Will Japanese Researchers Grow Human Organs Inside Pigs? – A controversial technique to develop body parts from stem cells may someday save countless lives, but will society allow it? “If all goes according to plan, professor Hiroshi Nagashima’s genetically-engineered pigs will grow up with functional organs. A few of those body parts, though, will have the genetic makeup of a human. In essence, they’ll be mostly swine, partly human.”
From this morning’s Australian papers.
Indonesian outrage ‘unlikely to escalate’ – “Defence experts are playing down tensions over Australia’s accidental breaches of Indonesian waters and say Jakarta’s vow to boost its southern sea patrols could even work in Australia’s favour.” – Fairfax papers
Caution urged in alcohol-violence counter measures – “Governments are fond of tough-sounding announcements of more criminal penalties. They must believe that such measures are effective, but they are not. There is plenty of evidence that increases in penalties for offences do not produce corresponding deterrent effects (that is, less offending) and that mandatory minimum sentences do not deter offenders, but do complicate and add to the expense of criminal proceedings and require courts to act unjustly. The government proposes both of these courses for nine offences of violence (including sexual assault and assaulting police) ‘where drug [sic] and alcohol are involved’… But where drugs and alcohol are involved in such assault offences, the last thing likely to be on an offender’s mind is the penalty to which he will be liable if he is apprehended, prosecuted and convicted.” Nicholas Cowdery in the Sydney Morning Herald
Some links to other things I’ve found interesting today
‘Burnt out’ EU likely to curb climate goal – “Binding national targets on renewable energy are expected to be dropped from new EU proposals due to be unveiled on Wednesday. The UK has lobbied hard to have the mandatory 2030 target watered down, saying it would drive up energy bills. The EU executive will also outline a goal on emissions cuts for 2030, set to be 35 or 40% below 1990 levels. But green groups said the proposals lacked ambition and were the acts of a ‘burnt out’ Commission.”
Rennard set to take legal action over Lib Dem suspension – “Lord Rennard has taken a step closer to starting legal action against the Lib Dems after claims that he sexually harassed female party members. The peer had his party membership temporarily suspended after he refused to apologise over the claims. But he is expected to seek a court order within days to try and halt disciplinary proceedings against him. Lib Dem sources have warned of ‘a blood bath, the like of which the party has not seen before’.”
Unconventional monetary policy normalisation and emerging-market capital flows – “The Federal Reserve has begun to ‘taper’ its programme of quantitative easing. The ‘taper tantrum’ that followed the announcement of tapering in June 2013 suggests that the normalisation of rich countries’ unconventional monetary policies may lead to capital outflows and currency depreciations in emerging markets. This column presents the results of recent World Bank research into these effects. In the baseline scenario, the unwinding of QE is predicted to reduce capital inflows by about 10%, or 0.6% of developing-country GDP by 2016. However, if markets react abruptly, capital flows could decline by as much as 80% for several months.”