Science news

Plastic-Eating Fungus Found At A Landfill Site In Pakistan | IFLScience

http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/plasticeating-fungus-found-at-a-landfill-site-in-pakistan/ Researchers have found a species of fungus, known as Aspergillus tubingensis, that is able to feed off of plastic. In lab experiments, published in Environmental Pollution, scientists found that the mycelium of the fungus colonizes polyester polyurethane plastic, causing surface degradation and scarring. This is not the first time that organisms have been found to be able to feed

Flip-flop qubits: Radical new quantum computing design invented

https://m.phys.org/news/2017-09-flip-flop-qubits-radical-quantum.html Engineers at Australia’s University of New South Wales have invented a radical new architecture for quantum computing, based on novel ‘flip-flop qubits’, that promises to make the large-scale manufacture of quantum chips dramatically cheaper – and easier – than thought possible.

High-Dimensional Quantum Encryption Performed in Real-World City Conditions for First Time

http://www.osa.org/en-us/about_osa/newsroom/news_releases/2017/high-dimensional_quantum_encryption_performed_in_r/ For the first time, researchers have sent a quantum-secured message containing more than one bit of information per photon through the air above a city. The demonstration showed that it could one day be practical to use high-capacity, free-space quantum communication to create a highly secure link between ground-based networks and satellites, a requirement

The first thorium salt reactors in over 40 years were just switched on in Europe – ScienceAlert

http://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-have-conducted-the-first-thorium-salt-experiments-in-over-40-years#.WaUkb5ppSUB.facebook Netherlands-based nuclear power provider, NRG, are taking a gamble. They’re conducting experiments that could see a shift from uranium-based nuclear power to thorium. There has been the historical battle between using uranium or thorium as a nuclear fuel. Uranium provided a potential source of weapons-grade plutonium. A significant advantage of using thorium over uranium is it doesn’t

Researchers want to redefine the threshold for scientific discovery from 0.05 to 0.005 — Quartz

https://qz.com/1055287/an-error-made-in-1925-led-to-a-crisis-in-modern-science-now-researchers-are-joining-to-fix-it/?utm_source=parVG In 1925, Fisher published Statistical Methods for Research Workers, whete he explained the concept of statistical significance. Somewhat arbitrarily, Fisher chose to define statistical significance as a difference that had less than a .05 probability of occurring by random chance (in technical terms, this is called a p-value).  Fast forward more than a century later,

Biocomputer and Memory Built Inside Living Bacteria – IEEE Spectrum

http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/devices/biocomputer-and-memory-built-inside-living-bacteria Scientists have come up with two clever new ways to harness the programming power of DNA in living bacterial cells. In separate experiments published in Nature in July, researchers reported that they had successfully archived a movie and built a complex biological computer inside living E. coli cells.

How to build your own DIY makeshift levitation machine at home • The Register

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/16/engineers_show_how_to_construct_makeshift_acoustic_levitator/ Engineers at the University of Bristol in the UK have published a rough guide to building a simple levitation chamber that uses sound waves to suspend objects. A paper published in the Review of Scientific Instruments this month shows how it can be done within the confines of your own home lab. Using a 3D printer,

Researchers Embed Malware into DNA to Hack DNA Sequencing Software – IEEE Spectrum

http://spectrum.ieee.org/the-human-os/computing/software/researchers-embed-malicious-code-into-dna-to-hack-dna-sequencing-software This sounds like plot from scifi movie: University of Washington researchers successfully stored malware in synthetic DNA strands, and used it to gain control of the computer analyzing it. Researchers at the University of Washington have shown that by changing a little bit of computer code they can insert malware into a strand of