[ASC-media] Media Release - 25 OCTOBER 2003 ISSUE

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Oct 23 12:15:46 EST 2003


STORIES FROM 25 OCTOBER 2003 ISSUE

THE POWER TO PICK THE BEST EMBRYO British researchers have managed to grow
hundreds of cells from a single cell taken from an early mouse embryo. They
hope to use the same technique with human embryos, they told a conference in
Melbourne. This would make the task of pre-implantation genetic testing
easier and more accurate, by allowing it to be undertaken using many cells
rather than one or two. Page 12

'CELLPHONE RADAR' TRACKS TRAFFIC FLOW Signals from mobile phone masts can be
used to track aircraft and ships or spot speeding motorists, according to
two British companies currently testing the system. The technique can be
used to work out the position and speed of motorists without alerting
drivers they are being watched. Page 23

FACIAL TUMOURS KILL TASMANIAN DEVILS A mystery disease causing facial
tumours has wiped out a third of all Tasmanian devils in the past three
years. These animals are an important part of Tasmania's ecology, and
scientists fear the problem is having a knock-on effect in other mammals.
Page 9

DEAD COULD HELP THE LIVING SEE We could one day be curing some kinds of
blindness by injecting retinal stem cells into eyes, Canadian researchers
told a Melbourne conference. The team managed to generate all the different
retinal cell types by injecting stem cells from human eyes donated to an eye
bank into the eyes of mice. Now, they just need to test function by "showing
that they can make a blind mouse see". Page 18

THE SWEET WAY TO MAKE CELLS DO WHAT YOU WANT It may be possible to drive the
complicated process of specialisation of stem cells without knowing which
growth factors are involved, says a Brisbane researcher. All it takes is the
right sugars. Page 12

CYBER-ASTRONOMER SCOURS THE SKIES Intelligent software agents assisting
astronomers have passed their first test by taking control of one of the
world's most powerful telescopes. The agents are designed to spot oddities
in images of star fields, such as when a star is brighter than normal, train
the telescope on the event, and contact other telescopes to compare images.
Page 24

MICROWAVE COOKING ZAPS NUTRIENTS Steaming is by far the most nutritious way
to cook vegetables, and microwaving the least, according to a Spanish study
that compared the nutrients left in broccoli cooked in different ways. Page
14

THE ANIMATION GAME Film makers have hijacked computer games to create
machinima-a new underground film movement that could give Hollywood a run
for its money. Today's computer games make ideal virtual film sets where
robotic actors can be recorded, edited and then played back as a movie. Page
28-31

AUSTRALASIAN: SMART CARD INFILTRATION Electronic ID cards are being
introduced in several Asian countries. "Will Australia be next?" asks Bob
Johnstone Page 49

TESTOSTERONE PATCH BOOSTS WOMEN'S SEX LIVES A testosterone skin patch can
markedly improve the sex lives of women suffering a loss of sexual desire
after the removal of their ovaries, says a Melbourne researcher. See also...
The big Mac supercomputer; Long lost asteroid found; A calming new flu drug.
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