Science X Newsletter Monday, Sep 6

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

Spotlight Stories Headlines

Researchers realize gallium nitride-based complementary logic integrated circuits

After six months on Mars, NASA's tiny copter is still flying high

Astronomers explain origin of elusive ultradiffuse galaxies

Fast nanoparticle diffusion in synovial fluid and hyaluronic acid solutions

New ultra-hot Jupiter exoplanet discovered

Hubble discovers hydrogen-burning white dwarfs enjoying slow aging

Study shows how aspen forests maintain the diversity needed to adapt to changing environments

Komodo dragon, 2-in-5 shark species lurch towards extinction

Do tourist boats stress out whales? Researchers find out

Baby birds tune in from egg, study finds

Scientists discover a mechanism for memory transfer between individuals in C. elegans

Hummingbirds can smell their way out of danger

Researchers reveal a novel metal where electrons flow with fluid-like dynamics

New research reveals why whale song culture differs between northern and southern hemispheres

Super-stretchy wormlike robots capable of 'feeling' their surroundings

Physics news

Researchers reveal a novel metal where electrons flow with fluid-like dynamics

A team of researchers from Boston College has created a new metallic specimen where the motion of electrons flows in the same way water flows in a pipe—fundamentally changing from particle-like to fluid-like dynamics, the team reports in Nature Communications.

New theory for detecting light in the darkness of a vacuum

Black holes are regions of space-time with huge amounts of gravity. Scientists originally thought that nothing could escape the boundaries of these massive objects, including light.

Physics model explains the overall shape of two rubble-pile asteroids

Scientists from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) and Rutgers University have used simple concepts from granular physics to explain the curious diamond shapes of two "near Earth" asteroids.

Researchers obtain new results on knockout reactions at HIRFL-CSR

Researchers from the Institute of Modern Physics (IMP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and their collaborators have systematically measured the knockout cross sections of neutron-rich carbon isotopes at the intermediate- to high-energy region by using the External Target Facility (ETF) of the Cooler Storage Ring (CSR) at the Heavy Ion Research Facility in Lanzhou (HIRFL).

Enhancing photoelectric efficiency

Albert Einstein might have called this research at Michigan State University a much-needed study. Einstein won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for explaining the photoelectric effect.

How do swimmers control their front crawl swimming velocity?

A research team led by the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Tsukuba has reviewed the hydrodynamics literature related to swimming. They identified certain biomechanical aspects, including the relationship between velocity and drag forces, that are not completely understood. This work may help direct future research that could improve the performance of competitive swimmers.

Astronomy and Space news

After six months on Mars, NASA's tiny copter is still flying high

It was only supposed to fly five times. And yet NASA's helicopter on Mars, Ingenuity, has completed 12 flights and it isn't ready to retire.

Astronomers explain origin of elusive ultradiffuse galaxies

As their name suggests, ultradiffuse galaxies, or UDGs, are dwarf galaxies whose stars are spread out over a vast region, resulting in extremely low surface brightness, making them very difficult to detect. Several questions about UDGs remain unanswered: How did these dwarfs end up so extended? Are their dark matter halos—the halos of invisible matter surrounding the galaxies—special?

New ultra-hot Jupiter exoplanet discovered

An international team of astronomers has detected a new ultra-hot Jupiter extrasolar planet using NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The newfound alien world is nearly two times larger than Jupiter and has a misaligned orbit. The finding is detailed in a paper published August 25 on the arXiv pre-print repository.

Hubble discovers hydrogen-burning white dwarfs enjoying slow aging

The prevalent view of white dwarfs as inert, slowly cooling stars has been challenged by observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. An international group of astronomers have discovered the first evidence that white dwarfs can slow down their rate of aging by burning hydrogen on their surface.

Icarus can fly high and save on wax too

"Don't fly too close to the sun," said Daedalus to Icarus. Flying too high would melt the wax in his wings, while going too low would cause the sea's moisture to create drag.

Anatomy of the impact of a protostellar jet in the Orion Nebula

An international team led by researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has uncovered, with a high degree of detail, the physical and chemical effects of the impact of a protostellar jet in the interior of the Orion Nebula. The study was made using observations with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and 20 years of images with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The observations show evidence of compression and heating produced by the shock front, and the destruction of dust grains, which cause a dramatic increase in the gas phase abundance of the atoms of iron, nickel and other heavy elements in the Orion Nebula. The results were recently published in the Astrophysical Journal.

NASA confirms Perseverance Mars rover got its first piece of rock

NASA has confirmed that its Perseverance rover has succeeded in collecting its first rock sample on Mars.

Image: Hubble snaps speedy star jets

This striking image features a relatively rare celestial phenomenon known as a Herbig-Haro object. This particular object, named HH111, was imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

Buttes on Mars may serve as radiation shelters

Mars has a "bad reputation" for its high exposure to radiation and it has neither a magnetic field nor a thick atmosphere to shelter its surface from high energy particles from outer space.

German government, industry back North Sea spaceport plan

The German government said Monday it supports plans for a North Sea spaceport that would be used to launch small satellites into space from Europe.

Modular device for extra-terrestrial experiments

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have developed a modular, self-contained device to cultivate microorganisms, which could enable scientists to carry out biological experiments in outer space.

Science, student payloads fly aboard NASA's scientific balloons during fall campaign

NASA's Scientific Balloon Program's 2021 fall campaign is now underway in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, launching the first three of eight missions in August.

Astronaut geology bound for the moon

Finding and collecting the best lunar samples will be a major task for the next astronauts on the moon. ESA's Pangaea training campaign launches today to equip astronauts with a geologist's eye on the moon—humanity's next space destination to help us understand more about our solar system.

Heavier stars might not explode as supernovae, just quietly implode into black holes

A supernova is a brilliant end to a giant star. For a brief moment of cosmic time, a star makes one last effort to keep shining, only to fade and collapse on itself. The end result is either a neutron star or a stellar-mass black hole. We've generally thought that all stars above about 10 solar masses will end as a supernova, but a new study suggests that isn't the case.

Technology news

Researchers realize gallium nitride-based complementary logic integrated circuits

Most integrated circuits (ICs) and electronic components developed to date are based on silicon metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology. As silicon (Si) is known to have a narrow bandgap, however, in recent years engineers have been trying to develop ICs using other materials with a wider bandgap, such as gallium nitrite (GaN).

Super-stretchy wormlike robots capable of 'feeling' their surroundings

Super-stretchy wormlike robots capable of 'feeling' their surroundings could find applications in industry and prosthetics, scientists say.

Security researcher updates OMG Cables to record user keystrokes

Security researcher Mark Green, (who goes by MG) has revealed to the Vices team at Motherboard that he and his team have upgraded their version of a hacked Lightning cable in a way that allows a hacker to record keystrokes and then to send the data to a designated site. This would allow the device to be used to steal passwords and other sensitive information.

Until 2023? Parts shortage will keep auto prices sky-high

Back in the spring, a shortage of computer chips that had sent auto prices soaring appeared, finally, to be easing. Some relief for consumers seemed to be in sight.

Do we need humans for that job? Automation booms after COVID

Ask for a roast beef sandwich at an Arby's drive-thru east of Los Angeles and you may be talking to Tori—an artificially intelligent voice assistant that will take your order and send it to the line cooks.

Troubled German IAA auto show opens under climate, COVID cloud

Germany's revamped IAA auto show, one of the world's largest, opens in Munich on Tuesday for a celebration of all things car-related, but climate concerns and pandemic woes threaten to spoil the party.

Satellite transmits test signals in Q and W band for the first time

In June, the W-Cube nanosatellite began its journey aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral to polar orbit. About a month later, it was placed in its orbit at an altitude of 500 kilometers and has now been successfully transmitting test signals to Earth in the Q and W band since August. It collects important data for the development of new frequency ranges for future satellite communication systems. The development of the W-Cube took place in the course of the joint project "ARTES". Fraunhofer IAF developed the transmitter module of the satellite and the receiver module of the corresponding ground station.

Can burying power lines protect storm-wracked electric grids? Not always

The good news when Hurricane Ida churned into Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2021 was that levees held up—especially those that were strengthened after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans in 2005. The bad news: In many places, power systems failed. Nearly five days later, more than 80% of New Orleans customers were still in the dark, in sweltering heat.

Getting a greener grid: Engineering experts point to priorities for expanding clean energy infrastructure

As Congress advances legislation to invest $550 billion in new funding for national infrastructure projects, the specific priorities in each industry category remain undefined. For example, the proposed framework directs $65 billion to foster greater use of renewable energy sources within America's power grid, but it doesn't exactly define how that will happen.

X-ray street vision 'erases' unwanted objects from cityscape views

Scientists from the Division of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering at Osaka University used generative adversarial networks trained on a custom dataset to virtually remove obstructions from building façade images. This work may assist in civic planning as well as computer vision applications.

Study: TikTok, livestreaming, and 'creator economy' quickly changing social apps landscape

Live streaming and the explosion of the "creator economy" are igniting the current rise in social media app use and rapidly changing the landscape, a new study finds.

IAEA team in Japan to help prepare Fukushima water release

An International Atomic Energy Agency mission arrived in Japan on Monday to help prepare for a decades-long release into the ocean of treated but still radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, officials said.

VW's electric push 'can't go any faster', says CEO

Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess said Monday it was "impossible" for the German car giant's electric transformation to happen any faster, but he accused Angela Merkel's government of holding back change with generous diesel subsidies.

Philippine Airlines files for bankruptcy

Philippine Airlines said Saturday it was filing for bankruptcy in the United States to slash $2 billion in debt as it tries to survive an industry gutted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook mistakenly labels black men 'primates'

Facebook on Friday said it disabled its topic recommendation feature after it mistook Black men for "primates" in video at the social network.

As flood alerts lit up phones, did 'warning fatigue' set in?

Cellphones across New York and New Jersey pulsed with urgent warnings of catastrophic flooding as the fury of Hurricane Ida's remnants, carrying torrential rains, approached upper New Jersey and New York City on Wednesday.

Researchers reveal suboptimal conditions of platform bundling strategy

The research team led by Prof. YU Yugang from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, collaborating with Prof. ZHANG Fuqiang from Washington University in St. Louis, studied the optimal bundling strategy of retail enterprises under the platform supply chain structure. The results were published in Production and Operations Management.

Nobel laureate Stiglitz says global tax plan should aim higher

Nobel economics prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz praised international backing for a global tax on corporations but said the minimum rate agreed by governments to battle "the dark side of globalisation" remains too low.

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