Cartoon of a tokamak, with the plasma shown in pink. The blue coils create the strong toroidal magnetic field, while the poloidal magnetic field (shown by the green arrows) is primarily created by a toroidal current in the plasma itself. Added together these create the twisted helical magnetic field shown by the black arrows. The transformer in the center is required to drive the plasma current and the poloidal field coils (shown in grey) are used for additional stabilization (source:

Bottling up the sun – the latest on our quest for fusion energy

by Jonathan Squire The human race has an energy problem. Despite continually increasing demand, we still have no truly viable way to produce energy on a necessary scale without significant environmental consequences. So what about solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, geothermal, or CCS (carbon capture and storage)? Each of these generation methods has its own disadvantages, and certainly…

Figure 1. Figure 1. Image credits:,,
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Breast is best, and breast is breast

by Elizabeth O’Sullivan Compared with feeding at the breast, feeding infant formula is associated with a number of risks for babies; among other things, they suffer from more respiratory infections, more diarrheal disease, and perform worse on tests of cognitive development. For mothers, longer duration of feeding at the breast is associated with a reduced risk…