After more than 25 years of smashing particles, the massive Tevatron accelerator at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, is being turned off for good today. You should read Nature’s recent news story about the Tevatron’s closure, and what will take its place (‘Fermilab faces life after the Tevatron‘)
NASA is claiming a major victory as its latest calculations suggest it has reached a congressionally-mandated target of finding more than 90% of near-Earth asteroids capable of causing a planet-wide catastrophe. Read more
China launched the first module of its space station today at around 13:15 GMT. The 20ish ton Tiangong-1 module was carried into low-earth by a Long March 2F rocket. As BBC reports, the Tiangong-1 is a 10.5 m cylindrical module with a few solar panels and communications equipment.
It’s not as if President Barack Obama needed any more trouble with his beleaguered climate agenda, but so it goes. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog released a report Wednesday alleging that the agency cut some corners in producing its 2009 “”http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090417/full/news.2009.374.html”>endangerment finding”, which formally declares that global warming endangers human health and welfare (Bloomberg Businessweek). Read more
This week: how to measure happiness, how food puts flies in the mood for love, and how to improve clinical trials and get more drugs to market. Plus, do scientists really think the speed of light has been broken? Read more
Monju, Japan’s prototype fast breeder reactor, has had its research budget slashed. This might not come as a big surprise, given the anti-nuke sentiment in Japan and the tattered state of its nuclear energy policy. Still, with this latest blow, the woeful state of the ill-fated reactor is all the more striking. It could be maintained — with the help of a one-off Y20 billion yen (US$262 million) allocation — but the annual research budget will be cut 70%~80% from its previous Y10 billion.