Tides on exoplanets could drive alien biological clocks

Worlds with a permanent day and night side aren’t obvious places to look in the search for extraterrestrial life. Apart from having extremes of temperature, such planets would make it hard for a biological clock to get going.

But now it seems that if these worlds also have oceans, then tides could drive a biological clock just like a rising and setting sun would, according to a simulation by Avi Loeb and Manasvi Lingam at Harvard University.

We used to think that not having a day-night cycle would make it harder for life to emerge, because of the lack of a circadian clock. On Earth, these built-in timekeepers play an important role in several biological contexts, including reproduction.

Read more on New Scientist

Here’s an idea: quit your job and start your own microbrewery

Whether you prefer a pale ale, porter, ruby, IPA, DIPA or stout, the choice of beer at pubs across the UK has changed beyond recognition mostly thanks to the rise of craft breweries. Here’s how you can turn making your own tipple into a brewing business.

It all started with a tax change. In 2002 then chancellor Gordon Brown introduced the ‘small breweries’ relief’ scheme. Also known as Progressive Beer Duty (PBD), the incentive gave huge tax breaks to small breweries.

Read more on WIRED

Longest ever study of the Sun paves the way for space weather forecasts

The Sun has been gradually getting hotter for the past seven years, as part of its 11-year solar cycle, according to a new study.

For the first time, changes in the temperature of the Sun’s hot atmosphere, the corona, have been studied over a timescale of years.

“To do this, we analysed Extreme Ultraviolet radiation emitted by the corona, and measured by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly telescopes aboard the Solar Dynamic Observatory spacecraft,” Huw Morgan, from Aberystwyth University and lead author of the study, told WIRED.

Read more on WIRED

 

Asteroids may have started life as giant mudballs

You may think of them as huge rocks hurtling through the sky, but the asteroids that helped create our planet may have started life as balls of mud, according to a new study.

Asteroids containing carbon, also known as carbonaceous or C-type asteroids, are the most common type in our solar system. They are believed to be the precursors to the terrestrial planets, but exactly how they formed is not fully understood.

Read more on WIRED

Quantum information is teleported from Earth into orbit for the first time

Quantum information has been teleported from Earth into orbit for the first time ever, in a breakthrough towards developing a global quantum network.

Cracking entanglement at long distances is crucial to developing a network for quantum-encrypted communication and quantum computing. Now, with the publication of two new papers, a team of researchers in China has brought us closer to this goal.

Read more on WIRED

CERN’s charming new particle discovery could open a ‘new frontier’ in physics

Scientists at CERN have announced the discovery of a new kind of particle, named Xi-cc++ (apparently pronounced ‘Ksī-CC plus-plus’). The particle was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider’s beauty experiment, or LHCb.

Particles like Xi-cc++ are predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics – the set of laws that describes the most fundamental building blocks of nature – but this is the first time scientists have been able to confirm they really exist.

Read more on WIRED

Who needs a DSLR when you’ve got a photo-taking car?

Can a car take beautiful photographs? Driving around the streets of Copenhagen on the coldest May evening in 20 years, I was tasked with finding out.

“There is so much to think about,” says photographer Barbara Davidson as she reverses the car onto a ramp to get a slightly different angle for a shot. With a car camera there is no zooming and no slight movements. To get the best shot, you have to move the whole car. Davidson’s vision for the photo shoot, which has been organised by Volvo, is to tell the story of a young girl who visits a new city for the first time and falls in love with it.

Read more on WIRED

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