[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 06 MARCH 2010

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Wed Mar 3 01:14:14 CET 2010


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 

NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE 06 MARCH 2010 (Vol. 202 No. 2750)

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

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For full-text versions of the stories below please email
media at newscientist.com.au or call 61 2 9422 2556 

DO GOOD GENES AID SEXUAL SUCCESS?
The number of sexual partners a woman has could be linked to the genes
behind the immune system. Hanne Lie of the University of Western
Australia in Perth measured the diversity of a region of the DNA, vital
to the immune system, in 74 female students and found that the greater
the diversity in this gene, the more sexual partners the woman had.
Page 15 

DECISION-MAKERS BETRAYED BY THEIR WIDE EYES
It is well known that pupils dilate in dark environments and in
stressful situations, but now neuroscientists at the University of
Melbourne have found that pupil dilation is also linked to
decision-making. Page 11 

THE WRITING IS ON ANCIENT EGGSHELLS
Since 1999, scientists at the University of Bordeaux in France have
uncovered 270 fragments of ostrich eggshells in South Africa. Symbols
covering the eggshells are thought to signify ownership and may be the
first signs of human communication through graphic art. Australian rock
art specialist, Iain Davidson, at the University of New England in
Armidale, N.S.W, suggests that marks of ownership would have come after
humans became self-aware. Page 13 

WAYS OF MAKING THEM TALK
Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are illegal but we
know they happened and may still be happening in places like Abu Ghraib
and Guantanamo Bay. So what are the psychological effects of this kind
of treatment? And are there other interrogation techniques that can be
employed to avoid these methods? Feature pages 40-43 
 
TROUBLE IN PARADISE
Rats have taken over the island of South Georgia, deep in the Southern
Atlantic. The island is home to more than 30 millions birds whose
habitats are under threat as a result of this pest. The South Georgia
Heritage Trust (SGHT) is fighting back with plans to mount the largest
mass extermination ever attempted. Keith Springer, head of the Macquarie
Island Pest Eradication Project in Tasmania, Australia has been advising
SGHT on the rat removal plan. Feature pages 32-35 

TOUCHING THE UNIVERSE
What if our universe is a tiny part of an unimaginably large and diverse
multiverse? This notion is building momentum and could potentially
undermine the foundations of science. Raphael Bousso of the University
of California, Berkeley may have found a way to test the notion without
observing any other universes. Feature pages 28-31 

BUGGING YOUR BUGS
The bugs in your body are communicating with one another. Not only that,
they can intercept signals from your body and trick other microbes into
changing their behaviours. This knowledge could lead to a whole new way
of combating bacterial infections. Feature pages 36-39 

ADD OXYGEN TO SPEED SOBRIETY 
Increasing the amount of the oxygen, which plays a part in the breakdown
of alcohol in the body, could be the key to creating booze that allows
drinkers to sober up faster. This is the latest findings by Chungnam
National University in Daejeon, South Korea. It's a drinker's dream but
it could it encourage heavy drinkers to consume more alcohol? Page 5

THE SCANNER THAT FEELS YOUR PAIN 
Can pain be measured objectively? Researchers of King's College London
may have found a way. The researchers who analysed the brain scans of
patients fresh out of the operating theatre found that the intensity of
pain in the brain correlated with the amount of oxygenated blood. Pages
6-7 
 
ANYONE FOR FRIED COCKROACH?
Fumigating to get rid of cockroaches may be a thing of the past.
Rentokil UK have developed a new bug-killing system that turns the
infected premises or vehicles into a temporary oven to get rid of these
unwanted critters. Page 17 

SLEEP: TOO LITTLE AND TOO MUCH CREATE FAT
The correlation between sleep and fat is becoming clearer. Research
monitored 1100 people with a high-risk of obesity disorders for 5 years
and found that those who slept an average of less than 5 or 6 hours a
night or more than 8 hours a night had increases in visceral fat, which
is particularly dangerous to health. Page 14 

KEEP IT MOBILE, KEEP IT CHARGED
Last week Nokia of Finland filed a US patent for a mobile handset that
recharges itself. The handset harvests energy from the owner's motion to
keep the phone's battery topped up. Page 17 

........................................................................
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ENDS

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Rita Mu
Marketing and PR Assistant-- Australia/NZ
New Scientist 
Tel: 61 2 9422 2556
Email: media at newscientist.com.au































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