Science  28 Mar 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5871, pp. 1747

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  1. Last Collider Standing

    Next month, U.S. particle physicists will be down to their last particle smasher. On 7 April, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in Menlo Park, California, will shut down the PEP-II collider, 5 weeks after Cornell University's CESR collider took its last data. That leaves only the Tevatron at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois, still running—and it will shut down in 2010 at the latest.

    The United States is not pulling out of particle physics; more than 1200 U.S. physicists are working on experiments that will run at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which will power up this summer at the European laboratory for particle physics, CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland. That's more than any other country in the world, but Abolhassan Jawahery of the University of Maryland, College Park, worries that after LHC, “it's a question” of how the U.S. program can thrive without a domestic collider. American physicists hope the answer lies in hosting the proposed International Linear Collider at Fermilab. But there's competition from Europe and Japan, and Congress has reduced funding this year for research on that multibillion-dollar machine.

  2. Fund Urged for Tropical Diseases

    Developed countries should set up a special fund to fight neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) such as intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, elephantiasis, and river blindness, five influential researchers from around the world say in the current issue of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. While the world is waging a multibillion-dollar attack against three major infectious killers through initiatives such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, NTDs have received scant attention—a “tragic oversight,” the group writes. The researchers, who hope government leaders will launch the fund at this summer's G8 summit in Toyako, Japan, put the cost at $2 billion for the first 5 years.

  3. Gates Is Rainmaker for Drought Research

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced last week a joint $47 million donation with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to help develop drought-tolerant corn in Africa. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Nairobi will work with technology from Monsanto and BASF. The African Agricultural Technology Foundation plans to distribute seeds royalty-free.