This naturally occurring molecule forms a fractal

Fractals are everywhere in nature, from river deltas to tree branches. These structures look similar from afar as when you zoom in close. Certain fractals, called regular fractals, are identical on different scales and include whirls of Romanesco cauliflower (SN: 7/8/21). But regular fractals hadn’t been spotted in nature on the molecular level — until …

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The experimental demonstration of a verifiable blind quantum computing protocol

Photograph of the photonically networked trapped-ion quantum processor server at the University of Oxford, Credits: David Nadlinger. Quantum computers, systems that process and store information leveraging quantum mechanical phenomena, could eventually outperform classical computers on numerous tasks. Among other things, these computers could allow researchers to tackle complex optimization problems, speed up drug discovery and …

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Listening to bird dreams, securing qubits, imagining impossible billiards

Vocal muscle activity of birds during sleep can be translated into synthetic songs. Credit: Romina Kuppe and Ana Amador It’s Saturday, which means that in a universe where the arrow of time moves backward, people have to go to work tomorrow. In such a hypothetical universe, Garfield hates Fridays—tough to imagine. This week, we looked …

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Biden rule hikes fees for oil projects on public lands

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland described a new rule on oil and gas projects on public lands as the most significant reform to the program ‘in decades’ Oil companies drilling on public lands must post larger bonds and pay higher royalties under a rule finalized Friday by the Biden administration. The bonding requirements for development increased …

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Physicists solve puzzle about ancient galaxy found by Webb telescope

Photo shows from L to R: Hai-Bo Yu, Demao Kong, and Daneng Yang. Credit: Hai-Bo Yu, UC Riverside. Last September, the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, discovered JWST-ER1g, a massive ancient galaxy that formed when the universe was just a quarter of its current age. Surprisingly, an Einstein ring is associated with this galaxy. …

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Persistent socioeconomic gaps for Black Californians would take more than 248 years to close unless more is done: Report

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Almost two decades ago, the inaugural State of Black California report was the first to provide a comprehensive look at how the material conditions and socioeconomic outcomes for Black Californians fared compared to other racial and ethnic groups. The latest report, published by the Black Policy Project, an initiative of the …

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Biden plans sweeping effort to block Arctic oil drilling

by Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Bloomberg News Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain The U.S. set aside 23 million acres of Alaska’s North Slope to serve as an emergency oil supply a century ago. Now, President Joe Biden is moving to block oil and gas development across roughly half of it. The initiative, set to be finalized within …

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New species of ant found pottering under the Pilbara named after Voldemort

Workers of Leptanilla voldemort sp. nov. from Western Australia in ethanol. Credit: ZooKeys (2024). DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1197.114072 A study by The University of Western Australia has unearthed a new species of subterranean ant that shares some traits with a well-known Harry Potter villain. The research, published in Zookeys, describes the new species Leptanilla voldemort as a …

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Environmental groups grateful but vigilant after Key Bridge collapse

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain When Alice Volpitta watched the video of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse, and the trucks tumbling into the Patapsco River in the darkness, she thought first for the people who had fallen. And as her mind raced, the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper thought of the river. “What’s on that ship?” thought …

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