Archive by date | April 2013

US chemist to stand trial over researcher’s death

Chemistry professor Patrick Harran, of the University of California, Los Angeles, will face trial on three counts of violating health and safety standards over the death of 23-year-old research assistant Sheharbano Sangji more than four years ago, a Los Angeles court judge ordered on 26 April.  Read more

Europe to ban pesticides in effort to protect bees

No one is sure what is causing bee colonies to die off around the world, but pesticides called neonicotinoids may be part of the problem. Today,Europe’s  health commissioner Tonio Borg said the European Commission would go ahead with a continent-wide plan to severely restrict three of the most commonly-used pesticides in an effort to protect bee health.  Read more

Political thaw raises hopes for refrigerant regulations

Political thaw raises hopes for refrigerant regulations

This week China budged. Depending on one’s perspective, it wasn’t much of a concession. The country agreed, in essence, to do what it and everybody else had already agreed to do back in 2007: accelerate the phase out of a common class of ozone-eating refrigerants that double as powerful greenhouse gases. But rather than haggling over prices each step of the way, China made it simple and cut a single deal – worth up to $385 million – to eliminate hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) between now and 2030.  Read more

Further proof for controversial quantum computer

Is the world’s only commercial quantum computer really a quantum device, or a just regular computer in disguise? Controversy has long swirled around the computer produced by D-Wave, a company based near Vancouver, Canada. Now a paper published on the arXiv preprint server takes a step forward in showing that it really does operate on a quantum level.  Read more