Science X Newsletter Tuesday, Jul 6

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 6, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

EventDrop: a method to augment asynchronous event data

Galaxy cluster Abell 3158 inspected in X-rays

Early humans were sheltered from worst effects of volcanic supereruption

Scientists discover support for disputed universal truth of particle physics

Kepler telescope glimpses population of free-floating planets

In-situ diagnostic of femtosecond laser probe pulses for ultrafast imaging applications

The mystery of heavy elements in galactic cosmic rays

Long-term urban emissions data show a decrease in high-income countries

New signaling pathway could shed light on damage repair during brain injury

Researchers discover way to improve immune response

Missing bile ducts offer clues to mechanism of liver injury

Research identifies cadre of immune cells that sculpt inhibitory neurons to regulate brain wiring

Embedded gas sensing device promises simple, accurate volatile organic compounds detection

Mindfulness training helps kids sleep better, study finds

New risk model may improve the prediction of preterm birth

Physics news

Scientists discover support for disputed universal truth of particle physics

A measurement of a fundamental principle of the standard model of particle physics—lepton flavour universality—captured by the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider, is reported in a paper published in Nature Physics.

In-situ diagnostic of femtosecond laser probe pulses for ultrafast imaging applications

Ultrafast imaging plays an important role in physics and chemistry to investigate the femtosecond dynamics of nonuniform samples. The method is based on understanding phenomena induced by an ultrashort laser pump pulse using an ultrashort probe pulse thereafter. The emergence of very successful ultrafast imaging techniques with an extremely high frame-rate is based on wavelength or spatial frequency encoding. In a new report now in Light: Science & Applications, Chen Xie, Remi Meyer, and a team of scientists in China and France used a pump-induced micrografting method to provide detailed in situ characterization of a weak probe pulse. The method is non-destructive and fast to perform and therefore the in-situ probe diagnostic can be repeated to calibrate experimental conditions. The technique will allow previously inaccessible imaging to become feasible across a field of superfast science at the micro- and nanoscale.

A transformative metasurface based on a zerogap embedded template

A research team, led by Professor Dai-Sik Kim in the Department of Physics at UNIST has developed a new technique of predefining the crack pattern on a flexible substrate by a sequential deposition of metallic layers which leads to a formation of a'"zero-nanometer gap', or a 'zerogap,' between the adjacent lateral patterns.

Ultra-strong squeezing of light demonstrated for ultrafast optical signal processing

A train carrying cargo has finite space. The amount of cargo that can be carried onboard is limited by the size of the cargo and the capacity of the train. Analogously, the amount of time taken up by an optical signal limits the amount of data that can be carried. Temporally shorter signals allow more data to be squeezed into a given time duration, in a method called optical time division multiplexing. Photonics researchers have recently succeeded in squeezing light in time by a factor of 11. The developed temporal compression system allows an equivalent increase in the number of bits transmitted by light in a fiber optic network.

A new understanding of patterns in fluid flow

Scientists have explored, for the first time, the viscous fingering (VF, one of classical interfacial hydrodynamics) of an annular ring, where 'fingers' in a fluid of finite volume grow radially, through a combination of experiment and numerical simulation. They demonstrate that the VF of an annular ring is a persistent phenomenon.

Astronomy and Space news

Galaxy cluster Abell 3158 inspected in X-rays

Astronomers from the University of Bonn, Germany and elsewhere have used the eROSITA telescope onboard the Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) mission to perform X-rays observations of a nearby galaxy cluster known as Abell 3158. Results of this observational campaign, published June 28 on, offer more clues on the properties of this giant structure.

Kepler telescope glimpses population of free-floating planets

Tantalizing evidence has been uncovered for a mysterious population of "free-floating" planets, planets that may be alone in deep space, unbound to any host star. The results include four new discoveries that are consistent with planets of similar masses to Earth, published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The mystery of heavy elements in galactic cosmic rays

Scientists have used data from the Southwest Research Institute-led Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission to explain the presence of energetic heavy elements in galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). GCRs are composed of fast-moving energetic particles, mostly hydrogen ions called protons, the lightest and most abundant elements in the universe. Scientists have long debated how trace amounts of heavy ions in GCRs are accelerated.

Satellite galaxies can continue forming stars when they pass close to their parent galaxies

Historically most scientists thought that once a satellite galaxy has passed close by its higher mass parent galaxy, its star formation would stop because the larger galaxy would remove the gas from it, leaving it shorn of the material it would need to make new stars. However, for the first time, a team led by Arianna di Cintio, a researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), has shown using numerical simulations that this is not always the case. The results of the study were recently published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS).

Significant solar flare erupts from sun

The sun emitted a significant solar flare peaking at 10:29 a.m. EDT on July 3, 2021. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.

Researchers statistically analyze small-scale magnetic reconnections

Dr. Xue Zhike's group from Yunnan Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences statistically studied six small-scale magnetic reconnections for the first time using the high-resolution data obtained by the 1-meter New Vacuum Solar Telescope (NVST) at the Fuxian Solar Observatory of Yunnan Observatories. The findings were published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Technology news

EventDrop: a method to augment asynchronous event data

Event sensors, such as DVS event cameras and NeuTouch tactile sensors, are sophisticated bio-inspired devices that mimic event-driven communication mechanisms naturally occurring in the brain. In contrast with conventional sensors, such as RGB cameras, which are designed to synchronously capture a scene at a fixed rate, event sensors can capture changes (i.e., events) occurring in a scene asynchronously.

A public network name that 'permanently' disables Wi-Fi on iPhones

A security researcher named Carl Schou has found a serious bug on iOS devices. He posted on his Twitter feed that users connecting to a certain public network name will lose Wi-Fi connectivity—and that resetting the network settings will not restore it.

A new invention aims to make computer servers worldwide more climate friendly

An elegant new algorithm developed by Danish researchers can significantly reduce the resource consumption of the world's computer servers. Computer servers are as taxing on the climate as global air traffic combined, thereby making the green transition in IT an urgent matter. The researchers, from the University of Copenhagen, expect major IT companies to deploy the algorithm immediately.

Up to 1,500 firms hit in Kaseya ransomware attack

Hundreds of Swedish supermarkets remained shut Tuesday after a major cyberattack that has crippled hundreds of companies worldwide for the past four days, with the perpetrators demanding $70 million in bitcoin to undo the damage.

Stellantis keeps UK plant to produce electric vehicles

European carmaker Stellantis on Tuesday said it was keeping its Vauxhall plant in northern England, which will become the group's first factory to produce a solely battery-electric vehicle.

China deepens crypto crackdown with central bank warning

China's central bank warned companies on Tuesday against assisting cryptocurrency-related businesses as it shut down a software firm over suspected involvement in digital currency transactions.

Number of victims in major ransomware attack still unclear

The company whose software was exploited in the biggest ransomware attack on record said Tuesday that so far it appears fewer than 1,500 businesses were compromised. But cybersecurity experts suspect the estimate is low and note that victims are still being identified.

Nintendo unveils new Switch game console

Nintendo on Tuesday announced its updated Switch hand-held game console would be available in October, after a pandemic year in which gaming activity surged.

Russian Yandex to launch delivery robots in US

Russian tech giant Yandex said Tuesday it planned to launch self-driving delivery robots on US college campuses later this year, the company's latest push into foreign markets.

Local-focused social network Nextdoor to go public

The neighborhood-focused social network Nextdoor said Tuesday it would list its shares in a deal that gives it a value of some $4.3 billion.

Sodium solid electrolyte combining high conductivity with electrochemical stability

A research team from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Information Engineering at Toyohashi University of Technology developed a chlorine (Cl) substituted Na3SbS4 solid electrolyte for use in all-solid-state sodium (Na) ion batteries. Compared to the sample without a Cl substitution, the ionic conductivity of the Na3SbS4 solid electrolyte where sulfur (S) was partially substituted with Cl improved by up to three times. The team also demonstrated that the Cl-substituted Na3SbS4 has a crystal structure framework that allows Na ions to move easier in three dimensions, and they discovered that the Cl substitution showed superior stability with Na metal anodes.

Pentagon cancels disputed JEDI cloud contract with Microsoft

The Pentagon said Tuesday it canceled a disputed cloud-computing contract with Microsoft that could eventually have been worth $10 billion. It will instead pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon and possibly other cloud service providers.

Software tool breathes life into post-COVID office airflow

As offices nationwide spring back to life, interior space designers and architects will soon have an easy-to-use planning tool to place indoor workplace furniture, staff, partitions and ventilation in a manner that maximizes fresh air flow and reduces the risk of airborne pathogens.

Rethinking Southeast Asia's energy plans

Big hydropower plants are an important source of clean and cheap electricity for many countries in Southeast Asia. However, dams harm the environment and have dire consequences on local communities. Building more dams would therefore pose major trade-offs between electricity supply and environmental protection.

US software firm moves to restart after huge ransomware attack

A US software firm hit by a major ransomware attack that crippled hundreds of companies worldwide said it was on track to restart its servers later Tuesday to bring customers back online.

Encrypted chat data leads to major drug raids in Germany

German security officials said Tuesday they made more than 750 arrests and seized large amounts of drugs after gaining access to extensive chat data of encrypted cellphones.

China asked ride-hailing service Didi to delay IPO: report

Chinese regulators urged ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxin to delay its $4.4 billion New York IPO to examine security concerns, advice the company did not heed, according to a report.

French court orders Twitter to reveal anti-hate speech efforts

A French court on Tuesday ordered Twitter to give activists full access to all of its documents relating to its efforts to fight racism, sexism and other forms of hate speech on the social network.

Didi shares plunge in wake of Beijing crackdown

Shares of Didi Chuxing plunged in pre-market trading Tuesday after Beijing required app stores to pull the Chinese ride-hailing program as part of a widening crackdown on technology companies.

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