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The first all-sky survey performed by the eROSITA X-ray telescope on-board the Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) observatory has revealed a large hourglass-shaped structure in the Milky Way. These “eROSITA bubbles” show a striking similarity to the Fermi bubbles, detected a decade ago at even higher energies. The most likely explanation for these huge features is a massive energy injection from the Galactic centre in the past, leading to shocks in the hot gas envelope of our galaxy.

Astronomers have detected a remarkable new feature in the first all-sky survey map produced by the eROSITA X-ray telescope on SRG: a huge circular structure of hot gas below the plane of the Milky Way occupying most of the southern sky. A similar structure in the Northern sky, the “North polar spur”, has been known for a long time and had been thought to be the trace of an old supernova explosion. Taken together, the northern and the southern structures instead are reminscent of a single hourglass-shaped set of bubbles emerging from the Galactic center.

A huge hourglas in the Milky Way

The eROSITA bubbles: In this false-colour map the extended emission at energies of 0.6-1.0 keV is highlighted. The contribution of the point sources was removed and the scaling adjusted to enhance large-scale structures in our Galaxy. Credit: MPE/IKI

“Thanks to its sensitivity, spectral and angular resolution, eROSITA has been able to map the entire X-ray sky to unprecedented depth, revealing the southern bubble unambiguously,” explains Michael Freyberg, a senior scientist working on eROSITA at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE). eROSITA scans the entire sky every six months and the data allows the scientists to look for structures that cover a significant portion of the whole sky.

The large-scale X-ray emission observed by eROSITA in its medium energy band (0.6-1.0 keV) show that the intrinsic size of the bubbles is several kiloparsecs (or up 50,000 light-years) across, almost as large as the entire Milky Way. These ‘eROSITA bubbles’ show striking morphological similarities to the well-known ‘Fermi bubbles’ detected at in gamma-rays by the Fermi telescope, but are larger and more energetic.

„The sharp boundaries of these bubbles most likely trace shocks caused by the massive injection of energy from the inner part of our galaxy into the Galactic halo,” points out Peter Predehl, first author of the study now published in Nature. “Such an explanation has been previously suggested for the Fermi bubbles, and now with eROSITA their full extent and morphology has become evident.”

This discovery will help astronomers to understand the cosmic cycle of matter in and around the Milky Way, and other galaxies. Most of the ordinary (baryonic) matter in the Universe is invisible to our eyes, with all the stars and galaxies that we observe with optical telescopes comprising less than 10% of its total mass. Vast amounts of unobserved baryonic matter are expected to reside in tenuous haloes wrapped like cocoons around the galaxies and the filaments between them in the cosmic web. These haloes are hot, with a temperature of millions of degrees, and thus only visible with telescopes sensitive to high-energy radiation.

The bubbles now seen with eROSITA trace disturbances in this hot gas envelope around our Milky Way, caused either by a burst of star formation or by an outburst from the supermassive black hole at the Galactic centre. While dormant now, the black hole could well have been active in the past, linking it to active galactic nuclei (AGN) with rapidly growing black holes seen in distant galaxies. In either case, the energy needed to power the formation of these huge bubbles must have been enormous at 10^56 ergs, equivalent to the energy release of 100,000 supernovae, and similar to estimates of AGN outbursts.

“The scars left by such outbursts take a very long time to heal in these haloes,” adds Andrea Merloni, eROSITA Principal Investigator. “Scientists have been looking for the gigantic fingerprints of such past violent activity around many galaxies in the past.” The eROSITA bubbles now provide strong support for large-scale interactions between the Galaxy core and the halo around it, which are energetic enough to perturb the structure, energy content and chemical enrichment of the circumgalactic medium of the Milky Way.

“eROSITA is currently completing the second scan of the entire sky, doubling the number of X-ray photons coming from the bubbles it has discovered,” points out Rashid Sunyaev, Lead Scientist of the SRG Observatory in Russia. “We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us, because the eROSITA data makes it possible to single out many X-ray spectral lines emitted by highly ionized gas. This means that the door is open to study the abundance of chemical elements, the degree of their ionization, the density and temperature of the emitting gas in the bubbles, and to identify the locations of shock waves and estimate characteristic timescales.”

Source: MPG

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PwC expects 5G to hit a tipping point in 2023

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Mobile gaming and wearables are the most promising early use cases, the firm says, while smart factories and self-driving cars are farther in the future.

PwC looks at 5G products and services that are most likely to be implemented during this growth period for the high-speed service.

Image: 5G

A new 5G report from PwC has advice about how businesses should use this phase of the 5G transformation to plan new services and retrain employees.

In “Making 5G Real,” PwC analysts expect 5G to hit a tipping point in 2023 due to consumer upgrade cycles and deployment challenges, both influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report suggests that coverage will grow faster than device penetration. PwC estimates that 5G is currently at 75% availability of coverage but only 8% in terms of device penetration. By the middle of this year, coverage will be up to 85% but device penetration will be at only 12%. This means that a significant percentage of Americans will have access to 5G at home or work but the performance of the networks will remain uneven, according to the report. More mid-band spectrum is expected to make coverage better in urban and suburban areas.

To understand what this means for businesses, consumers, and telecom providers, PwC analysts looked at promising strategies and the 5G use cases that are most likely to become a reality in the  next five years. Dan Hays, a leader in US technology, media and telecommunications corporate strategy at PwC, said now is the time for all companies to start assessing the possibilities that 5G brings.

“Enterprises should be thinking through how 5G could be used to improve their products and services, enhance the customer experience, and streamline operations,” he said.

SEE: Future of 5G: Projections, rollouts, use cases, and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Here are the recommendations from the report.

Key components of a 5G strategy

PwC analysts say that the tipping point for 5G is not here yet. Businesses should use this time to define what 5G means for their operations and their customers. PwC recommends that companies take these factors into consideration when developing a 5G strategy:

  1. Strategy and timing: Determine when, where, and how to launch a product or service built on 5G.
  2. Operational costs: Plan for higher operational costs initially for solutions that require 5G’s low latency or edge computing features.
  3. Workforce planning: Consider reorganizing and retraining marketing, sales, and operations teams to maximize 5G investments.
  4. Trust: Design and deploy data privacy and protection measures to comply with GDPR and CCPA.

Most likely use cases in the next five years

Given the limitation of device penetration at this point, PwC reports that these are the 5G products and services that consumers will see soon:

  • Augmented reality
  • Cloud gaming
  • IoT/wearables/healthcare monitoring
  • Smart cities/public safety

Hays said that he expects that early uses of enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access will boost cloud-based gaming and augmented reality.

“These will continue to expand as 5G coverage and device availability grows,” he said.

Hays said that the case for 5G use in enterprises is even more compelling.

“The most high-value use cases are likely to win early adoption, in particular, remote healthcare,  virtual work, and private networks are garnering significant attention,” he said. 

PwC predicts that these use cases will require more time and infrastructure before becoming widespread:

  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Drones
  • Remote surgery
  • Smart factory projects
  • Virtual reality

Strategies for telecom providers

The PwC report touches on the challenges that telecom providers face with the 5G rollout ranging from the cost of building the network to operational redesign and workforce transformation. To maximize coverage across the country, PwC recommends that carriers launch 5G services that work with 4G core mobile networks. This will ease the transition from one type of service to another. The report also suggests that telecom companies use fixed wireless to expand high-speed broadband availability in areas where installing fiber optic lines is complex or expensive, such as rural areas and highly populated urban areas.

Telecom providers also need to look into revenue streams from a new source: B2B2X, which PwC describes as business to business to consumer or business to business to business. This new category of services could include offering video and IoT products to both large enterprises and small to midsized companies.

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Proteomic analysis reveals when and how which proteins are degraded in cancer cells by Autophagy pathways

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Beyond maintenance of organelle and protein homeostasis, Autophagy also called “self-eating”, plays a major role in cellular survival as fundamental stress and adaptation response, in particular during diverse starvation conditions. There are, however, multiple different autophagic pathways in mammalian cells that is known to contribute for degrading different cellular components. Which of these autophagy pathways are responsible for degrading which proteins and when this occurs has remained undefined.

Thousands of proteins can be degraded in cancer cells through autophagy pathways

The research team at Karolinska Institutet, under the direction of Associate Professor Helin Norberg, has previously provided new insights into this by characterizing proteins degraded by different autophagic pathways in cancer cells (Autophagy, 2019). In the new study (Autophagy, 2021), they now reveal how and which proteins are degraded, and that it occurs in an orderly sequential manner, which was found to be dependent on the function the protein has in cancer cells.

“An important aspect of these findings is that the majority of the identified proteins display dominant oncogenic pro-survival activities, who’s pathogenic stabilization effectively sustains tumour progression and dissemination. Since our finding outline how these proteins can be degraded, our discoveries lay the basis for understanding the mechanisms of how oncoproteins can be “eaten up” by the cells. Most importantly, when we know how, when and which cancer-promoting proteins can be degraded, we can also start to design new strategies that could selectively promote their degradation-specific mechanisms for the development of novel anti-cancer approaches, says Helin Norberg, Docent at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology.”

Source: Karolinska Institutet

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Flipkart SmartPack Offers 100% Moneyback on Top Smartphones in India

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Buying a new smartphone is a special feeling. But when you consider the amount of money you have to spend on a new phone, and on top of it all those Online Subscription Services, you have to think again. What if there was a way you could get 100% moneyback on the smartphone of your choice? What if you had to pay only for the online services you use?

Flipkart has come up with an industry-first innovative solution that brings 100% moneyback when you buy a new smartphone from popular brands such as Realme, Poco, Samsung, Redmi, Motorola, Infinix, Oppo, and others. You get the entire amount directly in your bank account after 12/18 months. Sounds too good to be true? Well, you better believe it.

What is Flipkart SmartPack?

Flipkart SmartPack is the Smartest way to buy a Smartphone of your choice. You get 100% moneyback along with access to some of the best online services which you’d normally have to pay for, besides spending money on a new smartphone. Flipkart SmartPack, will make it easier and more affordable for Indian smartphone users to buy a new smartphone every year.

What Does Flipkart SmartPack Offer?

The Flipkart SmartPack plans offer benefits of multiple online services including Disney+ Hotstar VIP, SonyLiv, Zee5, Zomato Pro, Live, Practo, Gaana, etc. Now you don’t have to buy individual subscription packs for each of these services. The feature gives you moneyback directly into your bank account, and not vouchers or points so that you can simply use the money to buy a new smartphone next year.

How to get 100% moneyback using Flipkart SmartPack?

Here are the simple steps you can follow to avail Flipkart SmartPack:

1. Choose your favourite smartphone on Flipkart
2. Pick a Flipkart SmartPack of your choice. You can choose from 12 months or 18 months duration.
3. Pay for your smartphone upfront, and you can pay for your Flipkart SmartPack every month. 4. Return your smartphone after 12 or 18 months in any working condition*, and Get upto 100% Moneyback in your bank account.

That’s it! Flipkart SmartPack is perfect for those who wish to buy the perfect smartphone for themselves, from a top mobile brand, and don’t want to pay the full amount. This way you only end up paying for a host of online services that you normally pay extra. Customers can also choose to pay the entire amount for the smartphone upfront or use the available no-cost EMI payment options.

The innovative offering lets you buy a smartphone, and get 100 percent moneyback directly in your bank account after a year. This way you only end up paying for the online services that you use. Customers can return the smartphone in any working condition, provided it turns on and the IMEI number is visible on the screen after 12/18 months.

Besides 100% moneyback, consumers will also get access to complete mobile protection plans that offer protection against screen damage, liquid damage, and other accidental covers. There is no better way to buy a new smartphone in India than the Flipkart SmartPack way. With Flipkart’s trusted network of sellers and an innovative offering like Flipkart SmartPack, you’re assured a Great Smartphone buying experience no matter which phone you buy.

Flipkart SmartPack is now available in India. For more details, visit this page.

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