This week Science provides a good broad “keep up on the scientific world” for me. I enjoyed the update on the competition for exascale computer, a look at the “you are ruining my future” lawsuit on insufficient US climate leadership, a quick perspective on the re-wilding concept and effort, and finally a good research article on synchroton radiation – theory and measurement.
A few planetary mission updates: Planet hunter nears its end – good run Kepler! and NASA’s asteroid explorer Dawn soon to go dark – exploring Vesta and Ceres. And then a few good articles – an update on Quantum Computing in Quantum advantage with shallow circuits; a good seismic/geophysics look at the inner core in Shear properties of Earth’s inner core constrained by a detection of J waves in global correlation wavefield; and a good material/superconductor physics piece in Evidence for Majorana bound states in an iron-based superconductor.
A fantastic issues for astronomy and planetary science – with a great feature on Saturn research highlights including: the magnetic field, radiation belts, dust in the system (two!), SKR, and a study on the atmosphere – all based on Cassini’s final orbits.
If that isn’t enough, there is also an update on BepiColombo’s trips to Mercury and also a fantastic article on “sky rivers” or streams of stars falling into our galaxy and the implications of what that means based on the recent data released from the Gaia satellite.
And there is also a good write up on new research about GLOFs or glacial lake outburst floods (as drivers of erosion in the Himalaya).
Finally, a good study on the flu (go get your shot!) on how “Urbanization and humidity shape the intensity of influenza epidemics in U.S. cities.”
As always, a good read and a broad look at the week across science. My three most important to read articles are the “Atomic arrays power quantum computers” as another possible path to quantum compute. The Materials Science piece on “Cool paint job fights solar warmth” – IPCC’s latest report said we need way more things like this! And, depressing, and why we really need to get our act together — “Predicting global killer whale population collapse from PCB pollution.“
Good reading this week, but only one piece really captured my attention. I enjoyed the “Asteroseismic detection of latitudinal differential rotation in 13 Sun-like stars” that describes observations of sun-like stars with faster equatorial rotation – just like the sun. Pretty cool measurement technique!
As always, a great read. The “Interplanetary small satellites come of age” review of hopes for small sat planetary missions is very inspiring and hopeful – fanatstic! More planetary science – the “Juno observations of spot structures and a split tail in Io-induced aurorae on Jupiter” look at Jovian aurora is just awesome! So cool. There were a number of good material science pieces worth perusing.
First, a nice overview of the recently launched ICESat-2 in “NASA Space Laser targets melting poles.” The Perspective piece on Gaia 2.0 is a hopeful yet realistic framing of human’s responsibility to engage in Earth’s self-regulation (reminiscent of Stewart Brandt’s “we have become gods, we must get good at it.”) Finally, a great look at remote sensing capabilities necessary to inform policy decisions around forest loss in the nice study of “Classifying drivers of global forest loss.“
The review of notable new science books (“New books, fresh for fall“) was good – a few I really want to read. I enjoyed the “Computational astrophysics for the future” which described that simulation and physics combination that is required for progress in many fields. Very cool simulations on DOE/ORNL supercomputers. The work on “All-optical machine learning using diffractive deep neural networks” is really impressive optical computing and cutting edge machine learning. Great piece!
August 31, 2018 was a good issue of Science. Starting with the in brief news updates – Sacha Baron Cohen tried to prank Francis Collins (NIH) – Collins realized pretty quickly but continued to engage: “‘I was pretty irritated from having been misled.’ But ever the dutiful public servant, he decided to keep going — and get across whatever public health messages would stick.” – if you are on your game and an expert, this is how you you engage.. The piece of “Can a transgenic chestnut restore a forest icon?” is a good look at work on an engineered American chestnut. Lots of biotech – an interesting piece on using CRISPR to fix a muscular dystrophy in dogs – wow! A really good analytic piece with big energy, climate, and policy implications: Global carbon intensity of crude oil production. Really good work to quantify a critical aspect of energy production. A great piece on a critical issue of geographic (lack of) diversity in S&T investment in the U.S. – Federal research funding aims to ease societal challenges (and fantastic work Kei Koizumi!!!). The review on Emerging applications for DNA writers and molecular recorders was a good overview on key emerging tech in this area. Finally, the comprehensive review of a large number of datasets for the spatial footprint of injections wells in a global compilation of induced earthquake sequences is impressive and good work.
An important look at the dynamics between climate change and population, addressing a number of misconceptions, in Global warming policy: Is population left out in the cold?
An interesting look at Abrupt cloud clearing of marine stratocumulus in the subtropical southeast Atlantic attributed potentially to atmospheric gravity waves (AGW). Interesting if increased atmospheric energy may mean more AGW and a positive feedback climate loop.