[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 16 JANUARY 2010

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Jan 13 01:16:41 CET 2010


PRESS RELEASE 

NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE 16 JANUARY 2010 (Vol. 202 No. 2743)

THESE MAGAZINE STORIES ARE EMBARGOED FOR PRINT OR BROADCAST UNTIL: 04:00 HRS AEDST (06:00 HRS NZDST) THURS 14 JANUARY 2010. 

Reports on this story must credit NEW SCIENTIST as the source.

Reports online must include a link to www.NewScientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com/>  

NEIGHBOURHOODS THAT CAN KILL
The strain of living in stressful and socially depraved environments has been linked to biological changes that can lead to earlier deaths. In an interesting collaboration between biology and sociology, researchers in the US have shown the stress of living in areas with high crime rates, combined with poor social networks can lead to the development of aggressive breast cancer. This research opens to the door for further studies linking social environments to diabetes and heart disease. Pages 6-9 

SKI, SNOWBOARD AND…WALK
Australian Ross Clark of the University of Melbourne has verified the Nintendo Wii’s balance board as an accurate means of assessing people’s balance and assisting rehabilitation. He’s determined the balance board’s data is clinically comparable to the ₤11,000 lab-grade “force platforms” previously used. The balance board is a far more affordable tool for physio clinics who are helping people learn to stand and walk. Page 15 

IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE
Who do you turn to when you need a faster way to pack potato chips? Or a better way to diagnose breast cancer? Or a more realistic way to play a car racing game? The space industry of course. With some of the best technology and facilities in the world, the space industry sees it as its duty to make the most of taxpayer funding, helping non-space industries with some expected and unexpected breakthroughs. Pages 34-37 

WHO KILLED THE MAPLES?
What happens when the world’s biggest supplier of radioactive isotopes for medical use shuts down? You build replacements next door. The only trouble is, these replacements, Maple 1 and Maple 2, have never been switched on and it’s likely they never will be. The jury is still out on whether the blame for this costly and embarrassing debacle lies with Canada’s nuclear regulator or the Canadian government. So what really went wrong? Pages 30-33 

STRANGE FEELINGS
The six basic human emotions have played a significant role in the survival of our species. These emotions have been well defined and researched over the last 50 years; but the time has come to explore some modern and more obscure emotions to add to that list. Elevation, interest, gratitude, pride and confusion. Researchers are delving into these emotions to identify what roles they play in the modern world. Pages 26–29 

TOUCH SCREENS: NO FRIEND OF SHOULDER SURFERS The proliferation of touch screens is making it easier for “shoulder surfers” to spy your secret pass codes. However, security measures are being stepped up to ensure that if someone does watch you, they can’t make use of the codes. Alternatives to the typical four-digit PIN exist, such as gaze-tracking and fingerprints, but even more possibilities are emerging. The range of options include ColorRings, developed by researchers in the UK, face-based authentication systems, patterns and other hybrids of the four-digit PINs. Pages 16-17 

IGNORANCE IS BLISS
Information can be dangerous. Most of us assume the more information you have, the better off you are. Yet philosopher, Nick Bostrom from the University of Oxford, warns this might not be the case. The recent explosion of available information, largely as a result of the internet, could bring dangers no one has even conceived. Pages 38-39 


The following articles are for IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Please click on the link below to view the full-text article.


FAKE SKIN PATCHES COULD DELIVER HELPFUL GENES Patches of synthetic skin could deliver gene therapies to patients without the need for injections. This advancement could have significant implications for diabetes sufferers, as blood sugar could be controlled with nothing more than application of a topical cream. John Vogel of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, has conducted successful trials on mice but will carry out trials on larger animals such as pigs before any human trials commence.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18368-fake-skin-patches-could-deliver-helpful-genes.html <http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18368-fake-skin-patches-could-deliver-helpful-genes.html> 

HOW TO MAKE A LIQUID INVISIBILITY CLOAK
It seems J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, wasn’t too far off the mark when describing an invisibility cloak as “fluid and silvery”. A team of theorists believe silver-plated nanoparticles suspended in water could make up a vital part of an invisibility device.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18359-how-to-make-a-liquid-invisibility-cloak.html <http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18359-how-to-make-a-liquid-invisibility-cloak.html> 

SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE: WHAT MAKES MUSIC EMOTIONAL?
There might finally be an answer as to why music in major keys sound cheerful and minor keys sound sad. Daniel Bowling, a neuroscientist at Duke University in North Carolina, has shown tonal frequencies in speech patterns match those in music. This contributes to the association of certain sounds with emotions. The link may be universal as it’s common to both American English speakers and Mandarin Chinese speakers. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18367-songs-in-the-key-of-life-what-makes-music-emotional.html <http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18367-songs-in-the-key-of-life-what-makes-music-emotional.html> 


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ENDS

Reports on this story must credit NEW SCIENTIST as the source.

Reports online must include a link to www.NewScientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com/>  

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 Lucy Dunwell, Marketing and PR Manager -  Australia, Tel: 61 2 9422 2893 or email: media at newscientist.com.au <mailto:media at newscientist.com.au> 

PRESS CONTACT IN EUROPE: 
Varneek Sehra, New Scientist Press Office, Tel: +44 (0)20 7611 1286 or email: varneek.sehra at rbi.co.uk

PRESS CONTACT IN THE US:
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For breaking science and technology stories everyday visit www.newscientist.com <http://www.newscientist.com/> 

Lucy Dunwell
Marketing and PR Manager- Australia/NZ
New Scientist
Tel: 61 2 9422 2893
Email: media at newscientist.com.au <mailto:media at newscientist.com.au> 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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