Science X Newsletter Monday, Jul 12

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for July 12, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

The first molecular map describing human cerebellar development

A new feature selection technique for intrusion detection systems

You can snuggle wolf pups all you want, they still won't 'get' you quite like your dog

Haziness of exoplanet atmospheres depends on properties of aerosol particles

Teardrop star reveals hidden supernova doom

New research suggests explosive volcanic activity on Venus

Researchers map how sea-level rise adaptation strategies impact economies and floodwaters

Globular clusters NGC 1261 and NGC 6934 investigated in detail

Surface of Jupiter's moon Europa churned by small impacts

Protein appears to prevent tumor cells from spreading via blood vessels

Just 25 mega-cities produce 52% of the world's urban greenhouse gas emissions

Israel's SpaceIL secures funds for new lunar mission

Scientists blueprint bacterial enzyme believed to 'stealthily' suppress immune response

Innovative gene therapy 'reprograms' cells to reverse neurological deficiencies

A fermented-food diet increases microbiome diversity and lowers inflammation, study finds

Physics news

Physicists find a method to comb the hair of spins

Similar to the wave of human hair in the wind, spins in a solid can also wave under the influence of external perturbations. Such a wave-like collective motion of spins is called a spin wave. Usually, spin waves with a wide frequency range are superposed and form a wave packet. Recently, physicists have found a method to split spin waves into a comb-like pattern using a curling magnetic structure. Such a spin-wave frequency comb can serve as a ruler to calibrate the wave frequency and allow the detection of complex magnetic textures in a physical system.

Reviewing pressure effects on iron-based high-temperature superconductors

The discovery of iron-based superconductors with a relatively high transition temperature Tc in 2008 opened a new chapter in the development of high-temperature superconductivity.

Chinese achieve new milestone with 56 qubit computer

A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in China, working at the University of Science and Technology of China, has achieved another milestone in the development of a usable quantum computer. The group has written a paper describing its latest efforts and have uploaded it to the arXiv preprint server.

Quantum phase transition discovered in a quasi-2D system consisting purely of spins

Pure quantum systems can undergo phase transitions analogous to the classical phase transition between the liquid and gaseous states of water. At the quantum level, however, the particle spins in states that emerge from phase transitions display collective entangled behavior. This unexpected observation offers a new avenue for the production of materials with topological properties that are useful in spintronics applications and quantum computing.

Astronomy and Space news

Haziness of exoplanet atmospheres depends on properties of aerosol particles

Many exoplanets have opaque atmospheres, obscured by clouds or hazes that make it hard for astronomers to characterize their chemical compositions. A new study shows that haze particles produced under different conditions have a wide range of properties that can determine how clear or hazy a planet's atmosphere is likely to be.

Teardrop star reveals hidden supernova doom

Astronomers have made the rare sighting of two stars spiraling to their doom by spotting the tell-tale signs of a teardrop-shaped star.

New research suggests explosive volcanic activity on Venus

Traces of the gas phosphine point to volcanic activity on Venus, according to new research from Cornell University.

Globular clusters NGC 1261 and NGC 6934 investigated in detail

Based on the data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), astronomers have conducted a detailed spectroscopic and photometric study of two Type II globular clusters (GCs), namely NGC 1261 and NGC 6934. Results of the research, published June 30 on arXiv.org, provide essential information regarding the properties of these clusters and could advance our knowledge about the population of Type II GCs.

Surface of Jupiter's moon Europa churned by small impacts

Jupiter's moon Europa and its global ocean may currently have conditions suitable for life. Scientists are studying processes on the icy surface as they prepare to explore.

Israel's SpaceIL secures funds for new lunar mission

SpaceIL, the nonprofit Israeli initiative whose spacecraft crashed on the moon two years ago, said Sunday that it has secured $70 million in funding to make a second attempt at a lunar landing.

How the universe is reflected near black holes

In the vicinity of black holes, space is so warped that even light rays may curve around them several times. This phenomenon may enable us to see multiple versions of the same thing. While this has been known for decades, only now do we have an exact, mathematical expression, thanks to Albert Sneppen, student at the Niels Bohr Institute. The result, which even is more useful in realistic black holes, has just been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

New type of cosmic dust in meteorite may reveal origins of water on Earth

Scientists have discovered a new type of star dust whose composition indicates that it formed during a rare form of nucleosynthesis (the process through which new atomic nuclei are created) and could shed new light on the history of water on Earth.

Using AI to discover landing and exploration sites on the moon

A moon-scanning method that can automatically classify important lunar features from telescope images could significantly improve the efficiency of selecting sites for exploration.

Watching the Milky Way's supermassive black hole feed

The supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, Sagittarius A*, is by far the closest such object to us, about 27,000 light-years away. Although it is not nearly so active or luminous as other galactic nuclei with supermassive black holes, its relative proximity makes it appear much brighter to us than other similar sources and provides astronomers with a unique opportunity to probe what happens when gas clouds or other objects get close to the "edge" of a black hole.

Party time: Champagne and celebrities mark Branson's space flight

Champagne flowed, guests cheered and Grammy-nominated singer Khalid debuted a new single: British billionaire Richard Branson threw himself a party in the desert to mark his successful first flight into space.

What's a suborbital flight? An aerospace engineer explains

"Suborbital" is a term you'll be hearing a lot as Sir Richard Branson flies aboard Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity winged spaceship and Jeff Bezos flies aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard vehicle to touch the boundary of space and experience a few minutes of weightlessness.

'Experience of a lifetime': Billionaire Branson achieves space dream

British billionaire Richard Branson flew into space Sunday aboard a Virgin Galactic vessel, a voyage he described as the "experience of a lifetime"—and one he hopes will usher in an era of lucrative space tourism.

Technology news

A new feature selection technique for intrusion detection systems

Network-based technologies have become increasingly widespread, and they are now being used by countless individuals, professionals, and businesses worldwide. Despite their advantages, most network-based systems are highly vulnerable to malicious attacks.

Robot with rapid motor adaptation able to traverse multiple types of terrain

A group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon and UC Berkeley working with a team at Facebook AI has developed a new type of reactive locomotive system for robots. Called rapid motor adaptation, it allows a robot to traverse a variety of terrain types by learning from past experiences. The group has written a paper describing their new technology and how well it worked when tested and have posted it on the arXiv preprint server.

Self-supervised machine learning adds depth, breadth and speed to sky surveys

Sky surveys are invaluable for exploring the universe, allowing celestial objects to be catalogued and analyzed without the need for lengthy observations. But in providing a general map or image of a region of the sky, they are also one of the largest data generators in science, currently imaging tens of millions to billions of galaxies over the lifetime of an individual survey. In the near future, for example, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile will produce 20 TB of data per night, generate about 10 million alerts daily, and end with a final data set of 60 PB in size.

WhatsApp faces EU consumer complaint over privacy update

Facebook's WhatsApp faces a complaint from European Union consumer groups who say the chat service has been unfairly pressuring users to accept a new privacy update in what it calls a breach of the bloc's regulations.

Mitsubishi says paid 25 million euro Dieselgate fine

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors confirmed Monday it paid a 25 million euro fine issued by German prosecutors over emissions fraud allegations earlier this year.

Researchers design a system for detecting floods from space using artificial intelligence

Researchers at the Image Processing Laboratory (IPL) of the University of Valencia, in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the Phi-Lab of the European Space Agency (ESA), have developed a model for flood detection based on neural networks. It's called WorldFloods and has been launched into space by aerospace company D-Orbit from Cape Canaveral.

Giving a 'tandem' boost to solar-powered water splitting

Turning away from fossil fuels is necessary if we are to avert an environmental crisis due to global warming. Both industry and academia have been focusing heavily on hydrogen as a feasible clean alternative. Hydrogen is practically inexhaustible and when used to generate energy, only produces water vapor. However, to realize a truly eco-friendly hydrogen society, we need to be able to mass-produce hydrogen cleanly in the first place.

Musk defends Tesla's SolarCity deal in US shareholder trial

Tesla chief Elon Musk defended the electric car maker's controversial 2016 acquisition of SolarCity Monday at the start of a trial on whether the billionaire put his own interests ahead of investors.

Ransomware-hit software firm says servers restored

A US software firm said Monday it fully restored its servers more than a week after being hit by a ransomware attack that crippled hundreds of companies worldwide.

Vietnam's Vinfast to launch electric cars in US, Europe next year

Vietnam's first homegrown car manufacturer Vinfast said Monday it will launch two new electric vehicle models early next year in North America and Europe, as it pushes to enter the lucrative but crowded market.

Amazon wants to monitor you in your sleep

Amazon.com Inc. has won U.S. permission to use radar to monitor consumers' sleep habits.

After Branson flight, Virgin Galactic slumps on stock sale

Virgin Galactic shares veered sharply lower Monday after the spaceflight company said it's made arrangements to sell up to $500 million in stock.

Storm brews over South African ship-based energy plan

A deal expected to be awarded to end South Africa's continuing energy crisis could contribute to higher emissions and provide a short-term solution rather than a long-term one, experts say.

Liz Weston: Who gets the keys to your digital estate?

You may not own cryptocurrency or nonfungible tokens. You may not have a big Instagram following or run an online business. But if you do almost anything online, you probably have digital assets—electronic records that you own, control or license. Failing to make arrangements for those assets while you're alive could cause unnecessary costs, stress and heartache to those you leave behind.

EU puts digital levy plans on hold in face of US criticism

In a gesture of goodwill to the United States, the European Union on Monday put work on plans for a digital tax levy on hold for the moment to concentrate on finalizing the historic tax decision endorsed by the Group of 20 nations over the weekend.

Spain aims EU funds for boost to electric car industry

The Spanish government will invest 4.3 billion euros ($5.1 billion) from its share of European pandemic recovery funds to revamp its automobile industry and steer it toward manufacturing electric vehicles and their components, the prime minister announced on Monday.

Fortnite working with LeBron James on new gear. Here's when you can get it

Fans of Fortnite can dress like a king starting Wednesday.

Rare copy of 'Super Mario 64' video game sells at auction for $1.56 million

How's this for a high score: a rare copy of the Nintendo 64 video game "Super Mario 64" sold at auction for $1.56 million.


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