ScienceScope

Science  19 Dec 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5909, pp. 1777
  1. The Road to Copenhagen Begins

    International climate negotiators made few important decisions at talks that concluded last week in Pozńan, Poland. But activists remain optimistic about reaching an agreement on a post-Kyoto plan next December in Copenhagen (see p. 1773). Attendees created an international fund to help poor nations adapt to changing climates, and a number of developing countries announced new commitments to reduce their emissions. Brazil promised a 70% decrease in deforestation, for example, and Mexico pledged to halve its emissions by 2050. Negotiators also left open the possibility of creating a system to award credits to efforts to curb deforestation.

  2. Aussie Schools Welcome Cash

    Despite the current economic downturn, the Australian government has delivered on promised funds and provided $388 million to 11 universities to boost their ailing infrastructure. Recipients of the funding, set aside last year after a hefty surplus (Science, 18 May 2007, p. 968), include the University of Sydney, which received $64 million to establish the Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease; the University of Melbourne, which received $60 million to establish the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity; and Monash University in Melbourne, which won $60 million to establish a New Horizons Centre devoted to collaborations between engineering and science.

  3. Mouse Genome Bonanza

    A $4.4 million project to sequence the DNA of 17 strains of mice will make these animals more useful for tracking down genes and assessing genetic risks for human diseases. Over the next 3 years, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, U.K., will generate up to 3 trillion bases of mouse DNA, using new low-cost and high-speed sequencing methods, to compile fairly complete genomes of the most commonly used mouse strains. Those strains include those used to make knockout mice, the parent strains for lines used in studies of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and asthma, and eight strains that are the starting points for the development of 1000 new inbred lines. Partners include the U.K. Medical Research Council, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and MRC genetics labs, the European Bioinformatics Institute, and the Jackson Laboratory.