[ASC-media] Media Release March 15 NewScientist

RBI - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Thu Mar 13 13:54:01 EST 2003



THE WORLD'S FIRST BRAIN PROSTHESIS A silicon chip implant that can perform
the same processes as the hippocampus part of the brain has been developed
by researchers in California. The prosthesis will first be tested on rat
brain tissue, and then in intact animals. If all goes well, the team hopes
their chip could one day be used to help people who have suffered brain
damage due to stroke or Alzheimer's disease. Pages 4-5
SWITCHING OFF HUNTINGTON'S Silencing a mutant gene could slow down or
prevent Huntington's disease. Scientists say that although yet to be tried
in humans, the technique shows the most promise of any potential treatment
for Huntington's. Page 20
SPECIAL REPORT: WAR IN THE GULF Damage sustained by Kuwait during the Gulf
War gives an indication of the possible environmental effects of war in
Iraq-on the desert, water supplies and biodiversity. Pages 12-13

DNA SPECIAL: 50 YEARS OF THE DOUBLE HELIX Half a century after the discovery
of the double helix, researchers are only just beginning to understand DNA's
complex structure and biological significance. What controls the activity of
DNA? How is the huge molecule maintained? What guards against mutation? How
can DNA be used to build nano-machines? Pages 35-51

OPEN SECRET Whatever happened to nanotubes, those hollow threads of carbon
that were going to change the world? Well, they're everywhere. Haven't you
noticed? Pages 30-33
BRAINY CROWS LEARN HOW TO UPGRADE TOOLS New Caledonian crows, famous for
tool-making, can upgrade previous designs to make more specialised devices,
say New Zealand researchers. Even chimps don't do that. Page 15
WILL TOURIST ISLAND RUIN BARRIER REEF? A Cairns-based cruise company is
planning to build a tourist island and four-story convention centre on the
Great Barrier Reef. Conservationists are not pleased. Page 11

LIZARDS LIKE TO KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY An Australian skink is the first
reptile known to live in a stable nuclear family, according to researchers
from Sydney. Their work suggests that such an arrangement could be ideal for
a whole range of animals. Page 20

ANTIPODES: THE COST OF TRAFFIC FLOW Ian Lowe looks at whether London's new
congestion charge might be more broadly applicable. Page 64
SHORT THIGHS CARRY HIGHER DIABETES RISK Women with short thighs are more
likely to suffer diabetes than their longer-legged peers, an American study
has found. The data supports the view that factors influencing growth in the
womb and during childhood may contribute to the development of chronic
diseases. See also... No GPS blackout for war; Drug to prevent peanut
allergy; Aspirin counters throat cancer. 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
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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
NewScientist Magazine
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