Month: July 2020

Raísa Vieira (right) is concerned about diversity losses among early-career researchers in Brazil.Credit: Raísa Vieira Years of slow improvement in diversity and inclusion in science could come undone because of the COVID-19 crisis. In a June letter to Nature Ecology and Evolution1, 19 researchers from around the world warned that job losses during the pandemic
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WASHINGTON — Xtar, a company that provides satellite communications services to the U.S. government, has sold its only satellite to Hisdesat, one of its shareholders.  Virginia-based Xtar signed a leasing agreement that allows it to retain the same amount of capacity on the satellite, Xtar-Eur, despite the change in ownership, Jay Icard, Xtar’s chief executive,
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Plenty of prognostications, including this one from the World Economic Forum, tout the integral role artificial intelligence could play in “saving the planet.”  Indeed, AI is integral to all manner of technologies, ranging from autonomous vehicles to more informed disaster response systems to smart buildings and data collection networks monitoring everything from energy consumption to
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks via video conference during a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on “Online Platforms and Market Power”, in the Rayburn House office Building on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., July 29, 2020. Graeme Jennings | Pool via REUTERS David Heinemeier Hansson was “smiling broadly”
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Deep-sea angler fish have a bizarre reproductive strategy, compared to other animals. This reproductive strategy costs them their acquired immune functions, yet they are thriving, giving new hope to human patients who have inborn or acquired immune disorders.  The males, guided by pheromone and lights from the female’s bioluminescent lure, find their mates. Once they have
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The CBETA accelerator at Cornell University, New York, is designed to recoup the energy it pours into making high-energy electron beams. Credit: Cornell University Particle physics 31 July 2020 Most linear accelerators are energy hogs, but a new model recovers waste energy that can be ploughed back into the system. Linear accelerators excel at speeding
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on July 30 approved Amazon’s request to operate a constellation of roughly 3,200 internet satellites in low Earth orbit.  The FCC said Amazon has until July 30, 2026 to launch at least 50% of its satellites in order to maintain its authorization, and until July 30, 2029 to
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WASHINGTON — The first Proton launch of the year took place July 30 carrying two satellites for the Russian Satellite Communications Company.  Proton lifted off at 5:25 p.m. Eastern from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on an 18-hour mission to deploy the geostationary satellites, Express-80 and Express-103, according to Roscosmos.  The launch was originally scheduled
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s most sophisticated Mars rover yet is on its way to the red planet after a successful launch July 30. A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:50 a.m. Eastern. The liftoff took place on schedule with no issues
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Wind turbine from different perspective. fernando arias | Moment | Getty Images A consortium made up of Shell and Eneco is to develop an offshore wind farm that will incorporate a range of “technology demonstrations” including floating solar and hydrogen produced by electrolysis. The 759 megawatt (MW) Hollandse Kust (noord) facility will be subsidy free
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How long does a particle take to quantum-mechanically tunnel through a barrier? Physicists have pondered this question since tunnelling was first identified 90 years ago. In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast, Aephraim Steinberg of the University of Toronto explains how his team used the spins of ultracold atoms to measure how long
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Even whiskey is going electric. Distilleries have long been difficult operations to electrify due to the large heat loads it requires to turn grain into one of humanity’s oldest vices, alcohol. But Diageo’s new 72,000-square-foot distillery is designed to be completely carbon-neutral. According to Diageo, it should avoid more than 117,000 metric tons of annual carbon
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A 3.5-foot long juvenile whale was found beached in Ocean Shores. It died from what appears to be blunt force trauma despite its being in good nutritional condition, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced.  NOAA spokesperson Micheal Milstein ruled the death to blunt force trauma consistent with a ship strike. More information on the death of the
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WASHINGTON — A coronavirus pandemic spending package introduced in the Senate this week would provide $1.5 billion in supplemental funding for NASA, although agency leadership says the exact amount of money the agency needs to cover its costs remains to be determined. The bill, introduced July 27 by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the
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Cell lines Cell lines were purchased from ATCC and were not formally authenticated, but confirmation of expected gene expression patterns were performed for RNA-seq and eCLIP experiments. Cell lines were routinely tested for mycoplasma contamination (MycoAlert, Lonza). RNA-binding protein annotations and domains RBPs were chosen from a previously described list of 1,072 known RBPs, proteins
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The CEOs from four of the largest tech companies are testifying in front of the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust Wednesday. It’s the first time all four executives, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai, have testified together. It’s Bezos’ first time ever testifying before Congress.  Below you can
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WASHINGTON — NASA and the European Space Agency expect to spend at least $7 billion to collect samples of Mars and return them to Earth, a process that will start with the impending launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. Mars 2020 will deliver to the surface of Mars a rover named Perseverance, whose primary mission
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The world’s biggest automakers are ramping up their carbon commitments even as they struggle to build back in the wake of the pandemic.  This week, Germany’s BMW took the plunge and set a goal to reduce its carbon emissions per car by at least one-third by 2030. Like its peers, BMW plans to reach those targets through a combination of
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Photographs and sketches of observed experimental particle release events. The microbubbles are covered with 0.5 μm polystyrene particles and held in an acoustic trap. (Courtesy: Diego Baresch, Institut de Mécanique et d’Ingénierie de Bordeaux (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux/Arts et Métiers Paristech/Bordeaux INP)) Researchers at Imperial College London, UK have demonstrated for the first time that microscopic bubbles
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This fossil trapped in amber was thought to be a dinosaur but is probably a lizard.Credit: Lida Xing World’s smallest dinosaur is probably a lizard A high-profile paper that reported what was thought to be the remains of the smallest-known bird-like dinosaur has been retracted. New evidence suggests that the specimen, trapped in amber nearly
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Researchers are questioning why Donald Trump chose to remove COVID-19 data management from the CDC and transfer it to the federal government.Credit: Tom Brenner/Reuters As deaths from COVID-19 approach 150,000 in the United States and cases continue to rise alarmingly in many regions of the country, there are strong signs that the government is suppressing
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on October 02, 2019. Elif Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will finally come face to face with lawmakers looking to question his company’s growing influence at Wednesday’s antitrust hearing.  The hearing before the House Antitrust Subcommittee, which will be held over videoconference because of the coronavirus
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