Science X Newsletter Friday, Jul 2

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 2, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers fabricate logic gates based on neuristors made of 2D materials

Synthetic biology circuits can respond within seconds

Research team publishes groundbreaking methane synthesis discovery

Why does Mercury have such a big iron core? Magnetism!

Smart technology is not making us dumber: study

Insect-sized robot navigates mazes with the agility of a cheetah

Microbes in cow stomachs can break down plastic

Scientists say COVID-19 test offers solution for population-wide testing

Vaccines grown in eggs induce antibody response against an egg-associated glycan

Richard Branson announces trip to space, ahead of Jeff Bezos

Spanish couple develop high-tech specs to help son see

Researchers explore how children learn language

Framework to visualize lipid associations with hundreds of complex diseases from electronic health records

Same dance, different species: How natural selection drives common behavior of lizards

Loss of biodiversity in streams threatens vital biological process

Physics news

Scientists propose new source for rare subatomic particles

A paper based on joint research by Prof. Yuan Changzheng from Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Prof. Marek Karliner from Tel Aviv University of Israel, was published in Physical Review Letters. It points out a new abundant source of antineutrons and hyperons. These rare subatomic particles are essential for studying forces governing the behavior of matter at the smallest distances, from atomic nuclei to neutron stars.

Astronomy and Space news

Why does Mercury have such a big iron core? Magnetism!

A new study disputes the prevailing hypothesis on why Mercury has a big core relative to its mantle (the layer between a planet's core and crust). For decades, scientists argued that hit-and-run collisions with other bodies during the formation of our solar system blew away much of Mercury's rocky mantle and left the big, dense, metal core inside. But new research reveals that collisions are not to blame—the sun's magnetism is.

Richard Branson announces trip to space, ahead of Jeff Bezos

Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson is aiming to beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos into space by nine days.

NASA's self-driving Perseverance Mars rover 'takes the wheel'

NASA's newest six-wheeled robot on Mars, the Perseverance rover, is beginning an epic journey across a crater floor seeking signs of ancient life. That means the rover team is deeply engaged with planning navigation routes, drafting instructions to be beamed up, even donning special 3D glasses to help map their course.

First high-altitude drop test success for ExoMars parachute

After several weeks of bad weather and strong winds, the latest pair of high-altitude drop tests of the ExoMars parachutes took place in Kiruna, Sweden. The 15 m-wide first stage main parachute performed flawlessly at supersonic speeds, while the 35 m-wide second stage parachute experienced one minor damage, but decelerated the mock-up of the landing platform as expected.

Observation, simulation, and AI join forces to reveal a clear universe

Japanese astronomers have developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) technique to remove noise in astronomical data due to random variations in galaxy shapes. After extensive training and testing on large mock data created by supercomputer simulations, they then applied this new tool to actual data from Japan's Subaru Telescope and found that the mass distribution derived from using this method is consistent with the currently accepted models of the Universe. This is a powerful new tool for analyzing big data from current and planned astronomy surveys.

Seasoned US pilot Wally Funk to fulfill space dream 60 years on

Sixty years after joining a private program with the hope of one day becoming an astronaut, US pilot Wally Funk will finally see her dream come true at age 82.

Image: Hubble sees a cluster of red, white, and blue

This image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope depicts the open star cluster NGC 330, which lies around 180,000 light-years away inside the Small Magellanic Cloud. The cluster—which is in the constellation Tucana (the Toucan)—contains a multitude of stars, many of which are scattered across this striking image.

Tactically Responsive Launch-2 payload launched into orbit after being built in record time

When the U.S. Space Force's Tactically Responsive Launch-2 (TacRL-2) mission launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base on June 13, it carried a payload designed and built in record time by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). 

Researchers propose new method for absolute calibration of multi-mode satellite navigation receiver delay

Researchers from the National Time Service Center (NTSC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have proposed a new method to realize absolute calibration of multi-mode satellite navigation receiver delay.

Technology news

Researchers fabricate logic gates based on neuristors made of 2D materials

Individual neurons in the human brain can efficiently perform so-called Boolean operations; a type of algebraic operations that include union, subtraction and intersection. Computing systems that emulate biological neurons, such as neuromorphic computing systems, however, typically require several devices to complete these operations.

Insect-sized robot navigates mazes with the agility of a cheetah

Many insects and spiders get their uncanny ability to scurry up walls and walk upside down on ceilings with the help of specialized sticky footpads that allow them to adhere to surfaces in places where no human would dare to go.

Spanish couple develop high-tech specs to help son see

When their two-year-old son Biel started falling over a lot and had difficulty climbing stairs after learning to walk, Jaume Puig and his wife sought medical help to figure out the problem.

Model predicts lane changes, could inform driver-assist systems

It's a high-speed, high-stakes hazard familiar to anyone who's spent time driving on the interstate.

New heavy vehicle design increases fuel efficiency, cuts carbon emissions

Reshaping the exterior of heavy vehicles, such as semitrucks, so that they are aerodynamically integrated along their entire length in a smooth, continuous fashion could reduce drag, increase fuel efficiency and cut carbon emissions.

Tuning collagen threads for biohybrid robots

The idea of incorporating actual muscles or neurons into a robotic system might sound like science fiction, but researchers in Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Mechanical Engineering are taking steps to make it a reality.

New auto sales, prices rise as chip shortage cuts US supply

U.S. consumers continued to spend wildly on new automobiles in the second quarter, pushing sales up 50.2% over last year despite tight dealer inventories and record high prices.

TikTok bumps up video length to 3 minutes

TikTok on Thursday began letting users post videos up to three minutes in length, tripling the prior cap to stay ahead of competitors.

Composing new energy systems

Modern, decentralized energy systems are a highly complex matter. Planning them in an optimal and cost-efficient way is a major challenge for energy planners. Sympheny, an Empa spin-off, offers a software that helps planners to find the most suitable energy concept for a building, neighborhood or even an entire city, and thus to meet their sustainability and energy efficiency goals.

Four ways artificial intelligence is helping us learn about the universe

Astronomy is all about data. The universe is getting bigger and so too is the amount of information we have about it. But some of the biggest challenges of the next generation of astronomy lie in just how we're going to study all the data we're collecting.

Countries investing in renewable energy enjoy greater economic growth and lower income inequality

Countries that invest more in renewable energy enjoy greater economic growth and lower levels of income inequality, a new study from academics at the University of Sussex Business School and the University of Portsmouth has revealed.

Tightening vehicle emissions standards resulted in higher rates of automaker non-compliance, new research shows

A new study focused on the auto industry finds that tightening emissions standards not only fails to curtail on-road emissions, but actually increases the likelihood of non-compliance by automakers.

China watchdog launches review of Didi Global days after IPO

China's internet watchdog said Friday that it has launched an investigation into ride-hailing company Didi Global Inc. to protect national security and public interest, days after the company went public in New York.

Tesla delivers more than 200,000 vehicles in 2nd quarter

Tesla says it delivered 201,250 electric vehicles in the second quarter as it overcame a global computer chip shortage that has hit nearly every automaker.

Energy production at Mutriku remains constant even if the wave force increases

The EOLO research group of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has confirmed the increase in the power flow of the waves in the Bay of Biscay from 1900 onwards. It has identified ten types of sea state and has used a statistical model to link them to the output of the Mutriku wave farm. Thus, it has been possible to calculate the amount of electrical power that could have been produced during the 1979-2019 period if these facilities had been operational.

Computer vision may revolutionize structural inspection

Inspecting structures after an earthquake, hurricane or flood is essential to saving lives, but that can be difficult to accomplish in a timely manner.

Solar hydrogen for Antarctica: The advantages of thermally coupled approach

A team from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Ulm University, and Heidelberg University has now investigated how hydrogen can be produced at the South Pole using sunlight, and which method is the most promising. Their conclusion: in extremely cold regions, it can be considerably more efficient to attach the PV modules directly to the electrolyser, i.e. to thermally couple them. This is because the waste heat from the PV modules increases the efficiency of electrolysis in this environment. The results of this study, which has now been published in Energy & Environmental Science, are also relevant for other cold regions on Earth, such as Alaska, Canada, and high mountain regions, for example. In these places, solar hydrogen could replace fossil fuels such as oil and petrol.

Broadcom settles US antitrust case on chip market

US regulators on Friday announced an antitrust settlement with Silicon Valley chip maker Broadcom, accused of abusing its clout in the market for set-top boxes for internet or streaming television services.

Radar beams for networking and localizing everyday objects

In the OmniConnect project, Fraunhofer researchers are working with other partners on networking objects in indoor areas. They are doing this using radar beams and passive tags that are attached to moving objects, but also to people. This technology effectively detects the positions of the tags and therefore of the objects as well. It can also be used in the care sector, to avert dangers to people who are prone to falling.

US plans to make airlines refund fees if bags are delayed

The Transportation Department will propose that airlines be required to refund fees on checked baggage if the bags aren't delivered to passengers quickly enough.

Woes deepen at Vodafone's India unit

Woes are deepening for Vodafone's India unit as it seeks more time to pay mobile network fees levied by the government, with creditor banks reportedly pleading with New Delhi to cut the firm some slack.

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