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Dear esteem reader,
Here is your SHAB TECHNOLOGY PLANET customized technology news for December 23, 2020.
Spotlight Stories Headlines
? TECHNOLOGY NEWS???:
BEST OF LAST YEAR: THE TOP TECH XPLORE ARTICLES OF 2020
It was a good year for technology research of all kinds; a team at Japan’s SkyDrive Inc., demonstrated their “flying car”—it took off with a person aboard, hovered approximately 1 to 2 meters above the ground for approximately four minutes and then returned safely to the ground. Tomohiro Fukuzawa, who heads the company, said at the demonstration that he hopes to have a product for sale within a couple of years.
SAY AGAIN? AI PROVIDES THE LATEST WORD IN CLEARER AUDIO
If you’ve been listening to more podcasts while stuck at home this year, you may have noticed a side effect of the uptick in virtual conversations: a decline in audio quality. Interviews conducted by phone or video chat often include background noise, reverberation and distortion.
TO BOOST EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS FROM ELECTRIC VEHICLES, KNOW WHEN TO CHARGE
Transportation-related emissions are increasing globally. Currently, light-duty vehicles—namely passenger cars, such as sedans, SUVs, or minivans—contribute about 20 percent of the net greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. But studies have shown that switching out your conventional gas-guzzling car for a vehicle powered by electricity can make a significant dent in reducing these emissions.
? PHYSICS NEWS⚙♨:
SOUND WAVES SPIN DROPLETS TO CONCENTRATE, SEPARATE NANOPARTICLES
Mechanical engineers at Duke University have devised a method for spinning individual droplets of liquid to concentrate and separate nanoparticles for biomedical purposes. The technique is much more efficient than traditional centrifuge approaches, working its magic in under a minute instead of taking hours or days, and requires only a tiny fraction of the typical sample size. The invention could underline new approaches to applications ranging from precision bioassays to cancer diagnosis.
NEW TOPOLOGICAL PROPERTIES FOUND IN “OLD” MATERIAL OF COBALT DISULFIDE
Leading a collaboration of institutions in the U.S. and abroad, the Princeton University Department of Chemistry is reporting new topological properties of the magnetic pyrite Cobalt disulfide (CoS2) that expand our understanding of electrical channels in this long-investigated material.
QUANTUM WELLS ENABLE RECORD-EFFICIENCY TWO-JUNCTION SOLAR CELL
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of New South Wales achieved a new world-record efficiency for two-junction solar cells, creating a cell with two light-absorbing layers that converts 32.9% of sunlight into electricity.
? EARTH NEWS?:
FIRE-RESISTANT TROPICAL FOREST ON BRINK OF DISAPPEARANCE
A new study led by researchers in the Geography Department at Swansea University reveals the extreme scale of loss and fragmentation of tropical forests, which once covered much of the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan.
WILDFIRE SMOKE CAN CARRY MICROBES THAT CAUSE INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Wildfire smoke contains microbes, a fact that’s often ignored, but one that may have important health repercussions.
KURIL-KAMCHATKA TRENCH IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN IS A TRAP FOR MICROPLASTICS
Together with colleagues from the Alfred Wegener Institute and the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute, Senckenberg scientists Serena Abel and Angelika Brandt examined sediment samples from the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench for the presence of microplastics. In their study, which was recently published in Environmental Pollution, the researchers show that 1 kilogram of sediment contains between 14 and 209 microplastic particles. Overall, the team was able to document 15 different types of plastics in the samples.
? ASTRONOMY & SPACE NEWS??:
THREE THINGS NASA LEARNED FROM MARS INSIGHT
NASA’s InSight spacecraft touched down Nov. 26, 2018, on Mars to study the planet’s deep interior. A little more than one Martian year later, the stationary lander has detected more than 480 quakes and collected the most comprehensive weather data of any surface mission sent to Mars. InSight’s probe, which has struggled to dig underground to take the planet’s temperature, has made progress, too.
A THREAD OF THE COSMIC WEB: ASTRONOMERS SPOT A 50 MILLION LIGHT-YEAR GALACTIC FILAMENT
At the very largest scale, the Universe consists of a “cosmic web” made of enormous, tenuous filaments of gas stretching between gigantic clumps of matter. Or that’s what our best models suggest. All we have seen so far with our telescopes are the stars and galaxies in the clumps of matter.
JUNO SPACECRAFT UPDATES QUARTER-CENTURY JUPITER MYSTERY
Twenty-five years ago, NASA sent history’s first probe into the atmosphere of the solar system’s largest planet. But the information returned by the Galileo probe during its descent into Jupiter caused head-scratching: The atmosphere it was plunging into was much denser and hotter than scientists expected. New data from NASA’s Juno spacecraft suggests that these “hot spots” are much wider and deeper than anticipated. The findings on Jupiter’s hot spots, along with an update on Jupiter’s polar cyclones, were revealed on Dec. 11, during a virtual media briefing at the American Geophysical Union’s fall conference.
? NANOTECHNOLOGY NEWS⛄☃:
ULTRA-FAST GAS FLOWS THROUGH TINIEST HOLES IN 2-D MEMBRANES
Researchers from the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester and the University of Pennsylvania have identified ultra-fast gas flows through the tiniest holes in one-atom-thin membranes, in a study published in Science Advances.
BUILDING SAFER MEDICAL DEVICES WITH INNOVATIVE PROTECTIVE NANOPARTICLE COATING
Every year, over a million people develop health care-acquired infections during their hospital stays. And around 100,000 of them die from those complications.
RESEARCH TEAM DEVELOPS NEW MATERIAL SYSTEM TO CONVERT AND GENERATE TERAHERTZ WAVES
On the electromagnetic spectrum, terahertz light is located between infrared radiation and microwaves. It holds enormous potential for tomorrow’s technologies: Among other things, it might succeed 5G by enabling extremely fast mobile communications connections and wireless networks. The bottleneck in the transition from gigahertz to terahertz frequencies has been caused by insufficiently efficient sources and converters. A German-Spanish research team with the participation of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) has now developed a material system to generate terahertz pulses much more effectively than before. It is based on graphene, i.e., a super-thin carbon sheet, coated with a metallic lamellar structure. The research group presented its results in the journal ACS Nano.
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