[ASC-media] RADIO EXTRA: NEWSCIENTIST 19 FEBRUARY 2005 ISSUE

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Feb 17 10:42:23 EST 2005


RADIO EXTRA STORIES FROM 19 FEBRUARY 2005 ISSUE

(EMBARGO: NOT FOR PUBLICATION BEFORE 06:00 AEST THU 17/02/2005)


DEAF GUINEA PIGS GET HEARING BACK Gene therapy has partially restored the
hearing of deafened guinea pigs, raising hopes that the approach might also
work in people. The work of the US-Japanese team parallels research at the
Bionic Ear Institute in Melbourne. Page 15

NUCLEAR CLEAN-UP RISKS PUBLIC SAFETY British plans to allow private
companies to clean up the radioactive mess left by 60 years of nuclear power
could put public safety at risk, say UK government nuclear advisors. New
Scientist has learned that the advisers are concerned that financial
pressures could mean that companies cut corners, increasing the risk of
accidents. Page 13

TARGET THE KIDS A series of studies suggest our strategy for flu vaccination
is all wrong. American research has found flu vaccinations make little
difference to the winter death rate of elderly people, while other studies
suggest it makes more sense to vaccinate as many children as possible. Page
5

PENTIUM'S REIGN IN JEOPARDY The supremacy of Intel's Pentium chip is about
to be challenged by a new chip with massive parallel processing power. The
first application of the Cell chip will be to bring cinema-quality graphics
to computer and video games. Page 23 

SATELLITE TRAIN TRIAL GIVES THE ALL-CLEAR Replacing signalling equipment
with a satellite navigation system could slash the costs of maintaining
railway networks. A nine-month trial in the UK has demonstrated that the
idea could work. Page 25

EARTH PLUNGED INTO DUST AND CAME OUT ICY WHITE An encounter with an
interstellar gas cloud could plunge our planet into a deep freeze with a
dramatic impact on life. Such events in the past could have triggered
"Snowball Earth", says a US group, when the entire planet was covered with
snow and ice. Page 9

LEPROSY'S DECLINE CAUSED BY RISE OF TB The decline of leprosy in Europe
during the Middle Ages may have been due to the rise of the more virulent
TB, according to a British researcher. People frequently were co-infected
with the two, she says, and TB tended to kill its victims before they had a
chance to pass on their leprosy. New Scientist's free public website at
<http://www.newscientist.com>

ROGUE STAR SHOWN THE GALACTIC DOOR American astronomers have spotted the
first star known to be hurtling out of the Milky Way. An encounter with the
supermassive black hole at the galaxy's heart may be the cause, they say.
New Scientist's free public website at <http://www.newscientist.com>

SCIENTISTS FEEL THE POLITICAL HEAT A survey of US government scientists
appears to confirm the idea that science plays second fiddle to politics
under the Bush administration. Half the US Fish and Wildlife Service
scientists who responded said they had been pushed to alter or withdraw
findings for political reasons. Page 4, and New Scientist's free public
website at <http://www.newscientist.com>

NET CALLS TAKE WING WITH WI-FI PHONES New models of mobile phones with
built-in Wi-Fi capability will be launched later this year. They will be
able to link to low cost internet connections, making phone calls almost
free. Page 26 

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