Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
China to collect samples from moon this year
China will launch a probe to collect samples from the moon around the end of this year, a space official said on Monday, weeks after Beijing hailed the successful touch down on the far side of the moon. The Chang'e-4 lunar probe landed on Jan. 3 and transmitted the first-ever "close range" image of the far side of the moon.
Too much salt: water desalination plants harm environment - UN
Almost 16,000 desalination plants worldwide produce bigger-than-expected flows of highly salty waste water and toxic chemicals that are damaging the envi ronment, a U.N.-backed study said on Monday. Desalination plants pump out 142 million cubic metres (5 billion cubic feet) of salty brine every day, 50 percent more than previous estimates, to produce 95 million cubic metres of fresh water, the study said.
Braille technology firm builds 'Kindle for the blind'
A British company plans to launch a Braille e-reader for blind people this year that should greatly enhance their reading experience and spare them from lugging around hefty print volumes. Since it was developed by Louis Braille in the 19th Century, the alphabet of raised dots has brought the joy of reading to millions of blind and partially-sighted people.