Short items

New nuclear plant builder 

British Energy (BE), the UK’s largest electricity generator, is considering splitting into two, in order to create a new company focused on building next generation nuclear power plants. The other part of the company would continue to run BE’s eight existing nuclear power plants. 
The Times, 14 February 2008 

Viagra for fighter pilots 

The Israeli military may soon start giving Viagra-type drugs to its fighter pilots. Studies have shown the drug can help relieve high blood pressure and improve lung function at high altitude, potentially improving the pilots’ performance in low oxygen conditions when flying up to 15,000m above the ground. 
The Times, 8 February 2008 

Rest in peace 

Italian scientists say they have proved Napoleon was not poisoned with arsenic by his British captors, following the Battle of Waterloo. The team analysed hairs from various periods of Napoleon’s life, and detected no increase in arsenic levels during his years in captivity, scotching theories the British killed him to prevent any return to power.  
Reuters, 12 February 2008 

Author intoxication by solvents 

A Whitbread prize-winning writer who claimed solvent fumes from a local shoe factory left her only able to write thrillers has won a ?115,000 out-of-court settlement. Joan Brady claimed she had been left intoxicated by the fumes, leaving her unable to concentrate, and doctors confirmed nerve damage likely due to the chemicals. 
The Telegraph, 24 January 2008 

Tuna with a kick 

Lab tests on tuna sushi sold in 20 New York City eateries have found dangerous levels of mercury - with a quarter of the restaurants serving fish so contaminated the FDA could take legal action. Academics involved in the study said tuna with such high mercury levels should not be eaten more than once every three weeks. 
The New York Times, 23 January 2008