Martin Rees, a well-respected British cosmologist, made pretty bold statement late last year when it comes to particle accelerators: there's a small, but real possibility of disaster.


Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles developed a technique for turning pluripotent stem cells into cancer-killing T cells.

The new approach uses artificial thymic organoids to mimic the thymus and produce T cells without needing to collect them from already-depleted patients.


Astronomy buffs across the United States have been promised all the makings of a spectacular total lunar eclipse on Sunday except one - clear skies.

Quantum computing and quantum information processing technology have attracted attention in recently emerging fields. Among many important and fundamental issues in science, solving the Schroedinger equation (SE) of atoms and molecules is one of the ultimate goals in chemistry, physics and their related fields. SE is the first principle of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, whose solutions, termed wave functions, can afford any information of electrons within atoms and molecules, predicting their physicochemical properties and chemical reactions.

Dr. K. Sugisaki, Profs. K. Sato and T. Takui and coworkers, all researchers from Osaka City University (OCU) in Japan, have found a novel quantum algorithm enabling us to perform full configuration interaction (Full-CI) calculations suitable for "chemical reactions" without exponential/combinatorial explosion. Full-CI gives the exact numerical solutions of SE, which are intractable problems even for supercomputers. Such a quantum algorithm
Read More
contributes to the acceleration of implementing practical quantum computers. Since 1929, chemistry and physics have sought to predict complex chemical reactions by invoking Full-CI approaches, but they have never been successful until now. Full-CI calculations are potentially capable of predicting chemical reactions. The researchers of the current study report a new Full-CI approach implemented on quantum computers for the first time.

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology proposed new quasi-1-D materials for potential spintronic applications, an upcoming technology that exploits the spin of electrons. They performed simulations to demonstrate the spin properties of these materials and explained the mechanisms behind their behavior. Conventional electronics is based on the movement of electrons and mainly concerns their electric charge. However, modern electronics are close to reaching the physical limits for continuing improvements. But electrons bear another intrinsic quantum-physical property called "spin," which can be interpreted as a type of angular momentum and can be either "up" or "down." While conventional electronic devices do not relate to electron spin, spintronics is a field in which the spin of the conducting electrons is crucial. Serious improvements in performance and new applications can be attained through spin currents.

A new collaborative study led by a research team at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Washington could provide engineers new design rules for creating microelectronics, membranes and tissues, and open up better production methods for new materials. At the same time, the research, published online Dec. 6 in the journal Science, helps uphold a scientific theory that has remained unproven for over a century.

Just as children follow a rule to line up single file after recess, some materials use an underlying rule to assemble on surfaces one row at a time, according to the study.

Nucleation—that first formation step—is pervasive in ordered structures across nature and technology, from cloud droplets to rock candy. Yet despite some predictions made in the 1870s by the American scientist J. Willard Gibbs, researchers are still debating how this basic process happens.

The standard cosmological model known as LambdaCDM can only explain 5% of the observable Universe. The remaining 95% is famously made up almost entirely of two invisible components called dark matter and dark energy. Yet the physical nature of these two components remains a mystery. A new study by University of Oxford researcher Jamie Farnes suggests both dark phenomena can be unified into a single substance -- a negative-mass ‘dark fluid.’

A massive, hairy rhinoceros nicknamed the "Siberian unicorn" lived much longer than previously believed and walked the Earth with humans, a new study claims.

A small but important exhibition explains how bacteria helped kickstart life on Earth – and why new antibiotics may be too expensive to develop in time
Turkish-born astrophysicist Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil shares her name with a rare double ring of stars more than 350 light-years away.
A team of scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and McGill University have identified three genes responsible for recurrent molar pregnancies, a rare complication that occurs when a non-viable pregnancy with no embryo implants in the uterus. The results of this study could have important implications, since until now very little is known about the genetic causes of all forms of fetal loss. Their study has recently been published in The American Journal of Human Genetics.
A team of researchers from Canada, France and Poland has found that electrons inside of some ceramic crystals appear to dissipate in a surprising, yet familiar way—possibly a clue to the reason for the odd behavior of "strange metals." In their paper published in the journal Nature Physics, the researchers describe their experiments to better understand why strange metals behave the way they do.
Without the Sun, none of us would actually be here, so we should be pretty thankful that it exists at all. That being said, tumbling through space around a star isn’t always a walk in the park, especially when that star has a temper.
Researchers reporting in Current Biology on Oct. 18 have described a remarkable new species of fish that lived in the sea about 150 million years ago in the time of the dinosaurs. The new species of bony fish had teeth like a piranha, which the researchers suggest they used as piranhas do: to bite off chunks of flesh from other fish.
Photosynthesis is the process used by plants, algae and certain bacteria to harness energy from sunlight and turn it into chemical energy. Here, we describe the general principles of photosynthesis and highlight how scientists are studying this natural process to help develop clean fuels and sources of renewable energy.


Center for Theoretical Physics professors Daniel Harlow, Aram Harrow, Hong Liu and Jesse Thaler have been named recipients of research awards in the U.S. Department of Energy’s new program in Quantum Information Science (QIS). The awards were made in conjunction with the White House Summit on Advancing American Leadership in QIS, highlighting the high priority that the current administration places on advancing this multidisciplinary area of research, which is expected to lay the foundation for the next generation of computing and information processing as well as an array of other innovative technologies. The awards honor scientists at 28 institutions of higher learning across the nation and nine Department of Energy national laboratories. They cover a range of topics from developing hardware and software for a new generation of quantum computers, to the synthesis and characterization of new materials with special quantum properties, to probing the ways in which quantum compu

Read More
ting and information processing provide insights into such cosmic phenomena as dark matter and black holes. Harlow, Harrow, Liu, and Thaler, who are all researchers in the Laboratory for Nuclear Science and professors in the Department of Physics, are principles on two separate projects.

Loss of a protein that regulates mitochondrial function can greatly increase the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), Vanderbilt scientists reported Oct. 3 in the journal eLife.

The study illustrates how "integrative genomics," a combination of basic research, a human biobank linked to electronic health records and novel computational genetic approaches can identify genetically determined changes in gene expression that contribute to complex diseases.

"It's that end-to-end type of study, looking at findings in the lab and translating them into something that has important clinical implications," said Eric Gamazon, PhD, the study's co-corresponding author with Sandra Zinkel, MD, PhD.

Gamazon is a computational geneticist and research instructor in Medicine in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Zinkel is associate professor of Medicine and of Cell and Developmental Biology.

We thought we'd seen the final paper from the late, great Stephen Hawking, but there's now another – published in partnership with colleagues from Cambridge and Harvard, the paper tackles black holes, one of the topics Hawking was so passionately interested in. In particular, it examines the long-standing mystery of what happens to the information held by objects once they disappear into a black hole. It hasn't been clear exactly how any of an object's properties could survive as it gets devoured, but this latest paper offers an idea.

A new study by scientists from the University of Bristol brings us a significant step closer to unleashing the revolutionary potential of quantum computing by harnessing silicon fabrication technology to build complex on-chip quantum optical circuits.

Quantum computers offer an exciting new approach to solving problems that are currently intractable even on the most advanced classical supercomputers.

Building a quantum computer in the lab however has proven to be highly challenging.

Researchers at the University's Quantum Engineering Technology Labs (QET Labs) are using single particles of light, photons, to construct optical circuits that process quantum-bits (qubits) of information.

Using the same materials and fabrication facilities originally developed by the electronics industry, QET Labs have demonstrated highly complex circuits on silicon chips that can precisely process small numbers of photonic qubits. Their findings have been published in the journal Optics Expres
Read More
One of the most enduring "Holy Grail" experiments in science has been attempts to directly observe atomic motions during structural changes. This prospect underpins the entire field of chemistry because a chemical process occurs during a transition state—the point of no return separating the reactant configuration from the product configuration.

What does that transition state look like and, given the enormous number of different possible nuclear configurations, how does a system even find a way to make it happen?

Now in the journal Applied Physics Letters, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter are reporting "ultrabright" electron sources with sufficient brightness to literally light up atomic motions in real time—at a time scale of 100 femtoseconds, making these sources particularly relevant to chemistry because atomic motions occur in that window of time.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-ultrafast-optical-fiber-based-elec
Read More
A team of archaeologists found the eruption of Mount Vesuvius burned bodies quicker than a crematorium.

When you die, you want to go quickly. But maybe not as quickly as the people killed by Mount Vesuvius.

According to a new research paper released by a team of Italian archaeologists, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 generated such extreme heat that it caused victims' skulls to explode, their blood to boil, and their muscles, flesh and brains to be rapidly replaced with ash.
Light of different colors travels at different speeds in different materials and structures. This is why we see white light split into its constituent colors after refracting through a prism, a phenomenon called dispersion. An ordinary lens cannot focus light of different colors to a single spot due to dispersion. This means different colors are never in focus at the same time, and so an image formed by such a simple lens is inevitably blurred. Conventional imaging systems solve this problem by stacking multiple lenses, but this solution comes at the cost of increased complexity and weight.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-revolutionary-ultra-thin-meta-lens-enables-full-color.html#jCp
IBM researchers are developing a new computer architecture, better equipped to handle increased data loads from artificial intelligence. Their designs draw on concepts from the human brain and significantly outperform conventional computers in comparative studies. They report on their recent findings in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-brain-inspired-architecture-advance-ai.html#jCp
Researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences have determined that the lifetime of the so-called charmed omega—part of a family of subatomic particles called baryons—is nearly four times longer than previously thought.

In an article in Physical Review Letters (American Physical Society, 2018), Steven Blusk, professor of physics, explains that the new measurement is based on proton-proton collision data from the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) experiment at the CERN physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.

Blusk and his colleagues found that after analyzing collision data from nearly a thousand charmed-omega decays, the particle's lifetime is 268 femtoseconds. A femtosecond is a millionth of a billionth of a second, or 0.000000000000001 seconds.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-physicist-discovery-recasts-lifetime-hierarchy.html

Promising early results are in from a phase 1 clinical trial into a new cancer vaccine designed to stimulate the immune system into attacking certain cancers known to overexpress a specific protein.

"We have eyes on the front of our heads so we can see where we are going, but birds’ eyes are on the side so how do they see where they’re going?” Not all birds have eyes on the side of their heads, but a biologist explains how it's possible for birds like parrots and pigeons to see straight ahead.
A malignant tumor is characterized by the ability to spread. To do so, tumor cells stick to the surrounding tissue (mainly collagen) and use physical forces to propel themselves. A study published in Nature Physics by a team led by Xavier Trepat, lecturer at the Department of Biomedicine, University of Barcelona (UB), and Jaume Casademunt, professor of Physics at the UB, reveals the forces these tumor cells use to spread.

Researchers put breast tumor cells on a collagen-rich surface and observed how they expanded. The technology Trepat's group developed allowed them to measure the physical forces used by the cells during the process, which has not been observed before. They report that tumor metastasis depends on a competition between forces: cells stick to each other and are kept together, and at the same time, they adhere to the environment in order to escape. Depending on the predominant force, the tumor will keep its spherical shape or it will spread around the tissue surface. "
Read More
It is a similar process to placing a drop of water on a surface. In some surfaces, the drop will spread out, for example on a brick, while the drop will remain spherical on waterproof fabric, for example," says Carlos Pérez, IBEC researcher, intern at 'la Caixa' and first author of the article.

The largest bird that ever stalked Earth's surface is officially the "Vorombe titan," a previously unidentified species of elephant bird that once roamed the island of Madagascar. Literally meaning "big bird" in Malagasy and Greek, the giant creature could weigh more than 1,700 pounds and stood nearly 10 feet tall, a new study has revealed.
When looking at the Earth from afar it appears to be a perfect sphere, but that actually isn't the case. Because Earth isn't uniform on all sides due to land masses that shift and change over time, our planet actually wobbles a bit when it spins. Now, a new study by researchers with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and several universities and science centers has pinpointed the causes of Earth’s imperfect spin, called “polar motion,” and they found that humans are contributing to it.
Magnetic skyrmions are magnetic swirls that may lead to new solutions combining low-energy consumption with high-speed computational power and high-density data storage, revolutionizing information technology. A team from Delft University of Technology, in collaboration with the University of Groningen and Hiroshima University, has discovered a new, unexpected magnetic state, which is related to these skyrmions. The findings open up new ways to create and manipulate complex magnetic structures in view of future IT applications.
Inexpensive clean energy sounds like a pipe dream. Scientists have long thought that nuclear fusion, the type of reaction that powers stars like the Sun, could be one way to make it happen, but the reaction has been too difficult to maintain.

Now, we're closer than ever before to making it happen — physicists from the University of Tokyo (UTokyo) say they've produced the strongest-ever controllable magnetic field.
For every one-degree-Celsius increase in temperature, mountaintop species shift upslope 100 metres, shrinking their inhabited area and resulting in dramatic population declines, new research by University of British Columbia zoologists has found.The study -- the first broad review of its kind -- analyzed shifts in elevation range in 975 populations of plants, insects and animals.

A UK team of astronomers report the first detection of matter falling into a black hole at 30 percent of the speed of light, located in the centre of the billion-light year distant galaxy PG211+143. The team, led by Professor Ken Pounds of the University of Leicester, used data from the European Space Agency's X-ray observatory XMM-Newton to observe the black hole. Their results appear in a new paper in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Black holes are objects with such strong gravitational fields that not even light travels quickly enough to escape their grasp, hence the description "black." They are hugely important in astronomy because they offer the most efficient way of extractingenergy from matter. As a direct result, gas in-fall – accretion – onto black holes mustbepowering the most energetic phenomena in the Universe.

Alexander Gerst, a German astronaut orbiting Earth from 250 miles (402 kilometres) up, has a warning for humans on the planet below him.
For every one-degree-Celsius increase in temperature, mountaintop species shift upslope 100 metres, shrinking their inhabited area and resulting in dramatic population declines, new research by University of British Columbia zoologists has found.The study -- the first broad review of its kind -- analyzed shifts in elevation range in 975 populations of plants, insects and animals.
Bighorn sheep and moose learn to migrate from one another. When they die, that generational know-how is not easily replaced.
The nineteenth-century discovery of numbers called “quaternions” gave mathematicians a way to describe rotations in space, forever changing physics and math.

Competition, oversupply, and unpredictable weather has caused the price of wild berries in Maine to hit a 30-year low. Another wild blueberry season is wrapping up on the east coast of the United States, but growers aren't happy. The harvest in Maine was down 50 percent this year, due to summer drought and random freezing temperatures, and the season ended in late August, which is earlier than usual. For an industry that is embedded in New England's culture and has even been memorialized in children's classic literature (the 1948 Caldecott Honor-winning picture book by Robert McCloskey, 'Blueberries for Sal'), it is painful to see it crippled by competition and price drops, irregular weather patterns and fungal disease.

It's the age-old question that always sparks debate.

The “chicken or egg” paradox was first proposed by philosophers in Ancient Greece to describe the problem of determining cause and effect.

Now a team of physicists from The University of Queensland and the Néel Institute has shown that the chicken and the egg can both come first.

Still don’t get it? The answer lies in quantum physics. We’ll let the experts explain.
Don't worry. This isn't an announcement of a new invasion from elsewhere, but a leap into the past in the Paleozoic: the time of giant insects, 100 million years before the dinosaurs, during which insects also had their T-Rex: Carboniferous and Permian giant dragonflies that terrorised the skies of those times, sometimes call "griffenflies"). A short trip back in time to a kind of another Earth in search of insects that were already major actors of the ecosystems.

This unique specimen in the world is a giant dragonfly that lived 300 million years ago in the huge equatorial warm forests that at the time covered the center of France. It was almost 40 cm long and 70 cm wingspan. It is one of the largest known insects.

During the Carboniferous (from 360 to 299 million years ago), other insects were also very large, such as cockroaches (Dictyoptera) and Palaeodictyoptera. This gigantism has long been explained by the high percentage of oxygen in the air (twice the current level, i.e.,
Read More
nearly 40%) which would have favoured the physiology of flight during this period. Explanations based on ecological factors more related to the absence of flying predatory vertebrates at this time would explain these large insect sizes. A combination of both phenomena should be considered.

For many millions of years, during Carboniferous, large quantities of plant debris accumulated in shallow waters. Their burial, protected from the air by the sediments that contained them, contributed to the formation of very fossiliferous layers of coals.

Meganeura was described and named by Charles Brongniart in 1885, shortly after its discovery. This dragonfly from the depths of time is the emblem of the city of Commentry in the Auvergne region, the former mining town where it was found. It was long emblematic of the giant insects of the Palaeozoic, remaining the largest known insect until the discovery of a Meganeuridae in the United States in the middle of the 20th century, which are a few centimeters larger.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-paleozoic-era-giant-dragonflies.html
Michael Faraday wondered if electrical conductors moving through magnetic fields might lead to a natural source of electricity- turns out it might.
Before too much longer, you could start seeing NASA astronauts' smiling faces on cereal boxes, and Mars rovers emblazoned with corporate logos just like race cars.
On August 21 last year, the US came to a standstill to watch the incredibly rare alignment of the Moon sliding in front of the Sun, completely blocking its rays.

But for a team of scientists, the anticipation of this total solar eclipse was perhaps even more intense as they waited to see the shapes in the aura of plasma flaring out from behind the Moon.

Earth rotates the way it does because of how it formed early in the history of the solar system, but all things in space rotate.
The United Launch Alliance will send up its most powerful rocket, the Delta IV Heavy, along with a spacecraft bound for the Sun. On top of the rocket is NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, embarking on the first ever mission into the Sun’s atmosphere, known as the corona.
A tick species called the longhorned tick that's native to Asia has now spread to the United States, and it's popping up in numerous places along the East Coast, according to U.S. officials.
These ancient fossils may be the oldest documented evidence of life on land, pushing back direct evidence for terrestrial life by about 500 million years.
After more than 25 years, Hubble is still capturing stunning photos of far-away astronomical objects and advancing human knowledge. It can also take a peek at objects in our own solar system. Both Saturn and Mars have swung close to Earth recently, and Hubble got some new images.
NBC will celebrate the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century with an awesome digital special on all things space.
For more than 20 years, a team of astronomers has tracked a single star whipping around the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy at up to 25 million kilometers per hour, or 3% of the speed of light. Now, the team says the close encounter has put Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity to its most rigorous test yet for massive objects, with the light from the star stretched in a way not prescribed by Newtonian gravity. In a study announced today, the team says it has detected a distinctive indicator of Einstein’s general theory of relativity called “gravitational redshift,” in which the star’s light loses energy because of the black hole’s intense gravity.

Latest Comments