Short items, January 2010

CO2 is harmful to humans    

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases are a threat to human health and the welfare of the American people, and that vehicle emissions add to this threat. The findings allow the EPA and the Department of Transportation to finalise legislation setting emission limits for new cars and trucks under the Clean Air Act, a move blocked by the Bush administration.  

UK gets own space agency

Plans for a new executive agency to oversee the UK’s space industry have been unveiled by the science minister Lord Drayson. The agency will bring together the work of six government departments, two research councils and the Met Office, to oversee the organisation of the country’s space activities. Drayson said that the intention is to cut bureaucracy and enhance efficiency. 

Large Hadron Collider’s record breaking restart

Cern’s LHC has successfully restarted and achieved its bid to become the world’s highest energy particle accelerator, after accelerating its twin beams of protons to an energy of 1.18TeV on 30 November. The previous world record was 0.98TeV. This is exciting news after the disappointment of the first failed start in September 2008. 

Go Figure

500 000 crystal structures  

The number of small molecules with crystallographic data archived at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre. The 500 000th structure - added to the database on 10 December - is the anti-convulsant drug Lamotrigine with the entry identifier efemux01.