Researcher posts protected Science Curiosity papers on blog

An American scientist and noted blogger has posted copies of newly published papers about NASA’s Curiosity expedition on his personal website, potentially breaking copyright laws.  Read more

Massive solar flare could have caused eighth century radiation burst

A mysterious spike in atmospheric carbon-14 levels 12 centuries ago might be a sign the Sun is capable of producing solar storms dozens of times worse than anything we’ve ever seen, a team of physicists calculates in a paper published in Nature.  Read more

UK Chancellor Osborne throws his weight – and a little money – behind science

UK Chancellor Osborne throws his weight – and a little money – behind science

The British economy is in shtook, as the island’s residents might say. Recovering slowly from a double dip recession, policy experts agree that the answer is to shift its economy away from its reliance on finance to high tech services and manufacturing. Do that, and the UK has some hope of competing with the emerging economies of India and China in the future.  Read more

Golden sweet potato shows success

A variety of sweet potato, bred to contain more vitamin A, could prove a useful tool in tackling nutrient deficiency in parts of Africa, following a successful trial of the tuber among malnourished women and children in Uganda.  Read more

Prisoners pitch in to save endangered butterfly

Prisoners pitch in to save endangered butterfly

At the Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women in Belfair, Washington, inmates are helping to save the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori). Under the supervision of guards and graduate students, a small group of prisoners is breeding the beautiful orange-and-white insects in a greenhouse outside the prison. They have even carried out research to show what plants the butterfly prefers to lay its eggs on – information that will be crucial for boosting its dwindling numbers.  Read more

Numbers trump genetic diversity in survival stakes

As a species tumbles towards extinction, populations with few members are more likely to die off than those with low genetic diversity. At least that’s the message from a 12-year experiment by husband and wife team, Tim Wootton and Cathy Pfister of the University of Chicago.  Read more