New Scientist Magazine Press Release for 8-May-2004

5-May-2004 7:30 AM EDT

New Scientist

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MAGAZINE ISSUE DATE: 8 MAY 2004 (Vol. 181 No 2446)


LOVE, THE GREAT GENDER BENDERMen who are in love become more like women, while love-struck women become more like men. This intriguing study, by Italian researchers, compared testosterone levels of people in love to those who were either single or in long-term relationships. They found that men who were in love had lower levels of testosterone than the other men, while women in love, in contrast, had higher levels of testosterone than their counterparts. Pages 14

DNA ROBOT TAKES ITS FIRST STEPSA microscopic biped with legs constructed with DNA strands has taken its first steps. The New York team who built the nanowalker say theirs is the first nanoscale device to "walk" with bipedal motion. The DNA legs travel on a DNA track. Each foot is able to anchor to strands of DNA on the track that pair up with the sequence on the foot. Pages 22-23

MILKY WAY SPIRAL GETS AN EXTRA ARMThe map of the Milky Way is being redrawn, following the discovery by Australian astronomers of another arm of the galaxy. The structure consists of an arc of hydrogen gas 77,000 light years long and a few thousand light years thick running along the galaxy's outermost edge. Page 10

SEX, PARASITES AND THE EVOLUTION OF MENAn American scientist believes that due to the intimate involvement of modern mitochondria in sexual reproduction, they could also have been responsible for the evolution of sex. He believes the first inkling of maleness began with early mitochondria bursting out and jumping between nearby cells, dragging genes from the nucleus with them. Page 11

A SINGLE CLICK GENERATES THE LIST TO END ALL LISTSThe next step in search engine technology could make compiling lists possible with a single click. KnowItAll is a search engine under development at the University of Washington, which could eventually answer questions such as "list all British scientists born before 1900" . Its approach is unique - trawling through many web pages for data. At the moment, KnowItAll can create lists of nouns such as: "scientists" , "musicians" and "actors" . Page 23

YAWS ADD TO PLIGHT OF CONGO'S FOREST DWELLERSA flesh-eating disease called bush yaws is threatening "forgotten" populations of Pygmies in the Republic of Congo and possibly other areas of Africa. UNICEF say the disease is having a devastating effect on the poorest areas where the Pygmies don't have access to simple hygiene measures such as soap and water, and where their homes are too remote for aid workers to reach. Page 15

TALKING 'BOUT A REVOLUTIONA ruling by the World Trade Organisation last week might spell the end for the enormous subsidies rich countries pay their farmers. New Scientist analyses the far-reaching consequences around the world if countries are forced to end farming subsidies, together with a look at what it would mean if imposed on the fishing industry. Pages 8-9

SHORT STORY " GOOD VIBRATIONSLuxury cars could soon feature vibrating studs underneath the car seats to tell you which direction to go in. "A vibration beneath your right leg tells you to steer that way," say researchers from the Netherlands. The studs would be connected to the car's satellite navigation system. Page 22

SPLASH LANDING ON AN OILY TITANThe Huygens probe, due to parachute onto Saturn's moon, Titan, early next year, is likely to splash down in an ocean of oil. A telescope in Chile has for the first time managed to peer through Titan's thick atmosphere to reveal four oceans of hydrocarbons. Page 18


STOPPING EPILEPSY AT SOURCEAll existing epilepsy drugs are designed to suppress the seizures that are the disease's symptoms. And often they are ineffective with nasty side effects. Now a few researchers have joined a quest to create a drug that will stop epilepsy developing in the first place. Pages 37-39

FOUR DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLDA team of researchers in Germany have come up with a completely new type of geological catastrophe to explain the death of the dinosaurs. Forget meteorites and mega-volcanoes, they believe the culprit was a colossal underground explosion called a Verneshot. Pages 32-35

BLOW OUTWhere do the dangerous cosmic rays that bombard our planet come from? An American physicist has begun to come up with an all-encompassing theory of cosmic rays, and his calculations show they could all come from exploding stars. Pages 40-43


NewScientist is the world's leading science and technology news weekly, boasting a circulation of 145,000. The magazine is now available to readers worldwide, with US, Australian and Russian editions of NewScientist now being published.

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