Archive by date | November 2011

Report calls for open access to US food inspections

It has been just over a year since a widespread salmonella outbreak in the the US led to the recall of half a billion eggs. In the ensuing food safety scare, egg producers at two Iowa companies were hauled up before Congress to explain the deplorable conditions – including oozing manure, live rodents and flies too numerous to count – in their henhouses.  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.

US ‘Materials Genome Initiative’ takes shape

US 'Materials Genome Initiative' takes shape

More details have emerged about the intriguingly named Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), a US$100-million materials-research programme under which a variety of US science-funding agencies are working to halve the time it takes for newly discovered materials to reach the market.

Medvedev: Punishment awaits those behind Russian Mars failure

Medvedev: Punishment awaits those behind Russian Mars failure

Surely it’s bad enough for the Russian scientists and engineers who built the Phobos-Grunt mission to see the spacecraft stall in Earth orbit (See ‘Russia gets the red planet blues‘.) But Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is now suggesting that those responsible for the failure need to be punished, and perhaps criminally prosecuted, according to Reuters.

Curiosity on its way to Mars

Lift-off! Mars scientists can exhale and breathe normally. At least for the next nine months. The NASA Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, is on its way to Mars, the first step in a process that has doomed so many other Mars missions. The Russian mission to the Mars moon Phobos, for example, is stuck in Earth orbit, and falling (see ‘Russia gets the red planet blues.’)  … Read more