Harnessing Limitless Energy: Artificial Photosynthesis Breakthrough

For years, the global scientific community has sought ways to unlock a sustainable, boundless energy source. The quest has explored everything from Moon crystals to boundary-defying molecules. However, recent groundbreaking research suggests that we may have discovered a means to harness energy generation, inspired by the incredible efficiency of plant photosynthesis.

This breakthrough came to light through innovative research where scientists successfully replicated the natural process of photosynthesis to create methane. This high-energy-density fuel is generated using only water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight. Their findings are documented in a newly published paper in ACS Engineering. If scaled up, this new process could revolutionize the energy landscape, potentially replacing solar panels as a primary source of clean, infinite energy—something researchers have been striving to achieve for decades.

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Soil Emerges as Earth’s Most Biodiverse Habitat, Aiding in Biodiversity and Climate Crises

Study Reveals Soil as Earth’s Premier Biodiversity Hotspot

A groundbreaking study has unveiled a stunning revelation: more than half of all species on Earth inhabit the soil, making it the most biodiverse habitat on our planet. This revelation significantly surpasses previous estimates from 2006, which suggested that 25% of life had a soil-based foundation.

Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research marks a turning point in our understanding of biodiversity. Soil, often overlooked in discussions of nature protection due to its enigmatic complexity, is now recognized as the epicenter of life’s rich diversity.

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Scientists reproduced a gravity field- 1,000 times stronger than Earth’s gravity

The study overcomes the effects of Earth’s gravity, replicating conditions on other planets, stars.

A recent discovery has shed new light on one of the most intriguing phenomena in the universe. Astronomers have found an incredibly strong gravity field, approximately 1,000 times more potent than Earth’s gravity, surrounding a rare type of neutron star known as a magnetar.

The magnetar in question is located approximately 30,000 light-years away from Earth and was discovered by a team of scientists from the University of Amsterdam and the University of Cambridge. The researchers used observations from the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton satellite to measure the strength of the magnetar’s gravity field.

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‘Mind-boggling’ alloy is Earth’s toughest material, even at extreme temperatures

Microscopy images showing the path of a fracture and crystal structure deformation in a cobalt, chromium and nickel alloy during stress testing at -424 degrees F. 

By Robert Lea

A metallic alloy of chromium, cobalt, and nickel is over 100 times tougher than graphene and gets even more resistant to damage at extremely low temperatures.

Researchers have proven that a metallic alloy of chromium, cobalt and nickel is officially the toughest material on Earth — more than 100 times tougher than the wonder material graphene.

In a new study published Dec. 1 in the journal Science, researchers subjected the ultra-tough alloy to extremely cold temperatures, in order to test how fracture-resistant the material is. Scientists have known for years that this alloy is one tough cookie — however, to the team’s surprise, the alloy only became tougher and more resistant to cracks as temperatures plummeted. 

This super-resistance to fracture is in stark contrast to most materials, which only become more brittle in freezing temperatures, according to the study authors.

“People talk about the toughness of graphene, and that is measured at just 4 megapascals per meter,” study co-author Robert Ritchie), a professor of engineering at the University of California Berkeley and senior faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, told Live Science. “The toughness of aluminum alloys used in aircraft is 35 megapascals per meter. This material has a toughness of 450 to 500 megapascals per meter… these are mind-boggling numbers.” 

The potential applications of such a tough material range from space infrastructure to fracture-resistant containers for clean energy uses here on Earth. However, Ritchie noted, two of the alloy’s three elements (nickel and cobalt) are prohibitively expensive, limiting the alloy’s usefulness to the laboratory for the foreseeable future.

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Physicists Discover a Remarkable New Type of Sound Wave

By City University of Hong Kong on Dec 10, 2021

Sound vortex generation enabled by the spin-orbit interaction in real space.

Can you imagine sound travels in the same way as light does? A research team at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) discovered a new type of sound wave: the airborne sound wave vibrates transversely and carries both spin and orbital angular momentum like light does. The findings shattered scientists’ previous beliefs about the sound wave, opening an avenue to the development of novel applications in acoustic communications, acoustic sensing, and imaging.

The research was initiated and co-led by Dr. Wang Shubo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics at CityU, and conducted in collaboration with scientists from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). It was published in Nature Communications, titled “Spin-orbit interactions of transverse sound.”

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‘Bogolons’ make graphene superconducting

Graphene can be made to superconduct by placing it next to a Bose-Einstein condensate – a form of matter in which all the atoms are in the same quantum state. According to the theorists who discovered it, this new type of superconductivity stems from interactions between the electrons in graphene and quasiparticles called “bogolons” in the condensate. If demonstrated experimentally, the work could make it possible to develop new types of hybrid superconducting devices for applications in quantum sensing and quantum computing.

Conventional superconductivity occurs when phonons – quasiparticles that arise from vibrations in a material’s crystal lattice – cause electrons in the material to pair up despite their mutual electromagnetic repulsion. If the material is cooled to sufficiently low temperatures, these paired electrons (known as Cooper pairs) can travel through it without any resistance.

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Cities Have Unique Microbial ‘Fingerprints’, First Study of Its Kind Reveals


Each city is populated by a unique host of microbial organisms, and this microbial ‘fingerprint’ is so distinctive, the DNA on your shoe is likely enough to identify where you live, scientists say.

In a new study, researchers took thousands of samples from mass transit systems in 60 cities across the world, swabbing common touch points like turnstiles and railings in bustling subways and bus stations across the world.

Subjecting over 4,700 of the collected samples to metagenomic sequencing (the study of genetic material collected from the environment), scientists created a global atlas of the urban microbial ecosystem, which they say is the first systematic catalog of its kind.

The results suggest that no two cities are alike, with each major metropolis studied so far revealing a unique ‘molecular echo’ of the microbial species that inhabit it, distinct from populations found in other urban environments.

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Tiny graphene microchips could make your phones and laptops thousands of times faster, say scientists

Graphene, and its nano-scale dimensions, could be leveraged to design the smallest microchips yet

By Daphne Leprince-Ringuet 

Researchers unlocked the electronic properties of graphene by folding the material like origami paper.

Graphene strips folded in similar fashion to origami paper could be used to build microchips that are up to 100 times smaller than conventional chips, found physicists – and packing phones and laptops with those tiny chips could significantly boost the performance of our devices. 

New research from the University of Sussex in the UK shows that changing the structure of nanomaterials like graphene can unlock electronic properties and effectively enable the material to act like a transistor.   

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Physicists could do the ‘impossible’: Create and destroy magnetic fields from afar

By Stephanie Pappas 

A new study circumvents a 178-year-old theory.

Scientists have figured out a way to create and cancel magnetic fields from afar. 

The method involves running electric current through a special arrangement of wires to create a magnetic field that looks as if it came from another source. This illusion has real applications: Imagine a cancer drug that could be delivered directly to a tumor deep in the body by capsules made of magnetic nanoparticles. It’s not possible to stick a magnet in the tumor to guide the nanoparticles on their journey, but if you could create a magnetic field from outside the body that centered right on that tumor, you could deliver the drug without an invasive procedure. Advertisement

The strength of a magnetic field decreases with distance from the magnet, and a theorem proven in 1842, Earnshaw’s Theorem, says that it’s not possible to create a spot of maximum magnetic field strength in empty space.

“If you cannot have a magnetic field maxima in empty space, it means you cannot create the field of a magnetic source remotely, without placing an actual [magnetic] source at the target location,” said Rosa Mach-Batlle, a physicist at the Istituto Italiano Di Tecnologia Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies in Italy who led the new research. 

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Discovery of mechanism that switches off fat production after eating

By Rich Haridy

New research discovered lipogenesis, the process by which digested food is turned into fat by the liver, is switched off by a gut hormone released in the hours following a meal

A fascinating new study, published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, is shedding light on a previously unknown mechanism by which a hormone released from the gut in the hours after eating effectively switches off the body’s fat production processes. The research also found this regulatory mechanism is defective in obese mice and human patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

After we eat a meal our body gets down to serious metabolic business. One key process triggered by eating is called lipogenesis, which is when our liver begins converting food into fats for storage across the body.

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Human aging process biologically reversed in world first


The ageing process has been biologically reversed for the first time by giving humans oxygen therapy in a pressurised chamber.

 Scientists in Israel showed they could turn back the clock in two key areas of the body believed to be responsible for the frailty and ill-health that comes with growing older.

As people age, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes – called telomeres – shorten, causing DNA to become damaged and cells to stop replicating. At the same time, “zombie” senescent cells build up in the body, preventing regeneration.

Increasing telemere length and getting rid of senescent cells is the focus of many anti-ageing studies, and drugs are being developed to target those areas.

Now scientists at Tel Aviv University have shown that giving pure oxygen to older people while in a hyperbaric chamber increased the length of their telomeres by 20 per cent, a feat that has never been achieved before.

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Revolutionary synthetic DNA disk could hold key to future of storage


Synthetic DNA could solve the world’s storage problems

 A new proof of concept that would see data stored on synthetic DNA could hold the key to the world’s storage problems. In theory, if the concept is successful, all the world’s accumulated data would fit inside a shoebox.

By 2025, it is estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be produced every day – equivalent to 212,765,957 DVDs – and data center providers are constantly expanding to provide storage for this deluge of information. A single gram of DNA, however, can hold 455 exabytes of information – a fact that has drawn the attention of computer scientists.

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