Mother Jones: A few days ago Dianne Feinstein got into a little bit of trouble for admitting in public that the U.S. drones used to attack terrorist bases in Pakistan are launched from within Pakistan itself. Since the Pakistani government officially opposes the American attacks, they were none too happy about this — and Feinstein later backtracked, saying that she was just repeating something that had been previously reported in the Washington Post.
The News, an English-language newspaper in Pakistan, decided to dig up the truth, so they went to the best source they could find: Google Earth.
Science News: The oceanic version of wind shear can disorient marine microorganisms and trigger formation of thin, densely populated layers
Science: Harvard University hit the brakes last week as it was getting ready to build one of the country’s largest new academic science centers–flagging another possible casualty of the economic downturn.
WRS: The post of Director General of CERN would have looked very different a year ago when Prof. Rolf Heuer accepted the job. Although he now finds himself charged with rebuilding the world largest particle collider and, hopefully, discovering the secrets of the universe he found time to drop in and chat with Pete Forster about his hopes and fears for the months ahead.
NatureNews: The deadly bacterial spores mailed to victims in the US anthrax attacks, scientists say, share a chemical ‘fingerprint’ that is not found in bacteria from the flask linked to Bruce Ivins, the biodefence researcher implicated in the crime.
At a biodefence meeting on 24 February in Baltimore, Maryland, Joseph Michael, a materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, presented analyses of three letters sent to the New York Post and to the offices of Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. Spores from two of those show a distinct chemical signature that includes silicon, oxygen, iron, and tin; the third letter had silicon, oxygen, iron and possibly also tin, says Michael. Bacteria from Ivins’ RMR-1029 flask did not contain any of those four elements.
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ScienceNow: Billions of years ago, the four biggest planets—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune—lurched through the solar system, tearing out large chunks of the main asteroid belt, according to new computer simulations. The findings explain why the belt contains several gaps, and they support the increasingly popular hypothesis that planets tend to migrate in their orbits for a long time after a solar system is formed.
The New York Times: Bush administration standards for pollutants like soot are “contrary to law and unsupported by adequately reasoned decisionmaking,” a federal appeals court said Tuesday.
Space.com: NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has suffered an apparent glitch that has left the spacecraft in a protective safe mode and stalled science observations as it circles the red planet, the space agency announced
The malfunction occurred on Monday when the orbiter unexpectedly rebooted its main computer and entered safe mode, an automatic safeguard designed to protect the spacecraft from further damage when it detects a glitch.
NPR: How do you know when a suspension-bridge cable is about to fail? That’s the question engineers at Columbia University in New York are trying to address in a new experiment
SA Business Report: Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) will run out of money in about a year and must adapt its novel nuclear technology to make itself commercially viable.