Shattered glass. Howling car alarms. Buildings evacuated. On 15 February 2013, the city of Chelyabinsk in the Urals region of Russia felt the full force of a shockwave caused by an unexpected fireball exploding some 15-20 km above it. As the lump of space rock burned up in the sky above the city, windows were blown out and local buildings shook. Hundreds were left injured.
Dr Geneviève Almouzni is Deputy Director of the Institut Curie in Paris, France. She is the laureate of the 2013 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award, a joint initiative of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). Launched in 2007, the aim of the award is to highlight the major contributions made by female scientists to life sciences research. We asked Dr Almouzni what she thinks about such awards specifically dedicated to female scientists.
‘It’s in your genes!’ How often have you been reminded by friends or relatives that you look the way you do because of the genetic code stored in your DNA? But next time you hear this expression used, you might stop to wonder what else could be stored in those genes.
The industrial revolution made the world wealthy through a simple idea: to replace the physical labour of humans and animals with energy from fossil fuels. Two-and-a-half centuries after the revolution started, however, it is in trouble. The oil that powers much of the world’s economy is running out, and the greenhouse gases given off by the fuels are harming the planet.
How do you encourage civil servants to take a long, hard look at what they do so as to improve public services for citizens? And how do you kick-start new thinking to address society’s plague of problems? For a start, you need to discover users’ thoughts about basic design problems in the services they use, according to Danish political scientist Christian Bason.
For scientists, packing up their lab coats and microscopes and heading to foreign laboratories can really pay dividends. Thanks to initiatives like Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships, women are benefiting more and more from making a move abroad.
Marisa Matias is a Portuguese MEP of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left group (GUE/NGL). A social scientist by training, she is very active in the areas of public health, science and research. Why should science be calling out for women? She believes it will help tackle Europe’s brain drain. ‘It will help jugulate the brain drain Europe is suffering and boost gender equality,’ she says.
New observations may provide alternative explanations for dark energy.
The technology could work with existing infrastructures, says Prof. Lee Cronin
We need to double-check the evidence on dark energy, as it may not exist at all, says Prof. Subir Sarkar.