[ASC-media] PRESS RELEASE - NEW SCIENTIST ISSUE 13 SEPTEMBER 2008

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Sep 10 01:46:54 CEST 2008


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE FOR MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE:  13 SEPTEMBER 2008
(Vol. 199 No. 2673)

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DINNER'S DIRTY SECRET
It may surprise you to learn that our diets account for up to twice as
many greenhouse emissions as driving. And the most emissions-intensive
foods are red meat and dairy products. So should we all be switching to
vegan diets and buying local, organic food? New Scientist takes a look
at what we can put in our shopping baskets to cut our carbon foot print.
FEATURE Pages 28-32 (Graphics available)

HOW MUCH FASTER CAN THE 'LIGHTENING' BOLT GO?
A team of physicists have calculated how fast Usain Bolt would have run
the 100 metres in the Beijing Olympics if he hadn't slowed in
celebration before the end of the race. The team from Norway who
normally study the cosmos, used television footage and applied simple
physics to measure a final time for Bolt - had he not decelerated so
much at the end. Page 15

IS RARE FORM OF BSE ALREADY IN PEOPLE?
A new form of mad cow disease first discovered in Italian cows in 2003
has infected a monkey (via injection), suggesting that the disease may
also be capable of spreading to humans. The disease, Bovine amyloidic
spongiform encephalopathy, or BASE, took hold - and killed - the monkey
faster than strains of classic BSE or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
(vCJD). What's more, the symptoms look very like a rare form of
'sporadic' vCJD called MM2, raising the prospect that BASE may already
infect people. Page 14

TROUBLE IN STORE
Most people believe that type 2 diabetes is a "lifestyle disease" caused
by laziness and gluttony. But according to a growing number of
scientists, the root cause of the diabetes epidemic is a family of toxic
chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants, or POPs. Although POPs
are being phased out, they are inescapable: meat, fish and dairy
products all contain them. They enter the food chain from sources such
as pesticides and chemical manufacturing. FEATURES Pages 36-39 (Graphics
available)

CALLING OCCUPANTS OF INTERPLANETARY CRAFT, DANGER AHEAD
The sheer volume of space junk now in orbit is soon going to make it
very difficult for spacecraft to manoeuvre without risking a
catastrophic collision. And with space tourism looming, space agencies
and satellite operators are getting together to take action. They want
to establish a space traffic control system to ensure spacecraft are
safe. Pages 24-25

MAKING THE MOST OF TREES' PULLING POWER
Synthetic trees could one day help extract drinking water from out of
the soil and even help make high-quality wines. That's the claim of a
team in the US who have managed to reproduce (in the lab) the process by
which tall plants and trees pump water up to heights of many tens of
metres to their topmost leaves. Page 26

ATRIPUMP TO NUDGE HEART INTO RHYTHM
A new implantable artificial muscle could help people suffering from
atrial fibrillation, a common heart condition that affects millions. The
device developed in Switzerland, and called the Atripump, is fitted to
the outside of the heart and applies a rhythmic pressure to keep it
beating at an appropriate rate. Page 26

US ELECTION 2008: SPECIAL REPORT
For the past eight years the Bush administration has acquired a
reputation for neglecting science, leaving the next president with an
enormous repair job on his hands. In the first of our special election
reports we look at the most pressing science issues facing John McCain
and Barack Obama in the run up to the November ballot. Pages 8-10
(Graphics available)

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New Scientist 
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