YOUR WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE
- The National Ignition Facility utilises a strong laser to heat and compress hydrogen fuel, initiating fusion. The experiment suggests the goal of “ignition”, where the energy released by fusion exceeds that delivered by the laser. Harnessing fusion, the process that powers the Sun, could provide a limitless, clean energy source. In a process called inertial confinement fusion, 192 beams from NIF’s laser – the highest-energy example in the world – are directed towards a peppercorn-sized capsule containing deuterium and tritium.
- Astronomers have obtained some detailed images of galaxies in deep space. They are in much higher definition than normal and show the inner workings of galaxies in unprecedented detail. The images could provide insights into the role of black holes in star and planet formation. Researchers say the images will enhance our understanding of how galaxies evolve. The images are of radio waves emitted by galaxies. Researchers study the radio waves from astronomical objects rather than the visible light they give off because it enables them to see things that would otherwise be blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Continued and increased use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) would have contributed to global air temperatures rising by an extra 2.5°C by the end of this century, a glob team of scientists found. Part of that would have been caused directly by CFCs, which are also potent greenhouse gases. But the damage they cause the ozone layer would also have released additional planet-heating carbon dioxide – currently locked up in vegetation – into the atmosphere.
- Scientists are running tests on an artificial-intelligence system thought to be able to diagnose dementia from just a single brain scan. It may also be able to predict if the condition will stay stable for many years, slowly become worse or require immediate treatment. At the moment, it can take several scans and tests to diagnose dementia. The researchers involved say earlier diagnoses with their system could greatly improve patient outcomes.
- Thousands of new jobs could be created by investing in low-carbon hydrogen fuel to power vehicles and heat homes, the government says. Ministers have unveiled a strategy for kick-starting a hydrogen industry, which they say could attract billions of pounds in investment. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the fuel was also essential for UK efforts to reach net zero emissions. He said it had the potential to provide a third of UK energy in future.
- July was the world’s hottest month ever recorded, a US federal scientific and regulatory agency has reported. The data show that the combined land and ocean-surface temperature was 0.93C (1.68F) above the 20th Century average of 15.8C (60.4F). It is the highest temperature since recordkeeping began 142 years ago. The previous record, in July 2016, was equalled in 2019 and 2020. Experts believe this is due to the long-term impact of climate change.
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