[ASC-media] NEWSCIENTIST - 19 FEBRUARY 2005 ISSUE

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Feb 17 10:41:39 EST 2005


MEDIA RELEASE
NEWSCIENTIST - 19 FEBRUARY 2005 ISSUE

(EMBARGO: NOT FOR PUBLICATION BEFORE 06:00 AEST THU 17/02/2005)


'STOCKPILE BIRD FLU VACCINE NOW' Governments should consider stockpiling
vaccine against H5N1 bird flu now, before a pandemic starts, a World Health
Organisation report out next month will advise. Normally a vaccine cannot be
made until a pandemic starts, but the failure to stop repeated H5N1 bird flu
outbreaks in Asia is changing the minds of the experts. Page 8

ARE IVF EMBRYOS STARVED OF A VITAL INGREDIENT? A lack of natural growth
factors in the culture medium in which IVF embryos develop could have
life-long health effects on those conceived in this way. Adelaide
researchers found that mouse embryos cultured without growth factors were
smaller at birth, and the males had smaller brains. But with growth
hormones, there were no such differences. Page 7

A WHIFF OF LIFE ON THE RED PLANET Space scientists are gearing up for a
heated debated after a leading European Space Agency researcher says he has
found a lot more methane in the Martian atmosphere than previously thought.
He believes such a quantity of gas could only have been produced by living
processes. Pages 6-7

SO GOOD, THEY WERE INVENTED TWICE A fossil jawbone from an early Australian
mammal found by a team from Museum Victoria proves that the hearing of at
least two different groups of mammals developed independently in almost
exactly the same way. Page 12

SPERM DAMAGE CLAIMS OVER PHONE RADIATION A University of Newcastle research
group claims to have evidence that radio waves like those used by mobile
phones can damage sperm DNA in mice. It raises the possibility that mobile
phones could damage the health of children before they are conceived. Page
21

MOSQUITO EATERS HELP VILLAGERS BEAT DENGUE FEVER Tiny crustaceans that eat
mosquito larvae are helping villagers in Vietnam fight dengue fever. The
scheme, devised by a research team in Brisbane, has had almost total success
in eliminating mosquitoes where it has been introduced. Page 18, and New
Scientist's free public website at <http://www.newscientist.com>

OLDEST HUMANS Modern humans appeared about 35,000 years earlier than we
thought, according to new dating on two Ethiopian fossils by an
international group including an Australian. It now seems that we have been
around for about 200,000 years. Page 18

SPECIAL EDITION: INDIA-THE NEXT KNOWLEDGE SUPERPOWER Over the past five
years the changes in India have been profound, with many high-tech companies
bringing together well-educated researchers who are taking the world by
storm with their bright ideas. New Scientist reporters visited India to see
the impact of the burgeoning science industry for themselves. Pages 30-53

ANTIPODES: CLEANING UP IN THE CARBON TRADE Ian Lowe looks at the antipodean
impact of implementing the Kyoto agreement, and at the water politics of
Western Australia. Page 21

TIME IN THE FUTURE SEEMS TO GO FURTHER The best time to ask for a favour is
several weeks in advance, a new US study suggests. People consistently
over-commit themselves, because they expect to have more time in the future
than now. See also... Space federation fears over-regulation; Jukebox
phones; Death star twin. New Scientist's free public website at
<http://www.newscientist.com>

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