[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE - 7 OCTOBER 2006

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Oct 4 01:18:18 CEST 2006


 
NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE

MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE:  7 OCTOBER 2006 (Vol. 191 No. 2572)
 
EMBARGO: THESE STORIES BELOW ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR PUBLICATION OR
BROADCAST BEFORE: 04:00 HRS AEST THURSDAY 5 OCTOBER 2006. 
 
NEWS:
 
FROM SMOKESTACK TO GAS TANK
Power plants and transport are responsible for emitting huge quantities
of greenhouse gas emissions as both still rely heavily on fossil fuels.
Now, Greenfuel Technologies in the US is hoping to marry the two
together with an emerging technology that uses a bi-product of one to
supply fuel to the other. At the heart of the technology is a cylinder
full of algae, which can suck carbon dioxide from a power plant's
exhaust and convert it into biofuel for the gas tank. Page 28
 
UNDERSEA SIGNALS THAT KEEP THE PEACE
Sound waves are commonly used to transmit information underwater because
radio waves do not travel through saltwater. But now a British company
has developed a wireless modem that can use radio waves underwater using
modern data compression techniques. The signals will allow divers to
keep in touch with their boat. Page 30

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT*: FORTRESS AMERICA?
Five years and $44 billion later Americans are as vulnerable to a
biological attack as they were when envelopes containing anthrax spores
turned up in government and media mail rooms. This special report
examines the fortunes and flaws of Project BioShield, the centerpiece of
the administration's biodefence effort. BioShield is effectively
designed to turn pharmaceutical companies into defence contractors,
supplying products - such as anthrax vaccine - to deal with a particular
threat. But critics say more effective defences could be developed and
deployed-but not without a change of strategy by the federal government.
NEWS Pages 18-21
 
*This is the first in a series of New Scientist special investigative
reports focusing on issues relating to science, technology and medicine
in the US. 

YOGURT COULD HELP FEND OFF HIV
A harmless bacterium, lactobacillus, that helps turn milk into yogurt
has been engineered to make HIV-fighting microbicides. Eating yogurt
containing these bacteria could provide a way for women to fend off HIV
if no other means are available. SHORT STORY Page 17
 
HOW TO GET THE MOST DOUGH FROM A BAKERY
A mathematical model shows that the most important factors for a shop's
success are: location, location, location. Physicists in France adapted
a theory of magnetism to predict the suitability of a site for a
particular type of shop, based on the proximity of attractive and
repellent businesses in the area. SHORT STORY Page 17
 
HUGE "LAUNCH RING" TO FLING SATELLITES INTO ORBIT
A hoop of superconducting magnets several kilometres wide and similar to
a particle accelerator could hurl satellites into space - or perhaps
weapons around the world - at a fraction of current launch costs,
suggest the findings of a report funded by the US air force.
Their interest stems from the ring's potential to launch small,
10-kilogram satellites into orbit, though researchers were not told what
kind of satellites the military had in mind.
Any payload lofted with such a ring would need to withstand a staggering
2000 times the force of gravity as it accelerates to over 23 times the
speed of sound - before hitting a ramp into the heavens. FROM
www.NewScientistSpace.com. Find out more, and see how the ring could
look, here:
http://email.newscientist.com/cgi-bin1/DM/y/evgl0MVWlE0Uqw0DRQI0AO

INVENTION: INVISIBLE DRONES
Can a surveillance drone be made virtually invisible? A US company
thinks so, and their patent application explains how.
"Persistence of vision" turns the fast-moving rotors of any helicopter
into a near-transparent blur, while the slow-moving body looks solid. So
why not make the entire aircraft spin as it flies, turning it into a
single faint blur in the sky? FROM www.NewScientistTech.com. Find out
more, and view the design drawings and a demonstration video, here:
http://email.newscientist.com/cgi-bin1/DM/y/eva30MVWlE0Unb0DQ7x0AH

FEATURES:
 
EVERYDAY FAIRYTALES
Many older people have a tendency to make up stories to cover up for
embarrassing situations when they don't know where they are or why
they're there. But this making up of tales to cover confusing gaps isn't
just confined to the old with short-term memory loss. Others with a
penchant for fictitious storytelling - or confabulation - have suffered
from amnesia, an aneurysm or stroke. Researchers believe that in all
cases, confabulators seem to confuse memory and present reality. More
worryingly, many of us could be dreaming up stories all the time to make
sense of the world. Pages 32-36
 
STATINS FOR ALL
According to a recent estimate, the drug statin is so beneficial that
everyone over 40 should take it regardless of their cholesterol level to
start with. Statins lower your "bad" cholesterol and reduce your risk of
cardiovascular disease or stroke. So if the advocates are right,
millions of us will be taking statins for the rest of our lives and it
will be hailed as a triumph in preventative medicine. But if the critics
are right, we need to know more about the drug's side effects before
risking giving them out for a lifetime. Pages 46-49
 
BRIDGE UNDER TROUBLED WATER
An underwater tunnel linking the European and Asian halves of the
ancient city of Istanbul is one of the most audacious engineering
projects in the world. The tunnel which goes under the Bosporus Strait
is due to complete in 2010. But engineers face a far greater challenge
than the actual construction of the tunnel. It will pass one of the most
active geological faults in the world - and a major earthquake is
imminent. Pages 42-45
 
MY OTHER UNIVERSE IS A PORSCHE
What if we're not so special and our universe is just one among many? A
theoretical physicist in California claims to have discovered another
universe potentially capable of supporting life - but this one would
have different laws of nature. And this doesn't sit well with many
physicists. If there are many different universes, it would mean being
more flexible with the physical parameters that we think are necessary
for a universe to harbour life. Pages 38-41
 
-- ENDS--
 
IF REPORTING ON ANY OF THE STORIES ABOVE, PLEASE CREDIT NEW SCIENTIST AS
THE SOURCE, AND IF REPORTING ONLINE, PLEASE INCLUDE A LINK TO:
www.newscientist.com.

EDITOR'S NOTE: PRIOR PERMISSION IS REQUIRED BEFORE ANY REPRODUCTION OF A
STORY IN FULL FROM OUR PRESS SITE 
 
PRESS CONTACT IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND:
If you'd like to view the above articles in full-text AND/OR for radio &
TV interviews, please contact Kitty Timpson, Media Manager Australia,
Tel: +61 (0)2 9422 2893 or email: media at newscientist.com.au
 
PRESS CONTACT IN EUROPE: 
If you'd like to register for our Online Press Site, please contact
Claire Bowles, New Scientist Press Officer Europe, Tel: +44 (0)20 7611
1210 or email: claire.bowles at rbi.co.uk
 
PRESS CONTACT IN THE US:
New Scientist Boston: Tel: +1 617 558 4939 or email:
kyre.austin at newscientist.com
 
New Scientist is the world's leading science and technology news weekly,
boasting a global circulation of 170,541 (ABC UK Jan - June '06).

For breaking science and technology stories everyday visit
www.newscientist.com

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

 
This e-mail is for the use of the intended recipient(s) only.  If you have
received this e-mail in error, please notify the sender immediately and then
delete it.  If you are not the intended recipient, you must not use, disclose
or distribute this e-mail without the author's permission.  We have taken
precautions to minimise the risk of transmitting software viruses, but we
advise you to carry out your own virus checks on any attachment to this e-mail.
We cannot accept liability for any loss or damage caused by software viruses.


More information about the ASC-media mailing list