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 / Science
New Scientist Australian Edition

New Scientist Australian Edition 13-jul-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.

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51 Issues


2 min.
back for good

WHEN the Soviet Union put the first satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit in 1957, Lyndon Johnson, then a US senator, stoked the idea that it was an affront to American prestige. “Control of space means control of the world,” he said. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy agreed with the sentiment and committed to putting a man on the moon that decade. The subsequent success of the Apollo programme was one of the most extraordinary achievements in human history, and our special issue this week explores its legacy (see page 36). But this isn’t just about the past. Fifty years on, we are going back to the moon. The participants in the new race are different, as are the reasons for going, which this time means we are more likely to…

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…

2 min.
earthquakes hit california

IS THE much feared “big one” about to strike? That question is back in the minds of many in California after the strongest quakes for two decades struck the state. But we don’t know if these have made an even bigger earthquake any more or less likely. A magnitude 6.4 tremor struck southern California on 4 July, followed by a magnitude 7.1 quake on 5 July, with hundreds of smaller aftershocks in their wake. It was fortunate that the epicentres were under a sparsely populated region, near the city of Ridgecrest. No one was killed, but the quakes were felt across the state. They left a long crack in the desert and damaged buildings and roads in the area (pictured above). The San Andreas fault runs the length of California and lies near…

1 min.
sheet of glass can recognise numbers

IT IS the smartest piece of glass in the world. A team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has made an artificially intelligent piece of the stuff that can distinguish images of numbers. Bubbles and impurities in the glass bend light waves as they pass through it. Depending on which of the digits 0 to 9 is written on a piece of paper held up to the glass, the light waves are brought to different focal points, allowing the material to identify digits (Photonics Research, doi.org/c73h). The glass AI could eventually be used as a kind of “biometric lock”, say the researchers.…

1 min.
attenborough talks up climate action

THE UK must take radical steps to meet its climate change targets, David Attenborough told a UK parliamentary committee on Tuesday. But he warned ministers must carry the public with them because of the cost of such action. “We cannot be radical enough in dealing with these issues,” he said when asked if the UK should bring forward its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. But he said the real issue was what is politically possible. “The question of how fast we can go is how fast we can carry the electorate with us.”…

4 min.
next crispr babies planned

FIVE Russian couples who are deaf want to try CRISPR gene-editing so they can have a child who can hear, biologist Denis Rebrikov has told New Scientist. He plans to apply to Russian authorities for permission in “a couple of weeks”. The case for using CRISPR for this purpose is stronger than it is for trying to make children HIV-resistant, as attempted previously, but the risks still outweigh the benefits, say other researchers. “Rebrikov is definitely determined to do some germline gene editing, and I think we should take him very seriously,” says Gaetan Burgio at the Australian National University. “But it’s too early, it’s too risky.” Both would-be parents in each couple have a recessive form of deafness, meaning that all their children would normally inherit the same condition. While the vast…