[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 26 APRIL 2008

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Wed Apr 23 01:23:01 CEST 2008


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 26 APRIL 2008

MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE:  26 APRIL 2008 (Vol. 198 No. 2653)
 
EMBARGO: 
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BEFORE:- 04:00 HRS AEST THU 24 APRIL 2008. 

All FULL-TEXT articles together with artwork, photos and graphics are
not to be reproduced without prior permission from New Scientist. The
articles are distributed in advance of publication to those authorised
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New Scientist Magazine - thank you.
 
COULD BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS CAUSE HARM?
Over the past decade a number of studies have found that, rather than
saving lives, blood transfusions can actually harm patients. Most
experts now agree that the problem isn't so much the risk of blood-borne
infectious diseases such as HIV, but the transfused blood itself. Now,
some surgeons and anaesthetists including James Isbister of Royal North
Shore Hospital in Sydney are questioning whether every patient should
get the same "bloodless surgery" techniques that are used for Jehovah's
Witnesses - who shun blood transfusions. Pages 8-9 
 
THINK BACK TO LUNCH IF YOU WANT TO STAY THIN
Surprisingly, thinking back to your last meal significantly reduces your
desire to snack, according to a UK study. During a 'biscuit-taste test',
researchers found that those subjects who were first asked to recall
what they had for lunch had less of an appetite for biscuits than those
asked to recall their journey there. The study suggests that certain
ways of thinking can curb your appetite. Page 13
 
MONGOOSE AND ROBOT DUO SNIFF OUT LANDMINES
Can the unusual pairing of a dwarf mongoose with a robot help find
buried landmines? The process of finding landmines with metal detectors
is not only dangerous but wastes a lot of time on false positives. So,
engineers in Sri Lanka have come up with a solution - tethering a
mongoose, trained to sniff out explosives, to a remote-controlled robot.
The team think their mongoose-robot duo has a number of advantages over
human mine-detectors. Page 26
 
IS IT A DARK PARTICLE I SEE BEFORE ME?
Ten years after their first claim, a group of physicists insist they
have new data to confirm that they really have seen dark matter
particles here on Earth. Dark matter is thought to make up 90 per cent
of the mass of the universe, but till now no one has ever seen it. If
the DAMA (Dark Matter) collaboration in Italy really does have evidence
of dark matter it contradicts other dark matter experiments, which have
WIMPS as the candidate for what constitutes dark matter. Page 14
(Graphics available)
 
I'LL HAVE THE CLONEBURGER AND FRIES
A battle is shaping up on par with that over genetically modified food.
But this time the issue is the production of meat and milk for consumers
from cloned animals. Earlier in the year food safety authorities in
Europe and the US released reports that effectively announced that milk
and meat from cloned livestock was just as safe as food from
conventionally bred animals. But there is plenty of opposition. Consumer
groups and animal welfare organisations say milk and meat from cloned
animals is possibly dangerous and causes unnecessary distress, pain and
suffering to the cloned animals and surrogate mothers. FEATURE Pages
40-43
 
IT'S ARSENIC, BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT
Arsenic is best known today as a deadly poison, but could it also have
had a key role in the origins of life on Earth billions of years ago?
Researchers in the US think so, as arsenic behaves so similarly to
phosphorus, an essential ingredient in nearly all living things. Page 10

 
LOOK OUT, ANOTHER MEGAQUAKE IS ON THE WAY
Some time in the next 10 years we can expect another massive earthquake
of a similar magnitude to the 2004 quake that triggered the devastating
Indian Ocean tsunami. This is according to a Russian team who have
developed an algorithm to predict when and where the next megaquakes
will emerge. Page 12
 
RISING NATIONS FACE 'BACK DOOR' EMISSIONS LIMITS
Governments of rich nations like the US and UK are planning to push
developing nations such as China and India into accepting 'back door'
limits on their greenhouse gas emissions. They want climate negotiators
to agree global technical standards on emissions from "dirty"
manufacturing industries that would apply equally to all nations. The
idea was outlined at a meeting in London last week to discuss the
successor to the Kyoto protocol. Page 15
 
MESOPOTAMIANS TURNED SYMBOLS INTO LOGOS
Product branding first emerged in ancient Mesopotamia on bottle stops
used for oils and wine. According to an archaeologist in the UK, these
bottle stops stamped with symbols 5000 years ago are evidence of the
first branded goods. Page 10
 
DO YOU SPEAK CUTTLEFISH?
Not only are they masters of disguise but cuttlefish have a remarkable
ability to send signals to each other and other species - which is
attracting the attention of military researchers. The cuttlefish use a
secret mode of communication which is invisible to anything but other
cephalopods while they remain perfectly camouflaged. FEATURE Pages 28-31
(Graphics available)
 
ENDS
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Nicole Scott
Marketing and PR Manager - Australia/NZ
New Scientist 
Tel: 61 2 9422 2893
Email: media at newscientist.com.au
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