Physics

Venus flytraps found to produce magnetic fields

The Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a carnivorous plant that encloses its prey using modified leaves as a trap. During this process, electrical signals known as action potentials trigger the closure of the leaf lobes. An interdisciplinary team of scientists has now shown that these electrical signals generate measurable magnetic fields. Using atomic magnetometers, it proved possible to record this biomagnetism. "You could say the investigation is a little like performing an MRI scan in humans," said physicist Anne Fabricant.

Temperature, humidity, wind predict second wave of pandemic

The 'second wave' of the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in much blame placed on a lack of appropriate safety measures. However, due to the impacts of weather, research suggests two outbreaks per year during a pandemic are inevitable.

How do electrons close to Earth reach almost the speed of light?

A new study found that electrons can reach ultra-relativistic energies for very special conditions in the magnetosphere when space is devoid of plasma.

Beyond qubits: Next big step to scale up quantum computing

Researchers have invented a device that operates at 40 times colder than deep space to directly control thousands of qubits, the building blocks of quantum computers.

Biosensors require robust antifouling protection

Some promising biosensors and medical devices work well within pristine laboratory environments. However, they tend to stop working to deliver medical therapeutics or monitor chronic health issues once exposed to the real-world conditions of complex biological fluids.

Why food sticks to nonstick frying pans

Despite the use of nonstick frying pans, foods will sometimes get stuck to a heated surface, even if oil is used. The results can be very messy and unappetizing.

Not too big, not too small: Goldilocks analogy found in maze navigation

New research from the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) has found a surprising randomness for how fluids choose their path around obstacles that depends on their spacing. This has important implications for a range of scenarios—from oil recovery and groundwater remediation, to understanding the movement of fluids through biological systems. The research was published in Physical Review Letters.

First images of muon beams

A new technique has taken the first images of muon particle beams. Nagoya University scientists designed the imaging technique with colleagues in Osaka University and KEK, Japan and describe it in the journal Scientific Reports. They plan to use it to assess the quality of these beams, which are being used more and more in advanced imaging applications.

Life in the Clouds of Venus? Maybe Not.

Astronomers thought they detected phosphine — a gas often created by microbes — in Venus’ clouds. A new study suggests that analysis was incorrect.

Searching for dark matter through the fifth dimension

Theoretical physicists are working on a theory that goes beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. The central element is an extra dimension in spacetime. Until now, the scientists have faced the problem that the predictions of their theory could not be tested experimentally.

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