[ASC-media] RADIO EXTRA STORIES FROM 18 JANUARY 2003 ISSUE - NewScientist

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Jan 16 14:48:39 EST 2003


RADIO EXTRA STORIES FROM 18 JANUARY 2003 ISSUE

THE MOTHER OF ALL EL NIÑOS REVEALED US researchers have uncovered a 25-year
ocean cycle that dominates the Pacific and significantly changes our
understanding of El Niño, global warming, and fluctuations in world fish
stocks. Pages 4-5

GUIDING THE BLIND WATCHMAKER The concept of the blind watchmaker, that
enduring metaphor for evolution that works to no pattern or design, is being
challenged by two European chemists. While the watchmaker may be blind, they
say, he is guided and constrained by the changing chemistry of the
environment, and that makes many evolutionary results inevitable. Page 12

RED ALERT OVER RARE SPECIES The well-known "Red List"-detailing the species
threatened with extinction-is inaccurate, according to a new assessment.
Californian researchers say that the list compiled by the World Conservation
Union (IUCN) fails to reflect the true pressure on species, by not taking
full account of the threat posed by people. Page 7

OLD SARIS ARE THE KEY TO CLEANER, SAFER WATER Using old saris to filter
drinking water from rivers and ponds has halved the number of cholera cases
in remote Bangladeshi villages, according to a three-year study. The
researchers found that passing water through four layers of any finely woven
fabric removes more than 99 per cent of cholera-causing bacteria-because
they are attached to plankton too big to squeeze through. Page 22, and New
Scientist's free public website at http://www.newscientist.com

FOLD HERE FIRST To work out how to pack an airbag or stow a space telescope,
engineers are turning to the art of origami. Pages 36-37

MAGNETIC MAPS REVEAL THE MOTION OF THE OCEANS Tiny magnetic fields created
by the motion of the tides have been mapped globally for the first time.
Information on the fields was extracted from satellite data. Improving the
technique could provide a valuable new way to track global ocean circulation
and climate change. Page 14

STROKE PATIENTS MAKE GREAT STRIDES IN A DIFFERENT REALITY People who have
suffered a stroke are learning to walk again thanks to a new rehabilitation
system which makes use of "augmented reality", a close relative of virtual
reality Page 14

A PLANET SO HOT IT RAINS IRON Five thousand light years away is a planet so
hot it rains iron. The way in which it was found could be used to pinpoint
more planets. Page 20

SOMETHING IN THE AIR MAKES SEEDS SPROUT Seeds don't absorb water directly
from the soil; most of it comes from water vapour in the surrounding air.
This finding, by a researcher in Oregon, could completely change the way we
plant. Page 19

HOUSES ARE WORSE THREAT THAN PEOPLE Many of the world's biodiversity hot
spots are under threat because people no longer live in such large family
groups, which increases the need for houses, according to American
ecologists. Page 9

MONKEY BUSINESS Monkeys aren't quite the aerial acrobats we thought.
Researchers have found that about half of all Japanese macaques have
suffered the indignity of breaking a bone after falling out of a tree or
down a slope. Page 15

For information on how to view these articles on our Internet Press Site OR
for contacts and interviews, please contact Claire Bowles, NewScientist
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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