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

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Wed Mar 23 01:27:21 CET 2011


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 

NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE 26 MARCH 2011 (No. 2805)

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

Reports on stories must credit NEW SCIENTIST as the source.

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

INSECT SLEUTH TELLS FRIEND FROM FOE
A 3D identification system could help pick out and eradicate Australia's invasive insect population while sparing their native counterparts. Xiaozheng Zhang at NICTA Queensland Research Laboratory in St Lucia Queensland, and colleagues hope to complete a prototype of the system this year. The research was presented at NICTA Tech Fest 2011 in Sydney, Australia. Pages 26 - 27 

LOOK INTO MY EYES TO PREDICT AMPUTATION RISK
Nathan Efron at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia and colleagues have developed a non-invasive way to test for nerve damage associated with diabetes. Page 21 

TOTAL REBOOT
What would you do differently if civilisation could be overhauled and rebuilt from scratch? Where would you build cities? What would be your key considerations? Scott Heckbert, an environmental economist at CSIRO in Darwin, Australia warns of becoming too efficient and unable to adapt. Feature Pages 40 - 45 

SPECIAL REPORT: FUTURE ENERGY 
* RESCUING NUCLEAR POWER: Does the crisis at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant spell the end of the nuclear era? Nuclear technologist Kirk Sorensen believes not. By replacing uranium and plutonium with thorium, a naturally occurring element, the risks and waste associated with Fukushima could be massively reduced. Page 8 - 10
* COAL IS FAR DEADLIER THAN NUCLEAR POWER: Nuclear power kills far fewer people than other energy sources according to a 2002 review by the International Energy Agency (IAE) which lists coal as the most deadly energy source. Page 10
* NEWER REACTORS WOULD HAVE SURVIVED FUKUSHIMA: Have the failures at Fukushima unfairly tarnished the image of nuclear energy? Alexis Marincic of French reactor-maker Areva, believes so. According to Marincic, the failures that led to Fukushima's radiation leaks would probably not have happened with the latest designs.  Page 11
Special Report Pages 8 - 11 

THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS
Humans aren't the only ones with a social network. It's becoming more and more apparent plants have a complex and intricate social network, ranging from sympathetic to downright selfish relationships. Feature Pages 46 - 49 

LAST DAYS OF THE MAMMOTH
Mammoth DNA is helping settle long held questions about the origins and demise of the behemoth. Feature Pages 54 - 57 

NUCLEAR BAD BOYS
We thought we knew about protons, but not anymore. As yet no theories or explanations have gained universal support, so how long will it be before there is a definitive answer? Feature Pages 50 - 53 

VIABLE MOUSE SPERM GROWN FROM SCRATCH
For the first time viable mouse sperm has been successfully grown outside the testes. If researchers can repeat this success with human sperm it could help develop new treatments for infertile men. Page 18 

BE THERE OR BE...A ROBOT
Can't make it to the office? Interacting with colleagues from anywhere in the world can become a more personal experience thanks to a telepresence robot. The robots are essentially a video camera, speaker and screen on wheels and can be controlled from anywhere using a web browser. Pages 25 - 26 

NUCLEAR FALLOUT SPREADS TO FOOD
Escalating concerns about the dangers of radioactive fallout from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant has led to a ban on fresh foods produced in Fukushima and neighbouring prefectures which demonstrate abnormally high levels of radiation. Page 6 

HIV IN DONOR KIDNEY
A case in which a donor kidney spread HIV to the recipient has highlighted the dangers associated with living donation.  

VIRTUAL WATER WASTE
UK wastage of 'virtual water', the water used to produce food, exceeds that of water used in the home according to a new report by the Waste & Resources Action Programme and WWF. The problem is unlikely to be restricted to the UK. Page 7 

IF YOU WANT A GENOME SEQUENCED ASK A ROBOT
DNA sequencing by robots could revolutionise the discovery of disease genes according to Californian star-up Complete Genomics. Their human genome sequencing factory, already the world's largest, uses 16 robots that sequenced the genomes of 800 people last year. Pages 14 - 15 

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

NASA AND ESA 'DIVORCE' OVER MONEY
The future of joint space missions between NASA and the European Space Agency has been put in jeopardy by NASA's budget restrictions. http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/03/nasa-and-esa-divorce-over-mone.html

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ENDS

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Lucy Dunwell
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New Scientist 
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