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Jeff Bezos offers Nasa $2bn in exchange for moon mission contract

Billionaire lost out to Elon Musk’s SpaceX in lunar bidContract is to build craft to take astronauts to the moonFresh off his trip to space, Jeff Bezos on Monday offered to cover up to $2bn in Nasa costs if the US space agency awards his company Blue Origin a contract to make a spacecraft designed to land astronauts back on the moon.Nasa in April awarded SpaceX, owned by rival billionaire Elon...


MONDAY 26. JULY 2021


What happens to marine life when oxygen is scarce?

In September of 2017, marine biologists were conducting an experiment in Bocas del Toro, off the Caribbean coast of Panama. After sitting on a quiet, warm open ocean, they snorkeled down to find a peculiar layer of murky, foul-smelling water about 10 feet below the surface, with brittle stars and sea urchins, which are usually in hiding, perching on the tops of coral. This observation prompted a...

Fermi spots a supernova's 'fizzled' gamma-ray burst

On Aug. 26, 2020, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a pulse of high-energy radiation that had been racing toward Earth for nearly half the present age of the universe. Lasting only about a second, it turned out to be one for the record books—the shortest gamma-ray burst (GRB) caused by the death of a massive star ever seen.

What happens to marine life when oxygen is scarce?

In September 2017, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution postdoctoral scholar Maggie Johnson was conducting an experiment with a colleague in Bocas del Toro off the Caribbean coast of Panama. After sitting on a quiet, warm open ocean, they snorkeled down to find a peculiar layer of murky, foul-smelling water about 10 feet below the surface, with brittle stars and sea urchins, which are usually in...

Scientists model 'true prevalence' of COVID-19 throughout pandemic

Scientists have developed a statistical framework that incorporates key COVID-19 data -- such as case counts and deaths due to COVID-19 -- to model the true prevalence of this disease in the United States and individual states. Their approach projects that in the U.S. as many as 60 percent of COVID-19 cases went undetected as of March 7, 2021, the last date for which the dataset they employed is...

Life expectancy lower for white and mixed ethnic people than Black and Asian groups – study

Findings of Office for National Statistics analysis consistent with previous research say experts People from white and mixed ethnic groups had lower life expectancy compared with Black and Asian groups in England and Wales between 2011 and 2014, according to analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).The study linked 2011 census and death registration data to produce estimates of life...

Through the thin-film glass, researchers spot a new liquid phase

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes a new type of liquid in thin films, which forms a high-density glass. Results generated in this study, conducted by researchers in Penn's Department of Chemistry, demonstrate how these glasses and other similar materials can be fabricated to be denser and more stable, providing a framework for developing new...

Supernova's 'fizzled' gamma-ray burst

On Aug. 26, 2020, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detected a pulse of high-energy radiation that had been racing toward Earth for nearly half the present age of the universe. Lasting only about a second, it turned out to be one for the record books -- the shortest gamma-ray burst (GRB) caused by the death of a massive star ever seen.

Study: Countries' wealth inequality independent from income inequality, linked to distribution of housing equity

Most of what we know from prior research about which countries are more unequal than others is based on measures of income inequality. In their new study, "The Wealth Inequality of Nations," appearing in the August 2021 issue of the American Sociological Review, authors Fabian T. Pfeffer and Nora Waitkus show that comparing countries in terms of their wealth inequality instead of income inequality...

Astronomers uncover briefest supernova-powered gamma-ray burst

Astronomers have discovered the shortest-ever gamma-ray burst (GRB) caused by the implosion of a massive star. Using the international Gemini Observatory, a program of NSF's NOIRLab, astronomers identified the cause of this 0.6-second flurry of gamma rays as a supernova explosion in a distant galaxy. GRBs caused by supernovae are usually more than twice as long, which suggests that some short GRBs...

Large meteor lights up skies in Norway

Norwegian experts say an unusually large meteor was visible over large parts of southern Scandinavia and illuminated southeast Norway with a powerful flash of light for a few seconds as many observers were reported to also hear a roaring sound afterwards.

Now in 3D: Deep learning techniques help visualize X-ray data in three dimensions

Computers have been able to quickly process 2D images for some time. Your cell phone can snap digital photographs and manipulate them in a number of ways. Much more difficult, however, is processing an image in three dimensions, and doing it in a timely manner. The mathematics are more complex, and crunching those numbers, even on a supercomputer, takes time.

Hubble finds evidence of water vapor at Jupiter's moon Ganymede

Astronomers have uncovered evidence of water vapor in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Ganymede. This water vapor forms when ice from the moon's surface sublimates -- that is, turns from solid to gas. Astronomers re-examined Hubble observations from the last two decades to find this evidence of water vapor.

Scientists discover how high-energy electrons strengthen magnetic fields

More than 99% of the visible universe exists in a superheated state known as plasma—an ionized gas of electrons and ions. The motion of these charged particles produces magnetic fields that form an interstellar magnetic web. These magnetic fields are important for a wide range of processes, from the shaping of galaxies and the formation of stars to controlling the motion and acceleration of...

How crushed rocks can help capture carbon dioxide

IIASA researchers and international colleagues explored the potential of using finely ground rock to help with the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere on the road to achieving net-zero emissions and keeping global warming below 1.5°C.

New methane concentration technologies for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions

Methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled over the last 150 years and mitigation of methane emissions will play a vital role in enabling climate change mitigation strategies. Understanding current and future methane inventories at a regional scale will be a key element in developing and implementing successful solutions. Current regional scale isotopic methane data is not...

The advantage of 2D metal-organic framework nanosheets in sensing applications

In recent years, fluorescent metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have been demonstrated as a promising strategy for constructing sensors. However, most of the research studies on fluorescent MOF sensors have focused on the design and synthesis of three-dimensional (3D) MOF crystals on the order of micrometers and have not exerted the best detection performance of MOF structures. Two-dimensional (2D)...

Acoustic tweezers can pick up objects without physical contact

Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have developed a new technology which allows non-contact manipulation of small objects using sound waves. They used a hemispherical array of ultrasound transducers to generate a 3D acoustic field that stably trapped and lifted a small polystyrene ball from a reflective surface. Their technique employs a method similar to laser trapping in biology, but...

Plastic accumulation in food may be underestimated

A new study has found plastic accumulation in foods may be underestimated. There is also concern these microplastics will carry potentially harmful bacteria such as E. coli, which are commonly found in coastal waters, up the food chain.