Weekly Science News

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

Weekly handpicked news from 17-Aug-2020 to 23-Aug-2020


Note: None of the news bits given here are written 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.

‘Cyborg’ Technology Could Enable New Diagnostics, Merger of Humans and AI


Source: American Chemical Society


Although true “cyborgs” — part human, part robotic beings — are science fiction, researchers are taking steps toward integrating electronics with the body. Such devices could monitor for tumor development or stand in for damaged tissues. But connecting electronics directly to human tissues in the body is a huge challenge. Now, a team is reporting new coatings for components that could help them more easily fit into this environment.


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Exploding Stars May Have Caused Mass Extinction on Earth, Study Shows


Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau


A new study led by University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign astronomy and physics professor Brian Fields explores the possibility of astronomical events being responsible for an extinction event that occurred 359 million years ago, at the boundary between the Devonian and Carboniferous periods. 


Original written by: Lois Yoksoulian

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Tiny Asteroid Buzzes by Earth - The Closest Flyby on Record


Source: NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory


An SUV-size space rock flew past our planet over the weekend and was detected by a NASA-funded asteroid survey as it departed. Near Earth Asteroids, or NEAs, pass by our home planet all the time. But an SUV-size asteroid set the record this past weekend for coming closer to Earth than any other known NEA: It passed 1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) above the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 12:08 a.m. EDT (Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9:08 p.m. PDT).


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Deep Learning Will Help Future Mars Rovers Go Farther, Faster, and Do More Science


Source: University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center


NASA's Mars rovers have been one of the great scientific and space successes of the past two decades. Four generations of rovers have traversed the red planet gathering scientific data, sending back evocative photographs, and surviving incredibly harsh conditions — all using on-board computers less powerful than an iPhone 1. The latest rover, Perseverance, was launched on July 30, 2020, and engineers are already dreaming of a future generation of rovers.


Original written by: Aaron Dubrow

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Aerogel – The Micro Structural Material of The Future


Source: Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)


Aerogel is an excellent thermal insulator. So far, however, it has mainly been used on a large scale, for example in environmental technology, in physical experiments or in industrial catalysis. Empa researchers have now succeeded in making aerogels accessible to microelectronics and precision engineering: An article in the latest issue of the scientific journal "Nature" shows how 3D-printed parts made of silica aerogels and silica composite materials can be manufactured with high precision.


Original written by: Rainer Klose

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Exoskeleton Research Marches Forward With NIST Study on Fit


Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology


A shoddily tailored suit or a shrunken T-shirt may not be the most stylish, but wearing them is unlikely to hurt more than your reputation. An ill-fitting robotic exoskeleton on the battlefield or factory floor, however, could be a much bigger problem than a fashion faux pas. Exoskeletons, many of which are powered by springs or motors, can cause pain or injury if their joints are not aligned with the user’s.


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‘Selfies’ Could Be Used To Detect Heart Disease: New Research Uses Artificial Intelligence To Analyse Facial Photos


Source: European Society of Cardiology


Sending a “selfie” to the doctor could be a cheap and simple way of detecting heart disease, according to the authors of a new study published today (Friday) in the European Heart Journal. The study is the first to show that it’s possible to use a deep learning computer algorithm to detect coronary artery disease (CAD) by analysing four photographs of a person’s face.


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