[ASC-media] NEWSCIENTIST MEDIA RELEASE - 5 FEBRUARY 2005

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff.Sapier at ReedBusiness.com.au
Thu Feb 3 11:25:11 EST 2005


NEWSCIENTIST STORIES FROM 5 FEBRUARY 2005 ISSUE


THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS A new "digital mirror" can show what your face and
physique will look like in five years time by simulating the impact of your
behaviour today. The computer system, developed in France, builds up a
profile of your lifestyle using webcams around the house to spot how often
you drink alcohol or visit to the fridge for snacks, and how long you spend
sitting on the couch. Page 23

DYSLEXIA SLOWS DRIVERS' REACTIONS Dyslexia can impair a driver's reaction
times as much as drink-driving. A small Norwegian study showed that dyslexic
drivers are 20 to 30 per cent slower to respond to traffic signs than
non-dyslexic drivers. The study raises the question of whether drivers with
dyslexia should take extra tests before being allowed behind the wheel. Page
12

 CORAL REEFS CREATE CLOUDS TO CONTROL CLIMATE Coral reefs may cool
themselves off by regulating their local climate, say researchers at
Southern Cross University in Lismore. The group found that corals in the
Great Barrier Reef have a high concentration of a sulphur compound which,
when released into the atmosphere, helps create clouds. Page 17

PRIMORDIAL SEAS TOO SALINE The widely accepted idea that animal life evolved
in the oceans before moving onto land is being challenged by an American
geologist. His suggestion is based on calculations that 600 million years
ago the oceans would have been too salty and hot to support marine life.
Page 17 

ONLY LARGE STARS NEED APPLY The most powerful magnetic objects in the
universe-magnetars-are created by the titanic explosions of very heavy
stars, a Harvard team led by an Australian astronomer has shown. Page 18,
and New Scientist's free public website at http://www.newscientist.com

TSUNAMI FUNGUS A rare, potentially deadly, fungal infection treatable by
cheap antibiotics could go undiagnosed in the areas worst affected by the
Asian tsunami, because the labs capable of detecting it have been destroyed.
Mucormycosis was discovered in Sydney in the wound of a man who returned
from Sri Lanka. Page 6, and New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com

MIRACLE WEED The approval of the world's first prescription medicine made
from marijuana will offer a lifeline for many people who use it for
relieving pain and spasms. It will also mark a milestone in the long battle
for the public acceptance of the medicinal use of cannabis. Pages 38-41

THE UNRAVELLING Cosmologists have imagined all sorts of ends for the
Universe: The galaxies could rush back towards each other crunching together
at ferocious speeds; or we could see a more grisly end with the big
rip-where dark energy tears everything apart; or perhaps it will simply be a
whimper-with our galaxy alone and dingy in space. Pages 31-37

ANTIPODES: LET'S GET PHYSICAL Ian Lowe looks at a decline in physics in
Australia, and at the lack of antipodean technology sold throughout the
world. Page 49

YOUNGER SIBLINGS CUT MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS RISK Children who live with younger
siblings during the first six years of childhood are much less likely to
develop multiple sclerosis later in life, according to researchers at ANU.
See also... 'Zero intelligence' stock market traders; Hormone shots prevent
prems; Syphilis cycles. New Scientist's free public website at
http://www.newscientist.com
 
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