Science: Theoretically...

Japan's science agency is suspending operations at its state-run fast-breeder nuclear reactor as a penalty for falsifying reports. That followed the leak of three tonnes of sodium from its secondary cooling system in autumn 1995. Although the Monju reactor in Tsuruga on the Sea of Japan coast, which only opened in August 1995, has been shut since the accident, the suspension - expected to last at least six months - has a symbolic value, too. The Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp (PNC), which operates the reactor, agreed that the suspension was a serious move. The only other previous suspension order in Japan was issued against the Japan Atomic Power Co's plant in Tsuruga after its operators failed to react appropriately to a radiation leak in 1981.

Blast-off is scheduled for tonight for the two Russian cosmonauts due to repair the holed Mir space station. Yesterday, they got their final go-ahead for their work, which will get under way once they dock with Mir on Thursday night. Anatoly Solovyov, the commander, is confident that that he and Pavel Vinogradov will be able to restore full power to the space station, which has been running on about half power since a June 25 space collision. "I understand it will be a very difficult job, but I'm rather impatient to get there," said Solovyov, who is making his fifth trip to Mir and has spent a total of 15 months in space.

Twins really are useful - especially to other twins. Australian scientists yesterday announced a clinical trial, in which HIV-positive patients who have identical twins will receive genetically modified immune system cells from those healthy individuals in the hope that the altered cells will attack the virus. The 12-month trial, involving a group of identical twins in Sydney and Los Angeles, will test whether modified T-cells can boost the immune system by inhibiting the replication of affected cells. The trial, starting at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, will use a genetic process known as "gene shears" to alter T-cells, the key immune system fighters, to make them attack HIV naturally.

After recent announcements about scientific fraud in Germany and the US, editors of British medical journals have had an ethics committee to try to fight research fraud. The British Medical Journal and The Lancet will encourage their editors to "respond more rigorously" if they think that the research might be dubious, rather than "taking the easy option" and rejecting papers. The committee is the brainchild of Michael Farthing, editor of Gut. And before anyone accuses us of fraudulently passing off information, that announcement appeared in Nature.

Remember the news earlier this year that human skin has its own antibiotic? Scientists who discovered it suggested that such chemicals "might be ideal therapeutic agents, avoiding the problems of acquired resistance". But writing to Nature, Chris Inglehearn of the department of molecular genetics, University College London, points out "Imagine the consequences if this antibiotic were overused, as others have been, and microorganisms developed resistance... Perhaps this should be kept in what is the last line of defence - our skin."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Sauce Recruitment: New Media Marketing Manager - EMEA - Digital Distribution

£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing / PR / Social Media Executive

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A thriving online media busines...

Day In a Page

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review