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the Food and Drug Administration, and the
Department of Health and Human Services
for years misinterpreted a law requiring
them to make clinical trial sponsors post
the data to If the ruling
is upheld, it will likely discourage drug
companies from keeping unfavorable
results from the public, and it could offer
vital information for patients and doctors.
Still unclear is how quickly the agencies
might move to fill in the 10-year gap in
compliance—and what the consequences
would be for clinical trial sponsors that
don’t comply.

Canada steps up whale safeguards
CONSERVATION | With only about 400
North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena
glacialis) remaining, Canada is stepping
up its efforts to keep them safe from ships
and dangerous fishing gear, even as it

tries to keep its lucrative snow crab and
lobster fisheries thriving. New regula-
tions announced last week expand the
area in which whales will be protected by
“dynamic” restrictions—which trigger only
after the animals have been spotted—to the
entire Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of
Fundy. The new restrictions should give
fishers more harvesting opportunities than
seasonlong shutdowns. But it also means
fishing gear could already be in the water
when the whales arrive. “That creates a
huge risk,” says Kristen Monsell, an attor-
ney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Wind power tops water in U.S.
ENERGY | Last year, wind energy for the
first time surpassed hydropower as the top
source of renewable electricity genera-
tion in the United States, according to a
report out last month from the U.S. Energy

Information Administration. In 2019, wind
turbines produced 300 million megawatt
hours (MWh), compared with 274 million
MWh from dams and 146 million MWh
from all other renewables. The United
States is second only to China in wind
energy production; that country generated
more than 366 million MWh in 2018, the
last year for which statistics are available.
Globally, hydropower continues to be the
largest source of renewable energy.

A satellite that foils space junk
SPACE SCIENCE | One satellite docked
autonomously last week with another, der-
elict one and rescued it, a milestone for a
spaceflight industry increasingly concerned
with space junk. Some 36,000 kilome-
ters above Earth, Northrop Grumman’s
Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV-1) latched
onto Intelsat 901 (IS-901), a 19-year-old


Glow-in-the-light amphibians


ost salamanders don’t stand out: Their
mottled, earth-toned skin helps them
blend into the background of forests and
streams around the world. But shine the
right type of light on them, and they light
up like glow sticks. That’s the finding of a new
study, which reveals for the first time that most
amphibians—from salamanders to frogs—have
fluorescent compounds in their skin, bones,
and even urine that absorb the surrounding light
and re-emit it at specific wavelengths. When
researchers put 32 species of amphibians under
a blue or ultraviolet light, all were biofluores-
cent, emitting a greenish to yellow light from
their skin, they reported last week in Scientific
Reports. This widespread occurrence suggests
biofluorescence appeared early in the evolution-
ary history of amphibians.

An eastern tiger salamander exposed to regular light
(top) and blue light (bottom).

6 MARCH 2020 • VOL 367 ISSUE 6482 1059
Published by AAAS
Free download pdf