Archive by date | July 2013

Obama nominates astrophysicist to lead NSF

Under Cordova's presidency, Purdue University attracted record levels of research funding.

Astrophysicist France Anne Cordova has been tapped to head the US National Science Foundation (NSF), which has been run by an acting director since March 2013. President Barack Obama announced the pick on 31 July. If confirmed, Cordova would fill the gap left by Subra Suresh, who announced his resignation in February, after serving less than half of his six-year term leading the US$7 billion agency.  Read more

EU medicines regulator says no to farmers’ blanket use of antibiotic

A medicine used by veterinarians for more than 50 years should be restricted, according to European medical experts, amid fears that over-use of antibiotics in animals could create health risks for humans.  Read more

Conviction upheld for Turkish scientist opposing headscarves

A Turkish astrophysicist faces two years of jail for forbidding access to a university building to a student wearing a headscarf. On Thursday, Ankara’s Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s verdict against Esat Rennan Pekünlü, an astronomer at Ege University in Izmir.  Read more

Europe launches massive laser communications satellite

Europe launches massive laser communications satellite

On Thursday Europe launched into orbit the most massive telecommunications satellite ever built on the continent. Managed by the European Space Agency and commercial operator Inmarsat, the 6.6-tonne Alphasat will relay data between different spots on the globe—using radio waves in the already crowded L-band frequency range. But it will also test out a laser communication device that could give a boost to space communications.  Read more

Pharma industry moves towards greater openness

The pharmaceutical industry has signalled its willingness to open up the vast reservoirs of research data held by its companies this week. But campaigners and researchers pushing for more access to clinical trial data say the moves are little and late.  Read more

Cassini probe captures view of Earth from Saturn

Cassini probe captures view of Earth from Saturn

The blue dot on the centre-right of this photograph is us. This picture was taken by NASA’s Cassini probe on 19 July, while the spacecraft’s orbit took it into the shadow of Saturn — meaning that the Sun was eclipsed by the gas giant.  Read more

Monsanto drops bid to have GM crops approved in Europe

Biotech giant Monsanto is abandoning attempts to get more genetically modified crops onto the European market. The company’s move follows the high profile retreat from Europe by another GM biotech firm, BASF, in 2012.  Read more