Science News Archive - April 12, 2009


On Saturday, Germany's environmental minister warned that if Washington does not go beyond its current greenhouse gas cutting commitments, agreements on a new climate pact this year will prove difficult.


Officials announced on Saturday that the La Cumbre volcano in the Galapagos Islands is erupting again and could threaten the Islands' unique wildlife.

Thalidomide victims once snubbed by the German government are being offered compensation for birth defects caused by the drug, officials say. The German family ministry has announced it will temporarily waive a 26-year-old ban on considering thalidomide relief claims from foreign countries until the end of 2010, thus enabling victims from around the world to collect damages on the drug formerly made by the German company Grunenthal, The Sunday Times of London reported. Germany since 1983 has rejected at least 100 thalidomide claims for being out of time, since Grunenthal stopped making the morning sickness drug in the 1960s when it was found to cause birth defects.


Conservationists have identified a new population of up to 2,000 orangutans in a remote corner of Indonesia.

Word of the Day
  • A pivoted catch designed to fall into a notch on a ratchet wheel so as to allow movement in only one direction (e.g. on a windlass or in a clock mechanism), or alternatively to move the wheel in one direction.
The word 'pawl' probably comes from a Latin word meaning 'stake'.