Top 10 Science and Technology Inventions for the Week of August 7, 2020

01. Greater connectedness in remote areas: A Ka-band transceiver for satellite 02. Image cloaking tool thwarts facial recognition programs 03. NTU Singapore scientists build ultra-high-speed Terahertz wireless chip 04. Physicists find misaligned carbon sheets yield unparalleled properties 05. Scientists find way to track space junk in daylight 06. An electrical switch for magnetism 07. Break it down: A new way to address common computing problem 08. Scientists discover new class of semiconducting entropy-stabilized materials 09. Novel approach improves graphene-based supercapacitors 10. Whitepaper evaluates opportunities and risks of nanomaterials And others… Acoustic tweezers move objects in the body remotelyHas the Summit […]

Acoustic tweezers move objects in the body remotely

Physics World  August 4, 2020 Researchers at the University of Washington designed ultrasound beams of specific shapes by numerical modeling and a phased array. The beams were shown to levitate and electronically steer solid objects (3-mm-diameter glass spheres) along preprogrammed paths in a water bath, and in the urinary bladders of live pigs. Deviation from the intended path was on average <10%. No injury was found on the bladder wall or intervening tissue. The work provides a framework for medical applications, as well as nonmedical uses that require noninvasively moving sizable, dense objects in a free field or within a […]

Break it down: A new way to address common computing problem

Science Daily  August 5, 2020 The volume of data, inadequate computational resources to handle an oversized problem, security and privacy concerns are some of the challenges in solving large-scale linear inverse problems (LIP). Researchers at Washington University have developed the parallel residual projection (PRP), a parallel computational framework involving the decomposition of a large-scale LIP into sub-problems of low complexity and the fusion of the sub-problem solutions to form the solution to the original LIP. They analyzed the convergence properties of the PRP and accentuate its benefits through its application to complex problems of network inference and gravimetric survey. They […]

An electrical switch for magnetism  August 6, 2020 Electrical control of magnetism in van der Waals ferromagnetic semiconductors is an important step in creating novel spintronic devices capable of processing and storing information. Using an electric double-layer transistor device, an international team of researchers (Singapore, UK, China) discovered that the magnetism of a magnetic semiconductor, Cr2Ge2Te6, shows exceptionally strong response to applied electric fields. With electric fields applied, the material was found to exhibit ferromagnetism at temperatures up to 200 K (-73°C). At such temperatures, ferromagnetic order is normally absent in this material. Their analysis suggests that heavy doping promotes a double-exchange mechanism that […]

Greater connectedness in remote areas: A Ka-band transceiver for satellite communications

EurekAlert  August 4, 2020 The transceiver developed by researchers in Japan using standard CMOS technology uses 27-31 GHz frequency range for uplink and 17-21 GHz range for downlink. A high-quality transformer is used to achieve efficient power use and high linearity in transmission, resulting in lower distortion during transmission. Two RX channels allows for receiving signals from two satellites simultaneously in parallel using either two independent polarization modes or two different frequencies. It can perform adjacent-channel interference cancellation increasing the dynamic range of the system, thus allowing it to operate correctly even in less-than-ideal scenarios with stronger noise and interference. […]

Has the Summit Supercomputer Cracked COVID’s Code?

IEEE Spectrum  August 2, 2020 According to a team of researchers in the US (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University Tennessee, University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, Yale University, medical schools) lung fluid samples from COVID-19 patients consistently revealed over-expression of genes that produce bradykinin, while also under-expressing genes that would inhibit or break down bradykinin. This is the core mechanism that explains a lot of the symptoms. They arrived at this conclusion by crunching data sets representing some 17,000 genetic samples while comparing each of these samples to some 40,000 genes. They highlight ten possible therapies developed for other conditions […]

Image cloaking tool thwarts facial recognition programs

TechXplore  August 5, 2020 To help individuals inoculate their images against unauthorized facial recognition models, researchers at the University of Chicago have developed a system called Fawkes. It helps individuals add imperceptible pixel-level changes (they call “cloaks”) to their own photos before releasing them. When used to train facial recognition models, the “cloaked” images produce functional models that consistently cause normal images of the user to be misidentified. In experiments Fawkes provided 95+% protection against user recognition regardless of how trackers train their models. They have shown that Fawkes is robust against a variety of countermeasures that try to detect […]

Novel approach improves graphene-based supercapacitors

EurekAlert  August 3, 2020 Researchers in Australia have developed a technique to improve the performance of quasi‐solid‐state supercapacitors made by graphitized silicon carbide on silicon electrodes and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)+H2SO4 gel electrolyte. They increased the specific capacitance of the cell up to 3‐fold resulting from a simple agent‐free, in situ, electrochemical treatment leading to functionalization of the graphitic electrodes. The functionalization of the electrodes simultaneously enables redox reactions, without adding any redox agent, and increases the overall capacitance…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Novel magnetic stirrer speaks to lab equipment

Science Daily  August 3, 2020 Researchers in the UK have developed a device, called “Smart Stirrer”. When immersed in a solution, it can in situ monitor physical properties of the chemical reaction such as the temperature, conductivity, visible spectrum, opaqueness, stirring rate, and viscosity. This data is transmitted real-time over a wireless connection to an external system, such as a PC or smartphone. The flexible open-source software architecture allows effortless programming of the operation parameters of the Smart Stirrer in accordance with the end-user needs. In a series of experiments its capability for many hours of continuous telemetry with fine […]

NTU Singapore scientists build ultra-high-speed Terahertz wireless chip

EurekAlert  August 5, 2020 Conventional approaches to terahertz waveguiding suffer from sensitivity to defects and sharp bends. Building on the topological phase of light, an international team of researchers (Singapore, Japan) experimentally demonstrated robust terahertz topological valley transport through several sharp bends on the all-silicon chip. The valley kink states are excellent information carriers owing to their robustness, single-mode propagation, and linear dispersion. They have demonstrated error-free communication through a highly twisted domain wall at an unprecedented data transfer rate (exceeding ten gigabits per second) that enables real-time transmission of uncompressed 4K high-definition video. The research opens a route towards […]