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 / Science
New Scientist Australian Edition

New Scientist Australian Edition 30-nov-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.

New Scientist Ltd
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$240(Incl. tax)
51 Issues


2 min.
a critical balance

HIGH ideals have a way of seeming like high hurdles when time is running out. If someone you love has been told they have just months to live, and there is a drug that might offer them even a few months more, it suddenly matters less that the drug isn’t cost-effective, or that it was approved on the basis of a small trial and its risks and benefits remain unclear. What matters is that it might buy precious time right now. Such dilemmas are why the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and similar agencies around the world aim to strike a balance between efficacy and expediency, speed and safety when it comes to approving new medications. In the 1970s, it took the FDA nearly three years to usher a new…

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, Bethany Stuart, Henry Vowden, (ANZ) Richard Holliman Recruitment advertising Tel +44 (0)20 7611 1204 Email nssales@newscientist.com Nicola Cubeddu, Viren Vadgama, (US) Jeanne Shapiro New Scientist Live Tel +44 (0)20 7611 1245 Email live@newscientist.com Events director Adrian Newton Creative director Valerie Jamieson Event manager Henry Gomm Sales director Jacqui McCarron Exhibition sales manager Rosie Bolam Marketing manager Katie Cappella Events team support manager Rose Garton Marketing executive Jessica Lazenby-Murphy Marketing Head of campaign marketing James Nicholson Poppy Lepora Head of customer experience Emma Robinson 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…

2 min.
un climate warning

THE huge challenge of meeting the world’s climate change targets has been starkly spelled out in a new report from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). In 2018, annual global emissions of greenhouse gases reached 55.3 gigatonnes – a new high. This must fall by 32 gigatonnes by 2030 to avoid warming of more than 1.5°C by the end of the century. That is a 7.6 per cent emissions cut every year, says UNEP. Climate scientists last year outlined the stark impact of overshooting 1.5°C and hitting 2°C, including wiping out the planet’s coral reefs, more droughts and extreme heat days and exposing hundreds of millions of people to climate-related risks. Globally, annual emissions have never fallen, though they plateaued during 2014 and 2016, and have previously plunged dramatically at a country level,…

1 min.
blue whale’s ultra-low heart rate

WHEN blue whales dive for food they can reduce their heart rate to just 2 beats per minute – well below the resting rate of 15 beats researchers predicted the animals would have. The finding is remarkable given the whales use lunge feeding, an energetic method in which they engulf vast volumes of prey-filled water, says Jeremy Goldbogen at Stanford University, California. From a boat in Monterey Bay, California, Goldbogen and his team used a 6-metre pole to attach a heart rate monitor to a single blue whale. The monitor was held in place with a suction cup. The researchers were then able to monitor the whale’s heart rate for almost 9 hours. They detected heart rates of just 2 to 8 beats per minute hundreds of times. The whale’s heart rate was…

4 min.
suspended animation

AT LEAST one patient has been treated using an experimental technique called emergency preservation and resuscitation (EPR), which cools down the body and gives doctors longer to operate, New Scientist exclusively revealed on 20 November. The technique is being trialled for people whose traumatic injuries are so severe that they would otherwise die. It was “a little surreal” when the technique was first used, says Samuel Tisherman at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He told New Scientist that his team of medics had placed at least one patient in suspended animation so far, but wouldn’t reveal how many people had survived as a result. EPR is being carried out on people who arrive at the University of Maryland Medical Centre in Baltimore with an acute trauma – such as a…

3 min.
your questions answered

Isn’t suspended animation a bit like an induced coma? Yes, there are similarities between the two. A medically induced coma uses drugs to slow the metabolism of the brain (so it needs less oxygen) to help reduce swelling and aid its recovery. However, suspended animation goes a lot further by lowering people’s body temperature to almost completely stop metabolism in the body and brain. Haven’t we been cooling the body to lower metabolism for years? Yes, we have. Cardiac surgeons will often lower a patient’s body temperature slightly while performing operations on the heart. But suspended animation lowers body temperature much further – to around 10 to 15°C – at which point most metabolic reactions slow or stop completely. Do people get to choose whether they are put into suspended animation? The technique is only used…