I’m doing a reporting internship at Nature’s London office for the next few months. Because the frequency of individual stories will be higher than usual for me, I’ll be rounding up each week’s stories into one handy update.
In my first week, I’ve blogged about the EU emissions trading scheme, Earth Hour, 100 Hours of Astronomy, a Swedish house on the moon, a giant laser, written news items about the Abel prize for math, researchers who think they can cut down on the number of animal tests, and summarized a report of a newly discovered halo of stars in our galaxy [pdf].
Working in an office full-time has been as illuminating as I hoped it would be, so far. I’m soaking up all kinds of newsroom wisdom culture and have even learned how to operate a cafetière, which one of my editors assures me is the path to winning friends and influencing people.
Researchers could cut the use of animals in their experiments by changing the way they analyze their results, according to a study by scientists based in Germany and the United States.
In a typical animal experiment, researchers will try to standardize factors such as the animals’ genetic backgrounds and laboratory conditions to make it as easy as possible for other researchers to reproduce their results later. Now, a team led by Hanno Würbel at the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany, has reanalyzed a study of mouse behaviour by taking such genetic and environmental variations into account, and they got fewer spurious results, or false positives, than the initial study.
Read the article at Nature News [html] or here [pdf]
A French-Russian mathematician has won the Abel Prize today for his work on advanced forms of geometry.
The winner of the 6 million Norwegian kroner (US$920,000) prize, Mikhail Leonidovich Gromov, has held a permanent appointment at the Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies (IHES) outside Paris since 1982.
Read the rest of the news story on Nature News [html] or here [pdf]