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Sep 23, 2023

New method to recycle materials inside lithium-ion batteries

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), which store energy leveraging the reversible reduction of lithium ions, power most devices and electronics on the market today. Due to their wide range of operating temperatures, long lifespan, small size, fast charging times and compatibility with existing manufacturing processes, these rechargeable batteries can greatly contribute to the electronics industry, while also supporting ongoing efforts towards carbon neutrality.

The affordable and eco-friendly recycling of used LIBs is a long sought-after goal in the energy sector, as it would improve the sustainability of these batteries. Existing methods, however, are often ineffective, expensive or harmful to the environment.

Moreover, LIBs heavily rely on materials that are becoming less abundant on Earth, such as cobalt and . Approaches that enable the reliable and cost-effective extraction of these materials from spent batteries would drastically reduce the need to source these materials elsewhere, thus helping to meet the growing LIB demand.

Sep 23, 2023

Brazilian researchers develop method of purifying water contaminated by glyphosate

Posted by in categories: chemistry, economics

Researchers at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Brazil have developed a strategy for removing glyphosate, one of the world’s most frequently used herbicides, from water. Inspired by the concept of the circular economy, the technique is based on sugarcane bagasse, a waste material produced by sugar and ethanol plants.

“Isolated and chemically functionalized sugarcane bagasse fibers can be used as adsorbent material. Glyphosate adheres to its surface and is removed as a water contaminant by filtration, decantation or centrifugation,” Maria Vitória Guimarães Leal, told Agência FAPESP.

She is the first author of an article on the research published in the journal Pure and Applied Chemistry. Adsorption is a process whereby molecules dispersed in a liquid or gaseous medium adhere to a solid insoluble surface, which is typically porous.

Sep 23, 2023

Scientists discover clues to aging and healing from a squishy sea creature

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, life extension

Insights into healing and aging were discovered by National Institutes of Health researchers and their collaborators, who studied how a tiny sea creature regenerates an entire new body from only its mouth. The researchers sequenced RNA from Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus, a small, tube-shaped animal that lives on the shells of hermit crabs. Just as the Hydractinia were beginning to regenerate new bodies, the researchers detected a molecular signature associated with the biological process of aging, also known as senescence. According to the study published in Cell Reports, Hydractinia demonstrates that the fundamental biological processes of healing and aging are intertwined, providing new perspective on how aging evolved.…a-creature

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Sep 23, 2023

How to Use Generative AI Tools While Still Protecting Your Privacy

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Here’s how to take some control of your data while using artificial intelligence tools and apps.

Sep 23, 2023

Metallic Gratings Produce a Strong Surprise

Posted by in category: materials

Using a metallic grating and infrared light, researchers have uncovered a light–matter coupling regime where the local coupling strength can be 3.5 times higher than the global average for the material.

Sep 23, 2023

Crystal Defects Interact to Form Intricate Structures

Posted by in category: materials

Two or more linear defects can twist around one another to form an entity that may affect the properties of a material.

Systems made from ordered components, such as crystals, are often laced with defects, such as dislocations, where the ordering is disrupted. Researchers have now identified a new class of such flaws where two or more dislocations come together and become locked into complex geometrical arrangements, such as coils or knots, that can’t be smoothed away [1]. Using microscopy experiments backed up by theoretical arguments, they have identified such coiled “metadefects” in thin films of liquid crystals. The researchers believe that in crystalline materials, metadefects might influence mechanical properties such as plasticity. And since defects may feature in systems ranging from the structure of spacetime to magnets and bacterial colonies, the research team suspects that this new class may show up in other places.

Many liquid crystals are composed of rod-shaped molecules that can become oriented relative to one another while remaining free to move around. One of the phases that some of these materials can adopt is called cholesteric, a periodic pattern in which the orientation of the molecules twists like the steps in a spiral staircase. At each “step” of the staircase, all of the molecules are aligned. Defects in this organized structure typically show up as dark lines when thin films of cholesteric liquid crystals are examined under a microscope.

Sep 23, 2023

Theoretical study shows that Kerr black holes could amplify new physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Black holes are regions in space characterized by extremely strong gravity, which prevents all matter and electromagnetic waves from escaping it. These fascinating cosmic bodies have been the focus of countless research studies, yet their intricate physical nuances are yet to be fully uncovered.

Researchers at University of California–Santa Barbara, University of Warsaw and University of Cambridge recently carried out a theoretical study focusing on a class of known as extremal Kerr black holes, which are uncharged stationary black holes with a coinciding inner and outer horizon. Their paper, published in Physical Review Letters, shows that these black holes’ unique characteristics could make them ideal “amplifiers” of new, unknown .

“This research has its origin in a previous project started during my visit to UC Santa Barbara,” Maciej Kolanowski, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told “I started discussing very cold (so called, extremal) black holes with Gary Horowitz (UCSB) and Jorge Santos (at Cambridge). Soon we realized that in fact, generic extremal black holes look very different than it was previously believed.”

Sep 23, 2023

Researchers make progress in vector meson spin physics

Posted by in category: particle physics

A research team led by Prof. Wang Qun from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has made significant progress in the theoretical study of vector meson spin physics, specifically regarding the intriguing behavior of ϕ mesons generated during collisions between gold nuclei.

Their results, published in Physical Review Letters, titled “Spin Alignment of Vector Mesons in Heavy-Ion Collisions,” represent a that challenges conventional theoretical models.

Vector fields are an effective representation of strong interactions between exotic . In the hadronization phase of relativistic heavy-ion collisions, where chiral symmetry is spontaneously broken, the strongly interacting matter can be described by quarks and by the SU pseudo-Goldstone boson field surrounding the quarks.

Sep 23, 2023

Exploring the relationship between thermalization dynamics and quantum criticality in lattice gauge theories

Posted by in categories: information science, particle physics, quantum physics

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China(USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have developed an ultra-cold atom quantum simulator to study the relationship between the non-equilibrium thermalization process and quantum criticality in lattice gauge field theories. The research was led by Pan Jianwei and Yuan Zhensheng, in collaboration with Zhai Hui from Tsinghua University and Yao Zhiyuan from Lanzhou University.

Their findings reveal that multi-body systems possessing gauge symmetry tend to thermalize to an equilibrium state more easily when situated in a critical region. The results were published in Physical Review Letters.

Gauge and are two foundational theories of physics. From the Maxwell’s equations of classical electromagnetism to and the Standard Model, which describe the interactions of fundamental particles, all adhere to specific gauge symmetries. On the other hand, statistical mechanics connects the microscopic states of large ensembles of particles (such as atoms and molecules) to their macroscopic statistical behaviors, based on the principle of maximum entropy proposed by Boltzmann and others. It elucidates, for instance, how the energy distribution of microscopic particles affects macroscopic quantities like pressure, volume, or temperature.

Sep 23, 2023

‘Sandman’ hackers backdoor telcos with new LuaDream malware

Posted by in category: cybercrime/malcode

A previously unknown threat actor dubbed ‘Sandman’ targets telecommunication service providers in the Middle East, Western Europe, and South Asia, using a modular info-stealing malware named ‘LuaDream.’

This malicious activity was discovered by SentinelLabs in collaboration with QGroup GmbH in August 2023, who named the threat actor and malware after the backdoor’s internal name of ‘DreamLand client.’

The operational style of Sandman is to keep a low profile to evade detection while performing lateral movement and maintaining long-term access to breached systems to maximize its cyberespionage operations.

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