Hubble analyzes huge galaxy that contains more than a trillion stars

A huge new galaxy has been observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. This time the telescope focused its attention on UGC 2885, also known as the “Rubin Galaxy,” in honour of the well-known astronomer Vera Rubin, and about 232 million light-years away from us. It is a gigantic galaxy not only because it is 2.5 times the size of our Milky Way but also because it is estimated to contain more than a trillion stars.

And these characteristics are even more remarkable considering that, as astronomers themselves report, this spiral galaxy seems to have never collided or merged with other galaxies. It simply spent its time creating many stars thanks to the considerable amount of hydrogen it has used for all these millions of years.

Because of this “quiet” nature, the galaxy has also been described by astronomers as a “gentle giant”. Even the supermassive black hole that is believed to be in the centre is half “asleep,” as it only attracts a few filaments of gas because the galaxy does not seem to feed, as all large galaxies do, on much smaller satellite galaxies and this does not bring much new material to the central black hole.

Now researchers want to understand the reasons for the underlying anomaly in this galaxy, basically how it has become so large, growing slowly, without attracting to itself almost nothing but the hydrogen of the filamentous structure of intergalactic space. Perhaps UGC 2885, in the distant past, attracted numerous small galaxies and this could be witnessed by the presence of star clusters, just what researchers are looking for inside this huge galaxy and that would explain its size.

Scientists discover new geometric models that are more resistant to shocks and explosions

A method to make materials more resistant to vibration and shock, for example during earthquakes, was developed by a group of engineers at the University of California in San Diego.

Professor Veronica Eliasson and her colleagues have discovered during several experiments that have seen the use of a particular device that generates powerful explosions in the laboratory, a particular structural conformation that can reduce the energy of shock waves and therefore to reduce the total damage.

In particular, they discovered that certain grooves in the geometric models used reduced the impact of the so-called “reflected shock wave.” “This research can also be used in military and civil applications to design materials and buildings to better withstand high-intensity explosions,” says Christina Scafidi, one of the researchers working on the project.

Another researcher involved in the research, aerospace engineer Alexander Ivanov, says in the press release: “The coal industry has had many fatal accidents and we believe this research is a valid reason to protect workers from eruptions that can easily spread throughout an entire coal mine. If the entire coal wall could be covered with these solid geometric obstacles, this would be an economical way to protect all miners. ”

Scientists create a new method to discover antiobiotics

A method for detecting more effective antibiotics that can be hidden in ordinary dirt has been devised by a group of researchers from McMaster University who have published their work in Nature Biotechnology. This method can be used to extract rarer or harder to extract compounds that can be useful for developing new antibiotics.

Today’s antibiotics actually come mainly from bacteria and fungi living in the soil, as Elizabeth Culp, one of the researchers who carried out the study, points out. This method describes how the most common antibiotics produced by soil bacteria can be removed to rediscover the “hidden” ones that could hardly be identified by the “classical” methods.

The method developed by researchers is based on a tool based on CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Researchers have tested the new method on different soil bacteria that produce antibiotics. With this method, they succeeded in eliminating the compounds that form the basis of two common antibiotics, streptomycin and streptomycin.

By subjecting the modified bacteria to a new screening without these components, the researchers discovered new compounds. “This simple approach led to the production of several antibiotics that would otherwise be masked,” said Culp himself. “We were able to quickly discover rare and previously unknown variants of antibiotics.”

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Scientists discover how metal can become magnetic with light

A new method for making non-magnetic metals magnetic has been developed by a group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Nanyang Technology University, Singapore. According to the press release, the process of using laser light can also be used to equip many materials with new properties.

Researchers have discovered that when they stimulate a metal through a certain process with laser light, its structure can transform and acquire new properties. The study was explained by Mark Rudner, a researcher at the Niels Bohr Institute of the Danish University: “We have been studying for several years how to transform the properties of a substance by emitting it with certain types of light. The novelty is that not only can we change properties with the help of light, but we can also change the material from the inside out and create a new phase with completely new properties. For example, a non-magnetic metal can suddenly become a magnet.”

According to researchers, the electrical currents circulating in the metal essentially appear spontaneously when the metal itself is irradiated with linear polarised light. What changes are the plasmons, a kind of electronic wave, present in the metal that begins to rotate clockwise or counterclockwise and change the electronic structure of the material, causing instability in the direction of the autorotation that makes the metal magnetic.

The study was published in Nature Physics.

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Scientists model new superhard materials with artificial intelligence

A group of scientists from the University of Buffalo automated 43 new forms of carbon, some of which could be even tougher than diamonds.

Each computer-modeled carbon variety is made of carbon atoms placed with a certain pattern in a kind of crystal lattice. The researchers then published the study on npj Computational Materials, a study that also confirms how artificial intelligence, and in particular the machine learning technique, can also be important for the research of new materials and in general in all fields of materials science.

Among other things, superhard materials can be very useful because they can cut, drill or even grind other materials and objects and can also be used to create scratch-resistant coatings. Currently there is no harder material than diamond, but the latter is also very expensive, as Eva Zurek, a chemist at the University of Buffalo, who was involved in the research, recalled.

Precisely for this reason, there are many laboratories around the world that try to synthesize materials, at least by modeling them, which are harder than diamonds and possibly cheaper. However, these are often long and laborious processes, and this is where the computer and the new and increasingly powerful artificial intelligence algorithms play a role.

With the computer, you can get modeled materials that can exhibit other interesting properties, such as certain interactions with heat or electricity or other properties that diamonds don’t have.
“Few superhard materials are known, so it’s interesting to find new ones,” says the researcher, who suggests that the open-source algorithm they used, called XtalOpt, to generate random and crystalline structures containing carbon, can also be used to discover new structures and new materials in an increasingly efficient and fast way and that some of them can reserve a pleasant surprise.

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New robot hand for amputees combines human and robot control

A group of researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne has created a new prosthesis for the hand, which allows the control of the fingers and automation thanks to machine learning software. This ensures a better grip and better handling of objects.

The study, published in Nature Machine Intelligence, describes how this robot hand is constructed by combining two concepts that belong to two different sectors: one comes from neuro-engineering, the other related to robotics.

As Aude Billard, EPFL Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory, manager of the study, explains: “The robot hand can react within 400 milliseconds. It can react and stabilize the object before the brain can actually perceive that the object is slipping.”

In order to move the hand and thus the objects, the amputee has to perform a series of movements as soon as he has applied the correct structure. In this way, the software-automatic learning algorithm is trained and used by the robot hand to move. After training, the algorithm can understand how to move the brain, something that allows the robot to perform many more movements and more natural ways.

“Because muscle signals can be noisy, we need a machine learning algorithm that extracts meaningful activities from muscles and interprets them in movements,” says Katie Zhuang, first author of the study, suggesting how much software’s approach to artificial intelligence was necessary to obtain such functions.

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