Short items, March 2010

Future of CO2 satellite looks bright 

The 2010 proposed budget for the US space agency, Nasa, spells good news for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory. $170 million (?109 million) has been pledged to replace the satellite - designed to study human and natural sources and sinks of carbon dioxide from space - that crashed during its launch on 27 February 2009 after failure of the launch vehicle. For more information on President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2011 see New and Analysis Section.

Possible criminal charges over UCLA lab death 

One year after a research assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles in the US died following an accident in the lab, the university is awaiting news on whether criminal charges will be filed against the chemistry department or any of its employees. The department has already been fined a substantial $32,000 (?20,500) over the incident (see Chemistry World, June 2009, p5). 

Research chief joins EPA 

Yale University chemist Paul Anastas has finally taken up his position as head of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) scientific research arm. Anastas, known as the father of green chemistry, was originally nominated in May, but unrelated formaldehyde politics slowed the Senate approval process (see  Chemistry World  , November 2009, p7). 

Go Figure 

19.3 per cent    

The increase in students applying to study chemistry in UK universities for the autumn 2010 intake, compared to 2009 figures - according to UCAS, the universities admission service.