[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 6 MAY 2006

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed May 3 09:39:11 EST 2006


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE

MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE: 6 MAY 2006 (Vol. 190 No. 2550)

EMBARGO: THESE ITEMS BELOW ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR PUBLICATION OR
BROADCAST BEFORE:- 04:00 HRS AEST THURSDAY 4 MAY 2006. 

IN NEWS THIS WEEK:

FREE WILL - YOU ONLY THINK YOU HAVE IT
Early last month a Nobel laureate physicist in the Netherlands finished
polishing up his theory that a deeper, deterministic reality underlies
the apparent uncertainty of quantum mechanics. A week after he announced
it, two eminent mathematicians in the US showed that the theory has
profound implications beyond physics: abandoning the uncertainty of
quantum physics means we must give up the cherished notion that we have
free will. Pages 8-9

SHAPE CHANGER HELPS HIV PLAY HAVOC
HIV had been living quite happily in chimps without making them ill, but
when it crossed the species barrier to humans something about our immune
systems caused HIV to have a catastrophic effect. Researchers in London
are now a step closer to what this could be. Page 14

EUROPE'S VIRUS ZOOS
A veritable zoo of nasty new viruses is circulating in Europe and could
be infecting and killing people without even being suspected. A study on
the risk of insect and arthropod-borne viruses emerging in the UK warns
that these diseases may be going unrecognised simply because no one is
looking for them. This should change following the launch of a report
which details what diseases may emerge over the next 25 years. Page 6

WATCH OUT WHEN ESCAPED CHIMPS ARE ABOUT
Escaped mobs of angry chimps have been responsible for two separate
frenzied attacks on people at chimpanzee sanctuaries in Sierra Leone and
California. Chimpanzees are inherently aggressive but wild chimps almost
never attack people. It is probably no coincidence that both incidents
involved chimps that had not grown up in a normal chimpanzee social
environment. Page 14

A LIGHT WAY TO TEST THE WEIGHTY THEORY
Attempts to reconcile the theories of general relativity and quantum
mechanics in order to develop a unified theory of everything could get a
boost from an unlikely source: lasers. A researcher in London says that
high-powered lasers rather than particle accelerators could provide the
right set up to test one popular approximation of quantum gravity. Page
12

NASA BRACED FOR DELUGE OF DATA FROM OUTER SPACE
The interplanetary information superhighway is heading for gridlock. The
uncongested communications that we now take for granted on Earth are an
unheard-of luxury in space, as NASA's decades-old communications network
struggles with traffic from dozens of space missions. The need for an
upgrade is becoming urgent with the advent of a new generation of
spacecraft carrying powerful cameras. They will soon begin transmitting
high resolution images of the world they explore back to Earth which
will put increasing strain on NASA's network.   NASA is now laying the
groundwork for the first high-speed "Internet" in space. Pages 28-29

FEATURES:

THROUGH THE MIND'S EYE
You can actually read someone's mind by deciphering their brain signals.
Researchers can already tell what a subject is looking at while lying
inside an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) machine, by
looking for changes in blood flow patterns. And sometime in the future
they hope their 'mind decoding' method will be used to read the thoughts
of paralysed people, or even download our dreams on to TV. Pages 32-36

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
The shapes are recognisable as countries, but strangely distorted.
Cartographers have created maps of the world that are generated from
statistics on each territory's area i.e the population, the amount of
fuel used, the number of children aged 10-14 in the workforce. They plan
to produce at least 365 maps this year, which will be made available
through the Worldmapper website. Pages 40-41

HANGING PRETTY
What's behind some of nature's most stunning works of art - the
formations found in caves? Researchers are using computers and
mathematics to understand how time and chemistry determine the growth of
distinctive structures such as stalactites and stalagmites. Page 46-49

- ENDS -                                  

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Media Manager - Australia
New Scientist 
Tel: +61 2 9422 2893

 

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