Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Mon Jan 12 10:51:23 EST 2004




SEWAGE NUTRIENTS FUEL CORAL DISEASE Nutrients from agricultural run-off and
untreated sewage encourage infections in Caribbean coral, according the
first marine study of its kind. The results will fuel debate about whether
the run-off from cattle stations and sugar farms in Queensland is a threat
to the Great Barrier Reef. Pages 12-13     

NO REMEDY IN SIGHT FOR HERBAL RANSACK A study to be unveiled later this year
has found that demand for natural remedies is now so high that it threatens
to wipe out up to a fifth of the plant species on which the A$26 billion a
year herbal medicines industry depends. The majority of plants used are
harvested in the wild and the industry stands accused of not doing enough to
sustain its supplies. Pages 10-11 

BEWARE TAP WATER IF YOU WEAR CONTACTS Washing your face while wearing
contact lenses could increase your chances of contracting a potentially
blinding eye infection-especially in Britain-according to a leading eye
specialist. Lenses are a perfect breeding ground for bugs found in the water
supply. Page 15 

SPERM WARFARE So far efforts to develop a male pill have concentrated on
disrupting levels of testosterone. While this may indeed shut down
production of sperm in the testes, it also threatens masculinity. A new
generation of smart, targeted male contraceptives is on the way to minimise
side-effects. Pages 38-41

WHERE NO IMPLANT HAS GONE BEFORE Two deaf women in the US have become the
first people to undergo a risky procedure of implantation into their
brainstems. The American surgeon who pioneered the technique hopes that his
implant, in which eight electrodes are inserted, will be able to stimulate
several nerve bundles and produce different frequencies-enough to understand
speech. Page 14 

AIMING FOR A KINDER CUT Computer scientists have developed software that
will help surgeons predict how a particular person's face will appear after
an operation. The system models the effects of incisions to the skin in real
time to help users explore different cutting paths to minimise
disfigurement. Pages 22-23 

POOP SHOOTERS (short story) Penguins can not only survive extreme
temperatures and dive to extraordinary depths, they are also one of nature's
super-poopers. German scientists estimate the birds expel their faeces with
a force of more than four times that of humans. Page 16  

WE'VE SEEN THE FUTURE New Scientist predicts the top 10 science stories for
2004. They include: the first instalment of a detailed 3D map of the human
brain; the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun; Hubble telescope's
successor; a fantastic voyage to the lost world of Atlantis; results from a
study to tell us if the Atkins diet really works; and the first spacecraft
driven by a solar sail. Pages 32-37  

ANTIPODES: PEOPLE PROBLEMS Ian Lowe looks at the dilemmas of population
growth on both sides of the Tasman: from Auckland's traffic to pollution on
the Gold Coast. Page 49

footballers sustain at least one blow to the head equivalent to being in a
severe car crash, a new study has found. See also...  Space station springs
a leak; Dwindling sperm; SARS is back. New Scientist's free public website
at http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com/> 

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