Science X Newsletter Wednesday, Aug 11

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 11, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

'Experienced' mouse mothers tutor other females to parent, helped by hormone oxytocin

Like humans, apes communicate to start and end social interactions

Global warming begets more warming, new paleoclimate study finds

A robotic fish tail and an elegant math ratio could inform the design of next- generation underwater drones

How snakes got their fangs

Space station supplies launched with a pizza delivery for 7

Researchers find important clue to rare inflammatory disease in children following COVID-19 infection

New technique identifies proteins in the living brain

A novel virtual reality technology to make MRI a new experience

A clean US hydrogen economy is within reach, but needs a game plan, energy researchers say

Belief in social Darwinism linked to dysfunctional psychological characteristics

Assigned classroom seats can promote friendships between dissimilar students

Will COVID-19 become a mostly childhood disease?

Skull birth defect detailed in cell-by-cell description

Alginic acid improves artificial bones

Physics news

Locations of Riemann zeros accurately measured

The Riemann hypothesis raised in 1859 is one of the six unsolved Millennium problems, and its proof greatly facilitate the understanding of the distribution laws of prime numbers. For a long time, there has been a growing academic focus on the non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function. This enables physicists to reproduce prime numbers and inspires them to discover the essence of Riemann hypothesis with a feasible quantum approach.

Study provides suggestions for keeping classroom air fresh

Open windows and a good heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system are starting points for keeping classrooms safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. But they are not the last word, according to a new study from researchers at MIT.

New technique illuminates DNA helix

Cornell researchers have identified a new way to measure DNA torsional stiffness—how much resistance the helix offers when twisted—information that can potentially shed light on how cells work.

Two-stream network proposed for thermal and visible images fusion

Student Liu Luolin from the Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics (XIOPM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has proposed a two-stream end-to-end model named TSFNet for thermal and visible image fusion. The results were published in Neurocomputing.

First magnets for FAIR tested at CERN

The very first superconducting magnets have been tested at CERN for NUSTAR (Nuclear Structure Astrophysics and Reactions), one of the experiments at the future international Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), currently under construction at the GSI laboratory (the Helmholtz Centre for Heavy-Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany).

Physics researchers discover new electronic phenomenon

Physics researchers at the University of North Florida's Atomic LEGO Lab discovered a new electronic phenomenon they call "asymmetric ferroelectricity." The research led by Dr. Maitri Warusawithana, UNF physics assistant professor, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois and the Arizona State University, demonstrated this phenomenon for the first time in engineered two-dimensional crystals.

Astronomy and Space news

Space station supplies launched with a pizza delivery for 7

Northrop Grumman's latest space station delivery includes pizza for seven.

OSIRIS-REx spacecraft provides insight into asteroid Bennu's future orbit

In a study released Wednesday, NASA researchers used precision-tracking data from the agency's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft to better understand movements of the potentially hazardous asteroid Bennu through the year 2300, significantly reducing uncertainties related to its future orbit, and improving scientists' ability to determine the total impact probability and predict orbits of other asteroids.

Protecting earth from space storms

"There are only two natural disasters that could impact the entire U.S.," according to Gabor Toth, professor of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering at the University of Michigan. "One is a pandemic and the other is an extreme space weather event."

Ingenuity Mars Helicopter spots Perseverance from above

Can you see NASA's newest rover in this picture from Jezero Crater?

Only slight chance of asteroid Bennu hitting Earth: NASA

An asteroid known as Bennu will pass within half the distance of the Earth to the Moon in the year 2135 but the probability of an impact with our planet in the coming centuries is very slight, scientists said Wednesday.

Technology news

A robotic fish tail and an elegant math ratio could inform the design of next- generation underwater drones

Underwater vehicles are typically designed for one cruise speed, and they're often inefficient at other speeds. The technology is rudimentary compared to the way fish swim well, fast or slow.

A clean US hydrogen economy is within reach, but needs a game plan, energy researchers say

Addressing climate change requires not only a clean electrical grid, but also a clean fuel to reduce emissions from industrial heat, long-haul heavy transportation, and long-duration energy storage. Hydrogen and its derivatives could be that fuel, argues a Commentary publishing August 11 in the journal Joule, but a clean U.S. H2 economy will require a comprehensive strategy and a 10-year plan. The commentary suggests that careful consideration of future H2 infrastructure, including production, transport, storage, use, and economic viability, will be critical to the success of efforts aimed at making clean H2 viable on a societal scale.

Soft robot chameleon changes color in real-time to match background

A team of researchers working at Seoul National University has developed a soft robot chameleon that can change its colors in real time to match its background. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes their multi-layer skin design and possible uses for it.

Xiaomi unveils CyberDog: A personable quadruped robot

Chinese electronics company Xiaomi has unveiled CyberDog, a quadruped robot that the company describes as more personable than others in its class. The company made its announcement on its Twitter feed, calling it a "true beast."

Samsung unveils new foldable smartphones

Samsung is hoping cheaper but more durable versions of its foldable phones will broaden the appeal of a high-concept design that's so far fizzled with consumers.

Engineers uncover the secrets of fish fins

Peer into any fishbowl, and you'll see that pet goldfish and guppies have nimble fins. With a few flicks of these appendages, aquarium swimmers can turn in circles, dive deep down or even bob to the surface.

Record cryptocurrency heist valued at $600 mn

A firm specializing in transferring cryptocurrency said Tuesday that hackers cracked its security, making off with a record-setting haul potentially worth $600 million.

TikTok tops Facebook as most downloaded app of 2020

TikTok was the world's most downloaded app last year, overtaking Facebook and its messaging platforms, market tracker App Annie said Tuesday.

Apple can scan your photos for child abuse and still protect your privacy

The proliferation of child sexual abuse material on the internet is harrowing and sobering. Technology companies send tens of millions of reports per year of these images to the nonprofit National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Lichens may one day detoxify the air in your home

When smoke from fires darken the skies as they did last summer, hunkering down indoors makes good sense. But on most days throughout the year, the air we breathe indoors carries far more pollutants than outdoor air. Exposure is highest in crowded homes where space is a luxury, leading the EPA to rank indoor air quality as one of the top five public health concerns.

Researchers develop smartphone-screen-integrated optical breathalyzer

Alcohol abuse is a global concern. Every year in the United States alone, thousands of drivers die from drunk driving. These tragic incidents could be greatly reduced if the public had access to a breathalyzer at anytime and anywhere. Unfortunately, the public is simply not interested in carrying such an object.

Electrifying cars and light trucks to meet Paris climate goals

On Aug. 5, the White House announced that it seeks to ensure that 50 percent of all new passenger vehicles sold in the United States by 2030 are powered by electricity. The purpose of this target is to enable the U.S to remain competitive with China in the growing electric vehicle (EV) market and meet its international climate commitments. Setting ambitious EV sales targets and transitioning to zero-carbon power sources in the United States and other nations could lead to significant reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector and move the world closer to achieving the Paris Agreement's long-term goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius relative to preindustrial levels.

Instagram unveils new tools to reduce abuse, racist comments

Instagram on Wednesday announced new measures to curb abusive and racist content on the image-centric social network, following an onslaught of hateful comments directed at UK footballers after the Euro 2020 final.

Cyber security firm Norton buys Avast for over $8 bn

US cyber security giant NortonLifeLock is to buy Czech rival Avast for over $8 billion to create a leading consumer business, the pair announced Wednesday after the pandemic fuelled online activity.

Using AI, cars can detect potholes in real time

The Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) has announced the development of an 'AI-based automatic pothole detection system'. The system is designed to be installed on the windshield of a vehicle to detect potholes on the road surface in real-time. Potholes can damage cars and may even lead to life-threatening accidents.

A new method to protect WebAssembly against Spectre attacks

Computer scientists have developed a new compiler framework, called Swivel, to protect WebAssembly, or Warm, against Spectre attacks—the class of execution attacks, which exploit the way processors predict the computations that need to happen next. The team will present its research at the USENIX Security Symposium taking place Aug. 11 to 13, 2021. 

What does ride-hailing mean for parking?

In the June 2021 issue of Case Studies on Transport Policy, Ben Clark and Anne Brown of the University of Oregon published an article titled, "What Does Ride-hailing Mean For Parking? Associations Between On-street Parking Occupancy And Ride-hail Trips In Seattle." The paper draws on findings from their NITC research Investigating Effects of TNCs on Parking Demand and Revenues.

Hackers return portion of record crypto heist haul

A firm specializing in transferring cryptocurrency said that hackers have given back $260 million worth of digital loot from a record haul.

Simulation tool creates digital twins of buildings from coast to coast

A new tool that simulates the energy profile of every building in America will give homeowners, utilities and companies a quick way to determine energy use and cost-effective retrofits that can reduce energy and carbon emissions.

Zero-carbon bitcoin? The owner of a Pennsylvania nuclear plant thinks it could strike gold

Could bitcoin mining be the salvation of the embattled nuclear energy industry in America?

Study on kids' passwords shows gap between knowledge of password best practices and behavior

When it comes to passwords, the challenges are endless. We must create multiple passwords to manage our many online accounts, from email to shopping sites and social media profiles. We have to safely keep track of these many passwords and ensure they're strong enough to reduce the risk of cyberattacks. All of these reasons emphasize why education and training are so important for strengthening passwords and protecting personal accounts.

Future battery cost: Crucial for the success of the mobility and energy transition

For years, there has been a clear downward trend in battery costs. This development is important since batteries, as key components of electric vehicles and stationary energy storage systems, account for the majority of their cost. Today, these products are not yet fully competitive and further battery cost reductions are needed to achieve an economically viable transition to a carbon neutral society. In order to set the right strategic course, accurate battery cost projections are necessary for policy makers and industry. Numerous cost projections for battery systems exist in the academic literature, ranging from below $100 to above $400 per kilowatt-hour for the year 2030. This uncertainty poses a major challenge for the development of efficient incentive schemes for electromobility and for the design of profitable future product portfolios of vehicle manufacturers.

Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific posts $972 mn first-half loss

Struggling Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific on Wednesday said its losses in the first half of the year narrowed to $972 million but warned its outlook remained uncertain as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hammer international travel.

US to reopen Boeing-Airbus bidding war over refuellers

The US Air Force is set to reopen a bidding war between Boeing and arch-rival Airbus over the replacement of its ageing fleet of refuelling aircraft essential to Washington's ability to project power beyond its borders.

We keep streaming more movies and TV shows and we especially like big screens, smart TVs and Roku

Consumers gained some freedom this past spring as COVID's hold weakened but Americans' streaming appetite continued to grow, surpassing the massive amount of movies and TV episodes watched during lockdown.

AMC says customers will soon be able to buy movie tickets with bitcoin

AMC says customers will soon be able to buy movie tickets with bitcoin

Dish-Sinclair carriage dispute could remove 100+ channels from satellite TV provider

A dispute between satellite TV provider Dish and media company Sinclair could result in more than 100 local TV stations being removed from the pay TV service.

EXPLAINER: What the $65B broadband service plan will do

The Senate's $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan includes a $65 billion investment in broadband that the White House says will "deliver reliable, affordable, high-speed internet to every household."

Deliveroo reduces losses as takeaway sales soar

International takeaway food app Deliveroo cut losses in the first half as the coronavirus pandemic boosted home deliveries, a results update showed Wednesday.

An app is trying to connect consumers to waste food at a bargain price

At the end of a given day, restaurants, markets and other food stores often have leftover food that is still perfectly good, but can no longer be sold the next day. That food often gets thrown away, contributing to increasing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. And nearly 700 million people around the world still go to bed hungry every night.

NYPD flouts law requiring disclosure of surveillance technology, according to advocates

The NYPD is not revealing enough information about how it's spending tax dollars on surveillance technology, two advocacy groups say.

COVID variant causes Southwest to lower hopes for 3Q profit

Southwest Airlines said Wednesday that it no longer expects to turn a profit in the third quarter as a surge in COVID-19 infections fueled by the highly contagious delta variant darkens the outlook for travel.


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Russia's mocking Boeing. Here's why.

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The Future Is Not Wussing Out.

11 August 2021

Top Story

Hacker Steals $600 Million in Crypto, Gets Scared and Returns It

On Tuesday, a cryptocurrency brokerage called The Poly Network revealed that it had been hacked by someone who made off with over $600 million — that's more than a half of a BILLION dollars — in the form of hundreds of cryptocurrencies. But now, well: He's trying to dial it back. And: It's not working.

read more

HEADLINES FROM TODAY

ONE Uh, Uh... The Plot to "The Day After Tomorrow" Appears to Actually Be Happening

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TWO Russia Mocks Boeing, Offering to Fix Its Broken Starliner Spacecraft

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THREE That SpaceX Orbital Billboard Is So Small You'll Never See It

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OF INTEREST

How a Small Neurotech Startup Beat Elon Musk's Neuralink to FDA Approval

Last week, the FDA granted regulatory approval to the neurotech startup Synchron, giving it a groundbreaking go-ahead to conduct more ambitious experiments and test its neural implant in human paralysis patients, setting it on the path to eventually become the first brain implant to get commercial approval. That puts it ahead of Elon Musk's own neural implant venture. How, though?

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NEWS IN QUOTES

" Hermit crabs may be 'sexually excited' by an additive released by plastics in the ocean. "

 
— Another news outlet, which got this story very, very wrong.

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