Monday, March 27, 2017

Science X Newsletter Week 12

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Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for week 12:

Critical thinking instruction in humanities reduces belief in pseudoscience

A recent study by North Carolina State University researchers finds that teaching critical thinking skills in a humanities course significantly reduces student beliefs in "pseudoscience" that is unsupported by facts.

Scientists evade the Heisenberg uncertainty principle

ICFO Researchers report the discovery of a new technique that could drastically improve the sensitivity of instruments such as magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs) and atomic clocks. The study, published in Nature, reports a technique to bypass the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This technique hides quantum uncertainty in atomic features not seen by the instrument, allowing the scientists to make very high precision measurements.

Biologists say wolf spiders have a wider range of personality than once believed

Charming might not be the best way to describe a spider, but researchers at the University of Cincinnati are finding a wide spectrum of personality in a creature whose behavior was thought to be inflexible and hardwired in its genes.

Double filters allow for tetrachromatic vision in humans

(Tech Xplore)—A team of researchers at the University of Wisconsin has developed a pair of glasses that allows the wearer to have tetrachromatic vision. In their paper uploaded to the arXiv preprint sever, the group describes the inspiration for their glasses and explain how they work.

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.

New twist on sofa problem that stumped mathematicians and furniture movers

Most of us have struggled with the mathematical puzzle known as the "moving sofa problem." It poses a deceptively simple question: What is the largest sofa that can pivot around an L-shaped hallway corner?

From black holes to helium

A team of scientists has discovered that a law controlling the bizarre behavior of black holes out in space—is also true for cold helium atoms that can be studied in laboratories.

Breaks observed in Mars rover wheel treads

A routine check of the aluminum wheels on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has found two small breaks on the rover's left middle wheel—the latest sign of wear and tear as the rover continues its journey, now approaching the 10-mile (16 kilometer) mark.

Lust for power: Engineers develop non-toxic material that generates electricity through hot and cold

Thanks to the discovery of a new material by University of Utah engineers, jewelry such as a ring and your body heat could generate enough electricity to power a body sensor, or a cooking pan could charge a cellphone in just a few hours.

Physicists prove that it's impossible to cool an object to absolute zero

(—In 1912, chemist Walther Nernst proposed that cooling an object to absolute zero is impossible with a finite amount of time and resources. Today this idea, called the unattainability principle, is the most widely accepted version of the third law of thermodynamics—yet so far it has not been proved from first principles.

Researchers create self-sustaining bacteria-fueled power cell

Instead of oil, coal, or even solar energy, self-sustaining bacterial fuel cells may power the future.

Artificial photosynthesis steps into the light

Rice University scientists have created an efficient, simple-to-manufacture oxygen-evolution catalyst that pairs well with semiconductors for solar water splitting, the conversion of solar energy to chemical energy in the form of hydrogen and oxygen.

Scientists unveil a giant leap for anti-aging

UNSW researchers have made a discovery that could lead to a revolutionary drug that actually reverses ageing, improves DNA repair and could even help NASA get its astronauts to Mars.

Mars volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct about the same time

New NASA research reveals that the giant Martian shield volcano Arsia Mons produced one new lava flow at its summit every 1 to 3 million years during the final peak of activity. The last volcanic activity there ceased about 50 million years ago—around the time of Earth's Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction, when large numbers of our planet's plant and animal species (including dinosaurs) went extinct.

Boosting natural brain opioids may be a better way to treat anxiety

Boosting natural brain opioids may be a better way to treat disabling emotions, says new research revealing their role in regulating critical brain circuits affecting fear and anxiety.

First mutations in human life discovered: Archaeological traces of embryonic development seen in adult cells

The earliest mutations of human life have been observed by researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators. Analysing genomes from adult cells, the scientists could look back in time to reveal how each embryo developed.

During learning, neurons deep in brain engage in a surprising level of activity

It's the part of the brain that makes sure you cannot tickle yourself. The cerebellum, an apple-sized region near the base of the skull, senses that your own fingers are the ones trying to tickle, and cancels your usual response.

WikiLeaks releases CIA hacks of Apple Mac computers

The Central Intelligence Agency is able to permanently infect an Apple Mac computer so that even reinstalling the operating system will not erase the bug, according to documents published Thursday by WikiLeaks.

Let there be light: German scientists test 'artificial sun'

Scientists in Germany flipped the switch Thursday on what's being described as "the world's largest artificial sun," a device they hope will help shed light on new ways of making climate-friendly fuels.

Breaking the supermassive black hole speed limit

A new computer simulation helps explain the existence of puzzling supermassive black holes observed in the early universe. The simulation is based on a computer code used to understand the coupling of radiation and certain materials.

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