Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"How green are biofuels?"

Within the 4 Jan 08 issue of Science, Scharlemann and Laurance ask the question "How Green Are Biofuels?" and conclude

Not all biofuels are beneficial when their full environmental impacts are assessed; some of the most important, such as those produced from corn, sugarcane, and soy, perform poorly many contexts. (...) For example, multibillion-dollar subsidies for U.S. corn production appear to be a perverse incentive from a rational cost-benefit perspective. 319 Science 43.

The authors comment favorably on a study by R. Zah.

See also

In passing, the 4 Jan 08 issue had a letter by Robert S. Zucker on peer review which included the lines:

Do not reject a manuscript simply because its ideas are not original, if it offers the first strong evidence for an old but important idea.

IPBiz: Hmmm...?

Zucker also wrote:

Do not reject a paper simply because it is not of the highest significance, if it is beautifully executed and offers fresh ideas with strong evidence.

[319 Science 32]

Page 15 of the issue had two interesting stories.

First "Hwang Back?" noted that the South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare on 17 Dec. 2007 announced that Suam Biotechnology Institute has applied for permission to begin studies on cloning human embryos. Yes, Hwang Woo Suk is on the eight member team. The article states no one in South Korea has worked in human cloning research since Hwang was dismissed from SNU in March 2006. HOWEVER, IPBiz notes that Cha's grant application to CIRM would seem to have been in human cloning research (SCNT).

Second, "Lost Wax" states that the New World (i.e., North America/South America) lacked native honey bees.


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