Friday 25 June 1999
CONTRAILS - THE white streaks left by aeroplanes crossing the sky - will contribute significantly to global warming within the next 50 years, according to American and German researchers. Though the ice clouds (created when jet engines release water vapour) are short-lived in dry air, they can last for hours in moist air, looking like high-level cirrus clouds. Impact will increase with rises in the volume of air traffic: clouds trap heat in the atmosphere and prevent it escaping to space. By 2050, said Patrick Minnis of Nasa, in areas of Europe with the heaviest air traffic, contrails could cover up to 4.6 per cent of the sky.
THE INTERNATIONAL Space Station had a close encounter with a piece of space junk last week, made worse by the failure of ground controllers to move the station out of the way: the Russian computers on board the uncrewed station refused to fire for as long as the controllers demanded, and shut the station down instead. Though the debris only had a 1 per cent chance of hitting the station, that could have destroyed it. The two missed each other by seven kilometres.
THE US Patent and Trademark Office has ruled that you cannot patent human- animal "chimeras" made from a mixture of the two's cells. The decision followed a test case submitted by Jeremy Rifkin, who was seeking either to provoke a ban or to prevent commercial companies from producing such hybrids by getting the patent himself and restricting its use. The USPTO rejected the claim because it "embraces a human being" - which is not allowed because it could be seen as breaking the law banning slavery. But Rifkin is pursuing the case by appealing, because he thinks that recent applications on cloned cells (including human cell DNA transplanted into denucleated cows' eggs) come under the same definition, and so should also be outlawed.
TV Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
- 2 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Black Mirror Christmas special: Jon Hamm episode will see people 'blocked' in real life, not just on Facebook
Zoella: YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg's debut novel set to become overnight bestseller
True Detective series 2: Rachel McAdams cast in female lead as 'no-nonsense' detective
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services