[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 14 APRIL 2007
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Wed Apr 11 01:48:29 CEST 2007
NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 14 APRIL 2007
MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE: 14 APRIL 2007 (Vol. 194 No's 2599)
THESE STORIES BELOW ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST
BEFORE:- 03:00 HRS AEST THURS 12 APRIL 2007.
OBESITY'S HELPER IN TRIGGERING DIABETES
While obesity remains a major cause of type 2 diabetes there is now
accumulating evidence to suggest that environmental pollutants also play
a key role. A follow-up study by researchers in South Korea suggests
that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) stored in body fat, not
obesity itself, may be contributing to the development of type 2
diabetes. Page 16
A LIFE OF CRIME TAKES ITS TOLL ON HEALTH
Petty crime has hidden costs. A 30-year study is the first to find a
link between children who engage in antisocial behaviour and physical
health problems as they grow up. The UK researchers showed that naughty
boys who didn't reform into adulthood suffered substantially worse
health as men than their peers. Health problems included sexually
transmitted diseases and cardiovascular risk. Page 14
VIOLENT, ANTISOCIAL, PAST REDEMPTION?
Every country faces the dilemma of what to do with violent people who
are either psychopaths or have severe personality disorders. After years
of debate, the UK parliament will over the coming weeks discuss
legislation that could broaden the definition of mental health and
create powers to detain dangerous individuals for treatment. Meanwhile
an unprecedented treatment programme in the UK focusing on psychopaths
is attracting interest as the most intensive treatment plan yet devised.
'AXIS OF EVIL' A CAUSE FOR COSMIC CONCERN
The 'axis of evil' (a mysterious pattern seen in the cosmic microwave
background) may be real, posing a threat to the standard model of
cosmology - the idea that the universe is much the same everywhere. New
data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey suggests that the axes of
rotation of most spiral galaxies appear to line up with the axis of
evil. Page 10
TOP PREDATORS ON CHARM OFFENSIVE
The grey wolf enters a new stage in its struggle for survival in the US.
Last month wolves lost the government protection they had under the
Endangered Species Act. Although back from the brink of extinction, the
wolves still need some form of protection, and the responsibility now
lies with individual wolf centres and the PR they can do to educate the
public about successful coexistence. Pages 12-13
FLOAT LIKE A ROBOT BUTTERFLY
Recent developments in wing mechanics and control systems mean engineers
are getting closer to building micro-aircraft that mimic the flight
characteristics of insects. If these airborne robots are ever to fly,
generating lift is only half the problem. If they are going to become
autonomous, they will also need to mimic a bug's senses to monitor their
environment and to land safely. Mechanical insects could be used as
miniature spy drones or to monitor pollution. Pages 26-27
The following four stories are not available on the press site. For full
text articles please contact Nicole Scott at media at newscientist.com.au
<mailto:media at newscientist.com.au> .
IMPOSSIBLE THINGS FOR BREAKFAST
Everyday concepts such as "true" and "false" don't quite work in the
murky world of quantum mechanics, where things can exist in multiple
states at the same time. One theoretical physicist thinks it's time for
a new theory of reality that can encompass the 'real' and the 'quantum'.
The answer may lie with topos theory, which explores concepts more
fundamental than the foundations of mathematics and logic. Pages 30-33
LIFE'S LONG FUSE
Fifty years ago, an English schoolboy made a mysterious fossil discovery
that has had palaeontologists scratching their heads ever since.
Charnia, as the fossil was called, was our introduction to a previously
unknown period of life on Earth, dominated by the enigmatic Ediacarans.
Until recently, researchers couldn't even agree on whether they were an
animal, plant, fungi, or something entirely new. Pages 34-38
GARBAGE OF EDEN
An island built of rubbish that's a thriving biodiversity hotspot?
Sounds like a contradiction in terms, but Singapore's Pulau Semakau is
proof that landfill can sustain life. All the rubbish from Singapore's
4.4 million residents arrives here, is incinerated, treated and
carefully managed to provide a home for sometimes rare species of
mangrove, birds, fish and coral. The island - just a twenty minute ferry
trip from Singapore - is even attracting ecotourists. Pages 39-41
THEY MADE ME DO IT
What turned family man Sergeant Ivan "Chip" Frederick into the monster
who confessed to torturing and abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison?
It's a potent demonstration of the power of group psychology, say
psychologists. Almost anyone is capable of such evil acts, given the
right social context and group environment. But just as we are all
capable of being influenced by peer pressure to do wrong, we are also
capable of rising above it to become heroes.
- ENDS -
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(ABC Audit March 2007).
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