UN climate change report marks risks of a warm future

From shrinking glaciers to sea water becoming more acidic, climate change has already a notable imprint on Earth’s natural systems, according to a United Nations climate-science report released today. Projected 21st century warming poses risks – severe if the rise in atmospheric concentration of heat-trapping gases continues unabated – to future food security, human well-being and wealth, says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Read more

Call for acid-bath stem-cell paper to be retracted

Less than 40 days after a team led by Haruko Obokata of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, presented two stunning papers claiming a method of using a simple acid-bath method to reprogramme mature mammalian cells back to an embryonic state – so called STAP cells – researchers in Japan, including one of the paper’s co-authors, are calling for them to be retracted.  Read more

Japan’s new leadership to boost science

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, which regained power in a December 16 election, finalized a proposal for a 10.3 trillion supplementary budget on Friday. The supplementary budget, the second largest in the country’s history, reverses the path of austerity followed by the LDP’s predecessor, the Democratic Party of Japan, which decreased funding for some research projects and lowered many scientists’ salaries. The supplementary budget, expected to be approved by parliament in mid-February, aims to decrease energy consumption, encourage environment-friendly industry, and give a significant boost to some research fields.  Read more