Month: December 2020

Joshua Chawner (left) and Dmitry Zmeev with the world’s first LEGO cryonaut (Courtesy: Joshua Chawner) Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, physicists have still found time to carry out research that touches on the quirkier side of science. Here is our pick of the 10 best, not in any particular order. Low-temperature LEGO Condensed-matter
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WASHINGTON — The White House released a national strategy for planetary protection Dec. 30, outlining new assessments to prevent terrestrial contamination of other worlds and vice versa. The National Strategy for Planetary Protection, developed by an interagency working group led by the National Space Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), outlines work
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Physicists worldwide showed spirit and innovation, but 2020 can’t end soon enough. Physics World editor-in-chief Matin Durrani looks back at the year that’s coming to an end. (Courtesy: iStock/photo_Pawel) I remember receiving one of those “hilarious” WhatsApp messages in mid-March just as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold and everyone was going slightly mad. Signed
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Last year around this time, I focused on digital technology solutions for water with this essay, “2019: The Year Analog Solutions Died.” I stand by this perspective, as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated interest and adoption of digital technologies across the water value chain. However, I wanted to share six new learnings from this pandemic
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Amazon Echo Dot speaker CNBC | Richard Washington Amazon announced Wednesday that it’s acquiring podcasting company Wondery, expanding its catalog of original audio content. As part of the deal, Wondery will join Amazon Music, the e-commerce giant’s music streaming business. Amazon Music in September added podcasts to its platform, looking to carve out a share
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Maps of regional lung expansion in (left) a mouse with cystic fibrosis-like disease and (right) a healthy littermate. (Courtesy: Monash University) This year has been a year like no other. In 2020, many physicists turned their research efforts towards tackling the pandemic. Within medical physics, researchers worked to develop improved diagnostics and potential treatments for
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President Donald Trump Carlos Barria | Reuters President Donald Trump is pressuring his Republican allies over a law that has protected social media companies for decades. In his final weeks in office, Trump has launched a full-bore attack on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the 1996 law that shields tech companies from being
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Intel CEO Robert Swan speaks at the Rakuten Optimism event in Yokohama, Japan, on July 31, 2019. Tomohiro Ohsumi | Getty Images Third Point, the hedge fund led by Dan Loeb, is urging Intel’s board of directors to hire an investment adviser to explore “strategic alternatives” after the chipmaker lost market share to TSMC, Samsung
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Eye in the sky: data from the Jason-3 satellite was used in the study. (Courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech) Third-degree tides – tiny sea-level fluctuations once known only locally from measurements made by tidal gauges – have been mapped out across the globe by geophysicist Richard Ray at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, US. As well
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Credit: Adapted from Getty In March, every single aspect of my scientific working life shut down. This was incredibly disruptive. But looking back, it has given me an opportunity to look at different parts of my job in isolation. Taking everything away and then rebuilding from scratch, piece by piece, has allowed me to appreciate
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Editor’s note: Back by popular demand, smart cities consultant Sue Lebeck provides GreenBiz highlights from the past year in verse. You’ll find her haiku from 2019 here. Rise before the Surprise Leaders gather forthe first and last time in yearof shelter-in-place. Learning on the JobCould ways to flattencoronavirus’ curve helpbend climate’s curve too? From Farms to
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Gal Gadot stars as Wonder Woman in Warner Bros. “Wonder Woman 1984.” Warner Bros. This past weekend provided the first real test for how blockbuster movies perform on streaming services when they’re released in movie theaters at the same time. AT&T‘s WarnerMedia premiered “Wonder Woman 1984” on Christmas Day, the first movie in its experiment
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Tin is a commonplace metal that’s used industrially in a thousand different ways. From the solder that holds your computer’s motherboard together to the PVC plumbing under your sink, tin compounds are everywhere. In spite of its versatility, tin possesses an interesting physical property which is responsible for its tendency to wear down over time
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WASHINGTON — Viasat has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to perform an environmental review of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband constellation, arguing that the satellite system poses environmental hazards in space and on Earth. In a Dec. 22 filing, Viasat formally requested that the FCC conduct either an environmental assessment or more rigorous environmental impact statement of
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It was a very long year. True, just 366 days (it was a leap year, after all), each one, I’m told, containing only the standard 24 hours. But it was much, much longer than that. Remember 2019? Neither do I. To recall some of the key developments, as I have done each December for more
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Courtesy: iStock/agsandrew This pandemic-blighted year isn’t going to top anyone’s list of favourites, but looking on the bright side for a moment, 2020 has seen some remarkable advances in quantum science and technology. Here are a few of the highlights from subfields ranging from quantum fundamentals to quantum computing. The most precise thermometer possible How
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Nearly one year after the World Health Organization discovered the coronavirus, many people are still staying home from offices, schools, movie theaters, stadiums, churches and restaurants. A lot of the socialization that would be happening in those places in 2020 is happening over video calls. And you can’t talk about that aspect of life without
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In an article in Cell, National Institutes of Health-funded researchers described how they used advanced genetic engineering techniques to transform a bacterial protein into a new research tool that may help monitor serotonin transmission with greater fidelity than current methods. Preclinical experiments, primarily in mice, showed that the sensor could detect subtle, real-time changes in
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1. Bromberg-Martin, E. S., Matsumoto, M. & Hikosaka, O. Dopamine in motivational control: rewarding, aversive, and alerting. Neuron 68, 815–834 (2010). CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar  2. Kravitz, A. V. & Kreitzer, A. C. Striatal mechanisms underlying movement, reinforcement, and punishment. Physiology (Bethesda) 27, 167–177 (2012). Google Scholar  3. Vidal-Gadea, A. G. &
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1. Husmann, D. & Gozani, O. Histone lysine methyltransferases in biology and disease. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 26, 880–889 (2019). CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Article  Google Scholar  2. Bennett, R. L., Swaroop, A., Troche, C. & Licht, J. D. The role of nuclear receptor-binding set domain family histone lysine methyltransferases in cancer. Cold Spring Harb.
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