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Phys.org is a science, research and technology news aggregator where much of the content is republished directly from press releases and news agencies-in a practice known as churnalism. It also produces some science journalism.Source
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Do the twist: Making two-dimensional quantum materials using curved surfaces

Do the twist: Making two-dimensional quantum materials using curved surfaces

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered a way to control the growth of twisting, microscopic spirals of materials just one atom thick.The continuously twisting stacks of two-dimensional materials built by a team led by UW-Madison chemistry Professor Song Jin create new properties that scientists can exploit to study quantum physics on the nanoscale. The researchers published their work today in the journal Science."This is the current frontier of 2-D material research. In the last few years, scientists have realized that when you make a small twist between —usually...

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Researchers solve longstanding 'protein paradox' and suggest way to exploit cancer weakness

Researchers solve longstanding 'protein paradox' and suggest way to exploit cancer weakness

October 22, 2020byResearchers from UCPH have discovered how a mysterious function of the so called minichromosome maintenance (MCM) proteins protect the human cells against DNA instability, which can cause devastating diseases including cancer. In addition to their known role as molecular motors of genome duplication, MCM proteins in inactive state are now found to control the speed of this process. How cells manage to constrain the speed of DNA replication has puzzled researchers for decades and has even been called a 'MCM paradox.'Most body cells divide to form new cells. However, every...

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2d ago
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Cicada-inspired waterproof surfaces closer to reality, researchers report

Cicada-inspired waterproof surfaces closer to reality, researchers report

October 22, 2020by Lois Yoksoulian,A multidisciplinary group that studies the physical and chemical properties of insect wings has demonstrated the ability to reproduce the nanostructures that help cicada wings repel water and prevent bacteria from establishing on the surface. The new technique—which uses commercial nail polish—is economical and straightforward, and the researchers said it will help fabricate future high-tech waterproof materials.The team used a simplified version of a fabrication process—called nanoimprinting lithography—to make a template of the complex pillar-shaped...

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2d ago
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Researchers develop new molecular ferroelectric metamaterials

Researchers develop new molecular ferroelectric metamaterials

October 22, 2020by Cory Nealon,A University at Buffalo-led research team has reported a new 3-D-printed molecular ferroelectric metamaterial.The advancement, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a step toward making these extraordinary lab-created materials more affordable and adaptable to countless multifunctional technologies. It could benefit everything from acoustic blankets for aircraft soundproofing to shock absorbers and elastic cloaks that shield sensitive electronic systems from external mechanical disturbances."The sky is the limit when it...

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2d ago
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Major wind-driven ocean currents are shifting toward the poles

Major wind-driven ocean currents are shifting toward the poles

September 25, 2020byThe severe droughts in the USA and Australia are the first sign that the tropics, and their warm temperatures, are apparently expanding in the wake of climate change. But until now, scientists have been unable to conclusively explain the reasons for this, because they were mostly focusing on atmospheric processes. Now, experts at the AWI have solved the puzzle: the alarming expansion of the tropics is not caused by processes in the atmosphere, but quite simply by warming subtropical ocean.Forest fires in Australia and California, droughts and water shortages in the...

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3d ago
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A machine-learning algorithm that can infer the direction of the thermodynamic arrow of time

A machine-learning algorithm that can infer the direction of the thermodynamic arrow of time

October 22, 2020by Ingrid Fadelli , Phys.orgThe second law of thermodynamics delineates an asymmetry in how physical systems evolve over time, known as the arrow of time. In macroscopic systems, this asymmetry has a clear direction (e.g., one can easily notice if a video showing a system's evolution over time is being played normally or backward).In the microscopic world, however, this direction is not always apparent. In fact, fluctuations in microscopic systems can lead to clear violations of the , causing the arrow of to become blurry and less defined. As a result, when watching a video...

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3d ago
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New approach could lead to designed plastics with specific properties

New approach could lead to designed plastics with specific properties

October 22, 2020by Emily Ayshford,Imagine a plastic bag that can carry home your groceries, then quickly degrade, without harming the environment. Or a super-strong, lightweight plastic for airplanes, rockets, and satellites that can replace traditional structural metals in aerospace technologies.Machine learning and artificial intelligence have accelerated the ability to design materials with specific properties like these. But while scientists have had success designing new metallic alloys, polymers—like the plastic used for bags—have been much more difficult to design.Researchers at the...

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3d ago
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Innovation spins spider web architecture into 3-D imaging technology

Innovation spins spider web architecture into 3-D imaging technology

October 21, 2020byPurdue University innovators are taking cues from nature to develop 3-D photodetectors for biomedical imaging.The Purdue researchers used some architectural features from to develop the technology. Spider webs typically provide excellent mechanical adaptability and damage-tolerance against various mechanical loads such as storms."We employed the unique fractal design of a spider web for the development of deformable and reliable electronics that can seamlessly interface with any 3-D curvilinear surface," said Chi Hwan Lee, a Purdue assistant professor of biomedical...

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3d ago
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Physicists create 3-D printed microboat

Physicists create 3-D printed microboat

October 22, 2020byFrom prow to stern, this little boat measures 30 micrometers, about a third of the thickness of a hair. It has been 3-D-printed by Leiden physicists Rachel Doherty, Daniela Kraft and colleagues.The image was made using an and can be found in their article about 3-D printing synthetic microswimmers in the Soft Matter.MicroswimmersKraft's research group researches microswimmers, moving in fluids like water, that can be followed using a microscope. One of their goals is understanding biological microswimmers, such as bacteria.Most research of this type is carried out on...

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3d ago
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Monsanto lose case against French farmer

Monsanto lose case against French farmer

October 21, 2020France's highest appeals court rejected Wednesday a Monsanto bid to overturn a ruling against it in a suit brought by farmer Paul Francois, who was intoxicated by the firm's weed-killer Lasso.The decision wraps up a long-running case that began in 2007 and included three previous rulings in favour of the cereal farmer from southwestern France.Francois was intoxicated in April 2004 after inhaling fumes from the product sold by Monsanto, now owned by the German chemical giant Bayer.The farmer claimed to have suffered severe neurological damage as a result, and sued for more...

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4d ago
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Energy scavenging nanogenerator finds power all around us

Energy scavenging nanogenerator finds power all around us

Imagine a mobile phone charger that doesn't need a wireless or mains power source. Or a pacemaker with inbuilt organic energy sources within the human body.Australian researchers led by Flinders University are picking up the challenge of "scavenging" invisible power from low-frequency vibrations in the surrounding environment, including wind, air or even contact-separation energy (static electricity)."These so-called triboelectric nanogenerators (or TENGs) can be made at low cost in different configurations, making them suitable for driving such as personal electronics (mobile phones),...

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5d ago
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Energy scavenging nanogenerator finds power all around us

Energy scavenging nanogenerator finds power all around us

October 20, 2020byImagine a mobile phone charger that doesn't need a wireless or mains power source. Or a pacemaker with inbuilt organic energy sources within the human body.Australian researchers led by Flinders University are picking up the challenge of "scavenging" invisible power from low-frequency vibrations in the surrounding environment, including wind, air or even contact-separation energy (static electricity)."These so-called triboelectric nanogenerators (or TENGs) can be made at low cost in different configurations, making them suitable for driving such as personal electronics...

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5d ago
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Why scooping an asteroid sample is harder than it looks

Why scooping an asteroid sample is harder than it looks

October 16, 2020by Daniel Stolte,When NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descends toward the surface of Bennu on Oct. 20, it will be the first time that a U.S.-led mission attempts to pick up a sample of pristine material from an asteroid. Bennu is likely an extraterrestrial accumulation of the original leftovers from the formation of our solar system.The University of Arizona-led mission to sample an asteroid many millions of miles from Earth is anything but a walk on the beach. As a matter of fact, Bennu "is not nearly the sandy beach we hoped and were expecting," said Thomas Zurbuchen,...

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6d ago
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Layer-cake 2-D superconductivity: Developing clean 2-D superconductivity in a bulk van der Waals superlattice

Layer-cake 2-D superconductivity: Developing clean 2-D superconductivity in a bulk van der Waals superlattice

October 16, 2020by Thamarasee Jeewandara , Phys.orgMaterials science has had a profound on humanity since the advent of the . Presently, materials scientists are intrigued by a class of materials known as , whose electronic or magnetic behavior cannot be explained by classical physics. Discoveries in the field of quantum materials are followed by to uncover in science. In a new report now published on Science, A. Devarakonda and a team of scientists in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and the Riken Center for Emergent Matter Science in the U.S. and...

phys.org
Oct 17
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Supergiant star Betelgeuse smaller, closer than first thought

Supergiant star Betelgeuse smaller, closer than first thought

October 16, 2020byIt may be another 100,000 years until the giant red star Betelgeuse dies in a fiery explosion, according to a new study by an international team of researchers.The study, led by Dr. Meridith Joyce from The Australian National University (ANU), not only gives Betelgeuse a new lease on life, but shows it is both smaller and closer to Earth than previously thought.Dr. Joyce says the supergiant—which is part of the Orion constellation—has long fascinated scientists. But lately, it's been behaving strangely."It's normally one of the brightest stars in the sky, but we've...

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Oct 16
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New eclipsing double white dwarf binary discovered

New eclipsing double white dwarf binary discovered

October 14, 2020by Tomasz Nowakowski , Phys.orgAstronomers from the California Institute of Technology and elsewhere report the detection of a new eclipsing detached double white dwarf binary. The system, designated ZTF J2243+5242 has an orbital period of below 10 minutes, which makes it one of the shortest-period eclipsing binaries known to date. The finding is detailed in a paper published October 7 on arXiv.org.Astronomers are interested in finding and studying double white dwarfs (DWDs), as their mergers are believed to produce new white dwarfs with higher masses. It is assumed that...

phys.org
Oct 15
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Researchers synthesize room temperature superconducting material

Researchers synthesize room temperature superconducting material

October 14, 2020byCompressing simple molecular solids with hydrogen at extremely high pressures, University of Rochester engineers and physicists have, for the first time, created material that is superconducting at room temperature.Featured as the cover story in the journal Nature, the work was conducted by the lab of Ranga Dias, an assistant professor of physics and mechanical engineering.Dias says developing materials that are superconducting—without electrical resistance and expulsion of magnetic field at room temperature—is the "holy grail" of condensed matter physics. Sought for more...

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Oct 15
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Changes in South Africa's rainfall seasons could affect farming and water resources

Changes in South Africa's rainfall seasons could affect farming and water resources

October 14, 2020by Sarah Roffe and Jennifer Fitchett,Most of South Africa's seasonal rainfall occurs during the warmer summer months, from . As a result, is an important period for farmers to begin planning when to sow crops (such as maize, wheat and sunflowers) for the growing season. is also an important period for the tourism industry to think about water supplies for the upcoming summer holiday season.The timing of summer , and all rainfall across South Africa, is determined by large-scale climate systems. Climate change is gradually changing the location of these systems and their...

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Oct 14
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Superconductor technology for smaller, sooner fusion

Superconductor technology for smaller, sooner fusion

October 14, 2020by Leda Zimmerman,Scientists have long sought to harness fusion as an inexhaustible and carbon-free energy source. Within the past few years, groundbreaking high-temperature superconductor technology (HTS) sparked a new vision for achieving practical fusion energy. This approach, known as the high-field pathway to fusion, aims to generate fusion in compact devices on a shorter timescale and lower cost than alternative approaches.A key technical challenge to realizing this vision, though, has been getting HTS superconductors to work in an integrated way in the development of...

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Oct 14
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Deep learning artificial intelligence keeps an eye on volcano movements

Deep learning artificial intelligence keeps an eye on volcano movements

October 14, 2020by Matt Swayne,RADAR satellites can collect massive amounts of remote sensing data that can detect ground movements—surface defomations—at volcanoes in near real time. These ground movements could signal impending volcanic activity and unrest; however, clouds and other atmospheric and instrumental disturbances can introduce significant errors in those ground movement measurements.Now, Penn State researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to clear up that noise, drastically facilitating and improving near real-time observation of volcanic movements and the detection...

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Oct 14
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Fossil footprints: the fascinating story behind the longest-known prehistoric journey

Fossil footprints: the fascinating story behind the longest-known prehistoric journey

October 9, 2020by Matthew Robert Bennett and Sally Christine Reynolds,Every parent knows the feeling. Your child is crying and wants to go home, you pick them up to comfort them and move faster, your arms tired with a long walk ahead—but you cannot stop now. Now add to this a slick mud surface and a range of hungry predators around you.That is the story the longest trackway of fossil footprints in the world tells us. Our new discovery, , comes from in New Mexico, US, and was made by an international team working in collaboration with staff from the .The footprints were spotted in a dried-up...

phys.org
Oct 12
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Graphene microbubbles make perfect lenses

Graphene microbubbles make perfect lenses

October 9, 2020byTiny bubbles can solve large problems. Microbubbles—around 1-50 micrometers in diameter—have widespread applications. They're used for drug delivery, membrane cleaning, biofilm control, and water treatment. They've been applied as actuators in lab-on-a-chip devices for microfluidic mixing, ink-jet printing, and logic circuitry, and in photonics lithography and optical resonators. And they've contributed remarkably to biomedical imaging and applications like DNA trapping and manipulation.Given the broad range of applications for microbubbles, many methods for generating them...

phys.org
Oct 11
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'Universal law of touch' will enable new advances in virtual reality

'Universal law of touch' will enable new advances in virtual reality

October 9, 2020bySeismic waves, commonly associated with earthquakes, have been used by scientists to develop a universal scaling law for the sense of touch. A team, led by researchers at the University of Birmingham, used Rayleigh waves to create the first scaling law for touch sensitivity. The results are published in Science Advances.The researchers are part of a European consortium (H-Reality) that are already using the theory to develop new Virtual Reality technologies that incorporate the .Rayleigh waves are created by impact between objects and are commonly thought to travel only...

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Oct 11
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Russian sea pollution forms massive moving slick

Russian sea pollution forms massive moving slick

October 8, 2020Suspected toxic waste pollution off Russia's Kamchatka peninsula that caused the mass deaths of marine animals has formed a moving slick stretching 40 kilometres (25 miles) along the Pacific coastline, researchers said Thursday.The Far Eastern Federal University said in a statement the was between 100 and 300 metres (330-1,000 feet) wide in some places, had a green hue and was creating an unusual foam while floating south along the Russian coast.The waste was previously thought to be stationary and confined mostly to one beach, but researchers who carried out aerial...

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Oct 11
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Physicists build circuit that generates clean, limitless power from graphene

Physicists build circuit that generates clean, limitless power from graphene

October 2, 2020byA team of University of Arkansas physicists has successfully developed a circuit capable of capturing graphene's thermal motion and converting it into an electrical current."An energy-harvesting circuit based on could be incorporated into a chip to provide clean, limitless, low-voltage power for small devices or sensors," said Paul Thibado, professor of physics and lead researcher in the discovery.The findings, published in the journal Physical Review E, are proof of a theory the physicists developed at the U of A three years ago that freestanding graphene—a single layer of...

phys.org
Oct 10
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