[ASC-media] New Scientist Media Release - 11 Jan issue

McDonald, Chris (RBI - AUS) Chris at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Jan 9 11:03:08 EST 2003


HOW FAST IS GRAVITY? Newton thought it was instantaneous. Einstein assumed
it travelled at the speed of light. But no-one really knew the answer-until
now. In an exclusive feature, radio astronomer Ed Fomalont and theoretical
physicist Sergei Kopeikin tell the story of how they determined the speed of
gravity for the first time ever. And the answer is of fundamental importance
to our view of the Universe. Pages 32-35

FIRST LIGHT We are about to get the clearest image yet of the birth of the
Universe. NASA has been scrutinising the afterglow from the early stages of
the Big Bang. NewScientist looks at what the data to be released this month
could tell us about how time and space emerged. Pages 24-27, see also...
RITES OF PASSAGE By focusing on the afterglow of the Big Bang, astronomers
hope to witness the Universe's infancy, childhood and adolescence too. Pages

type of childhood thyroid cancer could be caused by low levels of natural
radiation from rocks and cosmic rays, according to two European scientists.
Page 4

University of California in Berkeley are developing ink-jet printing
technology that will print fully assembled electronic gadgets in one go.
When the technique is perfected, devices such as light bulbs and remote
controls will be spat out from three-dimensional printers as fully
functional systems-without the need for labour intensive production lines.
Page 12

BIG HEARTS ARE FIRST PAST THE POST People who own racehorses have always
believed that if you want a champion, choose a horse with a big heart like
Phar Lap. British scientists have now tested this sporting fable and found
it to be true-at least for steeplechasers. Page 15

WONDROUS TAIL (short story) A protein that helps geckoes regrow their tails
could help people regenerate lymph vessels, say researchers from Adelaide
University. Page 24

CRAB TRIGONOMETRY (short story) Despite their tiny brains, fiddler crabs
excel at trigonometry. They use it to estimate how far away intruders are,
says an ANU biologist.  Page 14

HEART-STOPPING When it comes to cardiovascular disease, cholesterol is only
half the story. The other culprit is inflammation-the same process that
makes a sprained ankle swell. Do we need to rethink the way we treat heart
patients? Pages 36-39

ANTIPODES: NON-RENEWABLE SUPPORT Ian Lowe looks at the controversy
surrounding the latest round of funding for Australia's cooperative research
centres. Page 47

AIR IONISERS WIPE OUT HOSPITAL INFECTIONS The installation of a negative air
ioniser has eliminated repeated infections by airborne bacteria in a British
intensive care ward. The ioniser produces negatively charged molecules that
collide with suspended particles making them clump together and fall out of
the atmosphere taking the bacteria with them. See also... Deadly toxin in
London; New spam filter; Orangutan culture. New Scientist's free public
website at http://www.newscientist.com

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press officer. Tel: +44 20 7331 2751 or Email: claire.bowles at rbi.co.uk
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