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Corno espressum. Look at this man. Credit: John Sullivan, public domain, via Wikimedia

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Corno espressum. Look at this man. Credit: John Sullivan, public domain, via Wikimedia

In the first week of September, researchers reported on burning sharks, a way to maintain quantitative coherence and some positive market news for the old coal barons. Plus: Snail mucus is really impressive if you look at it from a molecular point of view.

Sharks are exhausted: Everyone knows the horrific toll a great white shark inflicted on Amity Island tourists. But has anyone stopped to think about how tourists affect sharks? According to a study published in Scientific reportsThese negative effects may have included stress and disturbed behavior patterns manifested by the zigzag swimming path associated with escaping predators.

The researchers have been studying a form of ecotourism where people pay money to swim with pods of sharks, the ultimate dream of wearing anchor Larry Vaughn’s jacket. It may sound strange, but it’s clearly a multi-million dollar industry. The researchers suggest that tour operators should be more aware of shark behavior and maintain minimum distances between them and the animals.

dirty energy: Are you nostalgic for past cityscapes riddled with smoke factories and soot-covered buildings? How about a nice, sun-filtered atmosphere full of asthma-causing lead, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and other heavy metals?

Well, hold on to your stylish hat, because per capita coal emissions from G20 countries are rising, right now, in 2023, even in the face of extreme weather events and promises from governments to transition to sustainable energy sources. Listen: Do you hear Scott Joplin’s haunting piano music emanating from somewhere amidst all this carbon haze? It’s as if we’ve stepped back in time.

Versatile atmosphere: Imagine inventing a sticky gun that can deliver sticky glue, high-viscosity lubricant, and moisturizing sunscreen lotion, all from the same nozzle. Congratulations, Edison, you’ve been inspired by the back of a snail. Researchers at the CUNY Center for Advanced Science Research have published a glimpse into the sticky substance secreted by the Cornu aspersum snail, which has the same three utilitarian modes.

They found that of the three subtypes of slime, the snail’s hydrating mucus contained the least amount of calcium-binding proteins, and its binding mucus contained the largest amount. In a key quote from the article, chemistry and biochemistry professor Adam Braunschweig says: “More uses of snail mucus are being discovered every day,” which is frankly a great argument in favor of government-funded research if you’re arguing with your uncle at family dinner.

Noise is annoying: Nuclear spin groups maintain their quantum state for only 150 milliseconds before being canceled out by noise in the form of heat and other sources. Oh, were you storing some information in that quantum system? Well, it’s gone now. Good thing you backed up your data in another nuclear spin cluster, oh, that one just decoupled too.

Noise is the enemy of quantum coherence and therefore the enemy of engineers trying to build quantum computing systems and quantum sensors. But it turns out that noise is also its own worst enemy.

Physicists at MIT now present a way to extend the coherence period of a nuclear spin group to… Three milliseconds is huge. The team characterized the thermal noise affecting quaternary nuclear interactions in the quantum system, and used the same noise source to compensate for it. As the article points out, their system works similarly to noise-cancelling headphones.

Delicious star: A sun-like star in a nearby galaxy is gradually being swallowed by a small black hole, astronomers using the Neil Girls Swift Observatory report. The star, which is in an elliptical orbit around the black hole, loses a mass equivalent to about three Earths every time it swings close to it, like a sausage on a string swinging around a hunting dog.

The researchers detected a bright flash of All of this represents a newly discovered phenomenon that one astronomer calls a “recurring, partial tidal disturbance event,” and fills a gap in knowledge of black hole feeding behavior.

Journal information:
Scientific reports

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