As the tide turns and another fascinating election comes to a close, tune in to the stories below of major advancements from the science / tech community. Regardless to your opinion on the outcome (or anything for that matter), remember these key words while travelling through the uncharted backwaters of the western spiral arm of this galaxy : Don't Panic.
Here are the top stories from the past month (in mostly chronological order):
If we want to travel to the stars, we’re going to have to be creative. Conventional rockets aren’t nearly powerful enough to allow us to journey across light-years in a reasonable time. Even nuclear rockets might not be enough. So what’s humanity to do? The answer could be a light sail.
Huanghe Hydropower Development has connected a 2.2 GW solar plant to the grid in the desert in China’s remote Qinghai province. The project is backed by 202.8 MW/MWh of storage.
MIT scientists have figured out how to manipulate your dreams by combining an app with a sleep-tracking device called Dormio. In their new study, the researchers were able to insert certain topics into a person's dreams, with some pretty bizarre outcomes.
To do so, the researchers at MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces — a group that develops wearable systems and interfaces to enhance cognitive skills — used a technique called targeted dream incubation (TDI).
One of the most remarkable recent advances in biomedical research has been the development of highly targeted gene-editing methods such as CRISPR that can add, remove, or change a gene within a cell with great precision. The method is already being tested or used for the treatment of patients with sickle cell anemia and cancers such as multiple myeloma and liposarcoma, and today, its creators Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna received the Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Back in 2018, Alphabet's self-driving arm launched Waymo One, an app-based ride-hailing service where passengers got to ride in an autonomous taxi. But a safety driver was assigned to every vehicle, ready to take over if needed. Now Waymo is ditching the safety driver and opening up the service to the public in Phoenix.
After notching up more than 2 million autonomous miles, Google's self-driving car project was given its own identity as a new company called Waymo. A few months later, folks in Phoenix were invited to make use of its autonomous taxis, followed in late 2018 by the launch of the Waymo One app.
Global Times China
China's domestically developed 10,000 ton-class Type 055 guided missile destroyer can counter stealth aircraft and low-Earth orbit satellites, a state-owned media has recently revealed for the first time, leading Chinese experts to say on Sunday that the capabilities will give Chinese forces a key edge over their opponents in modern warfare. The Type 055 is equipped with a dual-band radar system that has anti-stealth and anti-satellite capabilities in low-Earth orbit, China Central Television (CCTV) reported over the weekend.
Compressing simple molecular solids with hydrogen at extremely high pressures, University of Rochester engineers and physicists have, for the first time, created material that is superconducting at room temperature.
Featured as the cover story in the journal Nature, the work was conducted by the lab of Ranga Dias, an assistant professor of physics and mechanical engineering.
Electricity from solar energy is the cheapest it's ever been, thanks largely to technological improvements and policies that reduce the risk of investing in renewable energy.Electricity from solar energy is the cheapest it's ever been, thanks largely to technological improvements and policies that reduce the risk of investing in renewable energy. That's one of the key takeaways from the World Energy Outlook 2020 report, which is published annually by the International Energy Agency (IEA), an intergovernmental organization that advises member nations on energy security, economic development and environmental protection.
The research began about as far away from where it ended up as possible. Doctors were using PSMA PET/CT scans to assess whether patients' prostate cancer had spread to other parts of their bodies. In addition to being a promising new technology for detecting tumors, PSMA PET/CT scans also happen to be good at imaging salivary glands. Still, radiation oncologist Wouter Vogel and oral and maxillofacial surgeon Matthijs Valstar didn't know quite what to make of two lit-up areas behind the nasopharynx that looked an awful lot like big, undiscovered salivary glands.
NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places.NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. This discovery indicates that water may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to cold, shadowed places.
SOFIA has detected water molecules (H2O) in Clavius Crater, one of the largest craters visible from Earth, located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere. Previous observations of the Moon’s surface detected some form of hydrogen, but were unable to distinguish between water and its close chemical relative, hydroxyl (OH). Data from this location reveal water in concentrations of 100 to 412 parts per million – roughly equivalent to a 12-ounce bottle of water – trapped in a cubic meter of soil spread across the lunar surface. The results are published in the latest issue of Nature Astronomy.
On Tuesday, NASA announced that it’s formally partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop the Gateway, the space station it plans to launch into orbit around the Moon. Moving forward, the Gateway station — which is meant to allow long-term lunar exploration by serving as a middle ground between space and the lunar surface — will be an international venture, according to a NASA press release. And after helping establish a human presence on and around the Moon, tantalizingly, the joint project could help both NASA and the ESA eventually reach Mars.
NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has successfully stowed the spacecraft’s Sample Return Capsule (SRC) and its abundant sample of asteroid Bennu. On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the mission team sent commands to the spacecraft, instructing it to close the capsule – marking the end of one of the most challenging phases of the mission.