[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE - 21 OCTOBER 2006

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Oct 18 02:45:20 CEST 2006


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 

MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE:  21 OCTOBER 2006 (Vol. 191 No. 2574)
 
EMBARGO: THESE STORIES BELOW ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR PUBLICATION OR
BROADCAST BEFORE: 04:00 HRS AEST THURSDAY 19 OCTOBER 2006. 
 
INVESTIGATIVE REPORT - WHEN LOOKS CAN KILL
Cosmetic surgery has gone mainstream. Last year Americans underwent at
least 10.2 million cosmetic surgery procedures, up 11 percent from the
previous year. In this special report New Scientist Australasian Editor
Rachel Nowak asks: is the nip and tuck generation facing dangers far
worse than a botched operation? Alarmingly, recent studies are finding
unexpected links between cosmetic surgery, psychiatric problems and
suicide.  Pages 18-21  

NEWS:
 
CAPTURED, THE SWEET SCENT OF HAPPINESS
It would be the ultimate perfume: a scent that evokes happiness in
everyone that smells it. While a way off yet, a company in the UK has
developed a method using evidence from brain scans that could bring the
perfume a step closer. While most responses to smells are learned,
researchers have found that there are some pleasant fragrances that are
hard-wired into our brains, regardless of a person's cultural
background. Page 14
 
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF LUCK
Invading mice are eating their way through the world's most important
seabird colonies in the South Atlantic, while cats are eating endangered
iguanas in the Caribbean. And it's all happening on British territory,
on the surviving fragments of empire. This is the message from a meeting
of environmentalists last week, blaming government indifference to
threatened wildlife on these 14 UK overseas territories. Page 10
 
THE FASTEST ROUTE TO YOUR DESTINATION
On facing a huge traffic jam ahead of you, you cleverly duck down a side
street, only to find everyone else has done the same thing and you're
faced with another queue. Now US researchers have developed a smart
electronic map which is currently being tested in Seattle. The system
can help drivers find the best route by predicting the traffic on all
nearby roads, using information collated on vehicle speeds, the day of
the week, time, and weather conditions. Page 32
 
INFORMED CONSENT
It's a life and death situation: someone is unconscious in the back of
an ambulance and the hospital is miles away. Paramedics have a blood
substitute in their packs which might just keep the patient alive until
he or she can receive a blood transfusion at the hospital. The problem
is the treatment is experimental and still being tested. Consent is
obviously unobtainable from the patient, so what do you do? Last week
the US Food and Drug Administration held a public hearing to review its
guidelines for handling these kinds of emergency situations. Up for
discussion is the trial artificial blood substitute, PolyHeme, which has
already been used in trauma patients in the US. Pages 8-9

E-VOTING YOU CAN TRUST
When US voters go to the polls for mid-term elections in November, the
vast majority will use electronic voting machines. But the big question
is: can e-voting machines be trusted? A US computer scientist at the
University of Maryland believes the future of voting lies with systems
that use cryptography to protect user privacy, while allowing the voter
to check that their vote has been counted correctly. Pages 30-31

FEATURES:
 
FUTURE CHILD

Having children is not what it was. In rich societies we are having
fewer children, ever later in life. IVF is now commonplace and we are on
the brink of even bigger changes. Soon maybe even eggs and sperm won't
be essential. In this special report New Scientist looks at the future
of reproduction.
 
METHUSELAH MUMS
Can advances in fertility treatments buy time for women who want to
delay having a baby? The answer is mixed, according to Australasian
editor Rachel Nowak. Technologies such as egg freezing promise to extend
women's reproductive life span by a decade, but aging bodies will limit
what can be achieved beyond that. Pages 47-51 

SEX IS FOR FUN, IVF IS FOR CHILDREN
Will we one day come to see natural conception as irresponsible? With
the development of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), increasing
numbers of fertile couples with a family history of a serious disease,
are opting for IVF with PGD so they can chose their child will not
inherit it. Others are using the same technique to choose the sex of
their child. There are of course costs and risks involved, but could
IVF-PGD one day become the preferred method of conception? Pages 42-45
 
THE EGG AND SPERM RACE
Millions of women, who are delaying having children until later in life
for one reason or another, may find that they are no longer fertile.
Donated eggs are an option, but hard to come by and most women prefer a
child that is genetically their own. Many groups around the world are
racing to produce fertile human eggs and sperm from stem cells. The
implications would be huge: from genetically engineered people to gay
couples having their own biological children. Pages 52-54
-- ENDS--
 
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Kitty Timpson
Media Manager - Australia
New Scientist 
Tel: +61 2 9422 2893

 

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