[ASC-media] EXTRA Radio Release NewScientist 15 February

Garman, Joanne (RBI - AUS) Joanne at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Feb 13 12:04:36 EST 2003

OUR UNIVERSE IN GLORIOUS DETAIL We now have a clear view of the cosmos and
accurate figures on the age of the Universe, its rate of expansion, the
proportions of its main ingredients, and when the stars first began to
shine. This week NASA unveiled the first results from the Microwave
Anisotropy Probe which measures the cosmic microwave background. Pages 12-13
HUMANS TOO TASTY TO RESIST It used to be believed that only lions with tooth
damage or disease turned into man-eaters, because they could only hunt
slower, less wary humans. But recent attacks on humans have been by young
males in good physical health. Page 14
SHOCK TACTICS Some people regard "non-lethal" weapons such as the electronic
stun gun, the Taser, as dangerous; others think they are the best route to
safe policing. New Scientist receives a taste of what could soon be the
weapon of choice for keeping order on the streets. Pages 34-37
SUBS TO EAVESDROP ON CRASHING FISH STOCKS A robot submarine could soon be
helping conservationists assess fish populations. The vehicle, developed in
America, takes sonar pictures 
of passing shoals of fish and uses artificial intelligence to recognise the
species and count them. 
Pages 16-17
'BLOWTORCH' RISK TO SHUTTLE If a collision with space debris was a factor in
the loss of the space shuttle Columbia, NASA had been given ample warning. A
report published in 1997 warned of the effects of debris impacting the
leading edge or underside of a shuttle wing: "The consequent thermal heating
on re-entry could have a 'blowtorch' effect inside the wing that causes loss
of flight control resulting in the loss of the vehicle." Page 8
rapidly evolving in response to global warming. They are the first mammals
in which such genetic changes have been documented. The discovery could bode
well for other species struggling to adapt to new conditions, say
researchers. New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com/> 

suggest that genetically modified crops have far greater benefits in
developing countries, than in the developed countries for which they were
designed. For instance, GM insect resistant cotton increased yields by up to
80 per cent in India, but only 10 per cent in developed countries. Page 10


KISSING RIGHT (short story) When you kiss someone, do you tilt your head to
the right or left? A German researcher has been finding out. Page 20
PUMP-ACTION (short story) Up to now cyclists have been able to safeguard
their bike, but not their pump, with a lock. A bike lock that also acts as
your pump is the answer, says a German inventor. 
Page 15
GARDENING ON MARS (short story) Cotton grass could one day be the first
flower planted on the Red Planet, says an American botanist. The plant,
found on the Arctic island of Spitsbergen, can survive especially harsh
conditions, even lack of oxygen. Page 20
For information on how to view these articles on our Internet Press Site OR
for contacts and interviews, please contact Claire Bowles, New Scientist
press officer. Tel: +44 20 7331 2751 or Email:
<mailto:claire.bowles at rbi.co.uk> claire.bowles at rbi.co.uk
IN AUSTRALIA - Jo Garman 02 9422 2897 or media at newscientist.com.au
IN NEW ZEALAND - Monica Dwyer: 09 625 3075 or mdwyer at gordongotch.co.nz
Jo Garman | Media Manager
NewScientist Magazine
ph: +61 (0)2 9422 2897 | fx: +61 (0)2 9422 2725
email: joanne at newscientist.com.au
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