This week, we learn how engineered bacteria are helping to produce better biofuels, how functional brain cells have been created directly from skin cells, and discover what fossils found in Northern China tell us about the colour of feathered dinosaurs. Plus, a round-up of what’s hot elsewhere in Nature. Read more
Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman has ditched his trainers and started running barefoot. His research shows that barefoot runners, who tend to land on their fore-foot, generate less impact shock than runners in sports shoes who land heel first. This makes barefoot running comfortable and could minimize running-related injuries. Read more here and find the original research here. Read more
The World Health Organization has again faced allegations that it has mishandled and overhyped the H1N1 outbreak.
Speakers at yesterday’s hearing of the Council of Europe’s Health Committee railed against the WHO’s declaration of a pandemic.
A poster-child project for protest against carbon capture and storage (CCS) – Shell’s plans to bury carbon dioxide under the town of Barendrecht in the Netherlands – looks more likely to take place despite local opposition, after Dutch MPs voted to approve its construction on Tuesday. Read more
Iraq’s main forensics laboratory in Baghdad has been destroyed by a car bomb, according to media reports.
At least 18 people have died and 80 been injured in the attack, which severely damaged the forensics lab at the Baghdad Police College.
It seems America is an attractive place for those with PhDs. The majority of foreign students who graduate with science doctorates stay in America, new data show. Read more
Spirit, the NASA rover that has trundled across the Mars landscape since 2004, will no longer rove. If it survives a hibernation through the fierce cold of the oncoming winter, it will continue operations as a science station, NASA announced in a telecon on Tuesday. Spirit has been trapped in a bed of sand since last May, and engineers have been unable to free it. Read more