Science X Newsletter Friday, Sep 3

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for September 3, 2021:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

The first experimental realization of a dissipative time crystal

Researchers develop an engineered 'mini' CRISPR genome editing system

Gut and heart signals affect how we see ourselves

Study reveals threat of catastrophic supervolcano eruptions ever-present

Drug cocktail reduces aging-associated disc degeneration

The first cells might have used temperature to divide

Riveting technology enables lightweight magnesium fasteners for fuel efficiency

How to fold a linear chromosome of Streptomyces

Sugar feeding may inhibit mosquitos' ability to get infected, transmit arboviruses

Transfer RNA may be a new drug for peripheral neuropathy

Nitrogen-efficient wheats provide more food with fewer greenhouse gas emissions

Unified theory explains how materials transform from solids to liquids

In the immune arsenal, antibodies offer best long-term hope against COVID

Survey shows healthcare workers more likely to get COVID-19 at home

Identification of plant-parasitic nematode attractant

Physics news

The first experimental realization of a dissipative time crystal

A time crystal is a unique and exotic phase of matter first predicted by the American physicist Frank Wilczek in 2012. Time crystals are temporal analogs of more conventional space crystals, as both are based on structures characterized by repeating patterns.

Unified theory explains how materials transform from solids to liquids

Years of meticulous experimentation have paid off for researchers aiming to unify the physics that defines materials that transition from solids to liquids. The researchers said a new theoretical model could help develop new synthetic materials and inform and predict civil engineering and environmental challenges such as mudslides, dam breaks and avalanches.

Unraveling quantum interactions of 100,000 atoms in gases

Silvia Musolino defended her Ph.D. on new theoretical insights in quantum physics by studying gases at the lowest temperatures consisting of many atoms.

Large-scale phase retrieval

Wide field of view and high resolution are both desirable for imaging applications, providing multi-dimensional and multi-scale target information. As the recent development of phase imaging, large-scale detection has been widely employed in a variety of imaging modalities, which largely extends the spatial-bandwidth product (SBP) of optical systems from million scale to billion scale. Such a large amount of data poses a great challenge for post phase retrieval (PR) processing. Therefore, large-scale PR technique with low computational complexity and high fidelity are of great significance for those imaging and perception applications in various dimensions. However, the existing PR algorithms suffer from the tradeoff among low computational complexity, robustness to measurement noise and strong generalization, making them inapplicable for general large-scale phase retrieval.

Tapping into magnets to clamp down on noise in quantum information

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has recently funded both DOE's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana (UIUC) in a new project related to quantum information science. The Argonne team will bring to the project its expertise in coupling superconducting and magnetic systems. The UIUC team will contribute its world-class capabilities for developing new magnetic materials for quantum systems.

Astronomy and Space news

Holding stellar nurseries in your hands

Astronomers can't touch the stars they study, but astrophysicist Nia Imara is using 3-dimensional models that fit in the palm of her hand to unravel the structural complexities of stellar nurseries, the vast clouds of gas and dust where star formation occurs.

Planetary radar observes 1,000th near-earth asteroid since 1968

On Aug. 14, 2021, a small near-Earth asteroid (NEA) designated 2021 PJ1 passed our planet at a distance of over 1 million miles (about 1.7 million kilometers). Between 65 and 100 feet (20 and 30 meters) wide, the recently discovered asteroid wasn't a threat to Earth. But this asteroid's approach was historic, marking the 1,000th NEA to be observed by planetary radar in just over 50 years.

NASA thinks Mars rover succeeded in taking rock sample

NASA's Perseverance rover succeeded in its second attempt to scoop up a piece of Martian rock for future analysis by scientists on Earth—probably.

Meteosat Third Generation takes major step towards its first launch

After many technical and programmatic challenges, the first satellite of the next generation of the Meteosat family has taken a major step towards its first flight, currently scheduled for launch in autumn 2022.

Rocket 'terminated' in fiery explosion over Pacific Ocean

A privately designed, unmanned rocket built to carry satellites was destroyed in an explosive fireball after suffering an "anomaly" off the California coast during its first attempt at reaching Earth's orbit.

Technology news

Riveting technology enables lightweight magnesium fasteners for fuel efficiency

If Rosie the Riveter had access to a new riveting technology, the character of WWII fame could have worked faster and made lighter products. Today, a newly patented riveting technique developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) makes lightweight magnesium easier to form and reduces the time needed to join each rivet.

Unfinished Beethoven symphony reimagined in a click

As conductor Guillaume Berney marks the opening downbeat, the first chords ring out in a Lausanne concert hall of what could conceivably be an extract of Beethoven's Tenth Symphony—if the great German composer had ever managed to complete the piece.

US judge rejects bid for patent by AI 'inventor'

A US judge has ruled that artificial intelligence can't get a patent for its creations, ruling that such a privilege is reserved for people.

Drought squeezes Brazil's electricity supply

Brazil's worst drought in almost a century is threatening electricity supply and critical crops, pushing up energy and food prices at a time the country was hoping to start recovering from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

A subway flood expert explains what needs to be done to stop underground station deluges

Subway stations in New York were inundated with water following heavy rain on Sept. 1, 2021. But the Big Apple isn't alone—over the last year we have seen similar images in other major cities, including London and Zhengzhou in China.

From bespoke seats to titanium arms, 3D printing is helping paralympians gain an edge

Major sporting events like the Paralympics are a breeding ground for technological innovation. Athletes, coaches, designers, engineers and sports scientists are constantly looking for the next improvement that will give them the edge. Over the past decade, 3D printing has become a tool to drive improvements in sports like running and cycling, and is increasingly used by paralympic athletes.

How the world's biggest dark web platform spreads millions of items of child sex abuse material

Child sexual abuse material is rampant online, despite considerable efforts by big tech companies and governments to curb it. And according to reports, it has only become more prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TikTok coder creates iPhone shortcut to send Texas abortion whistleblower site fake tips

A recently passed Texas law banning women from having an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy is getting some resistance—from TikTok.

Apple delays child protection measures after privacy criticism

Apple announced Friday it is delaying the rollout of its controversial new anti-child pornography tools, following criticism that the feature would undermine user privacy.

Chinese chip giant to invest $9 bn in new plant as US ban bites

China's biggest chipmaker said Friday it would invest $8.87 billion in a new semiconductor plant in Shanghai, as Beijing is hit by a US blacklist and a global chip shortage.

Porsche to open Malaysia factory, first outside Europe

German luxury carmaker Porsche will open its first factory outside Europe next year in Malaysia, officials said Friday, seeking to meet strong demand in the Southeast Asian country.

Researchers developing air quality sensors to detect COVID-19

In the not-so-distant-future, Pratim Biswas envisions a time when people can measure their risk of catching COVID-19 in all sorts of environments—like restaurants, doctor's offices, and hospitals—by simply wearing a small air quality sensor and connecting it to an application on their phone.

Feds probe NY Tesla crash that killed man changing flat tire

The U.S. government's road safety agency has added another fatality involving a Tesla to the list of crashes it is probing due to the use of partially automated driving systems.

China's Alibaba promises $15.5B for development initiatives

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group said Friday it will spend $15.5 billion to support President Xi Jinping's campaign to spread China's prosperity more evenly, adding to pledges by tech companies that are under pressure to pay for the ruling Communist Party's political initiatives.

Digital innovation cuts both ways: Repression rises, resistance responds

The advancement of digital media is a double-edged sword.

Employer pitfalls of the TikTok resume trend

Lately, it seems the place to be for job seekers is TikTok, where users are posting video resumes—and racking up impressive page views—as they look to set themselves apart in increasingly competitive candidate pools.

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oh god help

Or how I'm tired, oh so very tired, and had to rush this out as quickly as possible.
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Plugged In

This week, Plugged In is rubbing its eyes and yowling at the lights like a newborn.

Friends, enemies... it's over. The holiday escapades that you've been following with bated breath have finally come to a close.

This means a few things. First off, a practical matter. This newsletter is going to be a cop-out because I only got back to work today and I think I've forgotten how to write.

Secondly, oh god.

And thirdly? Well, I'm going to squeeze every last little bit of content out of my trip to make my life easier.

orange-squeezeReally, when you think about it, they're all the same point.


While the excitement and spontaneity and debauchery of my jaunt has ended, there is a positive of being back in my apartment again. No, not friends or familiarity... I'm talking about my stuff.

Across my last few newsletters, I talked about the decisions I made in what to bring along with me on my trip. No longer will I have to choose, pals. It's my house. And it's brimming with cool things.

There are the chairs grooved to my ass-shape, my finely cultivated record collection, and no one to tell me to put clothes on. 

Home isn't just where my heart is; it's where all my shit is too.

News you need



Phones are getting 200MP sensors soon — thanks, Samsung.


Google has FIRED SHOTS.


Wondering why Apple's making an app for lovers of classical music? YOU ARE NOW.


Oh wow, Bose has just released the QuietComfort 45, a pair of headphones that are bound to be brilliant ᵃⁿᵈ ˢᵘᵖᵉʳ ᵠᵘᶦᵉᵗ.


Instagram wants your date of birth.

A review you're required to read

Why share one review... when I could share several?

That's right, I'm giving you the resplendent opportunity to re-read our selection of the best gear and gadgets for travelers.

best gadgets for travelers 2021

Now I'm back home, I can report that everything in this list served me well on my escapades. Hell, most of it I owned beforehand, so I know it'll continue to serve me well.

If you're on the hunt for something cool, you're bound to find it in this selection of Sweet Shit.

Go and check it out

Sponsored by TNW

Look who's taking the stage...

Same ad as last week? You fucking betcha.

Yes, our sub-brand Neural covers AI and quantum computing but it's so much more! We've got one eye on big tech, one on the startup scene, and a third robotic eye focused on politics and government policy.

And that's exactly why we're proud to introduce Neural at TNW Conference, featuring an amazing speaker list with people who work and create in a variety of domains.

From Unity's Danny Lange — a legend in the gaming industry — to Shopify's Ella Hilal, we're hosting some of the AI/ML community's most important thinkers. Come see them — virtually or in person — at our two-day tech festival on Sept 30 and Oct 1.

Here's a cool thing (also, cya)


Life is tough, so god bless the existence of stand up.

Got a spare 78 minutes? Then I implore you to watch Stewart Lee's 2005 show, Stand Up Comedian.

If you've never watched Stewart Lee perform, you're in for a treat. It's hard to describe precisely how he goes about his routines, but he has a style that deconstructs the nature of comedy.

Anyway, Lee is one of my favorite ever comedians — and I think you'll love him too.

You can watch Stand Up Comedian on YouTube here.


Tell your enemies all about Plugged In. I'll see the rest of you jabronis later.


Peas & Louvre,


(Find me on Twitter here and on Instagram here).

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