Archive by date | January 2010

Light and heat from NIF

Light and heat from NIF

There’s plenty of press today about the National Ignition Facility (NIF), an ambitious project to drive fusion energy using a massive array of super-powerful lasers. If this sounds like some sort of devious James Bond plot, you’re not too far off: NIF’s primary job is to verify that the United State’s nuclear stockpile is working well.

Bin Laden says ‘climate change is real’

Bin Laden says ‘climate change is real’

Cross posted from Nature Climate Feedback. The world’s most wanted terrorist has blamed the west for not doing enough to fight climate change. In an audio tape Al Jazeera says it has obtained from Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda leader says climate change is real, and calls it the result of economic globalization. “This is a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions – whether intentionally or unintentionally – and about the action we must take,” says bin Laden. “Speaking about climate change is not a matter of intellectual luxury – the phenomenon  … Read more

China’s top ten science achievements of 2009

Chinese scientists have voted the country’s first petaflop supercomputer their achievement of 2009, in a poll conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

For the poll 563 academics picked the ten top Chinese breakthroughs and the ten top world science breakthroughs for the last year.

Here’s the (slightly cryptic in places) list of China’s top ten. World top ten below the fold.

1. China’s first Petaflop supercomputer developed by the National University of Defense Technology,

2. China established its first inland Antarctic research station,

3. China’s biggest large-scale scientific facility SSRF completed,

4. Chinese scientists’ breakthrough in quantum computer research,

5. China producing world’s first approved swine flu vaccine,

6. Chinese scientists created world’s first cloned mouse from iPS cells,

7. China developed sodium-sulfur battery with high energy density,

8. Dinosaur fossils uncovered in north-eastern China display the earliest known feathers,

9. Silicon purification by a New Type of Solar Furnace,

10. Industrial demonstration of the synthesis of ethylene glycol from coal.

MMR doctor’s actions branded “dishonest and misleading”

Andrew Wakefield, the physician whose research started the scare over a purported link between MMR vaccines and autism, “abused [his] position of trust as a medical practitioner”, according to a panel ruling on his fitness to practise as a doctor.

After a hearing that began way back in 2007, UK regulator the General Medical Council (GMC) ruled that there was enough evidence to prove a number of serious issues with Wakefield’s behaviour and that he had failed in his duties as a doctor.