[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 15 SEPTEMBER 2007

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Sep 12 02:24:39 CEST 2007


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 15 SEPTEMBER 2007


MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE:  15 SEPTEMBER 2007 (Vol. 195 No's 2621)


 


EMBARGO: 


THESE STORIES BELOW ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST
BEFORE:- 03:00 HRS AEST THU 13 SEPTEMBER 2007. 


 

These articles below 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. 

 

100 APPLES A DAY KEEP A DOCTOR AWAY

For marathon runners and soldiers undergoing long periods of exercise,
falling victim to illness is a problem. Now it seems that a flavonoid
called quercetin - found in fruits, berries and tea - may protect them.
Research has shown that male cyclists given 1 gram of quercetin a day -
the equivalent of 100 apples - were less likely to suffer chest
infections than those cyclists given a placebo. DARPA - the Pentagon's
research arm - has been sponsoring studies of quercetin to help US
troops. Pages 10-11

http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262110.pdf
<http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262110.pdf> 

 

'WOMEN COME INTO HEAT JUST LIKE OTHER MAMMALS'

A biologist in the US believes that women do experience a
hormone-induced oestrus or "heat", like most female mammals. But he
suggests that rather than "indiscriminately increasing sexual desire",
the purpose of oestrus in women is to find good genes. This would
explain why women prefer partners with "good genes" during the most
fertile phase of their cycle and outside of it they are concerned with
getting material benefits. Page 18

http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262118.pdf
<http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262118.pdf> 

 

BIOSAFETY LAPSES DOG UK ANIMAL HEALTH LABS

Mistakes that led to the outbreak of foot and mouth on an English farm
in August were not the first safety lapse at a UK animal health facility
this year. A faulty air system in an Institute for Animal Health lab
handling cattle infected with bovine TB could have exposed up to 14
members of staff - and two inspectors - to the pathogen. The facility
still remains closed for investigations. Page 15

http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262115.pdf
<http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262115.pdf> 

 

HOW TO COAX PROMINENT EARS INTO LINE

A British cosmetic surgeon frustrated by the standard ear correction
technique used to "pin back" prominent ears, has developed a new
technique which would be less stressful and cheaper than existing
methods. The procedure involves a slim metal implant inserted at the top
of the ear between the skin and cartilage which acts as a brace forcing
the ear back into the required shape. Page 32
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262132.pdf
<http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262132.pdf> 

 

QUBITS POISED TO REVEAL OUR BEST-KEPT SECRETS

Two research groups have finally built quantum computers capable of
running Shor's algorithm - a mathematical routine capable of breaking
the most common encryption systems that protect our banking and
business. Cryptographers are split between believing the computers are
nowhere near ready to pose a threat to the world's data while others
believe that cryptography will now be forced to move on from
prime-number-based encryption technologies. Pages 30-31

http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262130.pdf
<http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262130.pdf> 

 

HONEY MAKES LIFE A LITTLE BIT SWEETER

Honey could help combat the effects of ageing. A study on rats by
researchers in New Zealand suggests that diets sweetened with honey may
be beneficial in decreasing anxiety and improving memory during ageing.
Short Story Page 23

http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262123.pdf
<http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262123.pdf> 

 

COSMIC EGG-BEATERS LEFT MAGNETIC LEGACY

Huge loops of the exotic objects known as cosmic strings could have
whipped up the first magnetic fields that now thread through galaxies.
That's the idea being put forward by a cosmologist in Canada to explain
where the Universe's mysterious magnetic fields came from. Page 20

http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262120.pdf
<http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2621/262120.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.

 

REALITY BY NUMBERS

It's no coincidence that the meaning of life, the universe and
everything, according to sci-fi spoof The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
Galaxy, is a number: 42. Physicist Max Tegmark argues that our universe
is not only described by mathematics, it is mathematics. We are living
in a purely mathematical structure; an external physical reality that is
independent of humans. As controversial as Tegmark's mathematical
'theory of everything' is, it makes startling predictions about the
structure of the universe, including the existence of parallel
universes, that could be testable by observation. Pages 38-41

 

A DROP IN THE OCEAN

Dumping 50 tonnes of finely-ground haematite into pristine ocean waters
near the Galapagos Islands sounds like eco-terrorism, but it may prove
to be the key to turning back the tide of global warming. The company
conducting the trial hopes to show that fertilising the ocean with iron
is a safe, effective way of boosting levels of phytoplankton -
single-celled photosynthetic organisms that are responsible for half the
carbon fixation on Earth. The more plankton, the greater their ability
to trap carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However critics of the plan
say it could interfere with the natural nutrient cycles of the area, and
there is still uncertainty about how long the CO2 trapping effect will
last.  Pages 42-45

 

THE ITCH THAT WON'T BE SCRATCHED

Patients claim to have found mysterious coloured fibres growing out of
their skin, accompanied by severe itching, chronic muscle and joint
pain, severe fatigue and memory loss. However the medical establishment
says the strange disease is simply the manifestation of a psychiatric
condition. Tens of thousands of patients have come forward claiming to
have Morgellons disease - named after a long-forgotten condition
characterised by black hairs protruding from the skin - but most end up
being diagnosed with delusional parasitosis. However many patients, and
some doctors, reject this diagnosis, arguing the presence of the strange
fibres in their skin suggests a new disease is on the prowl. Pages 46-49

 

SO LONG, AND THANKS FOR ALL THE FISH

It's a milestone the human race has little cause to be proud of. The
Yangtze river dolphin has earned the sad distinction of being the first
cetacean driven to extinction by human activity. This exclusively
freshwater species was remarkable not only because its habitat was
restricted to just a small stretch of the Yangtze river in China, but
also because it was the sole member of a distinct mammalian family, the
Lipotidae, that diverged from other cetaceans more than 20 million years
ago. Despite this proud and ancient lineage, and conservation efforts,
it has taken less than fifty years for the dolphin population to tumble
disappear, victims of hunting, fishing techniques, noise and water
pollution. Pages 50-53

 

- ENDS -

 

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 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
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seriously.

 

 

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If you'd like to view the above articles in full-text AND/OR for radio &
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-  Australia, Tel: 61 2 9422 2893 or email: media at newscientist.com.au

 

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For breaking science and technology stories everyday visit
www.newscientist.com <http://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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