Archive by date | April 2014

Investigator of controversial stem-cell study resigns

The head of a Japanese committee investigating claims that stem cells could be made using mechanical stress or acid resigned from the committee today over anonymous allegations that at least one of his own papers contained problematic data. He says he resigned out of concern that the incident could complicate the current investigation.  Read more

How to make graphene in a kitchen blender

How to make graphene in a kitchen blender

Don’t try this at home. No really, don’t: it almost certainly won’t work and you won’t be able to use your kitchen blender for food afterwards. But buried in the supplementary information of a research paper published today is a domestic recipe for producing large quantities of clean flakes of graphene.  Read more

Moon dust probe crashes

Moon dust probe crashes

A NASA spacecraft that studied lunar dust vapourized into its own cloud of dust when it hit the far side of the Moon, as planned, in a mission-ending impact on 17 April. Launched last September, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) finished its primary mission in March. In early April, on an extended mission, it made close passes as low as 2 kilometres above the surface, gathering science data on more than 100 low-elevation orbits. Mission controllers deliberately crashed it to avoid the chance that, left alone, it might crash and contaminate historic locations such as the Apollo landing sites.  Read more

IPCC report calls for climate mitigation action now, not later

The world is heading towards possibly dangerous levels of global warming despite increasing efforts to promote the transition to a low-carbon economy, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns in its latest report today.  Read more

Shorter list for gamma-ray telescope sites, but no home yet

Shorter list for gamma-ray telescope sites, but no home yet

Where will host the world’s next generation ground-based γ-ray detector, the Cherenkov Telescope Array? The answer is, still no one knows. But a panel of funders have narrowed the field following a meeting in Munich, Germany, this week.  Read more

Former NIH stem-cell chief joins New York foundation

Stem-cell biologist Mahendra Rao, who resigned last week as director of the US National Institutes of Health’s Center for Regenerative Medicine (CRM), has a new job. On April 9, he was appointed vice-president for regenerative medicine at the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF), a non-profit organization that funds embryonic stem cell research.  Read more

Acid-bath stem-cell scientist apologizes and appeals

Haruko Obokata, the Japanese scientist at the centre of a controversy over studies purporting to turn mature cells to stem cells simply by bathing them in acid or subjecting them to mechanical stress, today apologized for her errors in the work.  Read more