California Scientists Develop Radio Based Ultra-Fast Data Transmission System
Back in 2012, an international team of scientists led by electrical engineering professor Alan Willner, of the University of Southern California, made news when they announced that they were able to transmit data at incredibly high speeds with a system that used eight twisted light beams.
Now another team led by Willner has been able to send high-speed data transmission using twisted radio beams, instead of light.
While this new radio wave based high-speed data transmission system sends data at a relatively slower rate – of 32 gigabits per second versus the transmission rate of 2.56 terabits per second with the twisted light system – the researchers said that radio based system is better able to overcome some transmission/reception difficulties than the optical system.
Put in perspective, the twisted radio beam system transmitting at a rate of 32 gigabits per second is fast enough to transfer more than 10.5 HD movies in one second. The twisted-light system was able to send more than 85,000 times more data per second than is possible with current broadband cable technology.
Evolution Made Humans Look Different from Each Other
Have you ever wondered why humans look so different from each other?
It turns out, according to a new study just published in the journal Nature that the wide variety of faces of the human species is due to evolutionary changes that made each of us unique and easy to recognize.
The researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, said that these changes were necessitated by how we communicate. Rather than using smells and sounds like other animal species, humans rely on highly visual social interactions to interact and tell each other apart.
“The idea that social interaction may have facilitated or led to selection for us to be individually recognizable implies that human social structure has driven the evolution of how we look,” said coauthor Michael Nachman, director of the University of California, Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.
Massive Exoplanet Causes Its Young Sun to Act Old
Astronomers, using new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory, have found evidence that a huge exoplanet is causing its relatively young sun to behave as if it were a senior citizen.
The star, called WASP-18 and its closely orbiting massive planet named WASP-18b are located about 330 light years from Earth.
Scientists say that young stars have a tendency to be quite active, having much stronger magnetic fields, exploding with larger solar flares, and emitting many more powerful X-rays than their older relatives. The intensity of these types of solar activity, according to the astronomers, is associated with the star’s rotation, which usually slows as it gets older.
But after studying the WASP-18, the astronomical team said that they weren’t able to detect any X-rays at all, something that can be expected from much older stars. They figure WASP-18 is about 100 times less active than a star its age should be.
The astronomers believe that the premature aging of WASP-18 is due to tidal forces – like our moon has on Earth’s tides – that are created by the gravitational pull of the massive planet which is disturbing its magnetic field.
Today’s Europeans are a Mix of at Least Three Different Groups of Ancient People
Recent research of ancient DNA has provided evidence that people of European ancestry descended from at least three major and diverse groups of ancestors, including some that until now had been unrecognized.
Previous genetic and archaeological research showed that present-day Europeans descended from the mix of these two ancient groups of people – hunter gatherers from Western Europe and farmers from the Near East who brought agriculture with them to the European continent some 8,500 years ago.
According to the new study, along with these two groups, a newly identified group of ancient people from Northern Eurasia, who didn’t arrive in Europe until after the introduction of agriculture, also contributed to the genetic mix of today’s Europeans.
Researchers from the Harvard Medical School and the University of Tübingen in Germany said that their studies could change current concepts of how groups of people migrating throughout the world thousands of years ago interacted with each other.
To make their findings, which were just published in the journal, Nature, the researchers compared nine ancient genomes to those of modern humans.
“There are at least three major, highly differentiated populations that have contributed substantial amounts of ancestry to almost everybody that has European ancestry today,” said David Reich, from the Harvard Medical School in a news release.
The researchers said that their findings indicate that significant migration of people into Europe from other parts of the world took place later than previously thought.