[ASC-media] STORIES FROM 4 JANUARY 2003 ISSUE - NewScientist

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Mon Jan 6 10:52:16 EST 2003


STORIES FROM 4 JANUARY 2003 ISSUE

Special Report: GREAT BARRIER REEF The death of the Great Barrier Reef
appears to have been greatly exaggerated. Have scientists and
conservationists been misleading the public? Pages 8-10
HAS THIS CHIMP TAUGHT HIMSELF TO TALK? Sounds made by a chimp comes the
closest yet to providing concrete evidence that apes can make sounds that
carry a particular meaning. The team in Atlanta studying Kanzi, an adult
bonobo, identified four sounds the ape made in different contexts. In each
context, Kanzi made the same sound - indicating evidence of language skills.
Pages 12-13
'PROTATO' TO FEED INDIA'S POOR Protein-rich GM potatoes will play a key part
in an ambitious 15-year plan to combat malnutrition among India's poorest
children. The potatoes, developed in New Delhi, will make a third more
protein than usual. They are currently in the final stages of testing prior
to approval. Page 7
FAREWELL, MAN THE HUNTER? For years anthropologists have leaned towards the
notion that meat brought home to the family - by man the hunter - shaped
human evolution nearly 2 million years ago. But, according to an American
researcher, the male "hunters" were actually scavengers, and it was the
mothers and grandmothers who played a vital role in feeding the children.
Page 16
AN AWFUL LOT OF EARTHS MAY BE OUT THERE Two astrophysicists from New Jersey
have created a computer model of all the known planetary systems to work out
which could be hiding habitable planets. They found that around a quarter of
the systems are capable of harbouring other Earth-like planets - far more
than anyone expected. Page 17
NEUTRINOS UNCOVER THE SUN'S SECRETS For as long as researchers have been
calculating the rate of fusion in the Sun, the idea of a fourth type of
undetectable neutrino (or "sterile" neutrino) has been around. Now, a
nuclear power plant in Japan has banished the idea of these sterile
neutrinos for good. This allows the number of neutrinos made in the Sun to
be calculated with more certainty that ever before. Page 13
BIRDS BRING RADIOACTIVITY ASHORE Droppings from seabirds could be bringing
radioactivity ashore on an island close to the Arctic. Norwegian researchers
have found unusually high concentrations of radioactive material on samples
of bird droppings and vegetation close by. "We're talking about a very
vulnerable environment, and when reindeer eat the [contaminated] vegetation,
it's in the food chain," say the researchers.  Page 5
RED WINE EXTRACT GIVES FRUIT A NEW LEASE OF LIFE The contents of your fruit
bowl could stay mould-free a lot longer thanks to a health-giving substance
found in red wine. Spanish researchers have shown that dipping apples in an
antioxidant found in grapes, extended their shelf life from two weeks to
three months. Page 15
BIOBATTERIES BACK TO SQUARE ONE Plans to make miniature, implantable
"biofuel" cells have been sent back to the drawing board after the first
living creatures to be fitted with the devices died. Two grasshoppers died
shortly after being fitted with biofuel cells. Page 18
WATCH THIS SPACE What does 2003 have in store? New Scientist polled
researchers in every field and they came up with milestones that we should
look out for over the coming year. Some of the highlights in this week's
issue include: the first human clone, teleportation, invasion of Mars,
legalisation of cannabis, and hypersonic flight. Pages 24-29
MAKE PEACE NOT WAR Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to
antibiotics - posing one of the greatest threats to our health today. The
solution, according to some microbiologists, is instead of trying to kill
the bacteria - we should be talking to them. Pages 30-33

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: claire.bowles at rbi.co.uk
<mailto:claire.bowles at rbi.co.uk> 

IN AUSTRALIA - Jeff Sapier: 02 9422 2556 or jeff at newscientist.com.au
IN NEW ZEALAND - Monica Dwyer: 09 625 3075 or mdwyer at gordongotch.co.nz


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