Best of Last Week – Google tracking users, InSight sending pics of Mars and health benefits of endurance training

December 3, 2018 by Bob Yirka
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

It was a good week for technology as a team at MIT found a new way to provide cooling without power—and it employs inexpensive materials. The team compared their system to a high-tech version of a parasol. In somewhat related news, a team at Queensland University of Technology reported that they had discovered a new catalyst material that produces abundant cheap hydrogen. They claim their new composite material allowed for electrochemically splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen and that it is cheaper and more efficient than other catalysts. Also, seven European consumer groups accused Google of manipulation to track users. The complaint followed the results of a study conducted by the Norwegian Consumer Council, which found that Google used deceptive design and misleading information in products, resulting in users consenting to being tracked without knowing they had done so.

In other news, NASA made worldwide headlines after landing another probe on Mars. Once safely on the planet, it unfolded its arrays and snapped some pics—some of the pictures have already been released to the public. Reports thus far have indicated that InSight landed as planned and is in good shape. And a team at Rice University discovered a fundamentally different form of interaction between light and matter when they were working with gold nanoparticles and found that light triggered the gold in an unexpected way. Also, researchers at Temple University reported on a study they had conducted with results that suggested there had been multiple instances of interbreeding between Neanderthals and early humans. Also, a study led by led by Gideon Nave of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and Philipp Koellinger of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam found that bigger brains are smarter, but not by much. And researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology reported that a new atomic clock was so exact it could be used to detect dark matter—because it is so accurate, it could be used to detect differences in clock ticks impacted by .

And finally, if you are one of the millions of people around the world engaging in exercise as a means to live a , you might want to check out a study done by a team in Germany, they found that endurance but not resistance training has anti-aging effects.

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