[ASC-media] NEWSCIENTIST MEDIA RELEASE 7-AUGUST ISSUE

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Aug 5 11:38:52 EST 2004


NEWSCIENTIST STORIES FROM 7 AUGUST 2004 ISSUE

DO WE HAVE TO SPELL IT OUT? The search for alien intelligence relies heavily
on radio telescopes sweeping the skies for signals. But what if ET has left
a message for us by some other means? It could be an attention grabbing DNA
sequence inserted into our cells by specially crafted viruses, says Sydney
astrophysicist Paul Davies. Pages 30-31

COLD WAR STARTS OVER LIFE IN ANTARCTIC LAKE Controversy has erupted over
Lake Vostok, deep beneath the Antarctic ice. A Russian and French team
believe the lake is too toxic to support life. If they are right, it would
be the only known sterile body of water on Earth. But American scientists
insist the lake is a source of undiscovered life forms. Pages 6-7

BUSH MEAT TRADE BREEDS NEW HIV The HIV virus has jumped from primates to
humans on at least seven separate occasions in recent history, not twice as
commonly thought. And experts at a meeting in New York say a flourishing
trade in bush meat is creating ideal conditions for new diseases to emerge.
Page 8

STEALTH WALLPAPER KEEPS COMPANY SECRETS SAFE Using technology designed to
hide radar on warships, a British defence contractor has developed a type of
wallpaper that can prevent Wi-Fi signals escaping from a building, while
still letting through mobile phone signals. Page 19

IS EARTH ONE OF A KIND? None of the 110 planets discovered outside our solar
system looks anything like our own planets. Perhaps they formed in a
different way, and our planetary system is unique. Page 13

BUG-BASED SENSORS RAISE THE FIRE ALARM A sensor found in a beetle's "armpit"
is the inspiration for a novel heat detector that could one day give early
warnings of bushfires. The infrared sensor allows the jewel beetle to sense
fires up to 80 kilometres away. Page 20

ROBOT GUARD WILL SMOKE OUT VILLAINS 6-wheeled robot security guards will
soon be patrolling companies and airports in Japan. Robot X can chase
intruders, take pictures of them, issue loud warnings, and even release a
cloud of billowing smoke to confuse them. Page 21

SPECIAL REPORT: GLOBAL BSE CRISIS-AMERICAN NIGHTMARE The US has so far found
only one cow infected with mad cow disease. But experts say "there is no
such thing as an isolated case, and it's likely the disease has been
circulating in herds for years". American consumers, however, seem
unconcerned. Pages 33-36...see also OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND? No one in the
US has ever been formally diagnosed with the human form of mad cow disease.
Does that mean there's nothing to worry about? Pages 37-38...and WHEN
PROTEINS ATTACK Why do some strains of prion spread between species, such as
BSE from cattle to humans, while others, such as scrapie in sheep, don't
affect us at all. Pages 39-41 
 
AUSTRALASIAN: CRITICAL CONDITIONING Ian Lowe looks at the cause of
electricity shortages in summer, and at the attraction of astrology. Page 45


ANIMATED FACE HELPS DEAF WITH PHONE CHAT Software that creates an animated
face which moves its lips to match what is being said at the other end of a
phone line can help people with hearing difficulties, a British study
suggests. See also... Believing brings sons; Ultrasonic ground squirrels;
NASA wish list. New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

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