Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Jun 15

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for June 15, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

WaveGlove: A glove with five inertial sensors for hand gesture recognition

Observations detect a brown dwarf orbiting the star TOI–1278

Smart fabrics and self-powered sensing

New treatment stops progression of Alzheimer's disease in monkey brains

Study finds association between head impacts and imaging changes in youth football players

Combining classical and quantum computing opens door to new discoveries

More than a bumpy ride: Turbulence offers boost to birds

Human-driven climate change only half the picture for krill

China ready to launch first crew to new space station

Snails carrying the world's smallest computer help solve mass extinction survivor mystery

Malicious content exploits pathways between platforms to thrive online, subvert moderation

Use of PFAS in cosmetics 'widespread,' new study finds

Brain cell membranes' lipids may play big role in Alzheimer's progression

Scientists discover unreported plant body part

Bending light for safer driving; invisibility cloaks to come?

Physics news

Combining classical and quantum computing opens door to new discoveries

Researchers have discovered a new and more efficient computing method for pairing the reliability of a classical computer with the strength of a quantum system.

More than a bumpy ride: Turbulence offers boost to birds

Most sensible air travelers dread turbulence. A little atmospheric hiccup can shake airplanes, rattle nerves and spill beverages. A Cornell University-led study found that birds don't mind at all.

Bending light for safer driving; invisibility cloaks to come?

Optical cloaking allows objects to be hidden in plain sight or to become invisible by guiding light around anything placed inside the cloak. While cloaking has been popularized in fiction, like in the "Harry Potter" books, researchers in recent years have started realizing cloaks that shield objects from view by controlling the flow of electromagnetic radiation around them.

Fuel flow, heat fluctuations drive dangerous oscillations in rocket engines

Combustion engines can develop high frequency oscillations, leading to structural damage to the engines and unsafe operating conditions. A detailed understanding of the physical mechanism that causes these oscillations is required but has been lacking until now.

New thin-film tech to revolutionize night vision

Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) have developed new technology that allows people to see clearly in the dark, revolutionizing night-vision.

Behind in quantum computer race, Germany gets boost from IBM

IBM on Tuesday unveiled one of Europe's most powerful quantum computers in Germany, boosting the country's efforts to stay in the race for what's considered a key technology of the future.

Rare superconductor may be vital for quantum computing

Research led by the University of Kent and the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory has resulted in the discovery of a new rare topological superconductor, LaPt3P. This discovery may be of huge importance to the future operations of quantum computers.

Researchers 3D-print rotating microfilter for lab-on-a-chip applications

Researchers have fabricated a magnetically driven rotary microfilter that can be used to filter particles inside a microfluidic device. They made the tiny turning filter by creating a magnetic material that could be used with a very precise 3D printing technique known as two-photon polymerization.

The electron merry-go-round: Researchers find new mechanism for classical behavior of many-particle quantum systems

Photoemission is a property of metals and other materials that emit electrons when struck by light. Electron emission after light absorption was already explained by Albert Einstein. But since this effect is a highly complex process, scientists have still not been able to fully elucidate its details. Prof. Dr. Bernd von Issendorff and his team at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Physics have now succeeded in detecting a previously unknown quantum effect in the angular distributions of photoelectrons from cryogenic mass-selected metal clusters. The angular distributions resemble those of classical particles, a behavior that is surprisingly explainable by the strong electron-electron interaction in these many-electron systems. The researchers published this finding in the current issue of Physical Review Letters.

Sticky baseballs: The physics of the latest scandal in Major League Baseball

Cheating in baseball is as old as the game itself, and pitchers' modifying the ball's surface is part of that long history. Adding to the lore of cheating is a new scandal involving pitchers who may be applying sticky substances—what players refer to as "sticky stuff"—to baseballs.

Novel calibration procedure for super-resolution brain imaging

Light—and all waves—can bend around the corners of obstacles found along its path. Because of this phenomenon, called diffraction, it is impossible to focus light onto a spot that is smaller than half its wavelength. In other words, the highest resolution one can theoretically achieve using an optical microscope is approximately 250nm, a barrier called the diffraction limit. Unfortunately, this resolution is not enough for observing fine cellular structures, such as those found in neurons.

World's most powerful magnet ready to ship

After a decade of design and fabrication, General Atomics is ready to ship the first module of the Central Solenoid, the world's most powerful magnet. It will become a central component of ITER, a machine that replicates the fusion power of the sun. ITER is being built in southern France by 35 partner countries.

Astronomy and Space news

Observations detect a brown dwarf orbiting the star TOI–1278

An international team of astronomers reports the discovery of a companion to the M dwarf star known as TOI–1278. The newly found object turns out to be a brown dwarf nearly 20 times as massive as Jupiter. The finding is detailed in a paper published June 8 on the arXiv pre-print server.

China ready to launch first crew to new space station

The first crew for China's new space station prepared to blast off this week for the latest step in Beijing's ambitious programme to establish itself as a space power.

Largest structures in the universe show clear light-shifted signal of rotation

By mapping the motion of galaxies in huge filaments that connect the cosmic web, astronomers at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), in collaboration with scientists in China and Estonia, have found that these long tendrils of galaxies spin on the scale of hundreds of millions of light years. A rotation on such enormous scales has never been seen before. The results published in Nature Astronomy signify that angular momentum can be generated on unprecedented scales.

Juice moves into Large Space Simulator

The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer has moved into the "Large Space Simulator" at ESA's test center, ready for grueling environmental tests at a range of temperatures.

Coronal mass ejections and cosmic ray observations at Syowa Station

Solar activities, such as CME(Coronal Mass Ejection), cause geomagnetic storms that disturb the Earth's magnetosphere. Geomagnetic storms can affect GPS positioning, radio communication, and power transmission system. Solar explosions also emit radiation, which can cause satellite failures, radiation exposure to aircraft crew, and space activity. Therefore, it is important to understand space weather phenomena and their impact on the Earth.

Technology news

WaveGlove: A glove with five inertial sensors for hand gesture recognition

Over the past few decades, computer scientists have developed a wide array of models and approaches to analyze different aspects of human behavior and communication, such as speech, emotions and gestures. Most existing techniques for hand gesture recognition rely on the use of wearable technologies with a single sensor and can only recognize a limited number of basic gestures.

Smart fabrics and self-powered sensing

Smart fabrics and wearable electronics can be developed using highly conductive and stretchy fibers. Most of these fiber conductors are, however, strain sensitive with limited conductance on stretching. As a result, a new strategy can be introduced by rearranging the geometry of the conductive path for stable conductance. In a new report now published on Science Advances, Lijing Zheng and colleagues in China and Germany, described a coaxial wet-spinning process to continuously develop intrinsically stretchable and highly conductive, yet conductance-stable liquid metal (LM) sheath-core microfibers. The team stretched the microfibres up to 1170 percent and fully activated the conductive path to obtain a very high conductivity of 4.35 x 104 S/m and a resistance change of only 4 percent at 200 percent strain. The microfiber could be woven easily into everyday glove fabrics and as excellent joule heaters, electro-thermochromic displays and self-powered wearable sensors.

Highly maneuverable miniature robots controlled by magnetic fields

A team of scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has developed millimeter-sized robots that can be controlled using magnetic fields to perform highly maneuverable and dexterous manipulations. This could pave the way to possible future applications in biomedicine and manufacturing.

Creating 'digital twins' at scale to improve drone deliveries

Picture this: A delivery drone suffers some minor wing damage on its flight. Should it land immediately, carry on as usual, or reroute to a new destination? A digital twin, a computer model of the drone that has been flying the same route and now experiences the same damage in its virtual world, can help make the call.

Turning a single photo into a video

Sometimes photos cannot truly capture a scene. How much more epic would that vacation photo of Niagara Falls be if the water were moving?

Soaking up the sun: Artificial photosynthesis promises clean, sustainable source of energy

Humans can do lots of things that plants can't do. We can walk around, we can talk, we can hear and see and touch. But plants have one major advantage over humans: They can make energy directly from the sun.

Nvidia to stop support for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and Kepler GPUs soon

Nvidia, founding company of the GPU, has announced that on August 31 of 2021, support for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, as well as for all Kepler GPUs, will be dropped. The majority of these GPUs used to sell as part of the 600 and 700-series with low-end cards of both series, occasionally modeled after previous GPU architectures such as Fermi.

Researchers reveal a new computing platform that is provably secure even alongside software compromised I/O devices

The trek towards the holy grail of cybersecurity—a user-friendly computing environment where the guarantee of security is as strong as a mathematical proof—is making big strides.

New app tracks human mobility and COVID-19

Analyzing how people move about in their daily lives has long been important to urban planners, traffic engineers, and others developing new infrastructure projects.

AI-driven soldier technology wins praise from engineering society

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Communications Society recognized an Army researcher and collaborators their work on artificially intelligent techniques that will enhance Soldiers' situational awareness in the multi-domain operating environment.

Emirates Air posts $5.5B loss as virus disrupts travel

The Middle East's largest airline, Emirates, announced on Tuesday a net loss of $5.5 billion over the past year as revenue fell by more than 66% due to global travel restrictions sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon cloud game service Luna opens to US Prime members

Amazon on Monday opened its cloud video game service Luna to all Prime subscribers in the United States as part of its annual online mega-sale.

Expert discusses ransomware attacks and how to prevent them

The recent ransomware attack on a major oil refinery in the United States, followed weeks later by another hack that affected a large meat supplier, have again brought the issue of cyberattacks to the forefront of people's minds, followed closely by a renewed push toward building better cyber defenses to help prevent critical data from being stolen and held hostage by cybercriminals. Furthermore, these attacks have caused a ripple effect in the nation's economy, most notably with sudden rises in gasoline and food prices, gasoline shortages and delays with shipping and logistics of goods and services.

Artificial intelligence speeds land-use classification

An EPFL Master's student has shown that artificial intelligence can be used to further automate the process of land-use classification in Switzerland, especially for rare and complicated land categories that until now have been classified manually. A stretch of land in Valais Canton served as the sample for her research.

Retrofitting dams for more renewable energy in the world

Almost all the dams in Norway are built for hydropower. This is not the case around the world.

Electric car obsession impedes race to net zero: More active travel is essential

Globally, only one in 50 new cars were fully electric in 2020, and one in 14 in the UK. Sounds impressive, but even if all new cars sold were electric, it would still take 15-20 years to replace the world's fossil fuel car fleet.

US lawmakers are taking a massive swipe at big tech. If it lands, the impact will be felt globally

Five antitrust laws proposed in the United States aim to aggressively rein in the market power of "big tech" companies and change the way they do business.

EU court leaves Facebook more exposed to privacy challenges

Facebook is subject to EU privacy challenges from watchdogs in any of the bloc's member states, not just its lead regulator in Ireland, the bloc's top court ruled Tuesday, in a ruling that has implications for other big tech companies.

GM, Wabtec to develop hydrogen powered locomotives

General Motors has signed a deal to develop railroad locomotives powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and battery system.

UK watchdog examines Apple-Google mobile system control

U.K. competition regulators are looking into Apple and Google smartphone operating systems, app stores and browsers, over concern that the control of "mobile ecosystems" by the two tech giants is harming consumers.

Robotic ship sets off to retrace the Mayflower's journey

Four centuries and one year after the Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England, on a historic sea journey to America, another trailblazing vessel with the same name has set off to retrace the voyage.

'Open Rotor' engine for sustainable aviation

To advance the goal of achieving environmentally sustainable aviation, the jet engine giants of the U.S. and France on Monday unveiled a joint vision that would significantly change both the look of airplane engines and how they work. Their timeline suits Airbus but may be problematic for Boeing.

Want a job? Employers say: Talk to the computer

A day after her interview for a part-time job at Target last year, Dana Anthony got an email informing her she didn't make the cut.

Nintendo spotlights Switch games with no console update

Nintendo on Tuesday unveiled updated versions of its hit console games including Zelda and Super Smash Brothers, but disappointed fans looking for a new model of its popular Switch console.

Startup Lordstown Motors says production still on track

Startup electric truck maker Lordstown Motors said Tuesday that it's still on track to begin production this fall despite a management shakeup this week and a warning just days earlier that it may not be in business a year from now.

Critical entities targeted in suspected Chinese cyber spying

A cyberespionage campaign blamed on China was more sweeping than previously known, with suspected state-backed hackers exploiting a device meant to boost internet security to penetrate the computers of critical U.S. entities.

How to improve energy efficiency of historically significant buildings

How can historic buildings become more energy efficient while conserving their heritage values? A doctoral thesis provides the answer by presenting a new method for combining climate goals and heritage values in historic buildings stocks.

US seeks to fine Air Canada $25.5 million over slow refunds

The U.S. Transportation Department said Tuesday it is seeking to fine Air Canada about $25.5 million for what it termed extreme delays in giving refunds to thousands of passengers whose flights across the U.S.-Canada border were canceled or rescheduled.

Media consumers may be reaching limit of streaming services

A British research company may have discovered a magic number for American media consumers—and it's seven.

'Computer issue' grounds Southwest Airlines in US: regulator

US carrier Southwest Airlines grounded its flights on Tuesday due to a problem with its reservation system, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

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