Science  17 Nov 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5802, pp. 1065

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  1. Agape Over Rules

    Pending new rules on animal experimentation have led researchers from 33 organizations to create the European Coalition for Biomedical Research (ECBR). The coalition, announced last week in Brussels, is anticipating that the European Commission may seek to put further restrictions on the use of animals in research, through proposals such as requiring nonhuman primates to have been bred in captivity for at least two generations. Such a rule would have “a dramatic effect” on research, says ECBR Secretary General Mark Matfield.

    Meanwhile, this week the U.S. Congress completed action on legislation that would protect the suppliers for animal research from animal-rights “terrorism.” The bill, passed by the Senate in September and by the House of Representatives this week, is expected to be signed shortly by President George W. Bush.

  2. Chinese Flu Goes West

    China's Ministry of Agriculture has agreed to let international scientists analyze 20 H5N1 avian influenza samples collected from poultry in 2004 and 2005. The samples were sent last week to a U.S. lab affiliated with the World Health Organization (WHO). A recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences speculated about a new strain (Science, 10 November, p. 905) and led WHO to criticize China for not cooperating with international health organizations. The issue cuts both ways, however: WHO officials have acknowledged two cases of Western scientists failing to credit Chinese scientists for their contributions. WHO is now hopeful of getting samples on a regular basis.

  3. A Crewed Idea

    The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is seeking government approval for its plan to send an astronaut into space. Last week, ISRO presented its plans for a manned $3.75 billion low-Earth-orbit mission by 2014 to a meeting of Indian researchers in Bangalore. The first step would be the January 2007 launch and recovery of a 525-kilogram unmanned capsule, followed by a 2008 robotic moon mission.

    ISRO Chair G. Madhavan Nair says his country is not in a space race with China, which is planning a robotic lunar mission for 2007. But Nair says the move will prevent India from being “left behind” internationally. Astrophysicist Yash Pal, however, warns that “manned space missions don't do good science.”