[ASC-media] NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE 15 OCTOBER 2011

RBI - NewScientist - Media (RBI - AUS) media at newscientist.com.au
Wed Oct 12 02:22:58 CEST 2011


NEW SCIENTIST PRESS RELEASE

NEW SCIENTIST MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE 15 OCTOBER 2011 (No. 2834)

THESE MAGAZINE STORIES ARE EMBARGOED FOR PRINT OR BROADCAST UNTIL: 05:00 HRS AEST (07:00 HRS NZST) THURS 13 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

WHY SIZE MATTERS IN THE PLANT WORLD TOO
Males are typically the larger sex in big-bodied species while females tend to outdo them in small-bodied species. Kevin Burns and Patrick Kavanagh at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand have found plants may follow that rule too. Page 18 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_018.pdf

SPAGHETTI FUNCTIONS
The first comprehensive mathematical taxonomy of pasta has been developed. Architect George Legendre and colleague Jean-Aimé Shu nearly bankrupted their company and spent almost a year modelling every shape of pasta they could find. The question is, why? Feature Pages 48 - 51 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_048-051.pdf

YOUR CLEVER BODY
Discoveries about mind-body connections have overturned the long-held view of the body as a passive vehicle driven by the brain. It is becoming increasingly clear that your whole body plays a role in the thinking process. If you tune in to your body's signals you can exploit them to improve your creativity, memory and self-control. Feature Pages 34 - 38 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_034-038.pdf

IMPOSSIBLE INVENTIONS
History is littered with ideas that once defied conventional wisdom. New Scientist explores some impossible technologies in our everyday lives from the smartphone to energy-saving light bulbs, rockets, blue lasers, Wikipedia, turbo encoders and universal translation. Feature Page 39 - 43 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_039-043.pdf

ORIGINAL SPIN
Was the universe born whirling? That dizzying idea might explain why matter exists in the first place. Feature Pages 44 - 47 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_044-047.pdf

COMING SOON, THE 7 BILLIONTH MEMBER OF THE HUMAN RACE
On 31 October, a newborn baby somewhere in the world will become the 7 billionth member of the human race - maybe. The UN is under political pressure to name a date for the precise "day of 7 billion" yet there are substantial inaccuracies in the data used with millions of births and deaths not counted and uncertainty about the rate at which women are giving birth. These inaccuracies also make it difficult to determine when the human population will peak. Page 10 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_010.pdf

BABY REPAIR KIT FOUND IN THE WOMB
Babies, with holes in their diaphragms could soon become the first humans treated with "spare parts" built from their own stem cells. If the trial goes ahead, it could be the start of an entirely new approach to treating congenital defects. Pages 8 - 9 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_008-009.pdf

YOUR IRIS NEVER LIES
Iris images may soon be able to do more than just verify your identity - they may confirm your race and gender too. Initial tests focusing on the similarities in irises instead of the differences can distinguish between people of two different racial backgrounds and shows promise in determining gender. Page 21 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_021.pdf

SAVED BY A SPACE 'TRACTOR BEAM'
A "tractor beam" could help prevent astronauts from floating helplessly away from their spacecraft with no hope of rescue, but how does it work? Page 22 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_022.pdf

WATCH AND WAIT
Doctors should stop screening for prostate cancer because it does more harm than good. This advice comes more than a decade after the prostate- specific antigen (PSA) test was introduced in the US. Page 5 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_005.pdf

BIG MOW: TAR LAWSUIT
The battle over a proposed pipeline to ferry raw bitumen took a new turn last week when environmental groups filed a lawsuit claiming that TransCanada Corporation has illegally begun construction on the pipeline without full US government approval. Page 4 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_004.pdf

BLACK HOLES LIGHT UP DARK ENERGY
Dark energy has long been presumed responsible for the universe's expansion speeding up yet the force remains deeply mysterious. Now there's a way to measure this cosmic acceleration which should be able to probe a much earlier period in the universe's history. Pages 6 - 7 http://static.rbi.com.au/common/contentmanagement/ns/pdf/NSC_151011_006-007.pdf

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

PILL HELPS WOMEN PICK FAITHFUL MATES, NOT SEXY ONES
Women who are on the pill when they pick a mate end up with longer-lasting relationships than those who are not, but apparently they are less satisfied in the sack. Studies show that women on the pill are attracted to different men than when they are not on the pill and for the first time these choices have been tested outside the lab. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21036-pill-helps-women-pick-faithful-mates-not-sexy-ones.html

ORGAN DONORS SHOULD GET FREE FUNERAL
As demand for organs continues to outstrip supply, ethical ways of rewarding people for donating need to be brought in, says a new report from the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, based in London. Top of the list is the idea of paying for the funerals of people who agree that their organs can be transplanted after they die.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21037-organ-donors-should-get-free-funeral.html

THE FIRST REPTILE WITH A TRUE PLACENTA
In an incredible find, an obscure African lizard has overturned one of biology's longest-standing assumptions: that mammals are the only animals with true placentas. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21015-zoologger-the-first-reptile-with-a-true-placenta.html

MOON SUIT
NASA isn't pleased: it is suing the Edgar Mitchell, the sixth man on the moon after learning he intended to sell an Apollo 14 camera. http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/10/nasas-lawsuit-against-moonwalk.html

ENDS

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If you'd like to view the above articles in full-text AND/OR for radio & TV interviews, please contact Lucy Dunwell, National Marketing Manager, Tel: 61 2 9422 2893 or email: media at newscientist.com.au

PRESS CONTACT IN EUROPE:
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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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