[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 26 FEBRUARY 2011

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Feb 23 01:33:44 CET 2011


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 

NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE 26 FEBRUARY 2011 (No. 2801)

THESE MAGAZINE STORIES ARE EMBARGOED FOR PRINT OR BROADCAST UNTIL: 05:00
HRS AEST (07:00 HRS NZST) THURS 24 FEBRUARY 2011. 

Reports on stories must credit NEW SCIENTIST as the source.

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

PITCH PERFECT
What causes absolute pitch - the ability for some musicians to name any
pitch they hear? Sarah Wilson at the University of Melbourne, Australia
found people with absolute pitch show greater activity in a part of the
brain thought to analyse and filter different sounds hitting their ears.
So why do some people have it and some people don't? Feature Pages 46 -
49 

KOALAS IN TROUBLE
Koalas on Australia's eastern coast are in rapid decline. Disease and
urbanisation are threatening the marsupials but reforestation alone may
not be enough to curb the decline. To save the koalas threats from
disease, dogs and cars must all be tackled at the same time. Once
populations begin to climb more trees would help maintain it. Page 5  

THE GREAT SOUND ESCAPE
The chronic noise pollution suffered in urban environments can not only
keep you awake at night but can damage your health. Short of making all
buildings with concrete and double glazed windows, are there any other
ways to silence the noise? Feature Pages 42 - 45 

REALITY CHECK
The perfect experiment could settle one of the longest-running debates
in modern physics and finally prove quantum reality exists. New
Scientist explores quantum loopholes and attempts to close them down one
by one. Feature Pages 36 - 41 

INSULIN TOPPLED AS RULER OF DIABETES
A hormone treatment could control blood glucose levels without the need
for daily monitoring or insulin shots. Treatment results have been so
successful in mice that a trial is already underway in people with
diabetes. Page 10 - 11 

CORAL 'WHISPERERS' DIAGNOSE REEF WOES
A pioneering project known as Coral Whisperer uses scientists from five
different universities to decode signals corals put out when under
stress. Different signals produced by corals can help identify the
source of stress. It's hoped these methods can be used to help easily
monitor the health of coral reefs. Page 8 

DON'T BLAME ECSTASY
Studies showing that ecstasy can lead to memory loss and depression may
be flawed as they do not take into account the rave culture of all night
dancing that leads to lack of sleep and dehydration. A recent study
compared ecstasy users with non-users who go out dancing all night and
found there were no significant cognitive differences between the
groups. Page 4 

THE POWER OF COOL
Excess solar and wind energy need not go to waste. Highview Power
Storage in the UK has developed a method of storing the energy in the
form of liquid air until needed. Feature Page 21 

ROBOT SUBS SEEK A DOWNED PLANE'S SECRETS Finally, there may be some
answers for the families of victims of Air France flight 447 which
disappeared amidst tropical storms on its journey from Rio de Janeiro to
Paris in 2009. Three deep sea robots will search the floor of the
Atlantic Ocean this March for the plane's flight recorders. Feature
Pages 22 - 23 

STICKY FEET SEND INSECT-BOT CLIMBING UP THE WALLS Taking inspiration
from the sticky fluid that enables insects to climb all over surfaces,
Minghe Li, a roboticist at Tongji University in China is attempting to
develop the next generation of climbing robots. Page 24 

MAGNETIC 'BATTERY' TO REPORT ON CENTURY-OLD NUCLEAR WASTE How will
people know how to deal with buried radioactive waste if found in a
century's time? Engineers at the University of Bristol have devised a
magnetic battery which will send a message from a repository to the
outside world in exactly 100 years to let them know the current
condition of the waste. Page 24 

COAL OWN GOAL
Europe's plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions have encountered a
hurdle. Germany is encouraging energy companies to build coal-fired
power stations instead of gas-fired power stations that emit less carbon
dioxide. Despite this, the European Commission says the carbon trading
scheme is still successfully reducing emissions. Page 4 

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

THE UNKNOWN FAULT THAT CAUGHT OUT CHRISTCHURCH Yesterday's fatal
earthquake in Christchurch seems to have been caused by a previously
unknown fault line. The fault line extends eastward from the Alpine
fault and remained unknown until September last year.
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/02/the-unknown-
fault-that-caught.html
<http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/02/the-unknown
-fault-that-caught.html> 

FORESHOCKS MAY WARN THAT A BIG QUAKE IS COMING For the first time a
study is offering evidence that it may be possible to build a system to
warn of some impending large earthquakes about an hour before they
happen. However, the system may not be applicable to all earthquake
zones.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20148-foreshocks-may-warn-that-a-b
ig-quake-is-coming.html

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ENDS

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New Scientist
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