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New Scientist Australian EditionNew Scientist Australian Edition

New Scientist Australian Edition 29-jun-19

New Scientist covers the latest developments in science and technology that will impact your world. New Scientist employs and commissions the best writers in their fields from all over the world. Our editorial team provide cutting-edge news, award-winning features and reports, written in concise and clear language that puts discoveries and advances in the context of everyday life today and in the future.

Country:
Australia
Language:
English
Publisher:
New Scientist Ltd
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51 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

2 min.
the forgotten patients

THE faces of five people stare down at neurologist Nicholas Schiff from the wall of his office. These are pictures of people who appear to be in a vegetative state, but are in fact conscious. He stuck them up to remind him, he says, that they are still out there, and that doctors aren’t doing anything for them. The sentiment is right. These people’s basic needs are being catered for, but there is little more we can do to help. And now the nightmare has got worse: a 10-year investigation has revealed the extent of such “covert consciousness” in people with brain damage, many of whom may be aware (see page 38). Nobody can fault the efforts of Schiff and his colleagues to identify such people. But unfortunately, it tends to be…

1 min.
new scientist

PUBLISHING & COMMERCIAL Display advertising Tel +44 (0)20 7611 1291 Email displayads@newscientist.com Commercial director Chris Martin Display sales manager Justin Viljoen Lynne Garcia, Henry Vowden, (ANZ) Richard Holliman Recruitment advertising Tel +44 (0)20 7611 1204 Email nssales@newscientist.com Recruitment sales manager Mike Black Nicola Cubeddu, Viren Vadgama, (US) Jeanne Shapiro New Scientist Live Tel +44 (0)20 7611 1206 Email live@newscientist.com Events director Adrian Newton Creative director Valerie Jamieson Sales director Jacqui McCarron Exhibition sales manager Charles Mostyn Event manager Henry Gomm Marketing Head of campaign marketing James Nicholson Poppy Lepora, Chloe Thompson Head of customer experience Emma Robinson Email/CRM Manager Rachna Sheth Head of data analytics Tom Tiner Web development Maria Moreno Garrido, Tom McQuillan, Amardeep Sian MANAGEMENT Chief executive Nina Wright Finance director Jenni Prince Chief technology officer Chris Corderoy Marketing director Jo Adams Human resources Shirley Spencer HR coordinator Serena Robinson Facilities manager Ricci Welch Executive assistant Lorraine Lodge Receptionist Alice Catling Non-exec chair Bernard Gray Senior non-exec director Louise Rogers EDITORIAL Editor Emily Wilson Executive editor Richard Webb Creative director Craig…

1 min.
delayed explosion

THE second world war may be long over, but its weapons remain deadly. This huge crater in a field near the town of Limburg, Germany, was created when a bomb exploded without warning during the early hours of 23 June. Nearby residents heard the explosion during the night. The next day, they discovered the crater, which is 10 metres wide and 4 metres deep. Bomb disposal experts think it was created by a 250-kilogram bomb. The weapon, probably dropped by Allied forces during the second world war, may have been faulty or failed to explode because it hit soft soil rather than a hard surface. Some 75 years later, it seems that a decaying detonator finally triggered the explosion. Unexploded ordnance from both world wars remains a major problem in many parts of…

1 min.
martian methane spike in spotlight

NASA’S Curiosity rover has detected another brief burp of methane on Mars, and this time there is a chance to confirm whether the gas surge is real. Methane on Mars is interesting because it could be a sign of life. We have spotted possible methane burps there before, but it has been hard to confirm the detections independently. The latest burp, detected at Gale Crater, was brief. But two probes with methane-detecting instruments happen to have been monitoring the crater at roughly the same time. “This could give the Mars 2020 rover a target in the search for Martian life” “This is what we have been waiting for,” says Marco Giuranna at the National Institute for Astrophysics in Italy, who leads the team behind the methane-measurement device on one of the probes – Mars…

3 min.
extreme weather reports

MUCH of Europe is in the grips of an unusually potent heatwave this week, with temperatures in Madrid set to hit 40°C on Friday. Naturally, people will wonder if the heat is due to climate change – and weather forecasters may soon provide the answer. The climate arm of Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation programme, is looking to start a trial service that could lead to weather agencies in 2021 being provided with “timely and reliable information” on extreme weather events and how they are related, or not, to human-made climate change. “Weather forecasters seem to be good at improving public understanding of climate change” While no single heatwave can be said to be caused by global warming, the field of climate change attribution has matured rapidly in recent years. The approach…

2 min.
non-addictive tobacco could help eliminate smoking

A GENE-EDITED tobacco plant created using the CRISPR technique has the lowest ever amount of nicotine. It could boost efforts to reduce nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels, as the US plans to do. Felix Stehle and Julia Schachtsiek at the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany used CRISPR to disable six enzymes involved in the production of nicotine in the tobacco plant. They used a strain that usually contains 16 milligrams of nicotine per gram of dry tobacco, but their gene-edited version has just 0.04 milligrams of nicotine per gram – a reduction of 99.7 per cent – which is almost undetectable, says Stehle (Plant Biotechnology Journal, doi.org/c7mp). Low-nicotine cigarettes are just as dangerous as normal ones because other substances damage the lungs and cause cancer. However, a 2015 report by…