Short items

IAEA claims Iran has enough uranium for a bomb

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has produced a tonne of low-enriched uranium, which could be enough to produce the 20 to 25kg of highly enriched material required for a warhead. The IAEA has also been prevented from inspecting some nuclear facilities in Iran, leading to further suspicion. 
The Guardian, 20 February 2009 

Sunburn patch to save our skins 

A simple wristband or skin patch that measures UV exposure could prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer. The patch works by UV-triggered release of acid, causing the impregnated dye to change colour from yellow to red at dangerous exposure levels. The devices should be available in October, priced at 10p each. 
Daily Express, 14 March 2009

Centamin mines pharoahs’ gold 

Gold reserves mined by the ancient Egyptians and Romans at Sukari, Egypt, have been re-opened by mining company Centamin. The deposit is thought to contain 13 million troy ounces (400 tonnes) of recoverable gold, worth over ?640 per ounce at current market prices. 
Financial Times, 16 February 2009 

Google co-founder to pay for Parkinson’s study 

After taking gene profiling company 23andMe’s genetic test and discovering he carries a mutation indicating a high risk of Parkinson’s disease, Sergey Brin has donated enough cash to allow 10,000 Parkinson’s patients to take 23andMe’s test for ?25 instead of the usual ?290 to gather more data on the genetic basis of the disease. 
The Times, 12 March 2009 

Bolivian President argues medicinal benefits of coca 

Evo Morales chewed coca leaves at a UN drugs summit in protest against a ban on the raw ingredient of cocaine. Coca is commonly used in Peru and Bolivia to suppress hunger and altitude sickness, and Morales claims that coca, unlike cocaine, has ’no harmful effects at all, and does not cause addiction.’ 
The Independent, 12 March 2009