[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 8 SEPTEMBER 2007

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Sep 5 02:07:45 CEST 2007


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 8 SEPTEMBER 2007

MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE:  8 SEPTEMBER 2007 (Vol. 195 No's 2620)
 
EMBARGO: 
THESE STORIES BELOW ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST
BEFORE:- 03:00 HRS AEST THURS 6 SEPTEMBER 2007. 

These articles are distributed in advance of publication to those
authorised media who may wish to quote extracts as part of fair dealing
with this copyrighted material.  If reporting on any of the stories
below please credit New Scientist Magazine. 
 
WHY HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE IS ON THE RISE
A new theory put forward to explain why Huntington's disease (HD) is on
the increase, suggests that HD actually makes people healthier in their
younger years - despite ultimately being a lethal disease. Researchers
in the US hypothesise that if affected individuals are healthier than
unaffected counterparts during their reproductive years, they may
produce more offspring. Researchers also point to a previous study in
Denmark which found that rates of almost all cancers were lower in Danes
carrying the HD gene than in relatives who were not. Page 14
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2620/262014.pdf
 
TIE A YELLOW RIBBON ROUND AN ASTEROID
The latest technology to allow exploration of asteroids may look a bit
like a baby bouncer, but should allow astronauts to explore and work
freely on an asteroid's surface. The contraption which will stop
astronauts from bouncing off the surface starts with a spool of tough
polymer ribbon attached to an uncrewed space vehicle, and anchored to
the asteroid. The astronaut is equipped with a waistband from which four
telescopic arms project which clip onto the ribbon, allowing movement.
Page 32
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2620/262032.pdf (Graphics
available)
 
DEADLY VIRUS
The chikungunya virus has spread to Europe, with 100 confirmed cases in
Italy recorded in August. Italian officials blame the outbreak on warm
weather and an unusually high number of mosquitoes - which carry the
deadly virus. This is the first time that people in Europe have caught
the virus locally - meaning it has now established itself in mosquitoes.

SHORT STORY - Page 6
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2620/262006.pdf
 
YOUR OWN BOOK OF LIFE
Companies in the US are planning to provide paying customers with
information about their own genomes. Likely services will include:
scanning for genetic variants that increase the risk of certain diseases
and sequencing someone's entire genome. But is the world ready for
personalised genomics? Apart from a worry about protecting this data,
the major concern is that with advances in sequencing technology, genome
scans will be available long before doctors have the ability to
interpret what all this genetic information means for our health.
SPECIAL REPORT Pages 8-11
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2620/262008.pdf
 
YOU CAN'T BEAT REALITY
Virtual worlds go beyond the realm of fantasy games like Second Life and
will soon start to enhance the real world, say researchers. Digital
glasses may make an appearance in the future, used to superimpose useful
information such as maps or information about the area or building
you're looking at, on top of what you see in the real world. They could
be used to plan your route home, giving you weather or traffic reports.
For those who don't really get "Second Life", networked glasses could be
a use of virtual worlds that makes sense to people. 
Pages 30-33
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2620/262030.pdf

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.

50 YEARS IN SPACE
On 4 October 1957, the Soviet Union launched an aluminium, beach-ball
sized object called Sputnik into space. This simple, beeping space-farer
ushered in a new chapter in human history that has seen humans travel
into space, walk on the moon, and witnessed unmanned craft travel to the
farthest reaches of our solar system. In a special edition commemorating
the 50th anniversary of Sputnik's historic voyage, New Scientist traces
the changes that Sputnik inspired and speculates on whether humanity's
future lies in the stars. Highlights include:

RIDE OF A LIFETIME
Looking back at the Earth from orbit gives an entirely new perspective
on the planet. Five-times NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman describes the
awesome feeling of take-off, the exhilaration and freedom of
weightlessness, and the extraordinary beauty of the Earth, viewed from a
distance of 600 kilometres. Page 36-41

WHY WE MUST LEAVE EARTH
In about five billion years, our sun will swell to form a bloated red
giant that will fry our planet to a crisp. But even before that terminal
event, humanity will be challenged, and possibly driven to extinction,
by any number of other factors, ranging from asteroid strikes to runaway
climate change to plagues. Perhaps our only hope for long-term survival
as a species lies in colonising other planets. Page 51-54

THERE'S NO BUSINESS
... like space business. The commercial space sector is booming, with
non-government 'spaceports' springing up around the world offering the
few who can afford the hefty fare a trip into space. The heavens are
open for business, and it may bring a welcome boost to the cash-strapped
space race. Some argue these entrepreneurs have a chance of breaking
through the cost and technology barriers that have stymied
government-run organisations such as NASA for decades. Page 55-58

- ENDS - 
 
 
IF REPORTING ON ANY OF THESE STORIES, PLEASE CREDIT NEW SCIENTIST AS THE
SOURCE, AND IF REPORTING ONLINE, PLEASE INCLUDE A LINK TO:
www.newscientist.com.

 IF REPORTING ON ANY OF THESE STORIES, PLEASE CREDIT NEW SCIENTIST AS
THE SOURCE, AND IF REPORTING ONLINE, PLEASE INCLUDE A LINK TO:
www.newscientist.com.
 
 NOTES TO EDITOR:
*	New Scientist magazine is the world's leading science and
technology news weekly, boasting a worldwide circulation of over 175,000
(ABC Audit March 2007). 
 
*	The magazine is complimented by NewScientist.com, your ultimate
science and technology website. It includes breaking news updated
throughout the day by our global network of specialist correspondents
providing comprehensive coverage of science and technology news. 
 
*	New Scientist offers a syndication service. The rights to all
stories in the magazine and on our website are owned by our publishers
Reed Business Information. If you are interested in reproducing any of
the full-text articles or graphics you see in the pdfs above, please
email your details and the article in question to:
claire.bowles at rbi.co.uk. We take any breach of our copyright very
seriously.


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 Nicole Scott, Marketing and PR Coordinator
-  Australia, Tel: 61 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
 

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

Nicole Scott
Marketing and PR Coordinator - Australia
New Scientist 
Tel: 61 2 9422 2893
Email: media at newscientist.com.au


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