[ASC-media] NewScientist Radio Extra - 28 AUGUST 2004

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Aug 26 10:52:52 EST 2004


RADIO EXTRA STORIES FROM 28 AUGUST 2004 ISSUE


PLASTIC FINDS ITS PULLING POWER A British team has created the world's first
plastic magnet which works at room temperature, and can be used in everyday
products. The plastic magnets developed previously only function at low
temperatures and were too feeble to be used in the commercial world. The
team thinks the most likely application is in the magnetic coating of
computer hard discs. Page 19

OFF-ROADERS KICK UP DESERT STORMS Four-wheel drives are leaving the fragile
surfaces of deserts scarred, eroded and blowing in the wind. As a result,
dust storms originating in areas like the Sahara have increased tenfold in
the past 50 years. Page 5, and New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

TIME FLIES... Fruit flies copulate longer if their biological clock is
impaired, US researchers have found. This is the first time that
"clock-genes" have been shown to affect behaviour on a minute by minute
basis. Page 14, and New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

DEATH DEFYING We are the only animal on the planet that knows it is going to
die. So why are we not constantly paralysed with fear? According to
psychologists, death does take centre stage in most of our thoughts and
behaviours, but we have developed certain mechanisms by which we buffer
ourselves against the fear of dying. Pages 40-43

LANGUAGE MAY SHAPE HUMAN THOUGHT A study of a Brazilian tribe whose language
does not define numbers above two suggest that language may shape human
thought, says an American researcher. Members of the tribe were unable
reliably to tell the difference between four and five. New Scientist's free
public website at http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

SMART TILES ADD REALITY TO VIRTUAL WORLDS Intelligent floor tiles have been
developed by Japanese researchers to allow a person to walk through a
virtual environment while remaining in one spot.  
New Scientist's free public website at http://www.newscientist.com
<http://www.newscientist.com> 

COSMIC PERCUSSION TRACES SPACE DUST American researchers are planning to use
sensors normally found in drummers' electronic practice pads to analyse the
source of space dust and gauge the danger micrometeorites pose to the
International Space Station. Page 20

MUSCLING IN ON SNORERS An electrode planted in the roof of the mouth might
one day silence snorers, according to a Californian research team. Page 20

PANAMA CANAL BOOSTED LOCAL BIODIVERSITY IN A BIG WAY According to ecological
theory, the linking of two rivers by the Panama Canal in 1914 across the
watershed between the Pacific and Atlantic should have led to mass
extinctions. But a study of the rivers 90 years on shows that biodiversity
has actually gone up. Page 14

COMMENT AND ANALYSIS: TOKYO'S NUCLEAR CRISIS With nowhere else to turn to
satisfy its energy needs, Japan is waking up to the fact that it is trapped
into relying on an accident-prone nuclear industry, says technology writer,
Justin Mullins. Page 22

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