ScienceDaily: Featured - October 29, 2023
Featured research news
Researchers have developed a souped-up telepresence robot that responds automatically and in real-time to a remote user's movements and gestures made in virtual reality.
The privacy policies and practices of online games contain dark design patterns which could be deceptive, misleading, or coercive to users, according to a new study.
Quantum physicists have shown that it's possible to control and manipulate spin waves on a chip using superconductors for the first time. These tiny waves in magnets may offer an alternative to electronics in the future, interesting for energy-efficient information technology or connecting pieces in a quantum computer, for example. The breakthrough primarily gives physicists new insight into the interaction between magnets and superconductors.
Scientists at NCAR have identified two entirely different modes of hurricane rapid intensification. The findings may lead to better understanding and prediction of these dangerous events.
The search is on for better semiconductors. A team of chemists describes the fastest and most efficient semiconductor yet: a superatomic material called Re6Se8Cl2.
A team of researchers studying the Ngogo community of wild chimpanzees in western Uganda's Kibale National Park for two decades has published a report showing that females in this population can experience menopause and post-reproductive survival.
Noctilionoid bat species evolved wildly different faces as they adapted to exploit diverse food sources -- including insects, fruit, nectar, blood and fish. New research shows that those adaptations include dramatic, but also consistent, modifications to tooth number, size, shape and position.
Smart, stretchable and highly sensitive, a new soft sensor opens the door to a wide range of applications in robotics and prosthetics. When applied to the surface of a prosthetic arm or a robotic limb, the sensor skin provides touch sensitivity and dexterity, enabling tasks that can be difficult for machines such as picking up a piece of soft fruit. The sensor is also soft to the touch, like human skin, which helps make human interactions safer and more lifelike.
The explosion of the underwater volcano Kolumbo in the Aegean Sea in 1650 triggered a destructive tsunami that was described by historical eye witnesses. A group of researchers has now surveyed Kolumbo's underwater crater with modern imaging technology and reconstructed the historical events. They found that the eyewitness accounts of the natural disaster can only be described by a combination of a landslide followed by an explosive eruption.
An international study has identified for the first time the optimal number of steps at which most people obtain the greatest benefits, and also shows that the pace at which you walk provides additional benefits.
Scrape, cluck, lay eggs -- that's it? Anyone involved in chicken farming knows that the animals are capable of much more. Researchers have found evidence that roosters could recognize themselves in a mirror. Whether this is successful, however, depends on the experimental conditions -- a finding that points beyond the experiment with roosters and could also be of importance for other animal species.
Astronomers confirm the existence of an infrared (IR) aurora on Uranus. This could help astronomers identify exoplanets that might support life, a large number of which are icy worlds.
Researchers have developed a new hydrogen energy carrier material capable storing hydrogen energy efficiently and potentially more cheaply. Each molecule can store one electron from hydrogen at room temperature, store it for up the three months, and can be its own catalyst to extract said electron. Moreover, as the compound is made primarily of nickel, its cost is relatively low.
FibeRobo is a liquid crystal elastomer fiber that can change its shape in response to thermal stimuli. Compatible with existing textile manufacturing machinery, it could be used to make morphing textiles, like a jacket that changes its insulating properties.
An electric knifefish shimmies in the water for the same reason a dog sniffs or a human glances around a new place -- to make sense of their surroundings. For the first time, scientists demonstrate that a wide range of organisms, even microbes, perform the same pattern of movements in order to sense the world.
Making one small diet change -- chicken instead of beef, plant milk instead of cow's milk -- could significantly curb carbon emissions and increase the healthfulness of your diet, according to a new study.
Researchers introduce a pioneering breakthrough in the world of nanomotors -- the DNA origami nanoturbine. This nanoscale device could represent a paradigm shift, harnessing power from ion gradients or electrical potential across a solid-state nanopore to drive the turbine into mechanical rotations. The core of this pioneering discovery is the design, construction, and driven motion of a 'DNA origami' turbine, which features three chiral blades, all within a minuscule 25-nanometer frame, operating in a solid-state nanopore. By ingeniously designing two chiral turbines, researchers now have the capability to dictate the direction of rotation, clockwise or anticlockwise.
Venus, may have once had tectonic plate movements similar to those believed to have occurred on early Earth, a new study found. The finding sets up tantalizing scenarios regarding the possibility of early life on Venus, its evolutionary past and the history of the solar system.
Supernovae, exploding stars, play a critical role in the formation and evolution of galaxies. However, key aspects of them are notoriously difficult to simulate accurately in reasonably short amounts of time. For the first time, a team of researchers apply deep learning to the problem of supernova simulation. Their approach can speed up the simulation of supernovae, and therefore of galaxy formation and evolution as well. These simulations include the evolution of the chemistry which led to life.
Smart glasses that use a technique similar to a bat's echolocation could help blind and low-vision people navigate their surroundings, according to researchers.
New research provides rare direct evidence showing that increased homozygosity -- meaning two identical alleles in a genome -- leads to negative effects on fertility in a human population.
New research suggests that increasingly severe weather driven by climate change may push oceangoing seabirds to their limits.
Researchers have now developed a technique that advances the ability of these tools, such as ChatGPT, to make compositional generalizations. This technique, Meta-learning for Compositionality, outperforms existing approaches and is on par with, and in some cases better than, human performance.
Researchers have built a superconducting camera containing 400,000 pixels -- 400 times more than any other device of its type. Having more pixels could open up many new applications in science and biomedical research.
Scientists have observed the creation of rare chemical elements in the second-brightest gamma-ray burst ever seen -- casting new light on how heavy elements are made.
NASA's InSight mission to Mars helped scientists map out Mars' internal structure, including the size and composition of its core, and provided general hints about its tumultuous formation. But findings from a new paper could lead to reanalysis of that data. An international team of researchers discovered the presence of a molten silicate layer overlying Mars' metallic core -- providing new insights into how Mars formed, evolved and became the barren planet it is today.
A new study provides evidence that pigeons tackle some problems just as artificial intelligence would -- allowing them to solve difficult tasks that would vex humans.
A new report finds that drastic changes are approaching if risks to our fundamental socioecological systems are not addressed. The Interconnected Disaster Risks Report 2023 warns of six risk tipping points ahead of us: Accelerating extinctions; Groundwater depletion; Mountain glaciers melting; Space debris; Unbearable heat; and an Uninsurable future.
Recently discovered microfossils date back half a billion years. Resembling modern-day algae, they provide insight into early life in our oceans.
As bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have grown in market share, they've been criticized for their heavy carbon footprint: Cryptocurrency mining is an energy-intensive endeavor. Mining has massive water and land footprints as well, according to a new study that is the first to detail country-by-country environmental impacts of bitcoin mining.
A team has identified several factors to help answer a fundamental ecological question: why is there a ridiculous abundance of species some places on earth and a scarcity in others? What factors, exactly, drive animal diversity? They discovered that what an animal eats (and how that interacts with climate) shapes Earth's diversity.
An international coalition of climate scientists says that the Earth's vital signs have worsened beyond anything humans have yet seen, to the point that life on the planet is imperiled.
Next-generation solar materials are cheaper and more sustainable to produce than traditional silicon solar cells, but hurdles remain in making the devices durable enough to withstand real-world conditions. A new technique could simplify the development of efficient and stable perovskite solar cells, named for their unique crystalline structure that excels at absorbing visible light.
It's viable to produce low-cost, lightweight solar panels that can generate energy in space, according to new research.
Scientists studied the genomes of 30 kingfisher species to try to identify the genes that allow kingfishers to dive headfirst into water without huring their brains. The researchers found that the diving birds have unusual mutations to the genes that produce tau: a protein that helps stabilize tiny structures in the brain, but which can build up in humans with traumatic brain injuries or Alzheimer's disease. The researchers suspect that these variations in the kingfishers' tau proteins might protect their brains when they dive.
Primatologists are using genetic analysis to determine the geographic origin of ancient mummified baboons found in Egypt. The team finds evidence that the two legendary trading regions of Punt and Adulis may have been the same place separated by a thousand years of history.
Newly published research proves that it's possible to treat high blood pressure by using specially engineered Lactobacillus paracasei to produce a protein called ACE2 in the gut, reducing gut angiotensin II and, in turn, lowering blood pressure. The study, done in lab rats that are predisposed to hypertension and unable to naturally produce ACE2, opens new doors in the pursuit of harnessing our body's own microbiome to regulate blood pressure.
New analysis of data from the Curiosity rover reveals that much of the craters on Mars today could have once been habitable rivers.
Researchers have proposed a new way of using quantum light to 'see' quantum sound. A new paper reveals the quantum-mechanical interplay between vibrations and particles of light, known as photons, in molecules. It is hoped that the discovery may help scientists better understand the interactions between light and matter on molecular scales. And it potentially paves the way for addressing fundamental questions about the importance of quantum effects in applications ranging from new quantum technologies to biological systems.
Two years after the striking discovery that a near-Earth asteroid could be a chunk of the moon, another UArizona research group has found that a rare pathway could have enabled this to happen.
A revised method to create hydrophobic surfaces has implications for any technology where water meets a solid surface, from optics and microfluidics to cooking.
Researchers report a significant advance in quantum squeezing, which allows them to measure undulations in space-time across the entire range of gravitational frequencies detected by LIGO.
A team of researchers has created smart, advanced materials that will be the building blocks for a future generation of soft medical microrobots. These tiny robots have the potential to conduct medical procedures, such as biopsy, and cell and tissue transport, in a minimally invasive fashion.
The perception of persistent thermal sensations, such as changes in temperature, tends to gradually diminish in intensity as our bodies become accustomed to the temperature. This phenomenon leads to a shift in our perception of temperature when transitioning between different scenes in a virtual environment. Researchers have now developed a technology to generate a virtual cold sensation via a non-contact method without physically altering the skin temperature.
By analyzing tiny lunar crystals gathered by Apollo 17 astronauts in 1972, researchers recalculated the age of the Earth's Moon. Although previous assessments estimated the Moon as 4.425 billion years old, the new study discovered it is actually 4.46 billion years old -- 40 million years older than previously thought.
Scientists have uncovered 13 mummified cadavers of mice from the summits of Andean volcanoes that stretch nearly 4 miles above sea level. Analyses of the mummies, combined with the capture of live specimens, suggest that the mice scaled the Mars-like peaks on their own -- and are somehow managing to live on them.
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet will continue to increase its rate of melting over the rest of the century, no matter how much we reduce fossil fuel use, according to new research. A substantial acceleration in ice melting likely cannot now be avoided, which implies that Antarctica's contribution to sea level rise could increase rapidly over the coming decades.