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May 8, 2020

Israeli disinfectant kills 100% of viruses, bacteria

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

A state-of-the-art disinfectant developed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research and distributed by Tera Novel is capable of killing 100% of bacteria, viruses, molds and some fungi, including the novel coronavirus.

“Our disinfectant works in a very different way from many others,” Tera Novel chairwoman Karen Cohen Khazon told The Jerusalem Post. “We also use hypochlorite, but in a very high [concentration] and we add some [additional ingredients] so that anywhere the disinfectant is sprayed, it becomes a very white film of gel which keeps the [material] on the surface for a while.”

May 8, 2020

Chemistry breakthrough could speed up drug development

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, chemistry, nanotechnology

Scientists have successfully developed a new technique to reliably grow crystals of organic soluble molecules from nanoscale droplets, unlocking the potential of accelerated new drug development.

Chemistry experts from Newcastle and Durham universities, working in collaboration with SPT Labtech, have grown the small crystals from nanoscale encapsulated droplets. Their innovative method, involving the use of inert oils to control evaporative solvent loss, has the potential to enhance the development pipeline.

Whilst crystallization of organic soluble is a technique used by scientists all over the world, the ability to do so with such small quantities of analyte is ground-breaking.

May 8, 2020

A Black Hole Is ‘Almost on Our Doorstep’

Posted by in category: cosmology

;z; o.o zap it :3.

The invisible point of darkness resides in a double-star system just 1,000 light-years away.

May 8, 2020

Inspired by cheetahs, researchers build fastest soft robots yet

Posted by in categories: engineering, robotics/AI

Inspired by the biomechanics of cheetahs, researchers have developed a new type of soft robot that is capable of moving more quickly on solid surfaces or in the water than previous generations of soft robots. The new soft robotics are also capable of grabbing objects delicately—or with sufficient strength to lift heavy objects.

“Cheetahs are the fastest creatures on land, and they derive their and power from the flexing of their spines,” says Jie Yin, an assistant professor of mechanical and at North Carolina State University and corresponding author of a paper on the new soft robots.

“We were inspired by the cheetah to create a type of soft robot that has a spring-powered, ‘bistable’ spine, meaning that the robot has two stable states,” Yin says. “We can switch between these stable states rapidly by pumping air into channels that line the soft, silicone robot. Switching between the two states releases a significant amount of energy, allowing the robot to quickly exert force against the ground. This enables the robot to gallop across the surface, meaning that its feet leave the ground.

May 8, 2020

Brain cells reach out to each other through miniature cages

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Mouse neurons trapped inside cages grow long appendages to connect to each other. Trapping the cells allows us to precisely control their growth.

May 8, 2020

Simple method for measuring the state of lithium-ion batteries

Posted by in categories: computing, mobile phones, particle physics, sustainability, transportation

Rechargeable batteries are at the heart of many new technologies involving, for example, the increased use of renewable energies. More specifically, they are employed to power electric vehicles, cell phones, and laptops. Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM) in Germany have now presented a non-contact method for detecting the state of charge and any defects in lithium-ion batteries. For this purpose, atomic magnetometers are used to measure the magnetic field around battery cells. Professor Dmitry Budker and his team usually use atomic magnetometry to explore fundamental questions of physics, such as the search for new particles. Magnetometry is the term used to describe the measurement of magnetic fields. One simple example of its application is the compass, which the Earth’s magnetic field causes to point north.

Non-contact quality assurance of batteries using atomic magnetometers

The demand for high-capacity is growing and so is the need for a form of sensitive, accurate diagnostic technology for determining the state of a battery cell. The success of many new developments will depend on whether batteries can be produced that can deliver sufficient capacity and a long effective life span. “Undertaking the quality assurance of rechargeable batteries is a significant challenge. Non-contact methods can potentially provide fresh stimulus for improvement in batteries,” said Dr. Arne Wickenbrock, a member of Professor Dmitry Budker’s work group at the JGU Institute of Physics and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz. The group has achieved a breakthrough by using atomic magnetometers to take measurements. The idea came about during a teleconference between Budker and his colleague Professor Alexej Jerschow of New York University. They developed a concept and, with close cooperation between the two groups, carried out the related experiments in Mainz.

May 8, 2020

Pulse-driven robot: Motion via solitary waves

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, physics, robotics/AI

Scientists have recently explored the unique properties of nonlinear waves to facilitate a wide range of applications including impact mitigation, asymmetric transmission, switching and focusing. In a new study now published on Science Advances, Bolei Deng and a team of research scientists at Harvard, CNRS and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in the U.S. and France harnessed the propagation of nonlinear waves to make flexible structures crawl. They combined bioinspired experimental and theoretical methods to show how such pulse-driven locomotion could reach a maximum efficiency when the initiated pulses were solitons (solitary wave). The simple machine developed in the work could move across a wide range of surfaces and steer onward. The study expanded the variety of possible applications with nonlinear waves to offer a new platform for flexible machines.

Flexible structures that are capable of large deformation are attracting interest in bioengineering due to their intriguing static response and their ability to support elastic waves of large amplitude. By carefully controlling their geometry, the elastic energy landscape of highly deformable systems can be engineered to propagate a variety of nonlinear waves including vector solitons, transition waves and rarefaction pulses. The dynamic behavior of such structures demonstrate a very rich physics, while offering new opportunities to manipulate the propagation of mechanical signals. Such mechanisms can allow unidirectional propagation, wave guiding, mechanical logic and mitigation, among other applications.

In this work, Deng et al. were inspired by the biological retrograde peristaltic wave motion in earthworms and the ability of linear elastic waves to generate motion in ultrasonic motors. The team showed the propagation of nonlinear elastic waves in flexible structures to provide opportunities for locomotion. As proof of concept, they focused on a Slinky – and used it to create a pulse-driven robot capable of propelling itself. They built the simple machine by connecting the Slinky to a pneumatic actuator. The team used an electromagnet and a plate embedded between the loops to initiate nonlinear pulses to propagate along the device from the front to the back, allowing the pulse directionality to dictate the simple robot to move forward. The results indicated the efficiency of such pulse-driven locomotion to be optimal with solitons – large amplitude nonlinear pulses with a constant velocity and stable shape along propagation.

May 8, 2020

Finite-temperature violation of the anomalous transverse Wiedemann-Franz law

Posted by in category: particle physics

According to the Wiedemann-Franz (WF) law, the electrical conductivity of a metal is linked to its thermal counterpart, provided that the heat carried by the phonons is negligible and the electrons do not suffer inelastic scattering. In a type II Weyl semimetal also known as a fourth fermion, the thermal dependence of the ratio between electrical and thermal conductivity highlights deviations from the Wiedemann-Franz law. Physicists have tested the WF law in numerous solids but intend to understand the extent of its relevance during anomalous transverse transport and investigate the topological nature of the wave function. In a new report, Liangcai Xu and an international research team in condensed matter physics in China, France, Israel and Germany, presented a study of the anomalous transverse response in a noncollinear antiferromagnetic Weyl semimetal, Mn3Ge. They varied the experimental conditions from room temperature down to sub-Kelvin temperature and observed finite-temperature violation of the WF correlation. They credited the outcome to a mismatch between the thermal and electrical summations of the Berry curvature (a geometric phase acquired within the course of a cycle) and not due to inelastic scattering. The team backed their interpretation with theoretical calculations to reveal a competition between the temperature and Berry curvature distribution. The work is now published on Science Advances.

The Berry curvature of electrons can result in the anomalous Hall effect (AHE) if the host solid lacks time-reversal symmetry (conservation of entropy). While the thermoelectric and thermal counterparts of the anomalous Hall effect are explored less frequently, they too arise from the same fictitious magnetic fields. It remains to be determined how the magnitudes of such anomalous off-diagonal coefficients correlate with each other and if the established correlations between ordinary transport coefficients continue to hold. It is currently laborious to form a semiclassical formula of the anomalous Hall effect (AHE), thereby making any intuitive picture of producing a transverse electric field even more challenging. In this work, the research team presented a study of a magnetic solid, focused on the relation between anomalous electrical and thermal Hall conductivities. Xu et al.

May 8, 2020

Successfully measuring infinitesimal change in mass of individual atoms for the first time

Posted by in categories: chemistry, mobile phones, particle physics, quantum physics

A new door to the quantum world has been opened: When an atom absorbs or releases energy via the quantum leap of an electron, it becomes heavier or lighter. This can be explained by Einstein’s theory of relativity (E = mc2). However, the effect is minuscule for a single atom. Nevertheless, the team of Klaus Blaum and Sergey Eliseev at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics has successfully measured this infinitesimal change in the mass of individual atoms for the first time. In order to achieve this, they used the ultra-precise Pentatrap atomic balance at the Institute in Heidelberg. The team discovered a previously unobserved quantum state in rhenium, which could be interesting for future atomic clocks. Above all, this extremely sensitive atomic balance enables a better understanding of the complex quantum world of heavy atoms.

Astonishing, but true: If you wind a mechanical watch, it becomes heavier. The same thing happens when you charge your smartphone. This can be explained by the equivalence of energy (E) and mass (m), which Einstein expressed in the most famous formula in physics: E = mc2 (c: speed of light in vacuum). However, this effect is so small that it completely eludes our everyday experience. A conventional balance would not be able to detect it.

But at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, there is a balance that can: Pentatrap. It can measure the minuscule change in mass of a single atom when an electron absorbs or releases energy via a quantum jump, thus opening a for precision physics. Such quantum jumps in the electron shells of atoms shape our world—whether in life-giving photosynthesis and general chemical reactions or in the creation of colour and our vision.

May 8, 2020

Researchers explore quantum computing to discover possible COVID-19 treatments

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, robotics/AI

Quantum machine learning, an emerging field that combines machine learning and quantum physics, is the focus of research to discover possible treatments for COVID-19, according to Penn State researchers led by Swaroop Ghosh, the Joseph R. and Janice M. Monkowski Career Development Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering. The researchers believe that this method could be faster and more economical than the current methods used for drug discovery.

Seed funding from the Penn State Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, as part of their rapid-response seed funding for research across the University to address COVID-19, is supporting this work.

“Discovering any new drug that can cure a disease is like finding a needle in a haystack,” Ghosh said.