Hubble, supervolcanoes and other science stories of the week

Welcome to your weekly science update – a curated list of this week’s most interesting stories in science.

Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos. This development comes as a shock and draws criticism from researchers and bioethicists.

EU votes to protect research funds. The European parliament voted to halt a proposal to reallocate €2.7 billion of Horizon 2020 research funding for an economic stimulus package.

Meanwhile, US congress plans to cut research funding. House representatives propose cuts to applied energy research and climate research.

Hubble at 25. The Hubble space telescope turned 25 on April 23rd. Denizens of the internet celebrated with enthralling photo galleries.

In 2018 Hubble’s successor will launch into orbit, here’s more on astronomy after Hubble.

Busy bee, addicted bee. A study has shown the bee’s may become addicted to crops that have been sprayed with neonicotinoids, raising questions about the ecological impacts of this new class of pesticides.

Planet of the Apes. Chimpanzees win their day in court, taking a major step toward something akin to human rights.

Yellowstone Supervolcano. Researchers discover magma chambers filling under Yellowstone National Park in the US are larger than previously thought. A supervolcanic eruption at Yellowstone would be a catastrophic disaster with global ramifications

Keep the backdoor open. US department of Homeland Security raises concerns over encryption technology that’s too difficult for them to crack, sparking debate about cyber-security and privacy.

A vintage vintage. Ever wonder what 170-year-old Champagne tastes like? Spoiler alert: it’s cheesy, and sweet.

Be more cuttlefish. Researches develop a new material that can change color like a cuttlefish.

A blood test for cancer. Reports of advancements made towards liquid biopsies, life-saving tests that can detect cancer in a drop of blood.

Author: David Gleicher is Senior Programme Manager, Science and Technology,at the World Economic Forum.

Image: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, released on February 1, 2001, of the so-called “ant nebula”. REUTERS/NASA

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