[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 23 OCTOBER 2010

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Oct 20 02:26:10 CEST 2010


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 

NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE 23 OCTOBER 2010 (Vol. 202 No. 2783)

THESE MAGAZINE STORIES ARE EMBARGOED FOR PRINT OR BROADCAST UNTIL: 05:00
HRS AEST (07:00 HRS NZST) THURS 21 OCTOBER 2010. 

Reports on stories must credit NEW SCIENTIST as the source.

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

OPERATION ALPHA
Astronomer John Webb at the University of New South Wales in Sydney,
Australia has produced the physics news of the year. Webb and his team
analysed light from distant galaxies and have data that shows alpha, a
fundamental constant of nature, might not be a constant at all and may
actually vary in size depending on the direction you're facing. While
nobody believes it could be true, as yet no one has found any flaws in
his analysis. The only trouble for Webb is it could take decades for
others to verify this scientific revolution. Feature Pages 32 - 35 

THERMOGEDDON
We've all heard the dangers of climate change causing oceans to rise,
hurricanes and tornadoes. But what about heat stress - when it becomes
too hot and humid for humans to survive? Steven Sherwood at the
University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia looked at climate
change from this perspective and found some alarming results. Feature
Pages 36 - 39  

PROSPECTIVE FATHERS SHOULD WATCH WHAT THEY EAT If research conducted by
Margaret Morris of the University of New South Wales in Sydney,
Australia can be applied to humans, then fathers need to be more careful
about what they eat. The research has shown that in mice, daughters
sired by obese fathers developed diabetes before they reached puberty.
Page 18 

LOSING TOUCH
Touchscreen technology puts the world at your fingertips. It's
transformed mobile devices and heralds a bright future full of
innovation and excitement, but this future could be cut short. The
material currently used to make touchscreens is running out and the race
is on to find more of it or to develop new touchscreen technology to
help meet the growing demand. Feature Pages 40 - 43 

MOVE OVER LAB RAT
The less than attractive naked mole rat was initially studied for its
social behaviour but researchers were soon intrigued by another
characteristic, the rodents' incredibly long lives. The creatures' bones
stay strong, they don't show signs of heart disease or mental decline,
breeding females reproduce until the end and they don't get cancer. Can
we learn the naked mole rat's secrets to a longer, healthier life?
Feature Pages 44 - 47 

CATTLE PLAGUE ELIMINATED
For just the second time, humans have successfully eradicated a disease,
the cattle plague rinderpest. The virus only infects bovines but the
disease lead to starvation for anyone dependant on cattle. A formal
announcement is expected from the World Organisation for Animal Health
at a meeting in Paris, France next May. Page 6 

CLIMATE CHANGE GOES TO COURT
A number of lawsuits against energy giants are underway in the US. If
successful these lawsuits could set a game-changing precedent that holds
energy companies accountable for their role in climate change.
Plaintiffs are hoping to enter a discovery phase of the battle to
determine what the energy companies knew about the link between
greenhouse gases and global warming, and for how long. Pages 8 - 9 

SCIENCE IN THE FIRING LINE
The upcoming midterm elections in the US could have substantial
implications for science. A number of candidates have taken an
anti-science view, claiming stimulus spending on research is wasteful.
What states are posing the biggest concerns for science and how can
scientists rise to the challenge? Page 10 - 11   

INTRUDERS BEWARE: ROBOTS GUARD THIS SITE Sentry robots could soon take
over security duties all over the world. These robots patrol
unsupervised and are largely autonomous, calling in humans only when the
need arises. Some of the robots are even armed. So how close are these
robots to being able to track and engage targets without human
intervention? Pages 22 - 23

VIRTUAL FACES, REALISTIC COLOUR
Software has been developed that adds realistic changes in skin
colouring to animated faces. The colour in our faces changes depending
on our expressions, emotions, activities and environments. Even
experienced artists can struggle to depict this natural variability but
this new software will automate the process. Page 21 

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

STONE AGE HUMANS LIKED THEIR BURGERS IN A BUN Paleolithic humans were
thought to have lived solely on wild meat; but new evidence uncovered by
Anna Revedin and colleagues at the Italian Institute of Prehistory and
Early History <http://www.iipp.it/>  in Florence has shown Stone Age
humans in Europe knew how to make flour.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19597-stone-age-humans-liked-their
-burgers-in-a-bun.html
<http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19597-stone-age-humans-liked-thei
r-burgers-in-a-bun.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/>  

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<mailto:media at newscientist.com.au> 


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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
New Scientist
Tel: 61 2 9422 2893
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