Evidence grows against mountaintop mining

Evidence grows against mountaintop mining

Evidence continues to mount of the devastating environmental effects of mountaintop mining (MTM) — the controversial practice of stripping the tops off of mountains to mine coal. The latest in a recent flurry of studies looking at activities in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia shows the cumulative effects of mountaintop mining on downstream water quality. (See Nature’s previous coverage here and here.)  … Read more

Companies failing to live up to EU chemical law

Companies are failing to provide the safety data required by Europe’s sweeping chemicals law REACH (registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals), according to a study for the Centre for Alternatives to Animal Testing at the University of Konstanz in Germany.

Knox walks free due to unreliable DNA analysis

Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were yesterday cleared of killing Knox’s housemate Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student at the University of Perugia in Italy. The judge delivering the appeal verdict said the DNA evidence linking the pair to Kercher’s murder was “not reliable”. (New scientist , BBC News, Guardian, New York Times )

Researchers to map human toxic pathways

Testing substances for toxic effects still relies largely on animal experiments, and is an expensive and time consuming approach that can provide results of limited value for human health. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, have now won US$6 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to begin an ambitious project to develop an alternative testing approach.

OECD publishes latest research statistics

Universities in Asia are beginning to emerge as world leading research institutions, and are giving the United States and Europe a run for their money in key science areas, according to new figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), based in Paris.