A chemical Christmas

The Christmas meal in Britain usually centers on turkey, in Denmark roast pork. The French penchant is for goose, while Germans may opt for suckling pig. Regardless of the fleshy focus, a feast of culinary chemistry is at play when you prepare and cook the big meal. However, if you don’t get the chemistry right there’s more to worry about than dry meat and vegetables when the microbiology is dished up.

Impact of the Census of Marine Life

The Census of Marine Life (CoML) programme addresses three major questions: What lived in the oceans? What lives in the oceans now? What will live in the oceans? This 10-year programme (2000–2010) is a unique global effort to develop the first comprehensive assessment of life in the oceans, from bacteria to large animals, from coastal and shallow waters to the poorly known habitats in the deep sea, through more than 500 expeditions. It has resulted in partnerships and an international network of over 2700 scientists from 80 countries. Through 14 field studies in distinct ocean realms, ranging from analysing historical documents to modeling future ecosystems, the Census enables scientists to describe the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans, to compare what once lived in the oceans to what lives there now, and to postulate what will live there in the future.

European airspace – acting as one

The lonely scientist, covered by his papers alone in his room, talking to no one, is extinct. Science happens world wide in connection with partners around the globe, frequent travels are part of the daily life. Like for anybody else, delays are quite an annoying concomitant, especially if you travel by plane to reach your destination faster. Very often in Europe the cause for a late arrival is Air Traffic Control (ATC) related.

The iTunes for academic papers

When I decided to start my PhD, I knew that I’d be required to read and digest academic papers and that my research of these papers would build up into a literal library of knowledge. It is important to organise such a web of information, and I was concerned with how I might find a sufficient way to do so. Mendeley is the way that I found best to index my library.

Getting closer to fusion power

Fusion power is one step closer to becoming a reality now that a new phase of construction has begun at the site of ITER, the world’s largest experimental fusion reactor. Twenty five years after the first talks of an international fusion energy project, the new works at the site in the south of France mark the beginning of preparations for the tokamak, the core part of the reactor. Sabina Griffith at ITER told the Euroscientist that after waiting for a year for this construction to start, it has had a great effect on the staff on site. “We can finally see ITER taking shape,” she said