[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 8 OCTOBER 2011

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Wed Oct 5 03:06:38 CEST 2011


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE

NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE 8 OCTOBER 2011 (No. 2833)

THESE MAGAZINE STORIES ARE EMBARGOED FOR PRINT OR BROADCAST UNTIL: 05:00 HRS AEST (07:00 HRS NZST) THURS 6 OCTOBER 2011.

All FULL-TEXT articles together with artwork, photos and graphics shown on the PDFs below are not to be downloaded and reproduced without prior permission from New Scientist. The articles are distributed in advance of publication to those authorised media who may wish to report on our stories, quoting extracts as part of fair dealing with this copyrighted material.

Reports on stories must credit NEW SCIENTIST as the source.

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

NOBEL FOR ENIGMATIC FORCE
One of the most baffling but profound observations in modern physics has garnered three cosmologists a Nobel prize; including Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University. Page 6

NEW SCIENTIST SPECIAL: THE TIME ISSUE
In this week's special Time issue, New Scientist digs deep into the past, present and future, exploring the most mysterious dimension of all. Special Feature Pages 37 - 53
* THE ORIGIN OF TIME: What is time? After thousands of years of contemplation and scientific progress, there remains no consensus about its nature. Pages 38 - 39
* TIME'S ARROW: Time, unlike space, has only one direction - it flows from past to future, and never the other way around. Yet Dean Rickles, a philosopher of science at the University of Sydney, Australia points out the laws of physics can work just as well both forwards and backwards in time. Page 39 - 41
* COUNT DOWN TO THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING: Time holds the key to the most ambitious challenge in theoretical physics - to express the complex workings of the universe in a single, elegant theory of everything. Pages 41 - 42
* THE RHYTHMS OF LIFE: Even in the absence of clocks our bodies still march to the beat of internal timekeepers called circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms affect everything from how we perform mental and physical tasks to when drugs are more likely to be effective. That's why a school in the UK changed their operating hours to synchronise the school day with pupil's body clocks. Pages 42 - 44
* THE CLOCK IN YOUR HEAD: Time perception is one of the enduring mysteries of the brain. How do we consciously perceive the passage of seconds and minutes? Pages 45 - 46
* A LIFE WITHOUT TIME: Is everyone's concept of time the same? Ways of organising and naming time intervals can vary greatly between human groups. Page 47
* THE DATING GAME: We're quite confident in our dating skills closer to home, with a pretty good idea of the age of the sun and its surrounds, rocks and prehistoric human artefacts. But it's only recently we've been able to produce an estimate of the universe's age that we're happy with. Page 48
* TODAY...TWICE: In 1876 Scottish-born engineer Stanford Fleming proposed standardising world time and dividing the globe into separate time zones, the result was neat wedges cutting longitudinal arcs down the globe. Yet these smooth lines have been tugged out of shape to suit geopolitical and commercial interests. And they will be tugged a little further this year with Samoa deciding there will be no 29 December 2011 so it jumps into a more commercially convenient time zone with its major trading partners Australia and New Zealand. Pages 49 - 50
* TIME TRAVEL: Time travel may seem like nothing more than science fiction but we are continuing to make discoveries that could show us the way forward - or back. * THE ULTIMATE CLOCK: What is the ultimate clock and how does it work? Page 51
* THE END OF TIME: Will time end? It's a disturbing scenario that is not out of the realm of possibility. If the End of Ends is possible, what will it look like? Pages 52 - 53

THE POWER OF THE PHONE
The cellphone has revolutionised the western world and thanks to a wave a wave of technological innovation, the developing world is poised to reap the benefits of this game changing technology. Pages 21 - 22

CORAL ADAPT TO WARMER WATERS
Tantalising evidence suggests coral can be trained to withstand rising sea temperatures; however it's unclear whether any heat tolerance is permanent. Page 16

BUMPY NIPPLES GUIDE BABIES TO MILK
You may not wonder why women have bumps around their nipples but it has bemused many. The mystery has now been solved... smelly secretions released from the nipples of women who have just given birth may help babies find and extract their mother's milk.  Page 12

WHEN DEATH ISN'T WHAT IT SEEMS
Although doctors agree that a person is dead when their brain is dead, there is no international consensus on how this should be decided. There can be differences in procedural aspects of brain dead determination where a patient could be proclaimed brain dead in Germany but not in the US. Pages 8 - 9

TWIST IN TALE OF KING TUT'S 'CLUB' FOOT
The finding that Tutankhamen was disabled made headlines around the world. Robert Connolly a researcher at the University of Liverpool, UK has found an image that appears to settle the controversy over whether the boy king had a club foot. Page 10

CAN POLICE STOP CRIME THAT HASN'T HAPPENED?
A program with futuristic crime prediction capabilities is helping Santa Cruz, California police patrol areas where crime may be committed. Built by mathematician George Mohler it uses the locations of past incident to flag likely future crime scenes. Page 11

RAT REFLECTIONS GIVE PAUSE FOR THOUGHT
Human minds wander when they have nothing else to do. We start to introspect, using a specific network of brain structures. It now seems rats and monkeys have the same network, raising the question of whether they might also be capable of something akin to introspection. Page 14

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

PACIFIC ISLANDS LEFT THIRSTY BY LA NINA
The Pacific island nations of Tuvalu and Tokelau have declared a state of emergency due to severe water shortages. In response, New Zealand has sent water and two desalination units, and Samoa has also sent water.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21004-pacific-islands-left-thirsty-by-la-nina.html

PAY AS YOU GO SOLAR POWER MAKES ENERGY CHEAPER
A cell-phone based system could bring cheap solar power to sun-drenched regions of Kenya and other African countries. The pay-as-you go system called IndiGo could provide economic benefits and make access to power more convenient. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20991-pay-as-you-go-solar-power-makes-energy-cheaper.html

BOOZING BLUNTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Too much alcohol dulls more than your wits. It also weakens your immune system and could make you more vulnerable to viruses. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20983-too-much-booze-blunts-your-immune-system.html

A LITTLE EXCESS WEIGHT AFFECTS IVF SUCCESS
Obesity could make it harder for women who are trying to conceive via IVF.  Excess weight is associated with an increased risk of miscarriage but its effect on assisted reproduction wasn't known. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21003-a-little-excess-weight-affects-ivf-success.html

ENDS

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