[ASC-media] NewScientist Media Release - October 11 Issue

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Fri Oct 10 08:19:29 EST 2003


STORIES FROM 11 OCTOBER 2003 ISSUE

DOES THE UNIVERSE GO ON FOREVER? A team of NASA scientists has announced
tantalising hints that the universe is quite small. A hall-of-mirrors
illusion tricks us into thinking the universe 
is infinite, they say. But evidence from a second team contradicts these
findings. Page 6-7

LASER LIGHT HELPS CELLS REPAIR THEMSELVES Laser therapy is sometimes used to
treat joint pain, but no explanation has ever been given for how it works,
or if the effect is real. Now, a physicist has shown that beaming low-energy
laser light through a layer of cells triggers their repair mechanisms. Page
12

GENES MAY BE KEY TO POOR HEALTH IN ABORIGINALS Differences in a few of the
genes responsible for the immune system in Aboriginals might explain why
they suffer from certain medical problems, say researchers at the University
of Newcastle. Page 10

COMPUTER GAME MAKERS KILL OFF PIRACY Computer game makers have come up with 
a radical new anti-piracy strategy to beat illegal copying. Games protected
by the new system, called Fade, slowly degrade so guns don't fire properly
and cars cannot be steered. But by the time the game starts to fall apart,
the player is hooked-which actually encourages people to buy the product.
Page 21

FREE MARKETS HIT GROWTH Western-style open economies can lead to poverty and
corruption 
in developing countries, according to a new analysis. Israeli economists
have found that if a poor country opens up its markets too quickly, the flow
of money encourages corruption, which in turn hampers growth. But in
countries with closed markets, corrupt officials spend their dirty money at
home, which helps boost the local economy. Page 14

MALE CONTRACEPTIVE TRIAL HAS 100 PER CENT SUCCESS A male contraceptive has
achieved a 100 per cent success rate in trials involving 55 couples, Sydney
researchers have reported. 
The treatment was fully reversible, and the men suffered no undesirable side
effects. New Scientist's free public website at http://www.newscientist.com
<http://www.newscientist.com> 

TOO MANY TWINS (short story) Implanting two embryos during IVF is no more
likely to result in pregnancy than implanting one, a Melbourne study of more
than 2000 transfers has found. At present, twins are produced in about one
IVF pregnancy in five, and have a greater risk of premature delivery and of
developing cerebral palsy. Page 16

FIVE KEY QUESTIONS ABOUT PLEASURE What are the limits to pleasure? Why is
music so pleasurable? Why do we get such a buzz after doing something
stressful or dangerous? Can we feel pleasure without being aware of it? Do
other animals experience pleasure? Pages 41-43

ANTIPODES: THE GREAT FOOD FIGHT The debate over GM foods is hotting up on
both sides of the Tasman, says Ian Lowe. Also, research is a good
investment. Page 47

TALKING VACUUM CLEANERS "Talking" vacuum cleaners and washing machines could
soon spare people the hassle of long and tortured conversations with call
centre staff when their appliances break down. See also...  Global warming
kills; 3G headaches; Laptop drop-protection 'airbags'. New Scientist's free
public website at http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

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