[ASC-media] EXTRA Radio Release NewScientist 22 February

RBI - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Thu Feb 20 10:53:52 EST 2003


PROOF OF LIFE We thought we had clear-cut evidence that life on Earth arose
almost as soon as the planet was habitable. But now that evidence is being
challenged. Could life have been slower to emerge than everyone thought?
Pages 28-31

HIDDEN CLOUD LAYER REVEALED A layer of high, invisible cirrus clouds has
been overlooked by weather balloons. As a result, the present models for
predicting global warming could be inaccurate. Page 6
QUAKE DANGER AFTER HEAVY SNOW Melting snow could trigger earthquakes. A
geophysicist who studied records from the mountains of Japan, reckons the
weight of snow compresses earthquake faults. But when the snow melts, the
pressure is released causing a sudden shift in the fault, and perhaps an
earthquake. Page 20
GADGET PREDICTS RISK OF AVALANCHES A telescopic snow probe could become
standard issue for avalanche warning centres across the world. The Swiss
probe can give a detailed profile of 2 metres of snow in a few minutes. It
will be able to tell ski guides if off-piste slopes are safe enough for
skiing. Page 20
ICONIC WILDLIFE PARK CRITICISED Banff National Park in Canada is failing the
wildlife it was set up to protect, claim researchers who found the survival
rate of black bears is no better than in unprotected areas. The team blames
the increase in the number of tourists visiting the park. Page 9
POLLUTANTS DO PART-TIME CLEANING JOB While particulates from diesel engines
and industry make the atmosphere dirtier, they can also prevent the
dangerous build-up of ozone in the air we breathe, say US researchers. Page

SINGLE-MINDEDLY SMART (short story) Being able to resist distractions may be
a key component of intelligence, according to an American researcher. Page


DEEP HEAT The idea of tapping the Earth for its abundant heat has been
around since 1910. But up until now there hasn't been an economical way of
extracting this heat and using it to warm homes. 
A team of engineers in Germany hopes to bore a huge hole in the ground in
Aachen to show geothermal heating is there for the taking. Pages 40-42

WORD BURSTS "Bursts" in the usage of particular words could be used to
identify new trends and sort

information more efficiently, says an American computer scientist. New
Scientist's free public

website at http://www.newscientist.com

PHEROMONE 'IMAGE' THE KEY TO MOUSE'S MATING Mice use their sixth sense to
form a pheromonal "image" of other mice, say researchers in the US. The
picture they form is as detailed as the visual images of faces so important
to humans. New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com/> 
NEW ROBOT FACE SMILES AND SNEERS A new robot can express a full repertoire
of human facial expressions, according to its creators. It was unveiled last
week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement
of Science. New Scientist's free public website at
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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
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