Archive by date | May 2009

Behold — the rock stars of science!

Behold --  the rock stars of science!

Sure, Francis Collins is likely going to be the next head of the US National Institutes of Health. But is he famous? A new ad campaign called the Rock Stars of Science is trying to bring a little celebrity to the sciences by picturing famous researchers together with rock stars. (In case you can’t recognize him behind those cool shades: that’s Collins to the right of Joe Perry. And for those of you who have no idea who Joe Perry is: he’s the guy with the striped hair to the left of Collins.)  … Read more

On Nature News

Sweden snares neutron facility

Lund will play host to European Spallation Source.

Failure is certainly an option

Conservation scientists plead for better reporting of negative results.

Getting science into policy

New Zealand’s first ever chief science adviser talks about how he will make an impact on government decision-making.

Ones that got away

“This first observational proof of General Relativity sent shockwaves through the scientific establishment.”

Today marks the 90th anniversary of Eddington’s test of Einstein’s famous theory.

“Leaders must lead and Dr. McLeroy has proven conclusively that he is less concerned with leading the board than he is with fighting the battle.”

The Texas Senate on Thursday refused to confirm evolution-unbeliever Don McLeroy as State Board of Education chairman, senator for Austin, Kirk Watson, explains why.

“Yinghuo” means light from firefly in Chinese.

China announces that its Mars probe will be ready for launch in the second half of this year, and choose a name for it.

“We have this big ball, right? And we hold our little targets inside of there, and the light focuses on there, and that’s where all the action happens.”

The National Ignition Facility finally opens in San Francisco, and Ed Moses, director, explains to Fox News how it works.

Extra excitement for exoplanet experiments

Extra excitement for exoplanet experiments

Exoplaneteers have finally succeeded in using a technique called astrometry to spot a far off planet. Astrometry measures the change in the star’s position from side to side, brought about by the gravitational pull of an orbiting planet. It was first used 50 years ago, and almost came up with a planet in 1963 when astronomer Peter van der Kamp claimed, in error, that he’d found two planets going round Barnard’s star. But now, after 12 years of observation, Steven Pravdo and Stuart Shaklan from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have spotted a planet like Jupiter, but heavier,  … Read more

End of the roads

End of the roads

The US Forest Service (USFS) should halt road-building in 58 million acres of national forest for one year, according to a directive issued yesterday by the US agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack. The move is a reversal of a Bush-era environmental policy, which in turn undermined a rule Clinton instated late in his presidential term.

Mars mapping makes the mainstream

Mars mapping makes the mainstream

Forget Galaxy Zoo and SETI@Home – using Google Earth you can now choose potential sites on Mars for a space-based camera to snap and send directly to you. The latest upgrade to Google Earth 5.0 includes a collaboration with the scientists that run the THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System) infrared camera on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter. They have developed software that shows where THEMIS will be flying over in the coming week or so, and using Google Earth you can pick out a site that you would particularly like to see photographed. If your choice matches with the mission scientists’  … Read more

Genomics ‘rabble-rouser’ returns to biotech

Genomics ‘rabble-rouser’ returns to biotech

Genome-analysis whiz Eric Schadt is leaving his fulltime commitment to the nonprofit company he helped create only a few months ago. His new job: chief scientific officer for Pacific Biosciences, a next-next generation sequencing company based in Menlo Park, California. Schadt has achieved an unlikely level of fame for someone who performs complex network analyses of how gene sequences and expression patterns relate to disease. (One recent profile referred to him as a ‘bioinformatics rabble-rouser’.) Best known as the genomics mastermind behind Rosetta Inpharmatics, a biotechnology firm once based in Seattle, Schadt became a Merck employee when the pharma giant  … Read more

On Nature News

Taking a fossil primate on the road

Ida’s promoter defends science and showmanship.

Hot times ahead for the Wild West

American west threatened by more heatwaves than past models have predicted.

The nail in the coffin for group selection?

Benefits to an individual and its family may be enough to account for altruistic behaviour.

Ones that got away

Curiosity is an everlasting flame that burns in everyone’s mind

Mars Science Laboratory gets a new name.

We want fairly urgent action by government because charities are currently weathering the storm that’s been caused by the recession

Research charities face tough times in the financial downturn.

“It went down like a rock”

The world’s second largest artificial reef is created when a US warship is sunk off the coast of Florida.