Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New and Noteworthy (China's Nuclear Energy Expansion, Drug Money and the Economic Crisis, Rock-Breathing Bacteria, the LHC, Singer on Robots)

In today's edition:

* A New York Times article on China's massive expansion of its nuclear energy production, focusing on the safety concerns that go with such a rush in a "national business culture where quality and safety sometimes take a back seat to cost-cutting, profits and outright corruption" (a point touched on in my article "The Impending Oil Shock" in Survival last year, available here).

* By way of Charlie's Diary, a report in the Guardian regarding the role organized crime played in salvaging the world's financial system during the recent economic crisis, by virtue of its possession of scarce liquid capital-a rare acknowledgment of the way in which the "black" economy interacts with the mainstream.

* An article from Science Daily on recent research regarding "rock-breathing" bacteria, which people in the field hope could be applied toward cleaner energy production and environmental clean-ups.

* An update from Science News on the Large Hadron Collider, due to begin operating early in the coming year, with a more than usual bit of attention given to potential applications for the research.

* And, finally, a take from a different Peter Singer than the one whose book I reviewed this year (I'm referring to the well-known professor of bioethics from Princeton, not the Brookings Institute defense analyst) on recent developments in robotics and their implications.

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