Solid-state battery 🔋 Fact Processing 🧠 Restaurant closure ❌!

Technology News

VW-backed QuantumScape says its solid-state batteries will enable EVs to travel farther and charge faster

QuantumScape claims to have developed a production-ready solid-state battery with cells that are made of solid and “dry” conductive material. And while most startups pursuing solid-state batteries remain mired in the lab, QuantumScape says it will be ready to go into production in 2024. Its solid-state batteries will represent a significant improvement over conventional lithium-ion batteries, enabling electric vehicles that can travel 80 percent further than an electric vehicle with a traditional battery. They also retain more than 80 percent of their capacity after 800 charging cycles and they’re noncombustible.

A quantum computer that measures light has achieved quantum supremacy

A new type of quantum computing called boson sampling is capable of calculations that no classical computer could accomplish in any reasonable amount of time. The team built a boson sampling device called Jiuzhang using laser pulses sent into a maze of 300 beam splitters and 75 mirrors. The Japanese Fugaku supercomputer, the world’s most powerful classical computer, would take 600 million years to accomplish what Jiuzhang can do in just 200 seconds. While this is an impressive achievement, quantum supremacy only means that this device is better than classical computers at one extremely specific task.

Science News

Why just one word can alter how the brain processes information

According to new research, just adding a collection of syllables to a phrase can make the brain react to that information in a totally different way. “Information presented as fact immediately evokes special responses in our brains, distinct from when we process the same information with clear markers of uncertainty, like ‘may’ or ‘might’.” When people read sentences that conveyed factual information, the team found the most powerful responses in the brain’s right temporoparietal junction. Importantly, it’s not the words themselves that matter that much. As long as the sentence conveys uncertainty, the brain will treat it differently.

Researchers discover treatment that suppresses liver cancer

Researchers have discovered a treatment combination that significantly reduces tumor growth and extends the life span of mice with liver cancer. The team created an integrative therapy that combined minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation (RFA) with the chemotherapy drug sunitinib. The team hypothesized that pairing the two treatments would have a profound effect by activating an immune response to target and destroy liver cancer cells. That’s exactly what their research revealed. “These results indicate that the sunitinib and RFA-integrated therapy functions as an effective therapeutic strategy that is superior to each individual therapy.”

Business News

10,000 of America’s restaurants are expected to close in the next three weeks

Around 17% of America’s restaurants have already permanently closed this year, and 10,000 more could close in the next three weeks. The National Restaurant Association is publicly pleading with Congress to pass new stimulus to help the industry that has been damaged by the pandemic. The results from the survey revealed that 87% of full-service restaurants reported an average 36% drop in revenue and 83% expects sales to be “even worse” over the next three months. A number of national chains filed for bankruptcy this year, including Ruby Tuesday’s and California Pizza Kitchen, which has resulted in the closure of hundreds of locations.

Ireland on course to be fastest growing economy in world in 2020

The Irish economy rebounded sharply in the third quarter of 2020, growing by a near record 11.1%, as the easing of coronavirus restrictions triggered a resurgence in activity across all sectors. The figures show sectors focused on the domestic market experienced significantly higher levels of economic activity, with construction activity jumping by 53%. The State recorded a trade surplus – the value of exports over imports – of €41 billion for the quarter as pharma and IT exports grew rapidly as a result of the crisis. The strong third quarter figures suggest the Irish economy will most probably record positive GDP growth for 2020.

Miscellaneous News

Mt Everest grows by nearly a metre to new height

The world’s highest mountain Mount Everest is 0.86m higher than had been previously officially calculated. The new height is 8,848.86m (29,032 ft). Everest stands on the border between China and Nepal and mountaineers climb it from both sides. Chinese authorities had said previously Mount Everest should be measured to its rock height, while Nepalese authorities argued the snow on top of the summit should be included. “For summiteers, scaling the highest peak means a great accomplishment. For us, it was just the beginning.”

Olympics branded a ‘mockery’ after inclusion of breakdancing for Paris Games

Australian squash great Michelle Martin says the Olympic Games have become a “mockery” after breakdancing was added to the program for Paris 2024. “There was a definitive answer and results to sports. You bring in all these judging things and it just gets so corrupt and so out of control. I just don’t get it anymore.” But Australia’s Olympic chief, Matt Carroll, said the addition of events like breaking were a positive sign of a more modern Games. “These Paris Games will see absolute gender equality for the first time and a record number of mixed events.”

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