Current Acceptable Limit News and Events

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A speed limit also applies in the quantum world
Even in the world of the smallest particles with their own special rules, things cannot proceed infinitely fast. Physicists at the University of Bonn have now shown what the speed limit is for complex quantum operations. The study also involved scientists from MIT, the universities of Hamburg, Cologne and Padua, and the Jülich Research Center. The results are important for the realization of quantum computers, among other things. (2021-02-19)

Army researchers expand study of ethics, artificial intelligence
The Army of the future will involve humans and autonomous machines working together to accomplish the mission. According to Army researchers, this vision will only succeed if artificial intelligence is perceived to be ethical. (2021-02-16)

It's morally wrong for rich nations to hoard COVID-19 vaccine
Rich nations should not engage in ''vaccine nationalism'' and keep the COVID-19 vaccine to themselves when poorer nations need them, according to Nicole Hassoun, professor of philosophy at Binghamton University, State University of New York. Hassoun's paper, ''Against Vaccine Nationalism,'' was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. (2021-02-16)

New microscopy concept enters into force
The first demonstration of an approach that inverts the standard paradigm of scanning probe microscopy raises the prospect of force sensing at the fundamental limit. (2021-02-05)

Switching nanolight on and off
The report demonstrates a new method to control the flow of light of nanolight. Optical manipulation on the nanoscale, or nanophotonics, has become a critical area of interest as researchers seek ways to meet the increasing demand for technologies that go well beyond what is possible with conventional photonics and electronics. (2021-02-04)

Improved model estimates impact of ozone on soy crops
The impact of ozone on soybean production can be predicted more accurately thanks to improvements to a computer modelling system. (2021-02-01)

A study reveals that the brain distributes sensory information highly efficiently
Extracting information from a small fraction of neurons, according to a study published in Nature Communications, involving Rubén Moreno-Bote, a researcher at the Center for Brain and Cognition, together with researchers from the University of Zaragoza and the University of the Basque Country, led by Harvard University (USA). (2021-02-01)

Highly deformable piezoelectric nanotruss for tactile electronics
A KAIST research team confirmed the potential of tactile devices by developing ceramic piezoelectric materials that are three times more deformable. For the fabrication of highly deformable nanomaterials, the research team built a zinc oxide hollow nanostructure using proximity field nanopatterning and atomic layered deposition. (2021-02-01)

Dual-shot dynamics and ultimate frequency of all-optical magnetic recording on GdFeCo
Achieving ultrafast and energy-efficient optical control of magnetism beyond light's 'diffraction limit' could revolutionize information-processing technology. Towards this goal, researchers led by Xiangping Li at Jinan University and Alexey V. Kimel at Radboud University have determined the fastest possible rate of the optical reversal of magnetization of up to 3?GHz, and proposed a method to achieve data recording at scales below light's 'diffraction limit', which is generally believed to restrict the attainable resolution. (2021-01-14)

Pulsed ultraviolet light technology to improve egg safety, help poultry industry
Pulsed ultraviolet light can be an effective alternative to some of the antimicrobial technologies now used by the poultry industry to kill pathogens on eggshells, according to Penn State researchers, who simulated production conditions to test the technology. (2021-01-13)

High doses of saccharin don't lead to diabetes in healthy adults, study finds
For those trying to live a healthy lifestyle, the choice between sugar and artificial sweeteners such as saccharin can be confusing. A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State University College of Medicine found the sugar substitute saccharin doesn't lead to the development of diabetes in healthy adults as previous studies have suggested. (2021-01-12)

Breaking through the resolution barrier with quantum-limited precision
Researchers at Paderborn University have developed a new method of distance measurement for systems such as GPS, which achieves more precise results than ever before. Using quantum physics, the team led by Leibniz Prize winner Professor Christine Silberhorn has successfully overcome the so-called resolution limit. (2021-01-05)

Non-immigrant kids respond differently when immigrant children are bullied
A recent study finds that, while youth think all bullying is bad, non-immigrant adolescents object less to bullying when the victim is an immigrant. However, the study found that the more contact immigrant and non-immigrant children had with each other, the more strongly they objected to bullying. (2021-01-05)

Scientists reach limit of multi-parameter quantum measurement with zero trade-off
Real-life applications like magnetometry or quantum gyroscope typically involve precise measurement on multiple parameters. How to achieve the ultimate precision limits simultaneously is a long sought-after grail in the field. (2021-01-04)

Experiments first verify distributed quantum phase estimation
Professor PAN Jianwei and his colleges from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have achieved the experimental verification of distribution quantum phase estimation for the first time. This work was published on Nature Photonics. (2020-12-21)

New type of atomic clock keeps time even more precisely
An MIT-designed atomic clock uses entangled atoms to keep time even more precisely than its state-of-the-art counterparts. The design could help scientists detect dark matter and study gravity's effect on time. (2020-12-16)

A protein has been identified as a potential therapeutic target for leishmaniasis vaccines
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), leishmaniasis causes between 20,000 and 30,000 deaths a year, and there is currently no vaccine for humans. A research team led by the Complutense University of Madrid has described the mechanism by which the Leishmania parasite avoids detection: through the SHP-1 protein, which is responsible for basic cellular functions. The finding positions this protein as a potential therapeutic target for the development of vaccines against the disease. (2020-12-11)

Political partisanship has had outsized influence on individual social mobility during COVID-19 pand
In the United States, political partisanship has played a much stronger role in individuals' decisions to limit their social mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic than the local incidence of the disease in their own (2020-12-11)

How loud is too loud? Identifying noise levels that deter older restaurant patrons
As restaurants get noisier, the increasing noise levels could deter older patrons, especially those with mild to severe hearing loss. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will discuss their work on investigating acceptable noise levels that won't cause restaurant visitors to stay away from certain establishments. Identifying acceptable noise levels helps establish truly ''age-friendly'' communities. The session will take place as part of the 179th ASA Meeting. (2020-12-10)

CO2 pricing & financial transfers: small changes can have a huge effect on climate equity
Global greenhouse-gas emission reductions could be achieved in a fair and thrifty way by surprisingly small variations of well-known policies. This is shown by a team of economists in a quantitative study now published in Nature. Differentiated CO2 prices in different countries combined with moderate financial transfers from advanced to developing countries would do the job. These changes would be most efficient in achieving fair burden sharing and at the same time keep overall costs in check, the researchers find. (2020-12-09)

Better benzene sensing at laser point
A highly selective and sensitive laser sensor can pick up low-level benzene emissions in ambient air. (2020-12-08)

Six years in 120 pages: Researchers shed light on Ricci flows
Researchers from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) proved two core conjectures in geometric analysis: Hamilton-Tian conjecture and the Partial C0-conjecture. It is a major breakthrough in geometric analysis, and it no doubt will lead many other related research projects. (2020-11-23)

U.S. should look at how other high-income countries regulate health care costs
Structuring negotiations between insurers and providers, standardizing fee-for-service payments and negotiating prices can lower the United States' health care spending by slowing the rate at which healthcare prices increase, according to a Rutgers study. (2020-11-22)

Mattress flammability standard is a lifesaver, NIST report finds
Bed fires can grow quickly, creating life-threatening situations within minutes. Seeking to curb the danger of these fires, NIST researchers supported a 2007 mattress standard. Now, more than a decade later, a NIST study has found that the standard has done its job and done it well, saving an estimated 65 lives over a two-year period. (2020-11-18)

Worms reveal why melatonin promotes sleep
Melatonin is used as a dietary supplement to promote sleep and get over jet lag, but nobody really understands how it works in the brain. Now, researchers at UConn Health show that melatonin helps worms sleep, too, and they suspect they've identified what it does in us. (2020-11-13)

Sticky electrons: When repulsion turns into attraction
Scientists in Vienna explain what happens at a strange 'border line' in materials science: Under certain conditions, materials change from well-known behaviour to different, partly unexplained phenomena. This can be explained by the emergence of attractive forces, counteracting the repulsion between electrons. (2020-11-10)

Global food system emissions threaten achievement of climate change targets
Even if greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel use in the global food system were immediately halted, the remaining greenhouse gasses otherwise produced from global food production would make meeting the Paris Agreement's target of limiting temperature increases to 1.5° Celsius (C) above preindustrial levels very difficult, a new study reports. (2020-11-05)

Keeping our cool
Fossil fuel burning accounts for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions, and to the world's credit, several countries are working to reduce their use and the heat-trapping emissions that ensue. The goal is to keep global temperatures under a 1.5° to 2°C increase above preindustrial levels -- the upper limits of the Paris Climate Agreement. (2020-11-05)

Radical changes in ecosystems
Earth and all the living organisms on it are constantly changing. But is there any way we can detect if these changes are occurring at an abnormal rate? An international team of researchers including scientists from FAU have developed a method of detecting such developments and tracking how new ecosystems are formed. (2020-10-30)

Effectiveness of gemcitabine & daily RT for bladder preservation in muscle-invasive bladder cancer
Bladder preservation with trimodality therapy can be a safe and effective alternative to cystectomy for selected patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. The phase II NRG Oncology NRG-RTOG 0712 trial evaluated two regimens. One was the prior RTOG standard using 5-flourouracil and cisplatin with twice daily radiation (FCT), and the other a regimen of gemcitabine and daily radiation (GD) which had demonstrated efficacy in single institution clinical trials. (2020-10-26)

0.5°C matters: Seasonal contrast of rainfall becomes intense in warming target of the Paris agreement
A recent work published in Earth's Future by a team of researchers from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences has found that the seasonal cycle of precipitation is likely to enhance at stabilized 1.5°C and 2°C warming scenarios. (2020-10-22)

Mammography screening saves lives also in older age
Mammography, which is an x-ray picture of the breast, is efficient also for women over the age of 70. For women invited to regular mammography screening over the age of 70, the reduction in mortality rate was significant. This according to a vast new study from Sweden. (2020-10-20)

Low-metallicity globular star cluster challenges formation models
On the outskirts of the nearby Andromeda Galaxy, researchers have unexpectedly discovered a globular cluster (GC) - a massive congregation of relic stars - with a very low abundance of chemical elements heavier than hydrogen and helium (known as its metallicity), according to a new study. (2020-10-15)

Winners and losers of energy transition
Drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector could have substantial economic and social impacts. Some regions might benefit more than others from new employment opportunities and from reduced air pollution, while others face threats to employment. Such a transition to renewable electricity thus risks creating new regional winners and losers. In a study published in Nature Communications, scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) quantify regional impacts associated with Central European electricity targets. (2020-10-13)

Scientists find upper limit for the speed of sound
A research collaboration between Queen Mary University of London, the University of Cambridge and the Institute for High Pressure Physics in Troitsk has discovered the fastest possible speed of sound. (2020-10-09)

Integrated terrestrial-freshwater planning doubles tropical freshwater conservation
Freshwater species are sometimes considered an afterthought in conservation planning, which typically prioritizes terrestrial ecosystems and their inhabitants. (2020-10-01)

Forgetting past misdeeds to justify future ones
Proven fact: we remember our altruistic behaviour more easily than selfish actions or misdeeds that go against our own moral sense. Described as 'unethical amnesia' by scientists, it is generally explained by self-image maintenance. But could these selective oversights, not necessarily conscious, have a more strategic aim? To find out, a team of behavioural economists from the CNRS recruited 1322 volunteers in an online experiment which took place over two sessions. (2020-09-29)

Unknowns and uncertainties raise ethical concerns for UK egg freezing
A lack of clear, accessible, and transparent data creates a series of ethical issues for egg freezing, according to a new briefing note from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. (2020-09-29)

Why there is no speed limit in the superfluid universe
Physicists from Lancaster University have established why objects moving through superfluid helium-3 lack a speed limit; exotic particles that stick to all surfaces in the superfluid. The discovery may guide applications in quantum technology, even quantum computing, where multiple research groups already aim to make use of these unusual particles. (2020-09-21)

Development of high-sensitivity, wide-IF band heterodyne receiver in THz frequency range
The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology has developed a unique superconducting hot electron bolometer mixer (HEBM) using magnetic materials. The 2 THz band HEBM produced this time has a low noise performance of about 570 K (DSB), which is about 6 times the quantum noise limit, and a wide IF band characteristic of about 6.9 GHz, which is about 3 GHz larger than the conventional structure HEBM. Both of these are world-class performance. (2020-09-18)

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