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Jul 9, 2020

Observation of the Quantum Spin Liquid State in Novel Material Advances Spintronics

Posted by in categories: engineering, particle physics, quantum physics

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices.

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a technological revolution by leveraging this newfound knowledge in engineering applications. Spintronics is an emerging field that aims to surpass the limits of traditional electronics by using the spin of electrons, which can be roughly seen as their angular rotation, as a means to transmit information.

But the design of devices that can operate using spin is extremely challenging and requires the use of new materials in exotic states–even some that scientists do not fully understand and have not experimentally observed yet. In a recent study published in Nature Communications, scientists from the Department of Applied Physics at Tokyo University of Science, Japan, describe a newly synthesized compound with the formula KCu6AlBiO4(SO4)5Cl that may be key in understanding the elusive “quantum spin liquid (QSL)” state. Lead scientist Dr Masayoshi Fujihala explains his motivation: “Observation of a QSL state is one of the most important goals in condensed-matter physics as well as the development of new spintronic devices. However, the QSL state in two-dimensional (2D) systems has not been clearly observed in real materials owing to the presence of disorder or deviations from ideal models.”

Jul 9, 2020

PQShield raises $7M for quantum-ready cryptographic security solutions

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, quantum physics

A deep tech startup building cryptographic solutions to secure hardware, software, and communications systems for a future when quantum computers may render many current cybersecurity approaches useless is today emerging out of stealth mode with $7 million in funding and a mission to make cryptographic security something that cannot be hackable, even with the most sophisticated systems, by building systems today that will continue to be usable in a post-quantum future.

PQShield (PQ being short for “post-quantum”), a spin out from Oxford University, is being backed in a seed round led by Kindred Capital, with participation also Crane Venture Partners, Oxford Sciences Innovation and various angel investors, including Andre Crawford-Brunt, Deutsche Bank’s former global head of equities.

PQShield was founded in 2018, and its time in stealth has not been in vain.

Jul 9, 2020

New study detects ringing of the global atmosphere

Posted by in categories: media & arts, physics

A ringing bell vibrates simultaneously at a low-pitched fundamental tone and at many higher-pitched overtones, producing a pleasant musical sound. A recent study, just published in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences by scientists at Kyoto University and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, shows that the Earth’s entire atmosphere vibrates in an analogous manner, in a striking confirmation of theories developed by physicists over the last two centuries.

In the case of the , the “music” comes not as a sound we could hear, but in the form of large-scale waves of spanning the globe and traveling around the equator, some moving east-to-west and others west-to-east. Each of these waves is a resonant vibration of the global atmosphere, analogous to one of the resonant pitches of a bell. The basic understanding of these atmospheric resonances began with seminal insights at the beginning of the 19th century by one of history’s greatest scientists, the French physicist and mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace. Research by physicists over the subsequent two centuries refined the theory and led to detailed predictions of the wave frequencies that should be present in the atmosphere. However, the actual detection of such waves in the has lagged behind the theory.

Now in a new study by Takatoshi Sakazaki, an assistant professor at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Science, and Kevin Hamilton, an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and the International Pacific Research Center at the University of Hawai?i at Mānoa, the authors present a detailed analysis of observed atmospheric pressure over the globe every hour for 38 years. The results clearly revealed the presence of dozens of the predicted wave modes.

Jul 9, 2020

Astronomers Detect Unexpected Class of Mysterious Circular Objects in Space

Posted by in category: space

Although we usually have a pretty good handle on all the different kinds of blips and blobs detected by our telescopes, it would be unwise to assume we’ve seen everything there is to see out there in the big, wide Universe. Case in point: a new kind of signal spotted by radio telescopes, which has astronomers scratching their heads.

Four of these strange objects have been detected. All of them are circular in shape, and three are particularly bright around the edges — like a ring, or a bubble that is more opaque around the edges.

An international team of astronomers led by astrophysicist Ray Norris of Western Sydney University in Australia has nicknamed them ORCs — short for “Odd Radio Circles” — in a new paper posted to arXiv and submitted to Nature Astronomy, where it awaits peer review.

Jul 9, 2020

AI finds 250 foreign stars that migrated to our galaxy

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

Astrophysicians have used AI to discover 250 new stars in the Milky Way, which they believe were born outside the galaxy.

Caltech researcher Lina Necib named the collection Nyx, after the Greek goddess of the night. She suspects the stars are remnants of a dwarf galaxy that merged with the Milky Way many moons ago.

To develop the AI, Necib and her team first tracked stars across a simulated galaxy created by the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) project. They labeled the stars as either born in the host galaxy, or formed through galaxy mergers. These labels were used to train a deep learning model to spot where a star was born.

Jul 9, 2020

Robo-Trucks Are Where Self-Driving Revolution Begins

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

The United States Postal Service’s pilot program with self-driving truck start-up TuSimple helps steer 18-wheelers hauling U.S. mail from Arizona to Texas, with minimum human intervention.

Jul 9, 2020

Common Telomere Changes during In Vivo Reprogramming and Early Stages of Tumorigenesis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Reprogramming of differentiated cells into induced pluripotent stem cells has been recently achieved in vivo in mice. Telomeres are essential for chromosomal stability and determine organismal life span as well as cancer growth. Here, we study whether tissue dedifferentiation induced by in vivo reprogramming involves changes at telomeres. We find telomerase-dependent telomere elongation in the reprogrammed areas. Notably, we found highly upregulated expression of the TRF1 telomere protein in the reprogrammed areas, which was independent of telomere length. Moreover, TRF1 inhibition reduced in vivo reprogramming efficiency. Importantly, we extend the finding of TRF1 upregulation to pathological tissue dedifferentiation associated with neoplasias, in particular during pancreatic acinar-to-ductal metaplasia, a process that involves transdifferentiation of adult acinar cells into ductal-like cells due to K–Ras oncogene expression. These findings place telomeres as important players in cellular plasticity both during in vivo reprogramming and in pathological conditions associated with increased plasticity, such as cancer.

Keywords: in vivo reprogramming, telomeres, stem cells, TRF1, tumorigenesis, cellular plasticity, cancer, transdifferentiation, ADM, regeneration.

Reprogramming into full pluripotency has been achieved in vivo in the context of mouse tissues (Abad et al., 2013). Thus, induction of the reprogramming factors in transgenic mice (so-called reprogrammable mice) results in reprogramming events marked by the expression of the pluripotency factor NANOG in multiple organs, tissue dedifferentiation, and teratoma formation. Therefore, these mice could be useful for a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern tissue dedifferentiation in vivo. Interestingly, mammalian cell reprogramming can also occur spontaneously during regeneration after injury or damage conditions (Yanger et al., 2013). Differentiated cells can be converted in vivo into another cell type and also into functional multipotent stem-like cells (Tata et al., 2013). This capacity of somatic cells to dedifferentiate into stem-like cells in vivo may have a pivotal role in physiological tissue regeneration or during tumorigenesis.

Jul 9, 2020

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 event will take place on August 5

Posted by in category: mobile phones

Samsung today sent out ‘invites’ for its next Galaxy Unpacked event, when the company is expected to launch the Galaxy Note 20. Indeed, the company teases such in a short video posted with the announcement:

Jul 9, 2020

Brain benefits of exercise can be gained with a single protein

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension, neuroscience

A little-studied liver protein may be responsible for the well-known benefits of exercise on the aging brain, according to a new study in mice by scientists in the UC San Francisco Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research. The findings could lead to new therapies to confer the neuroprotective effects of physical activity on people who are unable to exercise due to physical limitations.

Exercise is one of the best-studied and most powerful ways of protecting the from and has been shown to improve cognition in individuals at risk of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia —even those with rare gene variants that inevitably lead to dementia.

Continue reading “Brain benefits of exercise can be gained with a single protein” »

Jul 9, 2020

In These Factories, Inspector Robot Will Check Your Work

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Artificially intelligent camera systems look for defects and misplaced parts in many industries. The coronavirus pandemic makes them extra useful.