News, articles, and events!

Posted: February 12, 2013 in Ethics, Events, Policy, Science

“How would sequestration affect U.S. science? If you’re confused—and who isn’t?—by the seemingly endless debate between Congress and the White House over how to reduce the federal deficit, here are a few points to keep in mind.”

“Since its inception, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has delivered cost-effective results for power companies and consumers. Today the program announced plans to set a new carbon-reduction goal that is 45 percent more ambitious than the one before it. This is great news for consumers and energy companies in the Northeast—and for the climate.”

“It’s my hope that we will be considered a bipartisan committee, working together for the best interests of our country,” declared Lamar Smith (R-TX), the new chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  Smith’s comments came at the outset of the first meeting of the committee to introduce its new members, adopt committee rules, and, of note, to agree to an expansive oversight plan for the next two years.  Nineteen of the committee members have previously served on the committee; twenty are new. ”

“Lake Whillans, a small body of water huddled in eternal darkness beneath 800-metre-thick Antarctic ice, seems to harbour life.

Researchers with the US Antarctic expedition team WISSARD who accessed the lake on 28 January report that they have found microbes in samples of lake water and sediment — but what kind of known or novel organisms those might be has yet to be determined.”

“Germany’s science and education minister, Annette Schavan, resigned on Saturday, four days after the University of Düsseldorf confirmed accusations of plagiarism in her doctoral thesis and revoked her PhD degree.”

“Britain’s biggest biomedical funder, the Wellcome Trust, appointed Ted Bianco as its acting director today. Bianco, the charity’s director of technology transfer, will take the helm on 14 March, when current director Mark Walport departs to take on the role of UK chief science adviser (see ‘Britain names next chief science adviser‘).”

“An asteroid the size of an office building will zoom close by Earth next week, but it’s not on a collision course, NASA says.” The asteroid will pass by earth on Feb. 15th going about 5 miles per second!

“Mercenary computer coders are helping scientists cope with the deluge of data pouring out of research labs. A contest to write software to analyse immune-system genes garnered more than 100 entries, including many that vastly outperformed existing programs.”

“The legal limit on how much silica workers can inhale was set decades ago. Workplace safety experts say that limit needs to be cut in half — because otherwise, workers face an increased risk of lung cancer, silicosis and other diseases.”




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