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Mar 5, 2019

Chirality yields colossal photocurrent

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, materials

A recently discovered Weyl semimetal delivers the largest intrinsic conversion of light to electricity of any material, an international team lead by a group of Boston College researchers reports today in the journal Nature Materials.

The discovery is based on a unique aspect of the material where electrons can be separated by their chirality, or handedness—similar to DNA. The findings may offer a new route to efficient generation of electricity from light, as well as for thermal or .

“We discovered that the Weyl semimetal Tantalum Arsenide, has a colossal bulk photovoltaic effect—an intrinsic, or non-linear, generation of current from light more than ten times larger than ever previously achieved,” said Boston College Associate Professor of Physics Kenneth Burch, a lead author of the article, titled “Colossal mid-infrared bulk photovoltaic effect in a type-I Weyl semimetal.”

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Mar 5, 2019

Light pulses provide a new route to enhance superconductivity

Posted by in categories: energy, mathematics

Under normal electron band theory, Mott insulators ought to conduct electricity, but they do not due to interactions among their electrons. But now, scientists from the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research have shown that pulses of light could be used to turn these materials beyond simple conductors to superconductors—materials that conduct electricity without energy loss. This process would happen through an unconventional type of superconductivity known as “eta pairing.”

Using , the researchers found that this unconventional type of conductivity, which is believed to take under non-equilibrium conditions in strongly correlated such as high-Tc cuprates and iron-pnictides, arises due to a known as eta pairing. This is different from the superconductivity observed in the same strongly correlated materials under equilibrium conditions, and is thought to involve repulsive interactions between certain electrons within the structure. It is also different from traditional superconductivity, where the phenomenon arises due to interactions between electrons and vibrations of the crystal structure, inducing mutual interactions between electrons through vibrations and thus overcoming the repulsion between the electrons.

Thirty years ago, the mathematical physicist Chen-Ning Yang originally proposed the idea of eta-pairing, but because it was a purely mathematical concept, it was understood as a virtual phenomenon that would not take place in the real world. But for the present study, the researchers used non-equilibrium dynamics to analyze the effect of on a Mott insulator, and found that the effect would in fact happen in the real world. “What is interesting,” says first author Tatsuya Kaneko, a postdoctoral researcher at the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research, “is that our calculations showed that this takes place based on the beautiful mathematical structure that Yang and his followers formulated so many years ago.”

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Mar 5, 2019

“Holy Herb” Shows Promise as Alzheimer’s Treatment

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Native tribes used it to treat everything from sore muscles to headaches.

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Mar 5, 2019

Journalists Reported a News Story Using Machine Learning

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Quartz’s Lyft story isn’t the most groundbreaking work of journalism in the world, but it’s an interesting proof of concept about how reporters can leverage new tools to pull interesting takeaways from otherwise dry public records — and, perhaps, a preview of things to come.

“This is taking [data journalism] to the next level where we’re trying to get journalists comfortable using computers to do some of this pattern matching, sorting, grouping, anomaly detection — really working with especially large data sets,” John Keefe, Quartz’s technical architect for bots and machine learning, told Digiday back when the Quartz AI Studio first launched.

READ MORE: Here’s what Lyft talks about as risk factors that other companies don’t [Quartz].

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Mar 5, 2019

Record-breaking device uses sunlight to produce hydrogen at 15% efficiency

Posted by in category: futurism

After a decade of research, scientists at KU Leuven in Belgium have developed a device that can uses sunlight to produce a record-breaking 250 liters (66 gal) of hydrogen a day.

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Mar 5, 2019

Advances in stem cell treatment give hope to millions with ‘incurable’ diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The announcement that a London man has become the second in the world to be “functionally cured” of HIV is a major advance in stem cell transplant therapy.

The man — who wishes to remain anonymous — was given stem cells from a donor with genetic resistance to the disease and he has now been in long term remission for 18 months without medication.

The breakthrough comes ten years after the first such case of a patient with HIV going into sustained remission, known as the ‘Berlin Patient.’

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Mar 5, 2019

Israel’s first moon mission spacecraft sends back selfie

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel

An Israeli spacecraft on its maiden mission to the moon has sent its first selfie back to Earth, mission chiefs said on Tuesday.

The image showing part of the Beresheet spacecraft with Earth in the background was beamed to mission control in Yehud, Israel – 23,360 miles (37,600km) away, the project’s lead partners said.

The partners, NGO SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, launched the unmanned Beresheet – Hebrew for Genesis – from Cape Canaveral in Florida on 22 February.

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Mar 5, 2019

Goodyear’s New Concept Tire Doubles as a Flying Car Propeller

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

Take a look at Goodyear’s vision for the future of transport.

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Mar 5, 2019

Epigenetic Alterations and Reprogramming Potential in Aging

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

The role of epigenetics, which determine how your genes are expressed, is being increasingly implicated in aging, as is the potential of therapies that revert epigenetics back to those of a younger person.

What are epigenetic alterations?

The DNA in each of our cells is identical, with only some small variations, so why do our various organs and tissues look so different, and how do cells know what to become?

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Mar 5, 2019

Coinbase Preventing Account Closures as #DeleteCoinbase Movement Spreads

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cryptocurrencies

Multiple users are reporting on social media that they are currently unable to delete their Coinbase accounts. This news comes as some cryptocurrency enthusiasts continue to clamor for a boycott of the exchange giant over its recent acquisition of Neutrino.

Amid the clamor for a boycott on Coinbase, some users are saying that the company is preventing them from closing down their accounts. Respondents say they followed the fairly easy account closing procedure only to be met with error messages.

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