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    On the record

    “Eris is the Greek goddess of discord and strife.”

    Astronomer Mike Brown on choosing the official name of the dwarf planet formerly known as Xena.

    “Fang Zhouzi and I should carry out a civilized duel to the death.”

    Philosopher Li Ming suggests a novel way of solving a disagreement over the four-colour theorem.

    “I hate to say we told you so, but we told you so.”

    Climatologist Mark Serreze on the finding that Arctic sea ice shrank 14% between 2004 and 2005.


    Academic freedom

    The Russian cabinet has replaced the word 'Russian' in the name of the Russian Academy of Sciences with 'State' — a seemingly subtle change that gives President Vladimir Putin the right to approve its choice of president.

    Chemists' nights out

    Japanese police have launched a desperate search for three bottles of potentially deadly hydrofluoric acid, after an official from Shimonoseki Mitsui Chemicals who was carrying them one night got so drunk he couldn't remember what he did with them.

    Number crunch

    A group of scientists have got together to defend researcher Thomas Walsh against a Los Angeles Times article that suggested he may have biased clinical trials towards drugs owned by the companies who were paying him (page 252 and update).

    109 is the number of authors who signed the editorial in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

    554 is the number of potential conflicts of interest they declare.

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