[ASC-media] March 8 Media Release NewScientist

RBI - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Thu Mar 6 13:11:39 EST 2003


SUPERBUG STRAIN HITS THE HEALTHY  MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant superbug
that has long been a problem in Western hospitals, now appears to be
infecting healthy people in America. Scientists are currently working on
samples from the Netherlands to see if this US strain has spread to Europe.
Pages 4-5
TEXT ALERTS OFFER ASTHMA LIFELINE A mobile phone system that can take lung
capacity measurements from asthma sufferers and communicate them to doctors
could lower the risk of serious asthma attacks. A British firm running a
trial hopes that children will be more likely to use a mobile phone to take
readings than the normal asthma inhaler. If the system proves successful,
the company hopes to use it to monitor other conditions such as diabetes and
cystic fibrosis. Page 21
CRUNCH TIME FOR THE SUV Sport utility vehicles (SUVs), the 4-wheel-drives so
popular in America and Australia, are too dangerous, says the US
government's road safety chief. They are prone to roll over in accidents, he
says, urgently calling for incorporation of technologies to make them safer.
So why is President Bush trying to encourage people to buy more of them?
Pages 12-13
SILENCING THE PESTS A genetic trick called gene silencing could help wipe
out serious farm pests such as the fruit fly. The technique can be used to
genetically modify insects creating sterile males. An Australian research
team thinks the technique could also be applied to stop transgenic organisms
from spreading. Page 25
IS THERE AN ANTIGENE FOR EVERY GENE? Animal genes print off far more genetic
material than is needed to make proteins. A Californian researcher thinks
the excess "antisense RNA" may regulate gene activity, and is made in
response to environmental and developmental cues. Page 25
BREATHLESS Epaulette sharks can survive at low tides when oxygen levels
plummet. They can remain limp and comatose for hours until suddenly
wriggling back to life. This amazing trick could teach doctors how to
protect the brains of stroke patients. Pages 46-49
SAY NUTS TO MALARIA (short story) An amino acid found in nuts may protect
children from the worst ravages of malaria, according to a Darwin
researcher. Page 27

HARD TO GASP (short story) Children routinely misreport asthma symptoms,
says a New Zealand researcher. He suggests fewer people may actually suffer
from the disease than is thought. Page 27

ANTIPODES: CLOUDING FUTURE ENERGY Ian Lowe says Federal government funding
decisions are pulling the plug on Australia's solar power industry. Page 59
in the world, according to a UNESCO report. Australia ranked 20th in the
list of 122 countries. See also... China's moon project; Black cats are
lucky; Fathers control pregnancy length. New Scientist's free public website
at http://www.newscientist.com
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

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