[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 2 SEPTEMBER 2006

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Aug 30 03:23:11 CEST 2006


 

NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 

MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE: 2 SEPTEMBER 2006 (Vol. 191 No. 2567)

 
EMBARGO: THESE ITEMS BELOW ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR PUBLICATION OR
BROADCAST BEFORE:- 

04:00 HRS AEST THURSDAY 31 AUGUST 2006. 
 

DRUGS, CRIME AND A CONSERVATION CRISIS

Investigations by New Scientist suggest that illegal drug production and
trafficking is a serious but largely neglected threat to conservation
efforts in biodiversity hotspots. The problem is particularly rife along
the drug smuggling routes of Latin America. Conservation officials
appointed are finding it increasingly difficult to do their jobs because
of threats of violence from drug runners, making certain sites too
dangerous to visit. In other areas where drugs like opium or marijuana
are grown, the disturbance can lead to endangered animals being
displaced, or to their habitat being destroyed. And in some cases
projects are being undermined by an epidemic of drug addiction among
local people. NEWS Pages 6-8 

 

SCANDAL GROWS OVER SUSPECT BODY PARTS

Retrieving and supplying body parts for surgery is a billion-dollar
business, but safety regulations which came into effect last year are
still being breached. For the second time this year in the US, a firm
which harvests body parts - including bone, tendon and heart valves -
has been shut down because it failed to follow procedures intended to
prevent bacterial contamination and errors in the medical histories of
the donors. Legislation has been introduced to force all companies who
deal with body parts to be accredited by the American Association of
Tissue Banks. NEWS Page 10

 

DON'T USE IT, DON'T LOSE IT

Any muscle gained during exercise soon withers away once you stop your
workout or get ill. But imagine being able to take a pill that lets you
keep those biceps you've built up, even after you've become idle. As
well as being tempting to athletes and to the lazy, there are valid
applications for a drug that prevents muscle wastage, and researchers
are getting closer to developing one. Their aim is to tackle weakness in
sick people confined to their beds, or for astronauts on long space
trips, where loss of muscle becomes a serious problem. 

FEATURE Page 32-35

 

IT CAME FROM ANOTHER ZONE

It's easy to blame teenagers for staying up too late, and for having
problems staying awake during their school classes, but according to
scientists it's not their fault. Teenagers live in a different
biological time zone to the rest of us, with their body clock shifted
forwards so that they're more alert later in the day. Whatever the
reason for this shift, it could be having a profound effect on
teenagers' future prospects and health. FEATURE Pages 40-43

 

HOW TO KEEP FOOD BURSTING WITH GOODNESS

Health-conscious consumers can now buy food stuffed with added vitamins,
minerals or omega-3 oils. There is, however, growing evidence that many
of these ingredients degrade during storage or simply breakdown in the
body before they've had a chance to deliver the good stuff. Now the food
industry is investigating new technologies to protect these ingredients,
including micro-encapsulation, a simple technique to protect fish-oils
against the atmosphere and stomach acids. NEWS Pages 24-25

 

IT'S A REAL GEM

With every gem being unique, how do you describe an emerald or a ruby
when words are vague and digital pictures aren't accurate enough? A gem
software company in Israel has a new technique to record a jewel's exact
colour using a unique colour map. The system could vastly improve buying
and selling online as well as helping to spot stolen jewels. 

NEWS Page 23

 

ELEVATOR TO THE STARS

Forget noisy, expensive space rockets to take you into low-Earth orbit.
Soon we may be able to take a gentle ride up an elevator reaching all
the way into space. With backing from NASA, several entrepreneurs are
going all out to build a workable space elevator which could climb a
cable either built from the ground up, or deployed from a satellite
downwards. But their biggest challenge will be finding a material for
the cable that's strong enough not only to haul things into space but to
survive the harsh space environment. FEATURE Pages 36-39

 

NORTH OF THE BIG BANG

Magnetic fields that span whole galaxies are the last unexplored
features of the universe. But perhaps more excitingly these cosmic
fields are leaving astronomers clues about the nature of the universe
mere instants after it was created. FEATURE Pages 28-31

 

 

 

- ENDS-

 

 

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New Scientist 

Tel: +61 2 9422 2737

 

 

 

 

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