[ASC-media] NEWSCIENTIST MEDIA RELEASE - 26 FEBRUARY 2005 ISSUE

Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Thu Feb 24 10:38:47 EST 2005


STORIES FROM 26 FEBRUARY 2005 ISSUE

(EMBARGO: NOT FOR PUBLICATION BEFORE 06:00 AEST THU 24/02/2005)


MARS, NOT DEAD BUT VERY MUCH ALIVE An 800-kilometre-wide frozen sea just
beneath the surface five degrees north of the Martian equator, glaciers in
the shadow of the tallest volcano, and lava fields only a few million years
old-these dramatic images of geological activity from the Mars Express
spacecraft are intriguing scientists who thought the planet long dead. Page
10

HYDRO'S DIRTY SECRET REVEALED Contrary to popular belief, hydroelectric
power can seriously damage the environment, because the dams produce
significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane. Proposals are afoot to
change the calculation of greenhouse budgets to take this into account. Page
8

WASTING DISEASE LINKED TO SOCCER An Italian study has confirmed claims that
professional soccer players have a higher than normal risk of developing a
type of motor neuron disease. The researchers found the longer people play
soccer the greater the risk, although the reason remains a mystery. Page 16

THE TOUCHY-FEELY SIDE OF TELECOMS Next month, Samsung will release the first
phone to use the technology of haptics-recreating touch and texture through
artificial stimuli. You can add a tickling sensation to a text message, or
make the person you call feel like they've been slapped in the face. Haptic
gloves may also be used for internet shopping so that you can feel the
products you're buying. Page 28

GOOD VIBRATIONS TELL TERMITES TO TUCK IN Termites use the vibrations they
produce when they chew into wood to decide which bits are good to eat, CSIRO
researchers in Canberra have discovered. They also seem to use vibrations to
detect other species of termite and to control the sexual development of
immature workers. These findings may be exploited to protect homes without
pesticides, the researchers say. Page 21, and New Scientist's free public
website at <http://www.newscientist.com>

A ROUSING CHORUS GETS ZEBRA FINCHES IN THE MOOD Hearing a large choir of
colony-mates encourages zebra finches to breed, says a team of researchers
from Britain and New Zealand. This ensures the chicks will all hatch around
the same time, making each individual less vulnerable to predators. Page 20 

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT (short story) A Sydney company says it has developed a
countermeasure to the latest hacker trick of using a light sensor to
eavesdrop on secure chips. Many of the latest chips generate weak but
intelligible pulses of light while data processing. The company disrupts the
pattern by including circuits to produce bright random flashes. Page 27

WINGING IT A German team is about to test a ship with an inflatable kite
designed to harness winds high above the ocean. This modern hybrid sailing
ship takes advantage of new technologies and materials that weren't
available in the days of sail, and the team believes it can cut fuel bills
and pollutants. Pages 44-47

AUSTRALASIAN: EXPOSING AUSTRALIA Bob Johnstone discusses the purpose of
Japan's 2005-style world exposition to be held in the industrial heartland
of Aichi prefecture around Nagoya. Page 21

SOFTWARE LEARNS TO TRANSLATE BY READING UP US researchers have released
faster translation software that develops an understanding of languages by
scanning through thousands of previously translated documents. See also...
Reducing tsunami damage naturally; Computer vulnerability; Rambling robots.
New Scientist's free public website at <http://www.newscientist.com>

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