Breeding beetle-resistant potatoes

Researcher Natalie Kaiser and her team developed a diploid potato line that can self-pollinate. Shown, the fruit of the wild potato variety Solanum chacoense, which is naturally diploid. It has been bred to produce seeds and fruit upon self-pollination. Credit: Luca M. Kaiser Potatoes are the most consumed vegetable in the United States. According to the USDA, US farmers grew more than 42 billion lbs. of potatoes in 2019. That’s 128 lbs. of potatoes per person. … Continue Reading News Source: phys.org

Mysterious “Empty Sky” Gamma-Ray Puzzle Solved – May Lead Astrophysicists To Unravel Dark Matter

A detailed look at the gamma-ray sky. Credit: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration Star-forming galaxies are responsible for creating gamma-rays that until now had not been associated with a known origin. Star-forming galaxies are responsible for creating gamma-rays that until now had not been associated with a known origin, researchers from The Australian National University (ANU) have confirmed. Lead author Dr. Matt Roth, from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, said until now it has been unclear what created gamma-rays — one of the most energetic forms of light in the Universe — that appear in patches of seemingly ’empty

Why it’s crucial for protecting climate and health

Average annual global methane concentration measured in parts per billion. Credit: Chart: The Conversation/CC-BY-ND Source: NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory The U.S. and European Union are working on a pledge to cut methane emissions by at least 30% this decade, President Joe Biden announced on Sept. 17, 2021, and he urged countries around the world to join in ahead of the U.N. climate summit later this year. The move is a big deal for efforts to… Continue Reading News Source: phys.org

Technology for downscaling transistors could advance semiconductor design

Purdue University engineer Tillmann Kubis has created CasFET, or cascade field effect transistor, technology. The key aspect is the superlattice perpendicular to the transistor’s transport direction, which allows for switchable cascade states. Credit: Tillmann Kubis An innovation by Purdue University researchers could help the semiconductor industry design transistors that are smaller, use less power and switch from on to off at smaller applied voltages. As a result, the innovation could lead to better and more powerful central processing unit generations, which can compute more operations with less energy. … Continue Reading News Source: techxplore.com

Vicarious Surgical Starts Trading As It Prepares To Launch Its Surgical Robots — And Take On Intuitive

Adam Sachs, Cofounder and CEO of Vicarious Surgical, which went public today via SPAC. MICHAEL PRINCE FOR FORBES Adam Sachs, cofounder and CEO, of Vicarious Surgical eagerly awaited this morning’s first trade of his surgical robot company under the ticker RBOT on the New York Stock Exchange. “It’s honestly a dream come true,” Sachs, 30, told Forbes on Friday in advance of trading. Sachs, an MIT grad and alum of the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, officially launched Vicarious in 2014 with his college buddy, Sammy Khalifa, now the company’s chief technology officer, and Dr. Barry Greene. Their goal:

A catalog of solar stream interactions

An artist’s rendition of the Parker Solar Probe approaching the Sun. Astronomers have used data from Parker, along with data from other solar missions, to detect and study Solar stream interactions. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben When a fast solar wind stream erupts from a coronal hole (a cooler region in the Sun’s atmosphere) and overtakes a slower moving solar wind stream, a stream interaction region (SIR) can form. In the SIR, a density “pileup” of compressed plasma develops upstream of the interface; typically there is a peak in pressure followed by a rarefaction region in the fast solar wind

Engineers create light-emitting plants that can be charged repeatedly

Using specialized nanoparticles embedded in plant leaves, MIT engineers have created a novel light-emitting plant that can be charged by an LED. In this image, the green parts are the nanoparticles that have been aggregated on the surface of spongy mesophyll tissue within the plant leaves. Credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Using specialized nanoparticles embedded in plant leaves, MIT engineers have created a light-emitting plant that can be charged by an LED. After 10 seconds of charging, plants glow brightly for several minutes, and they can be recharged repeatedly. … Continue Reading News Source: phys.org

L3Harris’ missile-tracking satellites pass early design review

The Space Development Agency plans to launch its first batch of missile-tracking satellites in 2023 WASHINGTON — L3Harris Technologies announced Sept. 20 that the Space Development Agency has approved the company’s proposed design for a missile tracking satellite. The Defense Department’s Space Development Agency in October selected L3Harris and SpaceX to each produce four missile-tracking satellites that will be part of a larger constellation of space infrared sensors that will detect and track hypersonic and ballistic missiles from low Earth orbit. L3Harris received a $193.5 million contract and SpaceX a $149 million contract. These contracts are for work to be

A New Electrocatalyst Massively Improves the Commercial Viability of Green Hydrogen

Researchers from Curtin University identified a more efficient and affordable electrocatalyst to make green hydrogen from water, a press statement reveals. The new material has the potential to enable green hydrogen production at an unprecedented scale. Scientists have typically used precious metal catalysts, such as platinum to accelerate the separation of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The Curtin team found that by adding nickel and cobalt to cheaper catalysts, they could enhance their performance, making them worth exploring as a commercially viable alternative. The researchers published the results of their findings in the journal Nano Energy. “Our research essentially saw

The Top 10 scientific surprises of Science News’ first 100 years

From the day Archimedes cut his bath short to shout “Eureka,” science has been a constant source of surprises. Even after the abundant accumulation of knowledge in the intervening two millennia, science still retains the capacity to astonish, and the century since Science News began reporting has produced its share of shocking discoveries. Some such surprises happened suddenly (if not necessarily with eureka moments); in other cases, revolutionary shifts in understanding took a while to seep slowly into general scientific awareness. In either case, Science News was sooner or later on the job during the last 100 years, identifying and