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Apr 26, 2019

Dark-matter detector observes exotic nuclear decay

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

From the point of view of nuclear theory, the decay rates of both two-neutrino and neutrinoless double electron capture can be connected to quantities called nuclear matrix elements. Such quantities contain information about nuclear structure that is extracted from nuclear models and can be applied by researchers in the field of nuclear-structure theory.


For half a century, our view of the world has been based on the standard model of particle physics. However, this view has been challenged by theories that can overcome some of the limitations of the standard model. These theories allow neutrinos to be Majorana particles (that is, they are indistinguishable from their own antiparticles) and predict the existence of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) as the constituents of invisible ‘dark matter’ in the Universe. Majorana neutrinos mediate a type of nuclear decay called neutrinoless double-β decay, an example of which is neutrinoless double electron capture. A crucial step towards observing this decay is to detect its standard-model equivalent: two-neutrino double electron capture. In a paper in Nature, the XENON Collaboration reports the first direct observation of this process in xenon-124 nuclei, using a detector that was built to detect WIMPs.

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Apr 26, 2019

World’s largest medical drone delivery network takes flight in Ghana

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones

The largest drone delivery network in the world has been launched in Ghana, which experts say will save lives and transform the developing nation’s healthcare sector.

The drone network is set to deliver blood, essential medicines and vaccinations across the middle-income, West African country.

Speaking about the official launch of the service on April 24, Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said it was part of a drive to ensure universal access to lifesaving medicine in Ghana.

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Apr 26, 2019

Building the smart cities of the future

Posted by in categories: futurism, materials

This article is the first part in a series on smart cities. See more from Christine Wong.

Smart cities are coming under siege.

In Songdo, South Korea, clusters of concrete high-rises sit empty, waiting for an influx of foreign workers that hasn’t materialized. The $40 billion smart city, which was to be completed last year, is only 70 percent finished. Just 100,000 people live in Songdo so far, well short of its target population of 300,000.

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Apr 26, 2019

A lack of circular RNAs may trigger lupus

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

Researchers close in on how low levels of a kind of RNA may trigger lupus — offering hope for future treatments for the autoimmune disease.

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Apr 26, 2019

The Most Hyped Technology of Every Year From 2000–2018

Posted by in category: futurism

We look back at every year’s Hype Cycle this millennium to see which emerging technologies captured our imagination.

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Apr 25, 2019

New Lifelike Biomaterial Self-Reproduces and Has a Metabolism

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

Sound familiar? The team basically built molecular devices that “die” without “food.” Thanks to the laws of thermodynamics (hey ya, Newton!), that energy eventually dissipates, and the shapes automatically begin to break down, completing an artificial “circle of life.”

The new study took the system one step further: rather than just mimicking synthesis, they completed the circle by coupling the building process with dissipative assembly.

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Apr 25, 2019

This 90-Million-Year-Old Crab Chimera Is a Beautiful Mess of an Animal

Posted by in category: futurism

Scientists have discovered a new species of crab that swam the seas 95 million years ago — and behold, it could be the next Pixar character.

The small, pocket-size crab, named Callichimaera perplexa, was different than its modern cousins.

This crab sported a tiny lobster-esque shell, with legs flattened like oars, and huge Pound Puppies-style peepers that protruded from its head — a trait that indicates the creature used its eyes actively for whatever it did, researchers said.

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Apr 25, 2019

New nanomedicine slips through the cracks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience

In a recent study in mice, researchers found a way to deliver specific drugs to parts of the body that are exceptionally difficult to access. Their Y-shaped block catiomer (YBC) binds with certain therapeutic materials forming a package 18 nanometers wide. The package is less than one-fifth the size of those produced in previous studies, so it can pass through much smaller gaps. This allows YBCs to slip through tight barriers in cancers of the brain or pancreas.

The fight against cancer is fought on many fronts. One promising field is gene therapy, which targets genetic causes of diseases to reduce their effect. The idea is to inject a nucleic acid-based drug into the bloodstream—typically small interfering RNA (siRNA)—which binds to a specific problem-causing gene and deactivates it. However, siRNA is very fragile and needs to be protected within a nanoparticle or it breaks down before reaching its target.

“siRNA can switch off specific gene expressions that may cause harm. They are the next generation of biopharmaceuticals that could treat various intractable diseases, including cancer,” explained Associate Professor Kanjiro Miyata of the University of Tokyo, who jointly supervised the study. “However, siRNA is easily eliminated from the body by enzymatic degradation or excretion. Clearly a new delivery method was called for.”

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Apr 25, 2019

Tesla has achieved one of its biggest goals

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Tesla has begun delivering the $35,000, base-priced version of its Model 3 sedan, three customers have told Business Insider. Electrek first reported on April 15 that Tesla had started delivering the $35,000 Model 3, known as the standard-range trim.

The beginning of standard-range Model 3 deliveries is a landmark for Tesla, but the electric-car maker has been unusually quiet about it. While Tesla posted on its website and social media accounts when it began allowing customers to order the standard-range trim in February, the company has only made reference to the beginning of deliveries near the bottom of an April 11 blog post about an update to its product offerings.

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Apr 25, 2019

The Origin of Consciousness

Posted by in category: neuroscience

How unaware things became aware.

Support Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell on Patreon so they can make more videos (and get cool stuff in return): https://www.patreon.com/Kurzgesagt?ty=h

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