ScienceScope

Science  08 Feb 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5864, pp. 711
  1. Go Code Orange, Labs Urged

    This week, the Society for Neuroscience released guidelines (sfn.org/animals) to help universities and institutions protect researchers from attacks by animal-rights extremists. Concerned about recent incidents involving vandalism of researchers' homes and threats and harassment of family members (Science, 21 December 2007, p. 1856), the society urges research institutions to take active steps, such as working with local police to ensure rapid responses to attacks off campus, and encourages university leaders to forcefully condemn attacks when they occur. “It has all the right elements,” says Roberto Peccei of the University of California, Los Angeles, where several recent attacks have occurred.

  2. Coal Plant Burnt

    As part of the 2009 budget request to Congress (see p. 714), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) wants to cancel a $1.8 billion coal power plant after cost estimates nearly doubled. The project, an industry partnership called Future-Gen, was to demonstrate by 2012 the first-ever coal-fired plant designed to capture carbon dioxide from coal while producing hydrogen for power. Now DOE, which blames the cost overruns on skyrocketing material and labor prices, wants to work with industry to make several less sophisticated plants by 2015 that will capture CO2 for underground storage but will not produce hydrogen. Lawmakers—including senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-IL), who represents Mattoon, Illinois, where the plant was to be built—will try this year to force DOE to stick to its original plan.

  3. AIDS Research Taking Time Out

    In the wake of yet more disappointing results from human studies of AIDS vaccines last fall (Science, 16 November 2007, p. 1048), the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) plans to hold a daylong summit on 25 March to reassess how it invests the nearly $600 million it spends annually on the field. The summit, which will be webcast and open to the public, came about after 14 leading AIDS researchers sent NIAID Director Anthony Fauci a letter contending that NIAID was investing too heavily in developing products and should spend more of its budget on basic research. “The real issue is the balance that we want between discovery research and development,” says Fauci. “We need to take a time out and talk to people in the field.”