Connect with us

Science

Researchers claim new internet speed record of 44.2 Tbps

Published

on

Researchers based out of Australia’s Monash, Swinburne, and RMIT universities say they’ve set a new internet speed record of 44.2 Tbps, according to a paper published in the open-access journal Nature Communications. That’s theoretically enough speed to download the contents of more than 50 100GB Ultra HD Blu-ray discs in a single second.

What’s interesting about the research is that it was achieved over 75km of standard optical fiber using a single integrated chip source, meaning it has the potential to one day benefit existing fiber infrastructure.

The test fiber connection ran between RMIT’s Melbourne City campus and Monash University’s Clayton campus, and the researchers say it mirrors infrastructure used by Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN). The findings represent a “world-record for bandwidth,” according to Swinburne University Professor David Moss, one of the team members responsible.

“What our research demonstrates is the ability for fibers that we already have in the ground, thanks to the NBN project, to be the backbone of communications networks now and in the future. We’ve developed something that is scalable to meet future needs,” said co-lead author of the study and Monash University lecturer Bill Corcoran.

Those speeds were achieved, thanks to a piece of technology called a micro-comb, which offers a more efficient and compact way to transmit data. This micro-comb was placed within the cable’s fibers in what the researchers say is the first time the technology has been used in a field trial.

Now, the researchers say the challenge is to turn the technology into something that can be used with existing infrastructure. “Long-term, we hope to create integrated photonic chips that could enable this sort of data rate to be achieved across existing optical fiber links with minimal cost,” RMIT’s Professor Arnan Mitchell says.

It’s unlikely that you’re going to be downloading games or streaming movies over a 44.2 Tbps connection anytime soon, however. If the technology ends up becoming commercialized, the researchers say that it’s likely to first be used to connect data centers. After all, gigabit internet connections have been available for years, and it’s still relatively uncommon to see them in residential homes. But if the technology becomes cheap enough, then the researchers hope it could one day be used by the general public.

Science

SpaceX delays first historic crewed launch to space due to weather

Published

on

By

After getting down to just 17 minutes until launch, SpaceX had to postpone its first crewed flight to space on Wednesday afternoon due to bad weather over the launch site in Florida. Now, the two passengers on board SpaceX’s capsule — NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley — will disembark the vehicle and try again on Saturday, May 30th.

Developing…

Continue Reading

Science

Nearly two dozen attorneys general sue Trump administration over controversial fuel standard

Published

on

By

The Trump administration was sued by attorneys general from 23 states and the District of Columbia over the controversial rolling back of Obama-era fuel standards. A coalition of environmental and health groups also filed suit today over the rollback. It’s the latest legal battle in President Donald Trump’s efforts to undo Obama-era plans to cut back on air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

In March, Trump finalized a rule that would require car manufacturers to make their new fleets 1.5 percent more fuel efficient each year, setting a goal of reaching an average of about 40 miles per gallon by 2026. That’s a much lower bar than what was set during the Obama administration, which would have pushed automakers to ramp up fuel efficiency by 5 percent each year in order to reach an average of 54 miles per gallon by 2025.

The lawsuit alleges the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration used a flawed analysis to justify their rollback. The agencies did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Trump administration has argued that the Obama-era standards would have made cars more expensive, forcing people to stick with older, less-safe models. But the attorneys general point to evidence that the weaker rules could result in an estimated thousands of premature deaths because of increased tailpipe emissions.

“What makes [Trump’s] rule so offensive is [that the Obama-era standard] is not a rule where people can say it was a disconnect. No, this was a smooth path,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said on a press call. “This was a promising path. This was a future that we need. But nonetheless, we’re seeing this happening.”

The Obama-era standards had already saved vehicle owners $86 billion at the gas pump and reduced planet-heating carbon dioxide by half a billion metric tons, according to the EPA. The new standards, on the other hand, could add up to an additional 2 billion barrels of oil and nearly an additional 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s about as much as 257 coal-fired power plants would put out over a year.

“Just read the text of the rule and you will discover that it is a job-killer and public health hazard,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “It will increase costs to consumers and allow the emission of dangerous pollutants that directly threaten the health of our families.” The battle over cleaner cars and air is playing out as COVID-19 strikes people with respiratory diseases especially hard, the attorneys general pointed out in today’s call.

Car companies are split over what fuel efficiency standards should be. Volkswagen, Ford, Honda, and BMW last year committed to year-over-year gains in fuel economy that exceed Trump’s weakened standards. General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler, on the other hand, have backed Trump’s bid to revoke California’s ability to set state vehicle emissions standards higher than the federal mandate.

Ford said today that it is neither joining the suit nor defending the Trump administration’s new rule. “We have chosen a different path in support of a voluntary framework in California,” it said in a statement. “The voluntary framework gives more regulatory certainty which protects the long-term interests of the industry, affordability, consumers, and the environment.”

Continue Reading

News

Human activity threatens 50 billion years of evolution, say scientists

Published

on

The punk-haired Mary River turtle is under threat of extinction (Credits: Chris Van-Wyk / ZSL / SWNS.COM)

Our ‘human footprint’ is destroying more than 50 billion years of unique evolutionary history, warns a new study.

Research led by the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College found that many regions home to the greatest amount of unique evolutionary history are facing unprecedented levels of human pressure.

These include the Caribbean, the Western Ghats of India, and large parts of Southeast Asia.

The team mapped the evolutionary history of the world’s terrestrial vertebrates including amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles.

They explored how areas with large concentrations of evolutionarily distinct and threatened species are being impacted by our ever-increasing ‘human footprint’.

Biodiversity is under massive threat from the human footprint (Credits: PA)

Lead author Dr Rikki Gumbs, of Imperial College London, said: ‘Our analyses reveal the incomprehensible scale of the losses we face if we don’t work harder to save global biodiversity.

‘To put some of the numbers into perspective, reptiles alone stand to lose at least 13 billion years of unique evolutionary history, roughly the same number of years as have passed since the beginning of the entire universe.’

Using extinction risk data for around 25,000 species, the researchers also calculated the amount of evolutionary history – branches on the tree of life – currently threatened with extinction.

They found at least 50 billion years of evolutionary heritage is under threat, as well as a large number of species.

The Shoebill stork that lives in Africa is under threat too (Credits: Claudia Gray / ZSL / SWNS.COM)

The greatest losses of evolutionary history will be driven by the extinction of entire groups of closely-related species that share long branches of the tree of life, such as pangolins and tapirs.

We could also lose highly evolutionarily distinct species that sit alone at the ends of extremely long branches, such as the ancient Chinese crocodile lizards, the Shoebill a gigantic bird that stalks the wetlands of Africa and the iconic Aye-aye, a nocturnal lemur with large yellow eyes and long spindly fingers.

This is an Aye-Aye (Credits: ZSL / SWNS.COM)

This new study highlights priority species for conservation, based on their evolutionary uniqueness and the intense human pressure across the environments where they are thought to exist.

Many of these species are also a priority for ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme, which works to conserve the world’s most evolutionarily distinct and threatened species from extinction – including the punk-haired Mary River turtle and the Purple frog.

We don’t want to lose a species as great looking as this (Credits: Chris Van-Wyk / ZSL / SWNS.COM)

Dr Gumbs said: ‘These are some of the most incredible and overlooked animals on Planet Earth.

‘From legless lizards and tiny blind snakes to pink worm-like amphibians called caecilians, we know precious little about these fascinating creatures, many of which may be sliding silently toward extinction.’

A baby Pangolin (Credits: Yingboon Chongsomchai /ZSL / SWN)

Co-author Dr James Rosindell, from Imperial College London, added: ‘Our findings highlight the importance of acting urgently to conserve these extraordinary species and the remaining habitat that they occupy – in the face of intense human pressures.’

The findings are published in Nature Communications.

Continue Reading

Trending