[ASC-media] NEWSCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE - APRIL 17 2004

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Apr 15 11:57:11 EST 2004


STORIES FROM 17 APRIL 2004 ISSUE

ENDING THE NIGHTMARE The horror of being totally aware of the procedure and
pain during surgery, yet unable to speak or move could be reduced by a
simple device. Preliminary findings of a large trial run by a Melbourne
research team show that a monitor, which detects electrical activity in the
brain, can cut the number of cases of awareness during operations by 80 per
cent. Pages 6-7

TABOOS COULD SAVE THE SEAS Many island nations of the south-western Pacific
are considering granting villagers ownership of their local seas, in the
hope they can use their traditional knowledge, customs and laws to protect
the environment. The move is an acknowledgment that western-style fishing
regulations are failing to protect the world's marine ecosystems. Page 9

COMING SOON: SEAT BY SEAT SUBTITLES A US company is developing technology
which can provide subtitles in different languages to patrons in individual
cinema seats via mini-screens. The top part of each personal screen is clear
allowing the viewer to watch the film, while the bottom acts as a mirror
reflecting subtitled text from a video projector at the back of the theatre.
Page 22

IS SPACE ROLLED UP LIKE A FUNNEL? The universe could be shaped like a long
horn with a narrow funnel at one end of the cosmos flaring out into a bell,
according to observations by a German team. This horn shape fits with data
released last year from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).
It also suggests the universe is finite. Page 12

ANTIBODIES BREAK THE CELL BARRIER Superantibodies, that can penetrate cells
rather than attaching to the surface, could lead to a new range of
treatments for diseases. The Canadian researchers who developed the
technology says the superantibodies can be highly specific, targeting
viruses and bacteria inside cells. They believe the antibodies could remain
active for up to a month, entering and leaving cells until they find their
target. Page 16

INFECTIONS EXPLAIN WHY OUR BLOOD GROUPS DIFFER A new British analysis
suggests that the ABO blood groups evolved as a response to the different
selection pressures exerted by viral and bacterial infections. Page 15

DEBRIS POINTS TO MASSIVE IMPACT The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was a
mere pebble compared with a 30-kilometre diameter rock that clobbered the
Earth about 2.5 million years ago, says the Canberra geologist who found its
debris scattered across the Hamersley Basin in Western Australia. Page 21

ARGENTINA'S BITTER HARVEST Since 1997, a huge number of Argentina's farmers
have embraced GM soya designed to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate.
Now, the farmers' reliance on GM soya is being blamed for agricultural and
economic woes. They have applied the herbicide a bit too enthusiastically,
causing the emergence of super resistant weeds and changes in the soil's
natural composition. Pages 40-43, and Editorial

ANTIPODES: THE LURE OF EUROPE Ian Lowe looks at a looming shortfall of
antipodean scientists, and at how to assess the quality of research. Page 49

GREENLAND ICE CAP 'DOOMED TO MELTDOWN' The Greenland ice sheet is doomed to
melt away to nothing, according to a new British modelling study. If it does
melt, global sea levels will rise by seven metres, flooding most of the
world's coastal regions. See also... Private spaceships; Lead-free chips;
Measuring space-time. New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

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