Week in Science (17 – 23 Jan 2021)

Science News related to 3D Printed Concrete, Healing Skeletal Injuries with Synthetic Bone, Exploring the Solar Wind, Light-Controlled Higgs Modes, Eco-Friendly Way to Make Ammonia - Boon for Agriculture, Creating Miniature Robots from Bubbles, Revolutionising Super-Resolution Imaging Systems, Designing Customized “Brains” For Robots, Searching for Axions in Nearby Star Betelgeuse, Astronomers Discovering First Cloudless Jupiter-Like Planet


Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Bio-Inspired: Lobsters Can Help Make Stronger 3D Printed Concrete


Source: RMIT University 19 Jan 2021


In a new experimental study, researchers looked to the natural strength of lobster shells to design special 3D printing patterns. Their bio-mimicking spiral patterns improved the overall durability of the 3D printed concrete, as well as enabling the strength to be precisely directed for structural support where needed.

2. New Method Heals Skeletal Injuries with Synthetic Bone


Source: Lund University 19 Jan 2021


Researchers have developed a way of combining a bone substitute and drugs to regenerate bone and heal severe fractures in the thigh or shin bone. The study was conducted on rats, but the researchers think that the method in various combinations will soon be commonplace in clinical settings.

3. Exploring the Solar Wind with A New View of Small Sun Structures


Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center 19 Jan 2021


Scientists have combined NASA data and cutting-edge image processing to gain new insight into the solar structures that create the Sun’s flow of high-speed solar wind, detailed in a new research. This first look at relatively small features, dubbed “plumelets,” could help scientists understand how and why disturbances form in the solar wind.

4. Light-Controlled Higgs Modes Found in Superconductors; Potential Sensor, Computing Uses


Source: Iowa State University 19 Jan 2021


A team of researchers has discovered a form of the famous particle within a superconductor, a material capable of conducting electricity without resistance, generally at very cold temperatures. They write that in lab experiments they’ve found a short-lived “Higgs mode” within iron-based, high-temperature (but still very cold), multi-energy band, unconventional superconductors.

5. New Eco-Friendly Way to Make Ammonia Could Be Boon for Agriculture, Hydrogen Economy


Source: University of New South Wales 20 Jan 2021


Researchers have found a way to make ‘green’ ammonia from air, water and renewable electricity that does not require the high temperatures, high pressure and huge infrastructure currently needed to produce this essential compound. The new production method also has the potential to play a role in the global transition towards a hydrogen economy, where ammonia is increasingly seen as a solution to the problem of storing and transporting hydrogen energy.


Original written by: Lachlan Gilbert

6. Lasers Create Miniature Robots from Bubbles


Source: American Chemical Society 20 Jan 2021


Researchers have used lasers to create miniature robots from bubbles that lift, drop, and manipulate small pieces into interconnected structures. The researchers created microbubbles in water by focusing a laser underneath a small part made of resin. The bubble’s size was controlled by rapidly switching the laser on and off, with a higher amount of time in the “on position” resulting in larger bubbles.

7. Pioneering New Technique Could Revolutionise Super-Resolution Imaging Systems


Source: University of Exeter 21 Jan 2021


Scientists have developed a pioneering new technique that could revolutionise the accuracy, precision, and clarity of super-resolution imaging systems. The new technique, called Repeat DNA-Paint, is capable of suppressing background noise and nonspecific signals, as well as decreasing the time taken for the sampling process.

8. Designing Customized “Brains” For Robots


Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 21 Jan 2021


Researches have a method called robomorphic computing that uses a robot’s physical layout and intended applications to generate a customized computer chip that minimizes the robot’s response time. The advance could fuel a variety of robotics applications, including, potentially, frontline medical care of contagious patients.


Original written by: Daniel Ackerman

9. Search for Axions From Nearby Star Betelgeuse Comes Up Empty


Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 21 Jan 2021


Physicists have searched for axions in Betelgeuse, a nearby star that is expected to burn out as a supernova soon, at least on astrophysical timescales. However, when the team looked for expected signatures of axions, in the form of photons in the X-ray band, their search came up empty. Their results rule out the existence of ultralight axions that can interact with photons over a wide range of energies.


Original written by: Jennifer Chu

10. Astronomers Discover First Cloudless, Jupiter-Like Planet


Source: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 22 Jan 2021


Astronomers have detected the first Jupiter-like planet without clouds or haze in its observable atmosphere. Named WASP-62b, the gas giant was first detected in 2012 through the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP) South survey. Its atmosphere, however, had never been closely studied until now.


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