[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 19 MARCH 2011

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Wed Mar 16 01:00:41 CET 2011


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 

NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE 19 MARCH 2011 (No. 2804)

THESE MAGAZINE STORIES ARE EMBARGOED FOR PRINT OR BROADCAST UNTIL: 05:00 HRS AEST (07:00 HRS NZST) THURS 17 MARCH 2011. 

Reports on stories must credit NEW SCIENTIST as the source.

Reports online must include a link to www.NewScientist.com 

SPECIAL REPORT: MEGAQUAKE AFTERMATH
New Scientist discusses the possibility of links between megaquakes around the globe, protection mechanisms to help survive tsunamis and also nuclear problems associated with natural disasters and how nuclear safety measures and backup power supplies can be improved. Special Feature Pages 6 - 9 

GLOBAL DELUGE
With the onslaught of extreme weather around the world, including the devastating floods in Australia, we have to ask, is climate change making extreme events even more extreme? Feature Pages 44 - 47 

BOTANIC GARDENS THE SOURCE OF INVADERS
The floral beauty of botanic gardens has a dark side, according to research from Lincoln University in Christchurch, New Zealand. Half of the world's most invasive plants species have been spread from within their flowery borders. Page 18 

MODERN MAKEOVER
Evolution happens over millions of years, doesn't it? Recent evidence indicates that may not necessarily be the case. The human body has shown a number of changes over the last few thousand years from the obvious - our waistlines; to our height, muscles, bones, blood vessels and hormones. Maciej Henneberg, now an anatomist at the University of Adelaide has helped document some of these changes. Feature Pages 36 - 39 

MOVE OVER, EINSTEIN
It can take hundreds of years for scientists to discover a law of nature, yet it can take a computer only a matter of hours. Evolutionary computing gives computers and robots the capability to do things they haven't been programmed to do. But how do we know when a particular result represents a law of nature? Feature Pages 40 - 43 

THE BABYSITTERS' CLUB
Researchers have been building a case for the notion that shared childcare brings about cooperation, altruism and profound psychological changes within a species. While there is still plenty of research to be done, this idea has been warmly received. Feature Pages 48 - 51 

TO GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS, CHOOSE THE RIGHT MESSENGER
Dan Kahan of the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale University has shown simply explaining the science behind contentious issues, such as climate change, will not help move people towards a consensus. When presenting information to people, evidence from someone you identify with is more likely to sway your view. Page 12 

ROBOT SPY KNOWS WHEN TO HIDE
James Bond may be out of a job. A new covert robot designed to avoid human detection has been developed by Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Laboratory at Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Page 25 

'MOSQUITO NEEDLE' HELPS TAKE THE STING OUT OF INJECTIONS
Scared of needles? Experts at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan are working on a needle inspired by a mosquito's bite, which will dramatically reduce the pain associated with injections. Page 27 

FAKE TWEETS BY 'SOCIALBOT' FOOL HUNDREDS OF FOLLOWERS
Twitter has been infiltrated by software that pretends to be human in the form of three 'socialbots' in a competition organized by the Web Ecology Project in San Francisco. The best-performing bot was able to gain more than 100 followers and elicit almost 200 responses, indicating huge potential for the future manipulation of social networks. Page 28 

LOW TESTOSTERONE IS A RISKY BUSINESS
Always thought risk-taking was the domain of the testosterone-fuelled? Not in the case of financial risk-taking according to research from Duke University in North Carolina which shows that those with low levels of the male hormone were more likely to take a gamble. Page 22 

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

FIRST WEARABLE BRAIN SCANNER LETS RATS RUN FREE
Ever wondered why rats behave the way they do? Enter the 'ratCAP', a mini brain scanner developed by the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York which makes it possible to watch rat behaviour and observe their brain chemistry at the same time. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20227-first-wearable-brain-scanner-lets-rats-run-free.html

SEA LEVELS RISE AND RISE IS DOWN TO MELTING ICE SHEETS
Melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica could cause sea levels to rise 56 centimetres by 2100, as suggested by the University of California. This figure exceeds that predicted by the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20233-sea-levels-rise-and-rise-is-down-to-melting-ice-sheets.html

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ENDS

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For breaking science and technology stories everyday visit www.newscientist.com
Lucy Dunwell
National Marketing Manager
New Scientist 
Tel: 61 2 9422 2893
Email: media at newscientist.com.au
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