[ASC-media] NEWSCIENTIST RADIO EXTRA: 29 MAY 2004 ISSUE

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Wed May 26 18:42:25 EST 2004


RADIO EXTRA: NEWSCIENTIST STORIES FROM 29 MAY 2004 ISSUE


BLACKOUTS GIVE CITIES A BREATH OF FRESH AIR The blackout which left 50
million people without power in North America last August had a unexpected
benefit-the air was cleaner afterwards. Meteorologists flew over the
blackout zone 24 hours after the power went down, and found that the
pollutants associated with power stations had fallen dramatically. Page 15

WHY MT FUJI RISES SO HIGH The Japanese volcano Mt Fuji is unusually tall and
active for the region in which it's located. Now, researchers have
discovered why-a tear in the Philippine Sea plate directly beneath the
mountain allows large volumes of molten rock into its magma chamber. Page 17

TAKE-AWAY WEB ADDRESSES (short story) Anyone with a web-enabled PDA or
mobile phone and built-in camera will be able to grab web addresses while
walking around, if technology from a Canadian firm takes off. The company
has developed a variant of the barcode to represent a standard web URL.
Software can retrieve the information from a photo and inject the URL into a
browser. Page 22, and New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

INDUSTRIAL POLLUTION MAY DOUBLE TWIN BIRTHS High levels of environmental
pollution may increase the rate of twin births, a German study suggests. The
researchers found that women living near a toxic waste incinerator in the
Hesse region had more than double the proportion of twins of those living
further away. New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com> 

FAST AGEING REVEALS SECRETS OF YOUTH Swedish researchers have created mice
that age twice as fast as normal. The animals provide strong evidence for
the key role in ageing of mitochondria, the energy-generating structures in
cells. Page 14

BANG GOES YOUR HEARING, IF YOU DON'T EXERCISE YOUR EARS (short story) The
ear needs a good noise workout to keep in shape. A global survey by German
researchers has found that city dwellers generally have better hearing than
people who live in quiet villages. Page 16

WONDERFUL SPAM It's a little shocking to learn that every cell nucleus in
your body is packed with millions of years' worth of the biological
equivalent of spam mail. But a growing number of geneticists are convinced
that some of this junk has developed useful functions, such as fine-tuning
our immune system and giving genomes the chance to evolve faster. Pages
42-45

HIPPO SLIME KEEPS SKIN HEALTHY (short story) Hippos secrete a slime
containing pigments that protect them against bacterial infections and the
sun's rays. The slime also helps to keep them cool, according to Japanese
researchers. Page 17

ACTIVE NOISE SILENCES FANS An American physicist and his research team have
developed an anti-noise system suitable for any PC fan. It silences fans in
the same way that noise cancelling headphones block out external sounds.
Page 22

PATENT QUASHED Health institutions in France have succeeded in overturning a
European patent held by a US company on a breast cancer gene. The company
had been trying to establish a worldwide monopoly on testing for cancerous
mutations. This angered patient groups and doctors who claimed the tests
were more expensive and less accurate than those offered in Europe. Page 20


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