Science X Newsletter Thursday, Aug 19

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for August 19, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

First steerable catheter developed for brain surgery

Rattlesnake rattles trick human ears

Understanding enzyme evolution paves the way for green chemistry

Study suggests hydraulic fracturing can impact surface water quality

Scientists harness human protein to deliver molecular medicines to cells

New CRISPR-based technology to speed identification of genes involved in health and disease

Scientists discover crystal exhibiting exotic spiral magnetism

This exotic particle had an out-of-body experience; these scientists took a picture of it

Partition function zeros are a 'shortcut' to thermodynamic calculations on quantum computers

A peculiar state of matter in layers of semiconductors

Absence of fans at European elite soccer 'ghost games' significantly decreases home advantage: study

Pfizer Covid jab declines faster than AstraZeneca: study

Researchers solve 20-year-old paradox in solar physics

We trained AI to recognise footprints, but it won't replace forensic experts yet

New research may help scientists grow more complex and mature heart tissue in the lab

Physics news

Scientists discover crystal exhibiting exotic spiral magnetism

An exotic form of magnetism has been discovered and linked to an equally exotic type of electrons, according to scientists who analyzed a new crystal in which they appear at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The magnetism is created and protected by the crystal's unique electronic structure, offering a mechanism that might be exploited for fast, robust information storage devices.

This exotic particle had an out-of-body experience; these scientists took a picture of it

Scientists have taken the clearest picture yet of electronic particles that make up a mysterious magnetic state called quantum spin liquid (QSL).

Partition function zeros are a 'shortcut' to thermodynamic calculations on quantum computers

A study led by researchers at North Carolina State University developed a new method that enables quantum computers to measure the thermodynamic properties of systems by calculating the zeros of the partition function.

Accessing high spins in an artificial atom

Scientists from SANKEN at Osaka University demonstrated the readout of spin-polarized multielectron states composed of three or four electrons on a semiconductor quantum dot. By making use of the spin filtering caused by the quantum Hall effect, the researchers were able to improve upon previous methods that could only easily resolve two electrons. This work may lead to quantum computers based on the multielectron high-spin states.

Electron-electron and spin-orbit interactions compete to control the electron

In a finding that will help to identify exotic quantum states, RIKEN physicists have seen strongly competing factors that affect an electron's behavior in a high-quality quantum material.

Home-grown semiconductors for faster, smaller electronics

"Growing" electronic components directly onto a semiconductor block avoids messy, noisy oxidation scattering that slows and impedes electronic operation.

Study: Widespread use of better masks can help curb COVID-19 indoors

A new study is highlighting a need for widespread use of better face masks and the importance of good ventilation to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 indoors.

High-throughput fast full-color Fourier ptychographic microscopy is promising in digital pathology

In biomedicine, accurate and efficient observation of pathologic slices is crucial in cell morphology detection, pathologic analysis, and disease diagnosis, which acts as the bridge between fundamental research and clinical applications. On the one hand, pathologic slices are usually stained for specific recognition, given the fact that humans are sensitive to color information and capable of classification according to color. On the other hand, digital pathology that uses digital cameras to collect stained pathologic slices improves imaging efficiency compared with the naked eyes and reduces oversight and double counting. However, a tradeoff between high resolution (HR) and wide field of view (FOV) exists in digital pathology, resulting in artifacts of scanning and stitching.

Astronomy and Space news

Researchers solve 20-year-old paradox in solar physics

In 1998, the journal Nature published a seminal letter concluding that a mysterious signal, which had been discovered while analyzing the polarization of sunlight, implies that the solar chromosphere (an important layer of the solar atmosphere) is practically unmagnetised, in sharp contradiction with common wisdom. This paradox motivated laboratory experiments and theoretical investigations, which instead of providing a solution, raised new issues, and even led some scientists to question the quantum theory of matter-radiation interaction.

Never-before-seen radio waves detected from nearby stars and distant galaxies

Scientists have measured thousands of nearby stars and far away galaxies that have never been identified before at radio wavelengths, while studying a galactic body that neighbors our own Milky Way galaxy—the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Site on Tibetan Plateau shows promise as a place for next-generation large telescope

A team of researchers affiliated with a host of institutions across China has found that a site on the Tibetan Plateau shows promise as a home for a next-generation large telescope. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the researchers describe features and attributes of the site that suggest it could provide a good setting for a next-generation telescope.

Japan aims to bring back soil samples from Mars moon by 2029

Japanese space agency scientists said Thursday they plan to bring soil samples back from the Mars region ahead of the United States and China, which started Mars missions last year, in hopes of finding clues to the planet's origin and traces of possible life.

Comet ATLAS may have been a blast from the past

It's suspected that about 5,000 years ago a comet may swept within 23 million miles of the Sun, closer than the innermost planet Mercury. The comet might have been a spectacular sight to civilizations across Eurasia and North Africa at the end of the Stone Age.

23rd SpaceX commercial resupply mission launches bone, plant, and materials studies to ISS

The 23rd SpaceX cargo resupply services mission carrying scientific research and technology demonstrations to the International Space Station is targeted to launch in late August from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Experiments aboard include an investigation into protecting bone health with botanical byproducts, testing a way to monitor crew eye health, demonstrating improved dexterity of robots, exposing construction materials to the harsh environment of space, mitigating stress in plants, and more.

Netflix announces documentary series on Inspiration4 space mission

Netflix will soon premiere a documentary series chronicling Inspiration4, the world's first all-civilian space mission, the streaming service said Thursday.

Technology news

First steerable catheter developed for brain surgery

A team of engineers and physicians has developed a steerable catheter that for the first time will give neurosurgeons the ability to steer the device in any direction they want while navigating the brain's arteries and blood vessels. The device was inspired by nature, specifically insect legs and flagella—tail-like structures that allow microscopic organisms such as bacteria to swim.

We trained AI to recognise footprints, but it won't replace forensic experts yet

We rely on experts all the time. If you need financial advice, you ask an expert. If you are sick, you visit a doctor, and as a juror you may listen to an expert witness. In the future, however, artificial intelligence (AI) might replace many of these people.

Where does the law stand on green construction in the U.S?

The U.S has been actively trying to popularize green practices in the construction industry for the past few decades. Many green programs have emerged to provide guidance for green construction, such as LEED, which was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Scientists develop technology for sustainable next-generation batteries

Researchers have developed a new technology which could enable lithium batteries to be replaced with more sustainable alternatives.

Common solar tech can power smart devices indoors

Any time you turn on a light at home or in the office, you are expending energy. But what if flipping the light switch meant producing energy too?

Perovskite allows a greener fabrication of transistors

Physicists have found a way to make transistors using materials that are highly rated for their performance in next-generation solar cells and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The researchers have overcome the problem of the material's ion content interfering with the flow of electronic current through a transistor. This breakthrough may pave the way for research into greener electronic components for low-cost electronic devices.

Scientists develop new technique for large-scale energy storage

The sale of electric vehicles (EVs) has grown exponentially in the past few years as has the need for renewable energy sources to power them, such as solar and wind. There were nearly 1.8 million registered electric vehicles in the U.S. as of 2020, which is more than three times as many in 2016, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

OSU cryptography research leads to huge efficiency gain in secure computing

Oregon State University researchers have developed a secure computation protocol that's 25% more efficient than what had been thought the best possible, meaning future savings in time and energy costs for groups needing to team up on computations while keeping their individual data private.

Robinhood's crypto trading surges, as overall growth slows

After helping a new generation of investors get into stocks, Robinhood is increasingly doing the same for cryptocurrencies.

Toyota to cut Sept production by 40% as virus hits supply chain

Toyota said Thursday it will cut global auto production by 40 percent in September as the spread of coronavirus in Southeast Asia squeezes its supply chain.

A node-charge, graph-based online carshare rebalancing policy with capacitated electric charging

As the makeup of car-share fleets reflect the global shift to electric vehicles (EV) operators will need to address unique challenges to EV fleet scheduling. These include user time and distance requirements, time needed to recharge vehicles, and distribution of charging facilities—including limited availability of fast charging infrastructure (as of 2019 there are seven fast DC public charging stations in Manhattan including Tesla stations). Because of such factors, the viability of electric car-sharing operations depends on fleet rebalancing algorithms.

Understanding the rising threat of ransomware attacks

A rude awakening came to thousands of Americans in early May. Many motorists who had never seen the effects of a devastating ransomware attack found themselves scrambling to find a flowing gas pump, and waiting in massive lines when they did.

Lesson from a robot swarm: Change group behavior by talking one-on-one rather than getting on a soapbox

You find a new restaurant with terrific food, but when you suggest meeting there in a group text to your friends, the choice to meet at the same old place carries the day.

Amazon to launch more US brick-and-mortar stores: report

Aiming for a bigger presence in US brick-and-mortar retail, Amazon plans to open "several" multipurpose shopping venues similar to department stores, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Monitoring COVID-19 on the smart grid

Might smart grid technologies be used to monitor the spread of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes COVID-19? Researchers in Morocco, writing in the International Journal of Security and Networks put the case.

Facebook unveils virtual reality 'workrooms'

Facebook on Thursday unveiled technology for "workrooms," allowing remote collaboration for people using its Oculus virtual reality gear.

Hackers stole millions of Social Security numbers from T-Mobile. What should you do?

Hackers have found their way again into T-Mobile's systems, the fourth reported breach of the company's data since early 2020. This time, the haul included sensitive personal information associated with about 48 million people, most of whom were former or prospective customers of the self-styled "un-carrier."

China state firms invest in TikTok sibling, Weibo chat app

The Chinese government has made investments in two of the nation's most significant technology firms—ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns global video app TikTok, and Weibo, China's version of Twitter—in a move apparently intended to bolster its sway over the nation's flourishing technology sector.

US utility plans to switch 1200 vehicles to electric by 2030

The nation's largest public utility plans to switch out 1,200 of its vehicles for electric ones by 2030, furthering its role in that market for a power supplier that also plans to help add charging stations across the region, the utility's top official said Wednesday.

Three former Netflix employees charged with insider trading

US regulators on Wednesday filed insider trading charges against five people, including three former Netflix employees, accusing them of illegally using confidential data on subscriber growth at the streaming television giant.

US antitrust enforcers revive monopoly case against Facebook

US regulators Thursday filed a new lawsuit accusing Facebook of maintaining an illegal monopoly in social networking, reviving the case two months after it was dismissed by a federal judge.

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I had to read a book to discover the importance of dinner...
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A letter from Boris

Before we get started...

First, something to get us warmed up:

That's it, now onto the main course.


You can learn that in a book?


I was probably 12 years old when I first read How to Win Friends and Influence People. Now, I agree that it might be a weird book choice for a pre-teen, but the title caught my eye at a second-hand market and I thought it was such a weird thing to write a whole book about. You don't 'learn' how to make friends, you just… do it?

So I bought, read it, and then even pushed my mother to read it too because I thought it was so funny. It wasn't until I was in my late twenties that I found out the book was actually an international bestseller.

Then I realized that I'd actually been subconsciously following the advice 12-year-old Boris found laughable: being generous with praise, showing genuine interest in other people, making an effort to remember names, quickly acknowledging my mistakes, and so forth.

This realization opened me up to discovering more 'laughably basic' truths in books, which was right around the time I found Never Eat Alone. Written by a master networker, it contains funny anecdotes and useful tips on how to conduct business like a pro. I devoured it and have been recommending it ever since.

The biggest lesson I learned was infuriatingly simple: dinners are good.

Sure, I of course enjoyed going out to eat with friends, but I never appreciated the power of inviting people I barely knew over and creating a new, shared experience.

The first time I remember hosting a 'real' dinner was in art school. I was incredibly impressed with my teacher, so I took the plunge and invited her and her daughter over for dinner along with a friend of mine.

I was ecstatic they all accepted... and then promptly panicked because my cooking skills were extremely limited.


But I managed. And although the food probably wasn't very impressive, the conversations we had were amazing and I ended becoming good friends with my teacher. I often joined her for dinner at her house and even house-sat for her when she and her family went on holiday.

This clumsy yet genuine start to my dinner parties ended up paying dividends down the line.

Years later, when I had started my first company, the CEO of a billion-dollar company reached out to me and asked me if I knew of companies in the Netherlands using their product, and whether I could recommend a restaurant to meet for dinner.

I told him I could help him create a guestlist easily, and recommend 'Chez Boris' for dinner.

That evening I prepared dinner for 20 people and managed to make a lasting impression on an incredibly influential CEO. We've kept in touch since then, and I always visit him when I'm in San Francisco — but I'd never been able to do that if I hadn't taken the leap and hosted dinners back at school.

So long story short: if you feed people they won't forget you. That's why…

Sponsored by TNW

You should dine with me

You're invited to dinner at my place!

Well, almost. You've got to win first.

If you order an in-person ticket to TNW Conference 2021 between August 9 and August 24, you'll automatically be entered into the contest to win an exclusive dinner with me.

But act quickly, tickets are currently up to 60% off and going fast!

So get your ticket to TNW2021 and I'll start thinking of what to cook.

Tweet of the week

This is essential:

Screenshot 2021-08-19 at 14.13.49


Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Co-founder & CEO, TNW

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