BP creates global materials centre

BP creates global materials centre

Today, the oil and gas giant BP unveiled a new US$100 million research centre aimed at developing advanced materials. It will be centred around the University of Manchester, with smaller branches at Imperial College in London, Cambridge University in Cambridge, and the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.  Read more

Walport named as next UK chief scientific adviser

Walport named as next UK chief scientific adviser

Mark Walport has been named as theUK’s next chief scientific advisor. Walport, a professor of medicine, has been director of the Wellcome Trust, theUK’s largest medical charity, since 2003. He will replace John Beddington, a population biologist who has been in the advisor post since 2008. Walport’s term begins in April of next year.  Read more

Crossing the nuclear landscape

Crossing the nuclear landscape

How many different nuclei are out there? If you just take the number of distinct elements, you get 114, as of last month. But then there are the isotopes—elements which have an extra neutron (or two, or three, or more). The number of isotopes discovered so far is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3,000.  Read more

World Health Organization weighs in on Fukushima

World Health Organization weighs in on Fukushima

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a preliminary estimate of the dose received by the public as a result of last March’s meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Nature has seen a draft of the final report, and it is mostly good news—the doses are very low, and very few cancers would be expected as a result.  Read more

Space X launches Falcon 9

Space X launches Falcon 9

This morning, the first commercial space launch to the International Space Station (ISS) lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It was launched by SpaceX, and will carry the company’s Dragon capsule, containing some 460 kilos of supplies, to the space station crew.  Read more

Fukushima owner is nationalized

Fukushima is now officially everybody's problem.

It was as inevitable as cherry blossoms blooming in springtime: sooner or later, Japan had to nationalize the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the owner of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Today the government announced a ¥1 trillion (US$12.5 billion) plan to bail out the country’s largest utility, and at least temporarily take control.  Read more