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Apr 10, 2024

Epsilon-near-zero regime enables permanent ultrafast all-optical reversal of ferroelectric polarization

Posted by in category: futurism

Researchers reveal that naturally emerging epsilon-near-zero conditions in BaTiO3 can be exploited to drive permanent all-optical switching of ferroelectric polarization. The general nature of the epsilon-near-zero regime means that the approach could be used to switch spontaneous order parameters in other systems.

Apr 10, 2024

Could our First Alien Contact be with Intelligent Spiders?

Posted by in category: alien life

Could our First Alien Contact be with Intelligent Spiders as in the SciFi novel “Children of Time”? New blog posted on BigThink, link at…nt-spiders

Apr 10, 2024

U.S. to award Samsung up to $6.6 billion chip subsidy for Texas expansion: Reuters

Posted by in category: computing

The Biden administration plans to announce awarding more than $6 billion to Samsung to expand its chip output in Texas, two sources said.

Apr 10, 2024

‘Dark Stars’: Dark Matter may Form Exploding Stars, and Observing the Damage could help Reveal what it’s Made of

Posted by in category: cosmology

Dark matter is a ghostly substance that astronomers have failed to detect for decades, yet which we know has an enormous influence on normal matter in the universe, such as stars and galaxies. Through the massive gravitational pull it exerts on galaxies, it spins them up, gives them an extra push along their orbits, or even rips them apart.

Like a cosmic carnival mirror, it also bends the light from distant objects to create distorted or multiple images, a process which is called gravitational lensing.

And recent research suggests it may create even more drama than this, by producing stars that explode.

Apr 10, 2024

Research Lights up Process for Turning CO₂ into Sustainable Fuel

Posted by in categories: particle physics, sustainability

Researchers have successfully transformed CO2 into methanol by shining sunlight on single atoms of copper deposited on a light-activated material, a discovery that paves the way for creating new green fuels.

An international team of researchers from the University of Nottingham’s School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham, University of Queensland, and University of Ulm have designed a material made up of copper anchored on nanocrystalline carbon nitride.

The copper atoms are nested within the nanocrystalline structure, which allows electrons to move from carbon nitride to CO2, an essential step in the production of methanol from CO2 under the influence of solar irradiation. The research has been published in the Sustainable Energy & Fuels journal.

Apr 10, 2024

5,000 Tiny Robots Unveil Secrets Of Universe’s Dark Energy

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics, robotics/AI

In a revolutionary scientific endeavor, researchers are using 5,000 miniature robots perched atop a mountaintop telescope to peer an astonishing 11 billion years into the past. This cutting-edge instrument, known as the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), is capturing light from distant objects in space, allowing scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to map our cosmos as it was in its infancy and trace its evolution to the present day.

Why is this so important? Understanding how our universe has evolved is intrinsically linked to predicting its ultimate fate and unraveling one of the biggest mysteries in physics: dark energy. This enigmatic force is causing our universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate, and DESI is providing us with unprecedented insights into its effects over the past 11 billion years.

Continue reading “5,000 Tiny Robots Unveil Secrets Of Universe’s Dark Energy” »

Apr 10, 2024

A Bold Gene-Editing Solution Began Testing—Then Hit the Strangest Twist

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The medical breakthrough will have to wait a bit longer.

Apr 10, 2024

Black Hole Effects on Quantum Information Discovered in Everyday Chemistry

Posted by in categories: chemistry, cosmology, mathematics, particle physics, quantum physics

Nothing makes a mess of quantum physics quite like those space-warping, matter-gulping abominations known as black holes. If you want to turn Schrodinger’s eggs into an information omelet, just find an event horizon and let ‘em drop.

According to theoretical physicists and chemists from Rice University and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the US, basic chemistry is capable of scrambling quantum information almost as effectively.

The team used a mathematical tool developed more than half a century ago to bridge a gap between known semiclassical physics and quantum effects in superconductivity. They found the delicate quantum states of reacting particles become scrambled with surprising speed and efficiency that comes close to matching the might of a black hole.

Apr 10, 2024

Connecting lab-grown brain cells provides insight into how our own brains work

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

The idea of growing functioning human brain-like tissues in a dish has always sounded far-fetched, even to researchers in the field. Towards the future goal, a Japanese and French research team has developed a technique for connecting lab-grown brain-mimicking tissue in a way that resembles circuits in our brain.

The work appears in Nature Communications.

It is challenging to study exact mechanisms of the brain development and functions. Animal studies are limited by differences between species in and function, and grown in the lab tend to lack the characteristic connections of cells in the human brain. What’s more, researchers are increasingly realizing that these interregional connections, and the circuits that they create, are important for many of the brain functions that define us as humans.

Apr 10, 2024

First-of-its-kind integrated dataset enables genes-to-ecosystems research

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry, genetics

A first-ever dataset bridging molecular information about the poplar tree microbiome to ecosystem-level processes has been released by a team of Department of Energy scientists led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The project aims to inform research regarding how natural systems function, their vulnerability to a changing climate, and ultimately how plants might be engineered for better performance as sources of bioenergy and natural carbon storage.

The data, described in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Data, provides in-depth information on 27 genetically distinct variants, or genotypes, of Populus trichocarpa, a poplar tree of interest as a bioenergy crop. The genotypes are among those that the ORNL-led Center for Bioenergy Innovation previously included in a genome-wide association study linking genetic variations to the trees’ physical traits. ORNL researchers collected leaf, soil and root samples from poplar fields in two regions of Oregon — one in a wetter area subject to flooding and the other drier and susceptible to drought.

Details in the newly integrated dataset range from the trees’ genetic makeup and gene expression to the chemistry of the soil environment, analysis of the microbes that live on and around the trees and compounds the plants and microbes produce.

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