Best of Last Week – High-temp superconductivity, ice cream changes colors when licked and more sophisticated ransomeware

Aug 04, 2014 by Bob Yirka report
This artist's representation shows the Fermi bubbles towering above and below the galaxy. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

(Phys.org) —Last week was a big one for research into practical applications as one team of physicists unlock nature of high-temperature superconductivity—the team identified what is believed to be the "quantum glue" that underlies a promising type of superconductivity, possibly paving the way to real applications. Meanwhile, researchers are working with tiny magnets, huge fields: Nanoscale ferromagnetic electrodes create chemical equivalent of solid-state spin valve—they propose that the limitations of using a magnetic gradient force field to manipulate paramagnetic molecules precisely can be dealt with by using very tiny ferromagnetic electrodes to produce powerful localized force fields that can be fine-tuned by an external magnetic field. And in Spain, a a physicist creates ice cream that changes colors as it's licked—secret ingredients respond to temperature change and chemicals found in the mouth.

Last week was pretty big for space research as well as a computer model shows the moon's core surrounded by liquid and it's caused by Earth's gravity—the simulations by the model upend theories that suggest the moon is completely solid. Another team analyzing data from x-ray detectors sent above Earth's atmosphere two years ago as part of the DXL mission found evidence of a local hot bubble carved by a supernova—the suspected origins of the soft X-ray glow permeating the night sky. And sadly, another team reports that despite extensive analysis, Fermi bubbles defy explanation—there is still no good explanation for the existence of the two massive bubbles that stretch tens of thousands of light-years above and below the Milky Way Galaxy.

In medical news, researchers last week reported they believe they have found a glucose "control switch" in the brain key to both types of diabetes. Now if the switch can be manipulated by drugs, it might be possible to better control glucose levels in the blood. Also, another team of researchers reported a new type of ransomware more sophisticated and harder to defeat. If your computer is infected, it will encrypt your data and demand payment for decryption, leaving you feeling angry and vulnerable and wishing you'd backed up your stuff on removable medium.

And finally, a team of researchers in Texas has found that the pain reliever Ibuprofen relieves women's hurt feelings, not men's, which may or may not seem fair to some, but not others.

Explore further: Tiny magnets, huge fields: Nanoscale ferromagnetic electrodes create chemical equivalent of solid-state spin valve

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Evidence of a local hot bubble carved by a supernova

Jul 30, 2014

I spent this past weekend backpacking in Rocky Mountain National Park, where although the snow-swept peaks and the dangerously close wildlife were staggering, the night sky stood in triumph. Without a fire, ...

The source of the sky's X-ray glow

Jul 27, 2014

In findings that help astrophysicists understand our corner of the galaxy, an international research team has shown that the soft X-ray glow blanketing the sky comes from both inside and outside the solar system.

Recommended for you

Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

15 hours ago

There's some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives' tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

History books spark latest Texas classroom battle

Sep 16, 2014

As Texas mulls new history textbooks for its 5-plus million public school students, some academics are decrying lessons they say exaggerate the influence of Christian values on America's Founding Fathers.

Flatow, 'Science Friday' settle claims over grant

Sep 16, 2014

Federal prosecutors say radio host Ira Flatow and his "Science Friday" show that airs on many National Public Radio stations have settled civil claims that they misused money from a nearly $1 million federal ...

User comments : 0