Iranian student awarded human-rights prize while in prison

Iranian student awarded human-rights prize while in prison

Omid Kokabee, a physics PhD student jailed in Iran since January 2011, was awarded yesterday the 2014 American Physical Society’s Andrei Sakharov Prize for “his courage in refusing to use his physics knowledge to work on projects that he deemed harmful to humanity, in the face of extreme physical and psychological pressure.”  … Read more

Norway ditches large-scale carbon-capture plan

Norway’s government is cutting off support for a facility that by 2020 was to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions at a commercial scale. After years of delays and mounting costs, the plan to capture 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from an oil refinery and gas power plant at Mongstad would be halted, said oil and energy minister Ola Borten Moe on 20 September.  Read more

Lasker Awards go to rapid neurotransmitter release and modern cochlear implant

Lasker Awards go to rapid neurotransmitter release and modern cochlear implant

A very brainy area of research has scooped up one of this year’s $250,000 Lasker prizes, announced today: The Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award has gone to two researchers who shed light on the molecular mechanisms behind the rapid release of neurotransmitters — findings that have implications for understanding the biology of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, as well the cellular functions underlying learning and memory formation.  Read more

Two scientists to join Italian senate

Two scientists to join Italian senate

Two scientists are among the four new senators for life appointed today by Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano. Particle physicist and Nobel Prize winner Carlo Rubbia and stem-cell specialist Elena Cattaneo will become permanent members of the Italian Senate, along with the orchestra conductor Claudio Abbado and the architect Renzo Piano, whose appointments were also announced today.  Read more

Taiwan court set to decide on libel case against scientist

Taiwan court set to decide on libel case against scientist

A Taiwanese court will rule on 4 September in a libel lawsuit filed by a petrochemical company against an environmental engineer whose studies had suggested that a plant operated by the company was causing higher cancer rates in its vicinity.  Read more

Japan investigations allege misconduct in large-scale clinical studies

The credibility of Japan’s clinical research system has come under fire as investigations report manipulation of data and conflict of interest involving the pharmaceutical company Novartis. Six published papers have been retracted, but Novartis has denied any wrongdoing. The country’s health minister has now started its own investigation, which is due to release its findings at the end of September.  Read more