Candy, cheese soar to space station to satisfy crew cravings A cargo ship rocketed toward the International Space Station on Saturday, carrying candy and cheese to satisfy the astronauts' cravings.
Earth's cousins: Upcoming missions to look for 'biosignatures' in exoplanet atmospheres Scientists have discovered thousands of exoplanets, including dozens of terrestrial—or rocky—worlds in the habitable zones around their parent stars. A promising approach to search for signs of life on these worlds is to probe exoplanet atmospheres for "biosignatures"—quirks in chemical composition that are telltale signs of life. For example, thanks to photosynthesis, our atmosphere is nearly 21% oxygen, a much higher level than expected given Earth's composition, orbit and parent star.
New CRISPR-based tool can probe and control several genetic circuits at once Every cell in our body has a computer-like control system that sends biological signals through thousands of circuits to monitor the cell's needs and regulate its responses.
Breakthrough Listen releases 2 petabytes of data from SETI survey of Milky Way The Breakthrough Listen Initiative today released data from the most comprehensive survey yet of radio emissions from the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy and the region around its central black hole, and it is inviting the public to search the data for signals from intelligent civilizations.
New technologies, strategies expanding search for extraterrestrial life Emerging technologies and new strategies are opening a revitalized era in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). New discovery capabilities, along with the rapidly-expanding number of known planets orbiting stars other than the Sun, are spurring innovative approaches by both government and private organizations, according to a panel of experts speaking at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle, Washington.
Physically producing computer-generated artificial genomes to understand DNA The molecular blueprint of life is stored in DNA within the genome. The digital revolution in biology, driven by DNA sequencing, enables scientists to read the genomes of the many microbes and multicellular organisms that populate our world. Today, DNA sequences of over 200,000 microbial genomes are deposited in digital genome databases and have exponentially increased the understanding of how DNA programs living systems. Using this incredible treasure trove of molecular building blocks, bioengineers learn to sequence and synthesize long DNA molecules and to breed useful microbes with the help of computers.
Synopsis: “Breathing” Explains Light-Induced Darkening
New experiments identify the movement of oxygen atoms as the origin of light-induced color changes in the material yttrium oxyhydride.
[Physics] Published Fri Feb 14, 2020
Focus: <i>Video</i>—Stretching Fingers on a Puddle’s Edge
Author(s): David Ehrenstein
A spreading drop containing a mixture of two liquids breaks into fingers or spherical droplets, depending on the fluids.
[Physics 13, 19] Published Fri Feb 14, 2020
Feature: Pumping up Ferroelectrics
Mixing a trace of an additional element into a material used in electronics could dramatically improve the material’s properties.
[Physics 13, 18] Published Thu Feb 13, 2020
Synopsis: Excited by Shaped Electrons
Electrons with a modulated wave function might enable improvements in electron microscopy and quantum computing.
[Physics] Published Thu Feb 13, 2020
Record-breaking quantum memory brings quantum internet one step closer A communications network secured by the laws of quantum physics would be unhackable, but building one requires a component called a quantum memory, which is still being developed
Don't miss: Emotional veg, antique innovations and spooky maths This week, hide behind the sofa from mind-altering plants, listen and learn from technologies past and find out how the world is underpinned by numbers
Synopsis: Predicting Contagion Speed
A new analysis predicts the speed at which an infectious disease spreads to specific individuals in a network.
[Physics] Published Wed Feb 12, 2020
Your decision-making ability is a superpower physics can't explain In a universe that unthinkingly follows the rules, human agency is an anomaly. Can physics ever make sense of our power to change the physical world at will?
Photon trick lets you bend the rules of quantum physics A basic rule of quantum physics is that knowing too much about an experiment will break quantum interference, but now physicists have discovered a way to bend that rule
Synopsis: Neural Networks Know Their Knots
Neural networks correctly classify different types of knot, a problem that has stumped physicists and mathematicians.
[Physics] Published Tue Feb 11, 2020
Viewpoint: Structure Formation in the Very Early Universe
Author(s): Mark P. Hertzberg
Numerical calculations explain how density fluctuations in the Universe grew by orders of magnitude during the “primordial dark ages.”
[Physics 13, 16] Published Mon Feb 10, 2020
This tiny glass bead has been quantum chilled to near absolute zero A glass bead has been brought down to its coldest possible quantum state using a new method that may one day allow us to observe an object in two places at once
What you experience may not exist. Inside the strange truth of reality What our senses allow us to experience may not reflect what actually exists. It may be a creation of our own consciousness, or a computer simulation designed by superintelligent beings
What is reality? Why we still don't understand the world's true nature It’s the ultimate scientific quest – to understand everything that there is. But the closer we get, the further away it seems. Can we ever get to grips with the true nature of reality?
Physicists beat Lorentz reciprocity for microwave transmission New device could boost telecommunications and be adapted for photonics
Japan’s SuperKEKB set for first particle collisions Revamped accelerator will soon be smashing electrons and positrons together
Wood-based 'supermaterial' is stronger and tougher than steel New material is made by compressing treated wood
Three photons bind together to make a ‘molecule’ of light Technique could be used to create quantum-information systems
Nuclear excitation by electron capture seen at long last Breakthrough could lead to new type of energy source
Pistachio trees 'talk' to their neighbours, reveals statistical physics Ising model could account for nut production of pistachio orchards
US National Science Foundation clamps down on misconduct Agency will now require every grantee organization to report cases of sexual harassment