Phys.org – Physicists have discovered a novel kind of nanotube that generates current in the presence of light. Devices such as optical sensors and infrared imaging chips are likely applications, which could be useful in fields such as automated transport and astronomy. In future, if the effect can be magnified and the technology scaled up, it could lead to high-efficiency solar power devices.
Working with an international team of physicists, University of Tokyo Professor Yoshihiro Iwasa was exploring possible functions of a special semiconductor nanotube when he had a lightbulb moment. He took this proverbial lightbulb (which was in reality a laser) and shone it on the nanotube to discover something enlightening. Certain wavelengths and intensities of light induced a current in the sample—this is called the photovoltaic effect. There are several photovoltaic materials, but the nature and behavior of this nanotube is cause for excitement.
“Essentially our research material generates electricity like solar panels, but in a different way,” said Iwasa. “Together with Dr. Yijin Zhang from the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Germany, we demonstrated for the first time nanomaterials could overcome an obstacle that will soon limit current solar technology. For now solar panels are as good as they can be, but our technology could improve upon that.” | go to source
Tech Explorist – Yale scientists now have come up with a more accurate way to help classify phases of matter.
Understanding the complexities of these phases could open leaps forward in quantum computing and materials science. A portion of these phases could be utilized as quantum hard drives that will store quantum information. That is the reason researchers are effectively looking for new ways to deal with describing and characterize them….
Dua said, “Topological phases represent an important class of phases of matter. Their study and methods for diagnostics are important, and identifying the right diagnostic tools is fundamental.”
The findings appear in a recent study published in the journal Physical Review Letters and a follow-up work published in Physical Review B. | go to source
From Science Alert –
Scientists in Germany have hit a new superconductivity milestone – achieving a resistance-free electrical current at the highest temperature yet: just 250 Kelvin, or -23 degrees Celsius (-9.4 degrees Fahrenheit). The work was led by Mikhail Eremets, a physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry….. | go to source
Digital Trends – Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI, said this week: “UAS interfering with manned aviation is a serious issue, and it requires serious solutions. That is why we are bringing together the best and brightest minds to recommend a plan to keep our skies safe for the flying public.”
Wynne added: “While UAS hold tremendous societal and economic benefits, occasional bad actors threaten to undermine the great progress we have made and even put responsible, legal UAS operations in a negative light.” | go to source
Times of India – Black holes, known for their intense gravitational pull capable of gobbling up entire stars, may have significantly weaker magnetic fields than previously thought, a study has found. A 64-kilometre-wide black hole 8,000 light years from Earth named V404 Cygni has yielded the first precise measurements of the magnetic field that surrounds the deepest wells of gravity in the universe. | go to source
Science Daily – Engineers have flipped the picture of the standard polymer insulator, by fabricating thin polymer films that conduct heat — an ability normally associated with metals. In experiments, they found the films, which are thinner than plastic wrap, conduct heat better than many metals, including steel and ceramic. | go to source
Science Daily – Transplanting human donor fecal microbiota into the colon of a patient infected with Clostridiodes difficile (C. diff) may be the best treatment for those not helped by C. diff targeted antibiotics, according to an article in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. C. diff is the most common healthcare-acquired infection in the United States. It affects nearly half a million patients each year and becomes a recurring infection for nearly a third of them. If untreated, C. diff can lead to sepsis and death. | go to source
Science News – Colonies of tiny Nipponaphis monzeni aphids in eastern Asia use their own young as part repair crew, part repair goo. The tiny fluffs of juvenile insects end up dying after gushing white glop from their bodies to repair a hole in the wall protecting their colony in Asian winter hazel trees. New details of this patching chemistry suggest that these doomed young aphids are a colony’s version of immune system cells, researchers report April 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. | go to source
Discover Magazine – The oceans are crawling with viruses. An international team of researchers surveyed the world’s oceans from pole to pole, sampling the waters for the microorganisms and they found nearly 200,000 of them…..“This new understanding of viruses … may help scientists better understand how the oceans will behave under the pressures of climate change,” Ahmed Zayed, a graduate student in microbiology at the Ohio State University in Columbus, who authored the new research, said in a statement | go to source
Nature – Current models of greenhouse-gas release and climate assume that permafrost thaws gradually from the surface downwards. Deeper layers of organic matter are exposed over decades or even centuries, and some models are beginning to track these slow changes.
But models are ignoring an even more troubling problem. Frozen soil doesn’t just lock up carbon — it physically holds the landscape together. Across the Arctic and Boreal regions, permafrost is collapsing suddenly as pockets of ice within it melt. Instead of a few centimetres of soil thawing each year, several metres of soil can become destabilized within days or weeks. The land can sink and be inundated by swelling lakes and wetlands | go to source
Venture Beat – Facebook today announced the recipients of a grant that offers access to “privacy-protected” data from a fraction of the network’s billions of monthly active users around the world. The more than 60 researchers from 30 institutions across 11 countries were selected by two partner organizations, Social Science One and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). Facebook says it won’t play a role in directing their findings in order to ensure the independence of the research.
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Science Daily – Experts have discovered that there is a moment at which a polymer in liquid state — specifically one that has been worked from polyethylene glycol, which is widely used in industry — shows greater elasticity that, instead of breaking up and forming drops, the liquid experiences a stretching which causes filaments to be formed. | go to source
Military and Aerospace Electronics – Iris Automation Inc. in San Francisco is introducing Casia computer visiontechnology detect-and-avoid technology to enable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). | go to source
From 3DPrint.org – University of Hamburg and DESY have been fast at work developing a new form of electronics using flexible transparent circuits. The cooperation between the two organisations has yielded an interesting design using nanowires and polymers. As a result, it opens up the possibility for electronics comprising a mesh of silver nanowires as circuits which are printable in suspension, embedded in various flexible and transparent plastics. | go to source
Science Daily – Bioengineers at Boston Children’s Hospital report the first demonstration of a robot able to navigate autonomously inside the body. In an animal model of cardiac valve repair, the team programmed a robotic catheter to find its way along the walls of a beating, blood-filled heart to a leaky valve — without a surgeon’s guidance. They report their work today in Science Robotics. | go to source
Next Big Future – Japan’s Hayabusa2 space probe has successfully created a man-made crater on an asteroid. Hayabusa2 shot a copper “impact head” at Ryugu. The probe photographed the area hit by the projectile from a distance of 1.7 km. The agency compared images of the asteroid’s surface before and after the shooting of the projectile to determine the presence of a man-made crater. | go to source
NewsRep – US Army’s new night vision goggles can link to rifle sights to fire around corners …..the U.S. Army is poised to begin fielding its new advanced night vision goggles, which feature not only improved low-light performance, but better vision capabilities across a wide swath of potential combat environments. The new Enhanced Night Vision Goggles – Binocular (ENVG-B) come with dual-tubed binoculars, rather than the old monocular setup, granting the user greater situational awareness and depth perception. The white phosphorous tubes also provide greater image resolution than the old green glow we’ve come to expect from night vision goggles. | go to source
Futurity – “Our drone design was inspired by the wings and flight patterns of insects,” says Xiumin Diao, an assistant professor in the School of Engineering Technology at Purdue University. “We created a drone design with automatic folding arms that can make in-flight adjustments.” Diao says the design provides drones with improved stability in windy conditions because the folding arms can move and change the center of gravity of the device during flight. He says the design also makes drones more energy efficient because the movable-arm technology allows for the use of the full range of rotor thrust. | go to source
Military.com – The head of U.S. Army acquisitions said Thursday that allowing artificial intelligence to control some weapons systems may be the only way to defeat enemy weapons. U.S. military has embraced AI, arguing that America cannot compete against potential adversaries such as Russia and China without the futuristic technology. Concern over placing machines in charge of deadly weapons has prompted military officials to adopt a conservative approach to AI, one that involves a human in the decision-making process for the use of deadly force. | go to source
Discover Magazine – Now, a new discovery by a team of scientists at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine may help explain why so many of us can’t resist polishing off a jumbo bag of chips or a carton of ice cream in one sitting – even if we know it’s not a good idea. A new paper published this week in Neuron, explains that a specific brain circuit found in mammal brains seems to be involved in our urge to overeat tasty, calorie rich food. The researchers think this brain circuit essentially overrides the signals that our body and brain send to tell us to stop eating — and instead drives us to keep gorging after we’re full, consuming extra calories in the process. | go to source
WMC Action News 5 -In a statement from Michael Rodriguez, the chief information officer for the City of Memphis, he says, “The City’s vision is to use technology to tackle some of our most difficult challenges….” | go to source
Science Daily – A state-of-the-art brain-machine interface created by UC San Francisco neuroscientists can generate natural-sounding synthetic speech by using brain activity to control a virtual vocal tract — an anatomically detailed computer simulation including the lips, jaw, tongue, and larynx. The study was conducted in research participants with intact speech, but the technology could one day restore the voices of people who have lost the ability to speak due to paralysis and other forms of neurological damage. | go to source
Digital Trends -Alphabet Wing, the drone delivery startup owned by Google’s parent company, announced that it has become the first company to receive Air Carrier Certification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This lets Wing begin commercial deliveries from local businesses to homes in the U.S. — including the crucial ability to fly over civilians and beyond the visible line of sight of drone operators. | go to source
3ders.org – “We’ve reached the point where we are able to create medical products, such as knee implants, by printing living cells,” says Rohan Shirwaiker, corresponding author of a paper on the work and an associate professor in NC State’s Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering. “We’ve now developed a technique, called ultrasound-assisted biofabrication (UAB), which allows us to align cells in a three-dimensional matrix during the bioprinting process. This allows us to create a knee meniscus, for example, that is more similar to a patient’s original meniscus. To date, we’ve been able to align cells for a range of engineered musculoskeletal tissues.” | go to source
New Scientist – People with incurable melanomas and brain or breast cancers are to get injections of tumour-fighting viruses. The trial will test the safety of a virus that has been engineered to shrink tumours – an approach that holds promise for a range of cancers, including deadly brain tumours. | go to source
CNET – A new technique could go a long way toward transforming brain activity into synthesized speech to truly restore the gift of gab to those who’ve lost the ability to talk. Neuroscientists at UC San Francisco have created a brain-machine interface that interprets signals from the brain’s speech center via a novel two-step process. Instead of trying to translate brain activity directly into sounds, the researchers convert the neural signals into the movements a person’s vocal tract uses to create those sounds digitally. | go to source
From Times of India – Researchers have identified a novel regulatory mechanism, which when deactivated, results in the death of tuberculosis pathogen, an advance that could pave the way for new drugs to prevent the life-threatening disease. | go to source
From Big Think – The jaw bones of an 8-million-year-old ape were discovered at Nikiti, Greece, in the ’90s. Researchers speculate it could be a previously unknown species and one of humanity’s earliest evolutionary ancestors. These fossils may change how we view the evolution of our species. | go to source
Discover Magazine – Scientists call this kind of methane “abiotic” because it can happen without any lifeforms present. And scientists are finding more and more of it, researchers announced Monday. What’s more, they’ve also discovered that some of sources of suspected abiotic methane are actually also created with help from life. | go to source
Science Daily reports “Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a new and improved snake-inspired soft robot that is faster and more precise than its predecessor.”
Samuel L Jackson is NOT Happy, folks, not at all. | go to source
(The Boring Company) published a sprawling, 505-page draft environmental assessment. The report, published in conjunction with an alphabet soup of federal, state, and regional agencies, is required under environmental laws. – Wired | go to source
Two new autonomous aircraft concepts that promise to redefine the Air Force’s unmanned fleet are moving forward. Air Force magazine reports….The latest, Skyborg, is an autonomous drone prototyping program with artificial intelligenceunderway at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Researchers hope to get the aircraft—expected to be cheaper than other platforms and easily replaceable—combat-ready by the end of 2023. – Military and Aerospace | go to source
The Indonesian government is using tiny internet-providing satellites to check if boats in the middle of the ocean are fishing legally….Perched on a desk in front of me is a tiny satellite. Four black panels stick out like the spokes of a windmill, connected to central body the size of a desktop computer. It weighs less than 10 kilograms, and looks like a space buff’s toy. Suspended precariously on a metal rod, it’s hard to imagine a satellite just like this is hurtling around Earth, at an altitude of 600 kilometres. – New Scientist | go to source
The military calls its special version of the HoloLens 2 “IVAS,” which stands for Integrated Visual Augmentation System. It’s an augmented reality headset, which means it places digital objects, such as maps or video displays, on top of the real world in front of you. – Military and Aerospace | go to source
Jeff Greason of the Tau Zero Foundation is presenting a new class of drive: Using the Dynamic Pressure of Passage through Interplanetary or Interstellar Plasma to Expel Reaction Mass at High Velocity. Jeff’s presentation is at Space Access 2019. Jeff’s idea is to take the energy from the passage through the plasma of space to use on the reaction mass that a spacecraft is carrying. This the Drag-powered reaction: Q-Drive. – Next Big Future | go to source
Physicists at the University of Zurich have developed an amazingly simple device that allows heat to flow temporarily from a cold to a warm object without an external power supply. Intriguingly, the process initially appears to contradict the fundamental laws of physics. – University of Zurich – Science Daily | go to source
Synthetic biologists have added high-precision analog-to-digital signal processing to the genetic circuitry of living cells. The research dramatically expands the chemical, physical and environmental cues engineers can use to prompt programmed responses from engineered organisms. – Stanford University – Science Daily | go to source
On June 22 (of last year), China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), China’s foremost military electronics company, announced that its groundbreaking quantum radar has achieved new gains, which could allow it to detect stealth planes. The CETC claims its system is now capable of tracking high altitude objects, likely by increasing the coherence time entangled photons. CETC envisions that its quantum radar will be used in the stratosphere to track objects in “the upper atmosphere and beyond” (including space). – Popular Science | go to source