Science X Newsletter Friday, Jun 25

Dear ymilog,

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

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Are we ready? Advances in CRISPR means the era of germline gene editing has arrived

Quantum dots keep atoms spaced to boost catalysis

'Dragon man' fossil may replace Neanderthals as our closest relative

Engineered yeast could expand biofuels' reach

Nanotech OLED electrode liberates 20% more light, could slash display power consumption

Studies reveal key process needed for cells to recover from stress

Scientists focus on cone targets to enhance temperature of electron beams

Low-flow research on Colorado River sheds light on eventual new normal for Grand Canyon

Electron-pair discovery advances field of quantum materials

A major addition to chemists' toolkit for building new molecules

Study shows potential dangers of sweeteners

SARS-CoV-2 virus can find alternate route to infect cells

Method uses radio signals to image hidden and speeding objects

AI used to predict unknown links between viruses and mammals

Building a global storm database

Physics news

Scientists focus on cone targets to enhance temperature of electron beams

Intense short-pulse laser-driven production of bright high-energy sources, such as X-rays, neutrons and protons, has been shown to be an invaluable tool in the study of high energy density science.

Electron-pair discovery advances field of quantum materials

In 2016, physicist J.C. Séamus Davis discovered an elusive state of quantum matter in the cuprates, which are copper oxide materials laced with other atoms. That launched a new sub-field in the study of quantum materials.

Method uses radio signals to image hidden and speeding objects

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Wavsens LLC have developed a method for using radio signals to create real-time images and videos of hidden and moving objects, which could help firefighters find escape routes or victims inside buildings filled with fire and smoke. The technique could also help track hypersonic objects such as missiles and space debris.

Optical superoscillation without side waves

Optical superoscillation refers to a wave packet that can oscillate locally in a frequency exceeding its highest Fourier component. This intriguing phenomenon enables production of extremely localized waves that can break the optical diffraction barrier. Indeed, superoscillation has proven to be an effective technique for overcoming the diffraction barrier in optical superresolution imaging. The trouble is that strong side lobes accompany the main lobes of superoscillatory waves, which limits the field of view and hinders application.

Time-resolved photoemission electron microscopy to probe electron dynamics of solid-state film OLEDs

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) are widely used in display technology and are also being investigated for lighting applications. A comprehensive understanding of these devices is therefore important if their properties are to be harnessed to their full potential. Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have directly observed the photoexcited electron dynamics in an organic film using time-resolved photoelectron emission microscopy. Their findings are published in Advanced Optical Materials .

Astronomy and Space news

A massive protocluster of merging galaxies in the early universe

Submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) are a class of the most luminous, distant, and rapidly star-forming galaxies known and can shine brighter than a trillion Suns (about one hundred times more luminous in total than the Milky Way). They are generally hard to detect in the visible, however, because most of their ultraviloet and optical light is absorbed by dust which in turn is heated and radiates at submillimeter wavelengths—the reason they are called submillimeter galaxies. The power source for these galaxies is thought to be high rates of star formation, as much as one thousand stars per year (in the Milky Way, the rate is more like one star per year). SMGs typically date from the early universe; they are so distant that their light has been traveling for over ten billion years, more than 70% of the lifetime of the universe, from the epoch about three billion years after the big bang. Because it takes time for them to have evolved, astronomers think that even a billion years earlier they probably were actively making stars and influencing their environments, but very little is known about this phase of their evolution.

Study looks more closely at Mars' underground water signals

A new paper finds more radar signals suggesting the presence of subsurface 'lakes," but many are in areas too cold for water to remain liquid.

Watch (and hear) how NASA's Perseverance rover took its first selfie

Ever wondered how Mars rovers take a selfie? Color video from NASA's Perseverance shows how the rover captured the historic April 6, 2021, image of itself beside the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. As a bonus, the rover's entry, descent, and landing microphone captured the sound of the arm's motors whirring during the process.

Virgin Galactic gets FAA's OK to launch customers to space

Virgin Galactic finally has the federal government's approval to start launching customers into space from New Mexico.

Astronauts complete solar panel work in 3rd spacewalk

Astronauts finished unfurling a new pair of solar panels outside the International Space Station on Friday, making their third spacewalk in just over a week.

Mars colonists are going to wish they had an atmosphere above them

There will be all sorts of risks for any future colonists on Mars, such as extreme weather and temperatures, radiation, and the human physiological problems associated with living in with decreased gravity. But another issue is that colonists on Mars will have to be on a constant lookout above their heads.

Technology news

Sustainable, implantable electronics move one step closer

Bio-inspired electricity sources could power wearable or implantable electronics in the future, even running on metabolic waste according to new research from the Adolphe Merkle Institute's BioPhysics group at the University of Fribourg.

Why 'nuclear batteries' offer a new approach to carbon-free energy

We may be on the brink of a new paradigm for nuclear power, a group of nuclear specialists suggested recently in The Bridge, the journal of the National Academy of Engineering. Much as large, expensive, and centralized computers gave way to the widely distributed PCs of today, a new generation of relatively tiny and inexpensive factory-built reactors, designed for autonomous plug-and-play operation similar to plugging in an oversized battery, is on the horizon, they say.

Crown ethers improve perovskite solar cell stability

EPFL scientists have used an unprecedented method with multimodal host-guest complexation to greatly improve the stability of perovskite solar cells while also reducing the release of lead into the environment.

How AI can transform layering technique for semiconductors

To make computer chips, technologists around the world rely on atomic layer deposition (ALD), which can create films as fine as one atom thick. Businesses commonly use ALD to make semiconductor devices, but it also has applications in solar cells, lithium batteries and other energy-related fields.

An autonomous drone for search and rescue in forests using optical sectioning algorithm

A team of researchers working at Johannes Kepler University has developed an autonomous drone with a new type of technology to improve search-and-rescue efforts. In their paper published in the journal Science Robotics, the group describes their drone modifications. Andreas Birk with Jacobs University Bremen has published a Focus piece in the same journal issue outlining the work by the team in Austria.

Vulnerabilities found in Dell BIOSConnect features within Dell SupportAssist

A team of engineers at computer security company Eclypsium, Inc. has found four vulnerabilities in Dell BIOSConnect features within Dell SupportAssist. They have reported what they found on their website where they have rated the vulnerability as High.

World Wide Web source code is latest NFT for sale

Tim Berners-Lee's source code for the World Wide Web is the latest non-fungible token (NFT) to go up for sale.

Toshiba shareholders vote to oust board chair

Toshiba shareholders voted to oust the board's chairman on Friday, in the latest twist for the company after scandals and losses, and a rare victory for activist investors in corporate Japan.

How to halve serious injuries and deaths from teenage driving accidents

Teenage drivers are a risky bunch. They are inexperienced and don't always drive carefully, sometimes with tragic consequences. Various studies indicate 15-30% of teens have an accident in their first year of driving. In many countries driving fatalities are the leading cause of death among teenagers.

Why did the Miami apartment building collapse? And are others in danger?

Just before 2am US Eastern Daylight Time on June 24, the Champlain Towers South Tower in Surfside, South Florida, partially collapsed.

Scientists develop state-of-the-art subsea holographic camera

Scientists at the University of Aberdeen have developed one of the most advanced subsea holographic cameras in the world, capable of rapid 3D imaging of marine organisms and microparticles.

Break them up? 5 ways Congress is trying to rein in Big Tech

Groundbreaking legislation is advancing in Congress that would curb the market power of tech giants Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple and could force them to untie their dominant platforms from their other lines of business. Hostility toward Big Tech has grown in recent years with the belief that its size and swagger have stifled competition, limited consumer choice and raised prices.

UK watchdog probes Amazon, Google for fake reviews of goods

U.K. regulators said on Friday that they're investigating Google and Amazon over concerns the online giants aren't doing enough to stop fake reviews of products and services on their platforms.

Amazon buys encrypted messaging app Wickr

Amazon said Friday it was acquiring the encrypted messaging app Wickr which offers secure communications for businesses, government agencies and individuals.

Fledgling UAE rail network step towards bridging the Gulf

In the desert emirate of Abu Dhabi, Ibrahim al-Hammadi inspects a freight train on the UAE's first railway line. He climbs aboard the locomotive, does a final systems check and then it's full steam ahead.

No-solder connector technologies for trillion-node engine IoT open platform

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation has developed two connector technologies that allow easy, solder-free assembly of IoT nodes, regarded as essential for realization of the Trillion-Node Engine, the open-source IoT platform. Tests of the connector have resulted in positive evaluations. Toshiba will continue to develop them, and use them in a demonstration unit for Toshiba's motor control drivers.

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