Reuters Science News Summary

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.

Tycoons Slim, Gates open Mexico agricultural research center

TEXCOCO (Reuters) - Carlos Slim and Bill Gates, the two richest men on the planet, inaugurated a new agricultural research center outside Mexico's capital, touting the millions they have donated to bolster global food security. The two tycoons participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for new laboratories at the headquarters of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT.

U.S.-based inventors lead world in nanotechnology patents: study 2013-02-14T162653Z_2_BRE91D0YM_RTROPTC_0_US-PATENTS-NANOTECHNOL OGY.XML () -

Asteroid to pass close by Earth on Friday

BOSTON (Reuters) - A newly discovered asteroid about half the size of a football field will pass nearer to Earth than any other known object of its size on Friday, giving scientists a rare opportunity for close-up observations without launching a probe. At its closest approach, which will occur at 2:24 p.m. EST/1924 GMT, the asteroid will pass about 17,200 miles above the planet traveling at 8 miles per second, bringing it nearer than the networks of television and weather satellites that ring the planet.

Pentagon stands by use of lithium-ion batteries on F-35 fighters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said it plans to continue using lithium-ion batteries on the new F-35 fighter jet despite problems with similar batteries that have grounded Boeing Co's <BA.N> new 787 airliner and are causing Airbus to rethink their use on its A350 jet. Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the Pentagon's $396 billion F-35 program office, said on Tuesday that the lithium-ion batteries used on the new radar-evading fighter were made by different manufacturers than those used on the 787, and the jet's battery systems had been rigorously tested.