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

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Jan 23 00:15:12 CET 2008


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 26 JANUARY 2008
 

MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE:  26 JANUARY 2008 (Vol. 197 No. 2640)

EMBARGO: 
THESE STORIES BELOW ARE NOT TO BE USED FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST
BEFORE:- 05:00 HRS GMT THU 24 JANUARY 2008. 

All FULL-TEXT articles together with artwork, photos and graphics shown
on the PDFs below are not to be reproduced without prior permission from
New Scientist. The articles are distributed in advance of publication to
those authorised media who may wish to report on our stories, quoting
extracts as part of fair dealing with this copyrighted material.  Please
remember to credit New Scientist Magazine - thank you.

The following three stories are not available on the press site. For
full text articles, contact Nicole Scott (media at newscientist.com or +61
2 9422 2893).

GREEN CONCRETE
Could concrete save the planet? In February 2008, operations will start
in Melbourne for the world's first commercial geopolymer concrete - a
green concrete that is made out of power station and blast furnace
waste. It gets better. Zeobond's E-crete releases only 10 to 20 percent
of the C02 released by standard concrete during manufacturing and aims
to replace regular concrete in a variety of applications including low
cost housing. Widespread use of this new green concrete could reduce
greenhouse gas emissions by up to one billion tonnes per year. Page 28

HARD TO SWALLOW
It's almost a decade since Andrew Wakefield published his controversial
study suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Despite the
link being definitively debunked, UK confidence in the vaccine has only
just recovered. But in Nigeria, polio is once again rife after rumours
were spread that the polio vaccine had been adulterated with HIV and
anti-fertility drugs. So what is it about one of the greatest
innovations in medicine that generates such fears, and how can
governments prevent anxieties turning into large-scale boycotts? Pages
37-39

THE SEA HORSE AND THE COCKEREL'S SPUR
In what fantastical land might you find the tract of Goll, the zonules
of Zinn and the radiations of Zuckerkandl? Not in some fictional world,
but in the soft grey matter of your brain. For centuries, the brain has
been the preserve of anatomists who mapped its convoluted internal
structures in great detail and left a legacy of wonderfully imaginative
names. Now brain anatomy is in vogue again, but this time powerful tools
such as functional magnetic resonance imaging are able to peer inside
the working brain, helping us to understand mental processes by knowing
where in the brain they occur. Pages 40-43

THE UN-UNIVERSE
Physicist Howard Georgi has proposed the existence of an entirely new
type of matter unlike anything we've encountered before: the unparticle.
Unparticles are slippery customers. They break all the rules that
constrain normal particles, shifting identity and breaking Einstein's
famous equation E=mc2. If Georgi is correct, unparticles could exist all
around us. What's more, they could even exude their own mysterious
"ungravity" force, which could finally explain the origin of dark
matter. Feature, Page 32-36
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2640/264032.pdf (Graphics
available)

 
THE SECRET OF A LONG LIFE IS A FAMILY AFFAIR
Marry your cousin to have long-lived kids? Inbreeding is not usually
mooted as a key to longevity.  However, a new study at University of
Calabria in Italy suggests that inbreds might have a better chance of a
long life. Page 14
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2640/264014.pdf
 

THE MATHEMATICAL REASON TO BE LAZY
Ever lost patience waiting for a bus and decided to walk instead? Next
time, stick around, it's nearly always the best strategy.
Mathematicians at Harvard University have derived a formula for the
optimal time you should wait for a bus at each stop before giving up and
walking on.  The solution they found was surprisingly simple: chose the
"lazy" option and wait at the first stop, no matter how frustrating.
Short Story, Page 18
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2640/264018.pdf
 

WHEN MORE MORPHINE MEANS FEELING MORE PAIN
Need more drugs to numb the pain?  It might be because you received them
as a baby.  Studies in rats suggest some premature babies might grow up
with altered sensitivity to pain and painkillers if they received
morphine in intensive care during the first few weeks after birth. Page
16
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2640/264016.pdf
 

LOOKS LIKE RAIN
What makes some clouds rain while others merely drift serenely overhead?
While the mechanisms of cloud formation are well understood, no one
knows for certain what makes some clouds produce rain and others not.
Solving the mystery will not only help improve climate models, but could
improve the reliability of cloud seeding as a way to induce rain.
Feature, Page 44-47
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2640/264044.pdf (Graphics
available)
 

MAKING EVERY SHOWER AN ELECTRIC STORM
Here's something residents of cloudy northern Europe should appreciate:
a way of using rain to generate power.  Scientist's at the Atomic Energy
Commission in Grenoble, France have shown the piezoelectric materials,
which generate voltage in response to mechanical force, can be made to
produce useful amounts of electrical power when hit by falling rain.
Page 30
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2640/264030.pdf

 
SUPERNOVA ECHOES TAKE US BACK IN TIME
Four hundred years ago, Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe launched his
career with an account of a dazzling stellar explosion.  It later turned
out to be a supernova in the Milky Way.  Now a team of astronomers has
watched the same explosion, long after the dying star fizzled out, by
measuring "light echoes" - light from the original explosion that has
reflected back off interstellar dust and headed in our direction.  Page
16
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2640/264016.pdf

 
OLD BOOTS JUST GOT OLDER
Footwear, it seems, has been fashionable for rather a long time.  Toe
bones from a cave in China suggest people were wearing shoes at least
40,000 years ago. Short Story, Page 19
http://media.newscientist.com/data/pdf/press/2640/264019.pdf


- ENDS -

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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
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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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