• A Russian plant genebank is at risk of destruction after a court ruled on 11 August 2010 in favor of plans for redeveloping the land as a housing development. The Pavlovsk Experiment Station, Europe's largest collection of fruits and berries, houses hundreds of varieties of raspberries, cherries, strawberries, and gooseberries, many of which are thought to be extinct in the wild. More than 90% of the collection is found in no other research collection or genebank. The N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry, which runs the station, plans to appeal the ruling, but is not hopeful that they will be given enough time to move the collection. "To move the collection of fruits, berries, and ornamental plants would take at least 10 to 15 years," said Fyodor Mikhovich, director of the research station. "Nobody's going to wait that long to build houses."

  • The Senate is not likely to complete their work on a reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act before the November elections, according to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). Bingaman chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is responsible for the bill's provisions relating to the Department of Energy Office of Science and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Bingaman has "no specific plans" to advance his committee's portion of the bill during the Congressional work period in September, which could result in the consideration of the bill during a lame duck session after the November elections. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has already passed their portion of the bill.

  • On 5 August 2010, the Senate unanimously passed S. 3729, a bill to reauthorize NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). In addition to addressing the future of human space flight, the bill addresses the importance of continuity in Earth observations. The bill calls for uniform data standards, the conversion of data from other agencies, and greater use of international data.

 


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