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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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International Fusion Effort Finally Gets Go-Ahead, and a New Leader
28 July 2010 4:03 pm
As expected, the governing council of the ITER fusion effort today finally approved the project's so-called Baseline, the document outlining its design, schedule, and costs and confirmed Japanese fusion-scientist Osamu Motojima as the new director-general of the ambitious effort to harness the same energy source that powers stars. Although ITER's future site in Cadarache, France, has been cleared for some time, full-fledged construction has been delayed as fusion scientists wrestled with last-minute design changes and the project's seven international partners—China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States—tried to figure out how to deal with the soaring costs of building the facility. In particular, the European Union, which is responsible for 45% of ITER's costs, struggled to find enough money in its existing budgets as its member countries resisted pleas for additional funds. Despite the approval of today's Baseline, ITER members declined to make public an overall cost estimate for the project and calculating one is difficult as much of the construction will consist of in-kind contributions from various countries; some estimates, however, have suggested ITER will cost over €16 billion by the time it is built and achieves "first plasma," which is now scheduled for November 2019.