Hexbyte Glen Cove A new way to generate light through use of pre-existing defects in semiconductor materials

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A new method of quantum dot fabrication has been demonstrated by making use of intrinsic defects in LED materials. Through the formation of pyramids, localized bright luminescence emanates from the pyramid apexes containing indium-rich quantum dots. Credit: SMART

Researchers from the Low Energy Electronic Systems Interdisciplinary Research Group at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, together with collaborators at the MIT, National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University have discovered a new method of generating long-wavelength (red, orange, and yellow) light through the use of intrinsic defects in semiconducting materials, with potential applications as direct light emitters in commercial light sources and displays. This technology would be an improvement on current methods, which use phosphors, for instance, to convert one color of light to another.

A type of group-III element nitride-based -emitting diode (LED), indium gallium nitride (InGaN) LEDs were first fabricated over two decades ago in the 90s, and have since evolved to become ever smaller while growing increasingly powerful, efficient and durable. Today, InGaN LEDs can be found across a myriad of industrial and consumer use cases, including signals & optical communication and data storage—and are critical in high-demand consumer applications such as solid state lighting, television sets, laptops, mobile devices, augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR) solutions.

Ever-growing demand for such electronic devices has driven over two decades of research into achieving higher optical output, reliability, longevity and versatility from semiconductors—leading to the need for LEDs that can emit different colors of light. Traditionally, InGaN material has been used in modern LEDs to generate purple and blue light, with aluminum gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP) – a different type of semiconductor—used to generate red, orange, and yellow light. This is due to InGaN’s poor performance in the red and amber spectrum caused by a reduction in efficiency as a result of higher levels of indium required.

In addition, such InGaN LEDs with considerably high indium concentrations remain difficult to manufacture using conventional semiconductor structures. As such, the realization of fully solid-state white-light-emitting devices—which require all three primary colors of light—remains an unattained goal.

Addressing these challenges, SMART researchers have laid out their findings in a paper titled “Light-Emitting V-Pits: An Alternative Approach toward Luminescent Indium-Rich InGaN Quantum Dots”, recently published in the journal ACS Photonics. In their paper, the researchers describe a practical method to fabricate InGaN quantum dots with significantly higher indium concentration by making use of pre-existing defects in InGaN materials.

In this process, the coalescence of so-called V-pits, which result from naturally-existing dislocations in the material, directly forms indium-rich quantum dots, small islands of material that emit longer-wavelength light. By growing these structures on conventional silicon substrates, the need for patterning or unconventional substrates is further eliminated. The researchers also conducted high spatially-resolved compositional mapping of the InGaN quantum dots, providing the first visual confirmation of their morphology.

In addition to the formation of quantum dots, the nucleation of stacking faults—another intrinsic crystal defect—further contributes to emissions of longer wavelengths.

Jing-Yang Chung, SMART graduate student and lead author of the paper said, “For years, researchers in the field have attempted to tackle the various challenges presented by inherent defects in InGaN quantum well structures. In a novel approach, we instead engineered a nano-pit defect to achieve a platform for direct InGaN quantum dot growth. As a result, our work demonstrates the viability of using silicon substrates for new indium-rich structures, which along with addressing current challenges in the low efficiencies of long-wavelength InGaN light emitters, also alleviate the issue of expensive substrates.”

In this way, SMART’s discovery represents a significant step forward in overcoming InGaN’s reduced efficiency when producing red, orange and yellow light. In turn, this work could be instrumental in the future development of micro LED arrays consisting of a single material.

Dr. Silvija Gradečak, co-author and Principal Investigator at LEES, added, “Our discovery also has implications for the environment. For instance, this breakthrough could lead to a more rapid phasing out of non- sources—such as incandescent bulbs—and even the current phosphor-coated blue InGaN LEDs with a fully solid-state color-mixing solution, in turn leading to a significant reduction in global energy consumption.”

“Our work could also have broader implications for the semiconductor and electronics industry, as the new method described here follows standard industry manufacturing procedures and can be widely adopted and implemented at scale,” said SMART CEO and LEES Lead Principal Investigator Eugene Fitzgerald. “On a more macro level, apart from the potential ecological benefits that could result from InGaN-driven energy savings, our discovery will also contribute to the field’s continued research into and development of new efficient InGaN structures.”



More information:
Jing-Yang Chung et al, Light-Emitting V-Pits: An Alternative Approach toward Luminescent Indium-Rich InGaN Quantum Dots, ACS Photonics (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acsphotonics.1c01009

Provided by
Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART)

Citation:

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove More states are passing laws limiting authority to respond to public health emergencies

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

New data released today by the Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research on LawAtlas.org captures details of an emerging effort by states to limit executive authority to act in response to public health emergencies.

Legislators in nearly all US (46) have introduced bills in 2021 to limit governors’ or ‘ authority during the COVID-19 pandemic or other emergencies. According to the data, between January 1, 2021, and June 17, 2021, 11 of these bills were enacted into law and became effective.

“Laws that restrict the authority of governors and health agencies to act in times of emergency could significantly impact by limiting their ability to take actions necessary to respond to or mitigate the crisis,” said Katie Moran-McCabe, special projects manager at the Center for Public Health Law Research and lead researcher on this project.

States have taken a variety of approaches to curbing public health authority. As of June 17, 2021:

  • Eleven states have a law in effect that was passed since January 1, 2021, that limits state executive authority regarding public health orders.
  • Nine states limited both the then-governor’s authority and the authority of a state agency or official, with all those states limiting the scope of at least one type of order.
  • Five states limited the governor’s authority, the authority of a state agency or official, and the authority of a local agency or official.

Some laws limit the duration of a state of emergency or limit emergency orders to a specific number of days (as in Arkansas for example). Others require approval of state health officer actions by an elected official (as in North Dakota) or prohibit the governor or health officials from requiring vaccination (as in Tennessee).

Kansas was the first state in 2021 to pass a law limiting public health emergency orders. Kansas is the only state to allow counties to issue a local order that is less stringent than a governor’s order, and that a local order may operate in the county in lieu of the governor’s executive order.

Utah is the only state that limited both state and local health officials in all of the following areas: restricting the ability to issue emergency orders, limiting the duration of emergency orders, restricting the scope of emergency orders, and establishing that emergency orders may be terminated by legislature or another entity.

The data were produced using a novel legal mapping technique, sentinel surveillance of emerging laws and policies, developed by the Center for Public Health Law Research, to track laws faster so researchers may more quickly evaluate the impact of these laws and policies on , well-being and equity.

“The sentinel surveillance of emerging laws and policies process is an advancement in our ability to track emerging laws rapidly so we may better understand the impacts these laws are having,” said Moran-McCabe. “Our concern with these laws is that they may greatly hobble state and local officials’ ability to respond to an emergency like the COVID-19 pandemic in a swift and flexible way. Evaluation will help us better understand that impact.”

Funding for the data and the development of the sentinel surveillance of emerging laws and policies process was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and research for the dataset was provided by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.



Citation:
More states are passing laws limiting authority to respond to public health emergencies (2021, October 26)

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Study finds nearly 500 ancient ceremonial sites in southern Mexico

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A team of international researchers led by the University of Arizona reported last year that they had uncovered the largest and oldest Maya monument—Aguada Fénix. That same team has now uncovered nearly 500 smaller ceremonial complexes that are similar in shape and features to Aguada Fénix. The find transforms previous understanding of Mesoamerican civilization origins and the relationship between the Olmec and the Maya people.

The team’s findings are detailed in a new paper published in the journal Nature Human Behavior. UArizona anthropology professor Takeshi Inomata is the paper’s first author. His UArizona coauthors include anthropology professor Daniela Triadan and Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Lab director Greg Hodgins.

Using data gathered through an airborne laser mapping technique called lidar, the researchers identified 478 complexes in the Mexican states of Tabasco and Veracruz. Lidar penetrates the tree canopy and reflects three-dimensional forms of archaeological features hidden under vegetation. The lidar data was collected by the Mexican governmental organization Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía and covered a 32,800-square-mile area, which is about the same size as the island of Ireland.

Publicly available lidar data allows researchers to study huge areas before they follow up with high-resolution lidar to study sites of interest in greater detail.

“It was unthinkable to study an area this large until a few years ago,” Inomata said. “Publicly available lidar is transforming archaeology.”

Missing Links?

There’s a longstanding debate over whether the Olmec civilization led to the development of the Maya civilization or if the Maya developed independently.

The newly uncovered sites are located in a broad area encompassing the Olmec region and the western Maya lowlands. The complexes were likely constructed between 1100 B.C. and 400 B.C. and were built by diverse groups nearly a millennium before the heyday of the Maya civilization between A.D. 250 and 950.

The researchers found that the complexes share similar features with the earliest center in the Olmec area, San Lorenzo, which peaked between 1400 and 1100 BC. Aguada Fenix in the Maya area and other related sites began to adopt San Lorenzo’s form and formalize it around 1100 BC.

At San Lorenzo, the team also found a previously unrecognized rectangular space.

“The sites are big horizontally but not vertically,” Inomata said. “People will be walking on one and won’t notice its rectangular space, but we can see it with lidar really nicely.”

The researchers’ work suggests that San Lorenzo served as a template for later constructions, including Aguada Fénix.

“People always thought San Lorenzo was very unique and different from what came later in terms of site arrangement,” Inomata said. “But now we show that San Lorenzo is very similar to Aguada Fénix—it has a rectangular plaza flanked by edge platforms. Those features become very clear in lidar and are also found at Aguada Fénix, which was built a little bit later. This tells us that San Lorenzo is very important for the beginning of some of these ideas that were later used by the Maya.”

Sites Were Likely Ritual Spaces

The sites uncovered by Inomata and his collaborators were likely used as ritual gathering sites, according to the paper. They include large central open spaces where lots of people could gather and participate in rituals.

The researchers also analyzed each site’s orientation and found that the sites seem to be aligned to the sunrise of a certain date, when possible.

“There are lots of exceptions; for example, not every site has enough space to place the rectangular form in a desired direction, but when they can, they seem to have chosen certain dates,” Inomata said.

While it’s not clear why the specific dates were chosen, one possibility is that they may be tied to Zenith passage day, which is when the sun passes directly overhead. This occurs on May 10 in the region where the sites were found. This day marks the beginning of the rainy season and the planting of maize. Some groups chose to orient their sites to the directions of the sunrise on days 40, 60, 80 or 100 days before the zenith passage day. This is significant because the later Mesoamerican calendars are based on the number 20.

San Lorenzo, Aguada Fénix and some other sites have 20 edge platforms along the eastern and western sides of the rectangular plaza. Edge platforms are mounds placed along the edges of the large rectangular plazas. They define the shape of the plazas, and each are usually no taller than about 3 feet.

“This means that they were representing cosmological ideas through these ceremonial spaces,” Inomata said. “In this space, people gathered according to this ceremonial calendar.”

Inomata stressed that this is just the beginning of the team’s work.

“There are still lots of unanswered questions,” he said.

Researchers wonder what the social organization of the people who built the complexes looked like. San Lorenzo possibly had rulers, which is suggested by sculptures.

“But Aguada Fénix doesn’t have those things,” Inomata said. “We think that people were still somehow mobile, because they had just begun to use ceramics and lived in ephemeral structures on the ground level. People were in transition to more settled lifeways, and many of those areas probably didn’t have much hierarchical organization. But still, they could make this kind of very well-organized center.”

Inomata’s team and others are still searching for more evidence to explain these differences in social organization.

“Continuing to excavate the sites to find these answers will take much longer,” Inomata said, “and will involve many other scholars.”



More information:
Takeshi Inomata, Origins and spread of formal ceremonial complexes in the Olmec and Maya regions revealed by airborne lidar, Nature Human Beh

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Researchers identify new threat to American chestnut trees

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Emily Dobry, a graduate student conducting research at the Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center, has identified a new fungal threat to the American chestnut tree. Credit: Penn State Behrend

For lumber companies, the American chestnut was a nearly perfect tree—tall, straight, rot-resistant and easy to split. It also was prolific, sending up new shoots that grew quickly.

In the early 1900s, the species made up a substantial portion of eastern hardwood forests. There were nearly four billion American chestnut trees in the United States, each growing up to 100 feet, with trunks four to seven feet thick. Healthy trees lived for 400 to 600 years, producing several bushels of nuts every year.

Today, however, it can be difficult to find a healthy American chestnut. A fungal pathogen on trees imported from Japan and China wiped the species out in less than 40 years. That loss is considered to be the greatest ecological disaster to ever strike the world’s forests.

“The pathogen is native to Chinese and Japanese chestnuts, so the two co-evolved,” said Emily Dobry, a Penn State Behrend graduate now in Penn State’s plant sciences horticulture master’s-degree program. She is doing research work at the University’s Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center (LERGREC) in North East. “The American chestnut had never been exposed to it before, however, so it had little natural resistance. Think of it as smallpox for trees.”

Today, there are fewer than 1,000 American chestnut trees, largely in isolated areas outside of the tree’s historical range in the eastern half of the United States, along the Appalachian mountain ridge and throughout New England.

A few can be found at LERGREC, where researchers have been conducting a trial since 2013 with 15 chestnut trees—five each of the American, Chinese, and American-Chinese hybrid species developed by scientists, all planted in one long row.

“The idea was to plant American and Chinese chestnuts side by side with some of the hybrids that have been developed, and to allow them to be challenged with chestnut blight over the years,” said Bryan Hed, a plant pathologist at LERGREC.

“Most of the trees have suffered dieback from disease, insects or weather and have had to be cut back and renewed,” he said. “The hybrid trees are notable exceptions: Three of them are currently 17 to 21 feet in height.”

Trees are renewed using sucker growth from the original rootstock.

“The American chestnut is now designated as ‘functionally extinct,'” which means that although the species still technically survives, it cannot reproduce,” Dobry said. “The shoots rarely grow large enough to produce nuts, and therefore, future generations.”

The most promising hope for the American chestnut now is probably transgenic—the development of a genetically modified tree. Scientists are trying to engineer a tree that is as close to an American chestnut as possible, with just enough genetic material from the Chinese chestnut to resist the blight.

“Researchers have developed partially blight-resistant transgenic American chestnuts that are capable of surviving infection from the pathogen that causes blight,” Dobry said. “It doesn’t kill the pathogen; it’s still present, but it doesn’t destroy the tree.”

The current balance of species in U.S. forests could pose another problem as scientists try to reintroduce the American chestnut: The oak tree has risen to fill its place.

“It will be a challenge for the American chestnut to establish itself into the forest ecosystem again, “Dobry said.

The American chestnut could bring other problems to the forest. In 2018, while working as an undergraduate researcher at LERGREC, Dobry discovered a fungus that was atypical for the American chestnut species.

“Initially, we assumed this was an unusual presentation of chestnut blight infection,” she said, “but after taking samples and doing research, we did not find , but a pathogen commonly known as chestnut brown rot. At the time, there had been no published report of this fungus in our hemisphere.”

Dobry continues to study the domestically isolated strain, examining whether it may be harmful to species of trees closely related to the chestnut, such as oaks.

“If this proves pathogenic to oak, it could be another blow to dynamics,” she said. “That’s why the chestnut project and others like it are so important to protect the diversity and future of our forests.”



Citation:
Researchers identify new threat to American chestnut trees (2021, October 25)
retrieved 25 October 202

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Study explores how climate change may affect rain in U.S. Corn Belt

Hexbyte Glen Cove

by Angela M. Rogers

Late-season Iowa corn field. Credit: Andrew carleton

Air humidity is more important than soil moisture in influencing whether it rains in the United States Corn Belt, an agricultural area in the Midwest, stretching from Indiana to Nebraska and responsible for more than 35% of the world’s most important grain crop, according to a new study by Penn State researchers.

“We were curious about the effect has on convective in the Corn Belt under different atmospheric conditions, such as dry or humid,” said Connor Chapman, who graduated in 2020 with a master of science degree in geography and is lead author on the paper. “Plenty of research of this nature has been done for the Great Plains region, but the neighboring Corn Belt—which has a different climate type—has received much less attention.”

Soil moisture is considered an essential climate variable, according to the Global Climate Observing System, because it determines the amount of evaporation and cooling of the air near the Earth’s surface. As soil moisture amounts decrease, either during drought or as a result of climate change, the reduced evaporation can amplify the warming, Carleton said.

“This study is important also because Corn Belt agriculture is mainly rainfed, rather than irrigated,” said Chapman’s adviser and co-author, E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Professor of Geography Andrew Carleton. “So the Corn Belt is much more susceptible to year-to-year climate variations, like droughts and wet periods, and to the impacts from which are likely to increase this variability and lead to even greater extremes.”

For the Corn Belt, continued warming is likely to shift crop types northward and with a longer growing season, likely increasing climatic and market economic uncertainties going forward, Carleton said.

“Connor brought to bear—and integrated—a range of datasets spanning multiple scales; in particular, soil moisture data, vertical profiles of wind for the low-level jet stream and mapped atmospheric re-analyses of variables such as pressure and height,” Carleton said.

For this study, Chapman analyzed nine consecutive years of growing-season data on soil moisture, near-surface and low altitude wind velocity. He also created three sub-seasonal groups: Early, middle and late to see how the results might vary because as the growing season progresses in the Corn Belt, the land cover changes from bare to short crops to tall, intensely-evapotranspiring crops.

“The most challenging aspect of our study is the low amount of long-term soil data available for the Corn Belt,” Chapman said. “Compared with the Great Plains region, the Corn Belt does not have as much available in situ soil data, and only a limited number of soil data stations met the criteria for our study.”

Chapman said he was surprised by his results, which further illustrate how adjacent regions with different land cover experience different climate conditions.

“We found that during the early season when croplands are bare, convective precipitation is more likely to occur with drier soil, high humidity, and strong, humid low-altitude winds,” Chapman said. “Although soil moisture and wind vary across the , we found that high near-surface humidity consistently was most important for convective precipitation or rain.”

The article, Soil moisture influence on warm season convective precipitation for the U.S. Corn Belt, will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.



More information:
Connor J. Chapman et al, Soil moisture influence on warm-season convective precipitation for the U.S. Corn Belt, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology (2021). DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-20-0285.1

Citation:
Study explores how climate change may affect rain in U.S. Corn Belt (2021, October 25)
retrieved 25 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-exp

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Nature-inspired coatings could power tiny chemistry labs for medical testing and more

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A newly developed coating that allows for certain liquids to move across surfaces without fluid loss could usher in new advances in a range of fields, including medical testing.

This new coating—created in the DREAM (Durable Repellent Engineered Advanced Materials) Laboratory, led by University of Toronto Engineering Professor Kevin Golovin—was inspired by the natural world.

“Nature has already developed strategies to transport liquids across surfaces in order to survive,” says Mohammad Soltani, researcher in the DREAM Laboratory and lead author of a new paper recently published in Advanced Functional Materials.

“We were inspired by the structural model of natural materials such as cactus leaves or spider silk. Our can directionally transport not only , but also low tension liquids that easily spread on most surfaces.”

The innovation has important implications for microfluidics, a field where small quantities of liquids are transported within tiny channels, often less than a millimetre wide. This technique has many applications, one of them being to miniaturize the standard analytical tests that are currently preformed in chemical laboratories.







New polymer coatings, developed by Professor Kevin Golovin and his team at the University of Toronto, show the precision with which liquids can move across surfaces. Credit: Mohammad Soltani / University of Toronto Engineering

By reducing the quantity of sample and reagents required, and automating protocols for working with them, microfluidics can power lab-on-a-chip devices that offer fast, inexpensive medical tests. Proponents hope this could lead to diagnosing multiple conditions in minutes using only a drop or two of blood.

But current microfluidic devices have a key limitation: they can only effectively handle liquids with high surface tension, such as water. This property, also known as cohesion, means that the has a greater tendency to stick to itself than to the sides of the channel it is being transported through.

High surface tension liquids form discrete droplets that can be moved around independently, like raindrops on window glass. Cohesion can even be exploited to pull the liquid droplets along the channel through a process known as .

By contrast, low surface tension liquids, such as alcohols and other solvents, tend to stick to the sides of the channels, and can currently be transported for only about 10 millimetres before the droplet disintegrates. Capillary action no longer applies, so this transport requires an external force, such as magnetism or heat, to move the droplets.

The new coating enables low surface tension liquids to be transported over distances of over 150 millimetres without losing any of the liquid, about 15 times longer than currently possible.







Credit: University of Toronto

The technology uses two newly developed polymer coatings, one of which is more liquid-repellent than the other. Both are composed of liquid-like polymer brushes. The more repellent coating acts as a background, surrounding the less repellent and creating tiny channels along the surface. The channels allow for the liquids to move in a desired pattern or direction without losing any of the liquid during transport or requiring additional energy input.

“Polymer brush coatings reduce the fluid friction and allow the droplets to be transported passively,” says Soltani, “Less friction means more energy is available to transport the liquid. We then create a driving force by designing the channels with specific patterns.”

The ability to transport low surface tension liquids without loss will allow for advancements in lab-on-a-chip devices. Using these unique coatings, researchers have the ability to transport liquids over a longer range, move multiple liquids at the same time along a precise pathway and even merge and split droplets—all without losing any volume or experiencing cross-contamination.

This technology will also help limit waste in research labs. With no residue left behind on the surface of the device and therefore no risk of cross-contamination, researchers can use the same devices over and over again.

“We’re looking at using this technology for microfluidics bioassays, as this is an area where every drop of liquid is precious,” says Golovin. “Our findings also have great potential to advance point-of-care diagnostics, such as liver or kidney disease, where biological marker screening is often performed in non-aqueous media.”



More information:
Mohammad Soltani et al, Lossless, Passive Transportation of Low Surface Tension Liquids Induced by Patterned Omniphobic Liquidlike Polymer Brushes, Advanced Functional Materials (2021). DOI: 10.1002/adfm.202107465

Citation:
Nature-inspired coatings could power tiny chemistry labs for medical testing and more (2021, October 22)
retrieved 24 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-nature-inspired-coatings-power-tiny-chemistry.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Astronomers discover infant planet

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Discovery image of the planet 2M0437, which lies about 100 times the Earth-Sun distance from its parent star. The image was taken with the Subaru Telescope on Maunakea. The much-brighter host star has been mostly removed, and the four “spikes” are artifacts produced by the optics of the telescope. Credit: Subaru Telescope and Gaidos, et al. (2021)

One of the youngest planets ever found around a distant infant star has been discovered by an international team of scientists led by University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa faculty, students, and alumni.

Thousands of planets have been discovered around other , but what sets this one apart is that it is newly-formed and can be directly observed. The planet, named 2M0437b, joins a handful of objects advancing our understanding of how planets form and change with time, helping shed new light on the origin of the Solar System and Earth. The in-depth research was recently published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

“This serendipitous discovery adds to an elite list of planets that we can directly observe with our telescopes,” explained lead author Eric Gaidos, a professor in the UH Mānoa Department of Earth Sciences. “By analyzing the light from this planet we can say something about its composition, and perhaps where and how it formed in a long-vanished disk of gas and dust around its host star.”

The researchers estimate that the planet is a few times more massive than Jupiter, and that it formed with its star several million years ago, around the time the main Hawaiian Islands first emerged above the ocean. The planet is so young that it is still hot from the energy released during its formation, with a temperature similar to the lava erupting from Kīlauea Volcano.

Subaru Telescope and Keck Observatory on Maunakea. Credit: University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy

Key Maunakea telescopes

In 2018, 2M0437b was first seen with the Subaru Telescope on Maunakea by UH Institute for Astronomy (IfA) visiting researcher Teruyuki Hirano. For the past several years, it has been studied carefully utilizing other telescopes on the mauna.

Gaidos and his collaborators used the Keck Observatory on Maunakea to monitor the position of the as it moved across the sky, confirming that planet 2M0437b was truly a companion to the star, and not a more distant object. The observations required three years because the star moves slowly across the sky.

The planet and its parent star lie in a stellar “nursery” called the Taurus Cloud. 2M0437b is on a much wider orbit than the planets in the Solar System; its current separation is about one hundred times the Earth-Sun distance, making it easier to observe. However, sophisticated “adaptive” optics are still needed to compensate for the image distortion caused by Earth’s atmosphere.

“Two of the world’s largest telescopes, and Maunakea’s clear skies were all needed to make this discovery,” said co-author Michael Liu, an astronomer at IfA. “We are all looking forward to more such discoveries, and more detailed studies of such with the technologies and telescopes of the future.”

Future research potential

Gathering more in-depth research about the newly-discovered planet may not be too far away. “Observations with space telescopes such as NASA’s Hubble and the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope could identify gases in its atmosphere and reveal whether the planet has a moon-forming disk,” Gaidos added.



More information:
Zodiacal Exoplanets in Time (ZEIT) XII: A Directly-Imaged Planetary-Mass Companion to a Young Taurus M Dwarf Star, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stab3069 , arxiv.org/abs/2110.08655

Citation:
Astronomers discover infant planet (2021, October 22)
retrieved 24 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-astronomers-infant-planet.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Machine learning predicts antibiotic resistance spread

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Genes aren’t only inherited through birth. Bacteria have the ability to pass genes to each other, or pick them up from their environment, through a process called horizonal gene transfer, which is a major culprit in the spread of antibiotic resistance.

Cornell researchers used machine learning to sort by their functions and use this information to predict with near-perfect accuracy how genes are transferred between them, an approach that could potentially be used to stop the spread of antibiotic resistance.

The team’s paper, “Functions Predict Horizontal Gene Transfer and the Emergence of Antibiotic Resistance,” published Oct. 22 in Science Advances. The lead author is doctoral student Hao Zhou.

“Organisms basically can acquire resistance genes from other organisms. And so it would help if we knew which organisms were exchanging with, and not only that, but we could figure out what are the driving factors that implicate organisms in this transfer,” said Ilana Brito, assistant professor and the Mong Family Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow in Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering, and the paper’s senior author. “If we can figure out who is exchanging genes with who, then maybe it would give insight into how this actually happens and possibly even control these processes.”

Many novel traits are shared through gene transfer. But scientists haven’t been able to determine why some bacteria engage in gene transfer while others do not.

Instead of testing individual hypotheses, Brito’s team looked to bacteria genomes and their various functions—which can range from DNA replication to metabolizing carbohydrates—in order to identify signatures that indicate “who” were swapping genes and what was driving these networks of exchange.

Brito’s team used several , each of which teased out different phenomena embedded in the data. This enabled them to identify multiple networks of different antibiotic resistance genes, and across strains of the same organism.

For the study, the researchers focused on organisms associated with soil, plants and oceans, but their model is also well-suited to look at human-associated organisms and pathogens, such as Acinetobacter baumannii and E. coli, and within localized environments, such as an individual’s gut microbiome.

They found the machine-learning models were particularly effective when applied to antibiotic resistance genes.

“I think one of the big takeaways here is that the network of bacterial gene exchange—specifically for antibiotic resistance—is predictable,” Brito said. “We can understand it by looking at the data, and we can do better if we actually look at each organism’s genome. It’s not a .”

One of the most surprising findings was that the modeling predicted many possible antibiotic resistance transfers between human-associated bacteria and pathogens that haven’t yet been observed. These probable, yet undetected, transfer events were almost exclusive to human-associated bacteria in the or oral microbiome.

The research is emblematic of Cornell’s recently launched Center for Antimicrobial Resistance, according Brito, who serves on the center’s steering committee.

“One can imagine that if we can predict how these genes spread, we might be able to either intervene or choose a specific antibiotic, depending what we see in a patient’s gut,” Brito said. “More broadly, we may see where certain types of organisms are predicted to transfer with others in a certain environment. And we think there might be novel antibiotic targets in the data. For example, genes that could cripple these organisms, potentially, in terms of their ability to persist in certain environments or acquire these .”

Juan Felipe Beltrán, Ph.D. ’19, contributed to the research.



More information:
Hao Zhou et al, Functions predict horizontal gene transfer and the emergence of antibiotic resistance, Science Advances (2021). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abj5056. www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abj5056

Citation:
Machine learning predicts antibiotic resistance spread (2021, October 22)
retrieved 24 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove US targeting Feb. 2022 to launch new lunar program Artemis

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A NASA employee holds the official Artemis mission patch at NASA Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

NASA is aiming to launch its uncrewed lunar mission Artemis 1 in February next year, the space agency said Friday, the first step in America’s plan to return humans to the Moon.

The agency had initially hoped to launch the by the end of this year, with astronauts set to walk on the Moon by 2024.

It achieved a major milestone Wednesday when it stacked the Orion crew capsule atop its Space Launch System megarocket, which now stands 322 feet (98 meters) tall inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After further tests, it will be wheeled out to the launchpad for a “wet dress rehearsal” in January, with the first window for launch opening in February, officials told reporters on a call.

“The February launch period opens on the 12th and our last opportunity in February is on the 27th,” said Mike Sarafin, Artemis 1 mission manager. The next windows are in March and April.

These potential launch periods are dependent on orbital mechanics and the relative position of the Earth with respect to the Moon. The mission duration is expected to be four to six weeks.

NASA will also deploy small satellites, known as CubeSats, to perform experiments and technology demonstrations.

NASA achieved a major milestone when it stacked the Orion crew capsule atop its Space Launch System megarocket.

Artemis 2 is then scheduled for 2023 and Artemis 3 for the following year, when humans will walk on the Moon for the first time since 1972. Both missions are now likely to be pushed back, however.

NASA says the moonwalkers will include the first woman and first person of color to make the trip.

The is seeking to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon as well as use the lessons it learns to plan a crewed trip to Mars in the 2030s.

Selfies with the Moon

Orion first flew into in 2014, launched by a Delta IV rocket, making two circumnavigations of Earth and testing its heat shield on re-entry into the atmosphere.

But this time, NASA’s Sarafin said, the capsule will travel much faster and the temperature will be much higher when it returns from the Moon.

Artemis 1 has several objectives: to demonstrate Orion’s ability to return from the Moon and operate in where it is “much colder than in low Earth orbit,” and to successfully recover the spacecraft, he added.

The mission also plans to study radiation and take selfies of the capsule with the Moon in the background.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
US targeting Feb. 2022 to launch new lunar program Artemis (2021, October 23)
retrieved 23 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-feb-lunar-artemis.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —

Hexbyte Glen Cove Big tech data centers spark worry over scarce Western water

Hexbyte Glen Cove

In this Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, photo, The Dalles Mayor Richard Mays looks at the view of his town and the Columbia River from his hilltop home in The Dalles, Oregon. Mays helped negotiate a proposal by Google to build new data centers in the town. The data centers require a lot of water to cool their servers, and would use groundwater and surface water, but not any water from the Columbia River. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

Conflicts over water are as old as history itself, but the massive Google data centers on the edge of this Oregon town on the Columbia River represent an emerging 21st century concern.

Now a critical part of modern computing, data centers help people stream movies on Netflix, conduct transactions on PayPal, post updates on Facebook, store trillions of photos and more. But a single facility can also churn through millions of gallons of water per day to keep hot-running equipment cool.

Google wants to build at least two more data centers in The Dalles, worrying some residents who fear there eventually won’t be enough water for everyone—including for area farms and fruit orchards, which are by far the biggest users.

Across the United States, there has been some mild pushback as tech companies build and expand data centers—conflicts likely to grow as water becomes a more precious resource amid the threat of climate change and as the demand for cloud computing grows. Some tech giants have been using cutting-edge research and development to find less impactful cooling methods, but there are those who say the companies can still do more to be environmentally sustainable.

The concerns are understandable in The Dalles, the seat of Wasco County, which is suffering extreme and exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The region last summer endured its hottest days on record, reaching 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48 Celsius) in The Dalles.

This Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, photo, shows the historic Granada Theater building in downtown The Dalles, Oregon. As demand for cloud computing grows, the world’s biggest tech companies are building more data centers, including in arid regions even though they use vast amounts of water per day. Some residents of The Dalles, Oregon, are objecting to a proposal by Google to build more data centers there, fearing that, amid rising temperatures and drought, there won’t be enough water for everyone. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

The Dalles is adjacent to the the mighty Columbia River, but the new data centers wouldn’t be able to use that water and instead would have to take water from rivers and groundwater that has gone through the city’s water treatment plant.

However, the snowpack in the nearby Cascade Range that feeds the aquifers varies wildly year-to-year and glaciers are melting. Most aquifers in north-central Oregon are declining, according to the U.S. Geological Survey Groundwater Resources Program.

Adding to the unease: The 15,000 town residents don’t know how much water the proposed data centers will use, because Google calls it a trade secret. Even the town councilors, who are scheduled to vote on the proposal on Nov. 8, had to wait until this week to find out.

Dave Anderson, public works director for The Dalles, said Google obtained the rights to 3.9 million gallons of water per day when it purchased land formerly home to an aluminum smelter. Google is requesting less water for the new data centers than that amount and would transfer those rights to the city, Anderson said.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, photo, people walk in the streets undergoing a renewal project to fix decayed buildings downtown The Dalles, Oregon. As demand for cloud computing grows, the world’s biggest tech companies are building more data centers, including in arid regions even though they use vast amounts of water per day. Some residents of The Dalles, Oregon, are objecting to a proposal by Google to build more data centers there, fearing that, amid rising temperatures and drought, there won’t be enough water for everyone. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

“The city comes out ahead,” he said.

For its part, Google said it’s “committed to the long-term health of the county’s economy and natural resources.”

“We’re excited that we’re continuing conversations with local officials on an agreement that allows us to keep growing while also supporting the community,” Google said, adding that the expansion proposal includes a potential aquifer program to store water and increase supply during drier periods.

The U.S. hosts 30% of the world’s data centers, more than any other country. Some data centers are trying to become more efficient in water consumption, for example by recycling the same water several times through a center before discharging it. Google even uses treated sewage water, instead of using drinking water as many data centers do, to cool its facility in Douglas County, Georgia.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, photo, Dawn Rasmussen stands at her well at her property on the outskirts of The Dalles, Oregon. She says the water table that her well draws from has dropped 15 feet in the last 15 years. She has deep concerns about Google’s proposal to build more data centers, which use vast amounts of water, in the town. The city council is expected to vote soon on Google’s proposal. As demand for cloud computing grows, the world’s biggest tech companies are building more data centers, including in arid regions even though they use vast amounts of water per day. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

Facebook’s first data center took advantage of the cold high-desert air in Prineville, Oregon, to chill its servers, and went a step further when it built a center in Lulea, Sweden, near the Arctic Circle.

Microsoft even placed a small data center, enclosed in what looks like a giant cigar, on the seafloor off Scotland. After retrieving the barnacle-encrusted container last year after two years, company employees saw improvement in overall reliability because the servers weren’t subjected to temperature fluctuations and corrosion from oxygen and humidity. Team leader Ben Cutler said the experiment shows data centers can be kept cool without tapping freshwater resources.

A study published in May by researchers at Virginia Tech and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed one-fifth of data centers rely on water from moderately to highly stressed watersheds.

Tech companies typically consider tax breaks and availability of cheap electricity and land when placing data centers, said study co-author Landon Marston, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, photo, shows the exterior of a Google data center in The Dalles, Oregon. The Dalles City Council member Long-Curtiss wants to know more details about Google’s proposal to build more data centers in the town before the city council votes on the matter. As demand for cloud computing grows, the world’s biggest tech companies are building more data centers, including in arid regions even though they use vast amounts of water per day. Some residents of The Dalles, Oregon, are objecting to a proposal by Google to build more data centers there, fearing that, amid rising temperatures and drought, there won’t be enough water for everyone. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

They need to consider water impacts more seriously, and put the facilities in regions where they can be better sustained, both for the good of the environment and their own bottom line, Marston said.

“It’s also a risk and resilience issue that data centers and their operators need to face, because the drought that we’re seeing in the West is expected to get worse,” Marston said.

About an hour’s drive east of The Dalles, Amazon is giving back some of the water its massive data centers use. Amazon’s sprawling campuses, spread between Boardman and Umatilla, Oregon, butt up against farmland, a cheese factory and neighborhoods. Like many data centers, they use water primarily in summer, with the servers being air-cooled the rest of the year.

About two-thirds of the water Amazon uses evaporates. The rest is treated and sent to irrigation canals that feed crops and pastures.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, photo, shows the exterior of a Google data center in The Dalles, Oregon. The Dalles City Council member Long-Curtiss wants to know more details about Google’s proposal to build more data centers in the town before the city council votes on the matter. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

Umatilla City Manager Dave Stockdale appreciates that farms and ranches are getting that water, since the main issue the city had as Amazon’s facilities grew was that the city water treatment plant couldn’t have handled the data centers’ discharge.

John DeVoe, executive director of WaterWatch of Oregon, which seeks reform of water laws to protect and restore rivers, criticized it as a “corporate feel good tactic.”

“Does it actually mitigate for any harm of the server farm’s actual use of water on other interests who may also be using the same source water, like the environment, fish and wildlife?” DeVoe said.

Adam Selipsky, CEO of Amazon Web Services, insists that Amazon feels a sense of responsibility for its impacts.

“We have intentionally been very conscious about water usage in any of these projects,” he said, adding that the centers brought economic activity and jobs to the region.

  • This Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, photo, shows the land beyond the fending where Google wants to build more data centers at the site of a former aluminum smelter in The Dalles, Oregon. The Dalles City Council member Long-Curtiss wants to know more details about Google’s proposal to build more data centers in the town before the city council votes on the matter. As demand for cloud computing grows, the world’s biggest tech companies are building more data centers, including in arid regions even though they use vast amounts of water per day. Some residents of The Dalles, Oregon, are objecting to a proposal by Google to build more data centers there, fearing that, amid rising temperatures and drought, there won’t be enough water for everyone. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky
  • In this Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, photo, The Dalles city Public Works Department Director Dave Anderson, left, and Mayor Richard Mays pose for photos with the Columbia River in The Dalles, Oregon. Mays helped negotiate a proposal by Google to build new data centers in the town. The data centers require a lot of water to cool their servers, and would use groundwater and surface water, but not any water from the Columbia River. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky
  • In this Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, photo, The Dalles city Public Works Department Director Dave Anderson, left, and Mayor Richard Mays pose for photos in The Dalles, Oregon. Mays helped negotiate a proposal by Google to build new data centers in the town. The data centers require a lot of water to cool their servers, and would use groundwater and surface water, but not any water from the Columbia River. Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Selsky

Dawn Rasmussen, who lives on the outskirts of The Dalles, worries that her town is making a mistake in negotiating with Google, likening it to David versus Goliath.

She’s seen the level of her well-water drop year after year and worries sooner or later there won’t be enough for everyone.

“At the end of the day, if there’s not enough water, who’s going to win?” she asked.



© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
Big tech data centers spark worry over scarce Western water (2021, October 22)
retrieved 23 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-big-tech-centers-scarce-western.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read More Hexbyte Glen Cove Educational Blog Repost With Backlinks —