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New Scientist Australian Edition


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


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perfect: the enemy of good

PERFECTIONISM is often admired and celebrated. The drive and athleticism of Serena Williams or Roger Federer on the tennis court; the poise and attention to detail of Judi Dench or Helen Mirren on stage and screen. There’s no harm in celebrating great achievement. But not everyone can always be at the top of their game – and perfectionism as a pathological trait, the demanding of impossible standards from ourselves and others, is on the rise (see page 34). Psychologists point to a swirl of contributing and amplifying factors: the rise of social media and its stylised, cropped versions of other people’s lives, tumultuous job markets, an unpredictable economy, standardised school testing at an early age. Impossible is a key word here. As a society, we are coy about perfectionism, identifying the trait…

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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 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 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…

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ebola treatment hope

A CLINICAL trial in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has found that two drugs appear to be highly effective in treating people with the Ebola virus, prompting scientists to expand their use and stop testing two other medicines. The results come from a test involving almost 700 people in Ebola treatment centres that began last November. It found that, in recently infected people, only 6 per cent of those treated with a drug called REGN-EB3 died. The mortality rate of those given a drug called mAb114 was 11 per cent. Without treatment or vaccination, around two to three out of every four Ebola cases result in death. Both drugs are monoclonal antibodies, a class of immune system drugs that bind to and interfere with viruses and bacteria. The trial was also testing…

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radioactive blast at russian missile site

An explosion at a missile testing range in Russia last week killed five scientists working for the state nuclear energy agency Rosatom. Radiation levels spiked locally, but there is no sign of this in other countries. The scientists were thrown from a sea platform when fuel caught fire at the military facility near Severodvinsk. Rosatom said the work was “related to a radio isotope power source”. Observers have speculated it could have been a nuclear-powered cruise missile that Russian president Vladimir Putin spoke of last year.…

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nhs to establish £250 million ai lab

The National Health Service in England is setting up a lab to build artificial intelligence systems that could help treat conditions including cancer, dementia and heart disease, the Department of Health has announced. The aim is to tackle some of the NHS’s big challenges, such as improving cancer screening. It will receive £250 million for the project. Unveiling the fund, health secretary Matt Hancock spoke of a “health tech revolution”. While medical AIs show promise, few have been through trials to show they improve patient outcomes.…

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alarm over sex selection

THE finding that some chemicals slow down sperm that carry the X chromosome could lead to gels for home use that make a couple less likely to conceive a girl, scientists have warned. “I am concerned about the social impact of this,” says Alireza Fazeli of Tartu University in Estonia. “It’s so simple. You could start to do it in your bedroom. Nobody would be able to stop you from doing it.” It was thought that the sperm of mammals that lead to male and female offspring are identical except for the DNA they carry. But Masayuki Shimada of Hiroshima University in Japan and his colleagues have found that 500 genes are active in sperm that carry the X chromosome, which give rise to female offspring, that aren’t active in sperm that…