abnormalities in tissue slides. Common image sensors only respond to the intensity of the incoming light. Therefore, reconstructing the complete 3D information of a hologram that is digitally recorded by such sensors has been a challenging task involving optical phase retrieval, which is a time-consuming and computationally intensive step in digital holography.

CyLab researchers discover novel class of vehicle cyberattacks

Vehicles are becoming more and more connected to the Internet, and malicious hackers are licking their lips.

Global sting: Secure FBI-run messaging network tricks crooks

Criminal gangs divulged plans for moving drug shipments and carrying out killings on a secure messaging system secretly run by the FBI, law enforcement agencies said Tuesday, as they unveiled a global sting operation they said dealt an "unprecedented blow" to organized crime in countries around the world.

Report confirms renewables still cheapest new-build power in Australia

Solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind continue to be the cheapest sources of new electricity generation capacity in Australia, even when the integration costs of renewables are included, according to the final 2020-21 GenCost Report, released today.

Study shows AI-generated fake reports even fool experts

If you use such social media websites as Facebook and Twitter, you may have come across posts flagged with warnings about misinformation. So far, most misinformation—flagged and unflagged—has been aimed at the general public. Imagine the possibility of misinformation—information that is false or misleading—in scientific and technical fields like cybersecurity, public safety and medicine.

Artificial intelligence can help you understand music better

Algorithms and technology have so far helped listeners to more of the same music. Now, UiO researchers are working on new technology that can get people interested in a greater musical variety.

Saving the climate with solar fuel

Mobility analyses show: Only a small proportion of all vehicles are responsible for the majority of the kilometers driven. We are talking above all about long-distance trucks that transport goods all over Europe. If these continue to be fueled with fossil energy, it will hardly be possible to sufficiently reduce CO2 emissions in road traffic. Synthetic fuels can make a significant contribution to such applications.

Making virtual assistants sound human poses a challenge for designers

There's a scene in the 2008 film "Iron Man" that offers a glimpse of future interactions between human and artificial intelligence assistants. In it, Tony Stark's virtual assistant J.A.R.V.I.S. responds with sarcasm and humor to Stark's commands.

Global glitch: Swaths of internet go down after cloud outage

Dozens of websites went down briefly around the globe Tuesday, including CNN, The New York Times and Britain's government home page, after an outage at the cloud computing service Fastly, illustrating how vital a small number of behind-the-scenes companies have become to running the internet.

ANOM global phone sting: What we know

Law enforcement agencies from three continents on Tuesday revealed a vast FBI-led sting operation that sold thousands of supposedly encrypted mobile phones to criminal organisations and intercepted their messages for years.

Studying wombat burrows with WomBot, a remote-controlled robot

A new robot—named WomBot—that can be used to explore and study wombat burrows is presented in a study published in the journal SN Applied Sciences.

Teaching drones to hear screams from catastrophe victims

In a disaster, time is of the essence when searching for potential victims who may be difficult to find. Unmanned aerial vehicles make the perfect platform for state-of-the-art technology allowing emergency crews to find those in need and provide situational awareness over a large area.

Crypto exchange Blockchain announces move to Miami, with plans to create 300 jobs

A major cryptocurrency exchange is joining the move-to-Miami moment.

New study: Developers' skills and top management commitment lead to Agile project success

Around the globe, software-intensive organizations shift from plan-based development processes to Agile ones, intending to focus more on team interaction, better products, customers' needs, and readiness to change.

Tough fight looms against ransomware 'epidemic'

The latest wave of ransomware attacks hitting the United States and globally portends a difficult battle against hackers, even as government and the private sector ramp up defenses.

Bitcoin sinks and approaches $30,000

The price of bitcoin fell sharply on Tuesday, approaching a symbolic $30,000 threshold it has not crossed since January and dragging other cryptocurrencies in its wake.

Renault charged with 'deceit' in diesel emissions inquiry

French carmaker Renault said Tuesday that it had been charged by prosecutors over claims it cheated on emission tests for diesel vehicles for several years, a scandal that has rocked rivals across the industry.

Apple iOS 15: FaceTime coming to Android and Windows, Notifications get smarter and everything gets more shareable

The pandemic appears to have had an impact on some of the biggest features coming soon to your iPhone.

Machine learning reduces microscope data processing time from months to just seconds

Ever since the world's first ever microscope was invented in 1590 by Hans and Zacharias Janssen—a Dutch father and son—our curiosity for what goes on at the tiniest scales has led to development of increasingly powerful devices. Fast forward to 2021, we not only have optical microscopy methods that allow us to see tiny particles in higher resolution than ever before, we also have non-optical techniques, such as scanning force microscopes, with which researchers can construct detailed maps of a range of physical and chemical properties.

'What's the price today?': FBI phone app reaped secrets of global drug networks

One drug trafficker texted another that he had a "job" and a proven way to get it done: two kilograms of cocaine from Bogota using the French embassy's protected diplomatic pouch.

EXPLAINER: Just how vulnerable is the internet?

An outage at a little-known firm that speeds up access to websites knocked a lot of top internet destinations offline on Tuesday, disrupting business and leisure for untold millions globally. The problem was quickly resolved. The company, Fastly, blamed a configuration error in its technology.

Foxconn subsidiary hit as Taiwan virus cluster grows

A subsidiary of Taiwan's tech giant Foxconn said Tuesday it has temporarily suspended operations after six foreign workers tested positive for COVID-19 in the latest outbreak within the industry.

ANOM sting is landmark in tech race against crime: expert

The global police sting against organised crime revealed on Tuesday will prove a landmark in the technological arms race with the underworld, an industry expert said.

From iPhone OS 1 to iOS 15: A history of the system that powers your Apple smartphone

A lot has changed since Steve Jobs first introduced the world to Apple's latest device in 2007: the iPhone.

Musk, Bezos, other billionaires avoid US income taxes: report

Several of the richest Americans have paid zero income tax in some years, according to an investigative report Tuesday that comes as Washington weighs new proposals to address tax avoidance by the wealthiest individuals and companies.


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