[ASC-media] Radio Stories NewScientist Release - October 11 issue

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Fri Oct 10 08:21:21 EST 2003


RADIO EXTRA STORIES FROM 11 OCTOBER 2003 ISSUE

CITIZENS STRIKE BACK IN INTELLIGENCE WAR Government agencies could come
under increased public scrutiny when a website is launched later this year
that allows US citizens to post snippets of information on politicians,
officials and organisations. To get around potential legal problems, the two
MIT researchers behind the project are planning to store the information
around the internet. Page 22

SONAR KILLS WHALES Whales blasted by military sonar signals appear to die of
symptoms similar to the bends, according to British and Spanish scientists
who examined 14 animals stranded after a major naval exercise in the Canary
Islands. The finding means the use of sound waves to detect submarines might
need to be restricted. Page 10

TUATARA'S RELATIVE LIVED IN ARGENTINA (short story). A treasure trove of
fossils found in Argentina has shown that large relatives of New Zealand's
enigmatic reptile, the Tuatara, were living in South America at least until
65 million years ago. Page 17

A PERFECT HOME FOR ALIEN LIFE (short story) The star 37 Gem, just north-east
of Orion, is the likeliest place for alien life, according to an American
astrobiologist who has compiled a shortlist of the most promising solar
systems to harbour life, for an ambitious NASA project-the Terrestrial
Planet Finder-planned for 10 years time. Page 16

CONTROLLED BUSHFIRES DAMAGE-RATHER THAN PROTECT-WILDLIFE The controlled
burning of vast swathes of bush in northern Australia each year is damaging
biodiversity, not protecting it, according to the results of an eight-year
experiment. New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

CATHOLIC CHURCH CLAIMS CONDOMS DO NOT STOP HIV The Catholic church is
spreading a claim that condoms have holes in them that allow HIV through.
Though hotly disputed by medical authorities, the information is
discouraging people in developing countries from using condoms, increasing
their chances of contracting the virus. Page 8

GLOWING BACTERIA TAKE ON ALL COMERS The sequencing of a land bacterium which
glows could provide farmers and doctors with a cornucopia of natural toxins
for fighting pests and diseases. The microbe can kill pest larvae, and it
keeps the corpses free of ants, fungi and rival bacteria using a wide range
of antibiotics and repellents. Page 15

AUSTRALIAN SUCCESS AT IG NOBEL AWARDS An Australian team has won the Ig
Nobel Physics prize for "an analysis of the forces required to drag sheep
over various surfaces". The Ig Nobels reward achievements "that first make
people laugh, and then make them think". Among this year's winners are the
American engineers responsible for Murphy's Law. New Scientist's free public
website at http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

REBEL NETWORK Jon Anderson wants to give the internet back to the people.
Instead of paying a fortune for broadband internet access, he wants to
provide a dirt-cheap wireless network of computers with no size limit and no
telecommunications companies providing the connections. It could also be
described as self-organised anarchy. Pages 26-29

'STIFF' FLUID COULD SOON PUT THE BRAKES ON CARS A fluid that becomes as
stiff as plastic in an electric field could lead to a new generation of
brakes and clutches in cars. The material is already being tested in a
prototype clutch. Page 23

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