Science Snippets

Apple vs FBI
Apple and US Justice Department officials are at legal logger heads over a ruling to allow access to iPhones. Apple suggests that allowing the FBI to access phones is unconstitutional and “chilling”, however the FBI claims the brand is more interested in their image and marketing than fighting terror. The case at hand involves a killer in the San Bernardino terrorist attack where 14 people were killed and 22 seriously injured at a County Department Public Health training event. A judge recently denied governmental access to a drug dealers’ phone. Apple’s general council and FBI director will testify in Congress in an effort to define boundaries between personal cybersecurity and national security.

Asylum and healthcare

Across Europe there are different attitudes towards the welcoming of refugees. Outside the Minster stands a large “Refugees are welcome here” sign, while the Facebook group #YORKSAYNOTOREFUGEES has over 3,000 members. In Australia doctors risk jail if they do not follow laws that damage the health of asylum seekers and go against medical ethics. This is very different from in the UK where people with outstanding application for refuge are entitled to use NHS services free of charge. An opinion piece in the New Scientist by David Berger claims this abolition of vulnerable people’s rights is under threat.

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Reactor rivalry
Nuclear fusion is a particularly promising energy production method. Practically inexhaustible and completely clean energy is produced by fusing two types of hydrogen together. However, the reaction is complex. Incredibly high temperatures are required to generate hydrogen plasma. Currently, Germany and China are rivals and the closest to actually being able to use this technology. They have both managed to create hydrogen plasma, achieving the extremely high temperatures 80,000,000°C and 50,000,000°C respectively. The countries used different techniques and didn’t manage to sustain temperatures long enough for a continuous reaction. We are a long way off, however both teams claim they are capable of achieving fusion technology. Read the full article at

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