Short items

Danger in the woods 
Global warming will encourage the growth of poison ivy  and other noxious vines, say researchers in the US. Unlike trees, which use extra carbon to grow more wood, vines use it to produce more leaves. This helps the plant harvest even more carbon dioxide, the cycle continues and the vines flourish. 
The Hindu, 31 May 2006   

ITER gets go ahead 
On 24 May research ministers from the US, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India and the European Union initialled the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor ’s (ITER’s) implementing agreement. Once ratified by the host governments, construction will begin in Cadarache, France. A group of more than 100 scientists and engineers have formed the Australian ITER Forum, to develop the case for an Australian role in the project. 
Australian Age, 8 June 2006   

China enters fusion race 
nuclear fusion device will be built in China by the end of the year, which Chinese scientists hope will help them understand fusion power before the rest of the world. The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak, (East), will be the first of its kind in the world.It is similar to but much smaller than ITER, which is not expected to be fully operational for a decade. 
China Daily, 2 June 2006 

Boy sues after school blast 
A schoolboy claims he lost his dream of a career in professional football after being injured in an explosion in a science class. He is suing Fife council, Scotland, for ?200,000 damages. Wayne Logie, 17, cut the cornea of his left eye after a beaker shattered during a chemistry experiment. Logie’s chemistry teacher added hydrochloric acid to zinc, and the beaker exploded. 31 May 2006