Has One Cell Fooled Them All?
Has One Cell Fooled Them All?
HAS ONE CELL FOOLED THEM ALL? According to biotech giant Genzyme, the several key types of adult stem cells are really one and the same. The claim raises the possibility of a non-controversial, highly versatile source of stem cells that can be transplanted into anyone without triggering an immune reaction. But who will own the patent rights? Pages 12-13
ABSENT FATHERS LINKED TO TEENAGE PREGNANCIES Girls who grow up without a father are more likely to get pregnant in their teens. The usual explanation is that fatherless families are under more stress. But according to new research in New Zealand, even if stress is ruled out, an absent father is still associated with early sexual behaviour in girls. Page 13
FANCY A WALK ON THE CEILING? Ever wished you could scuttle up a wall and across the ceiling like a gecko? Engineers in California are working on how to make a material that matches the incredible grip of the hairs on a gecko's feet. They envisage robots walking effortlessly around the outside of a space vehicle to carry out repair work. Page 15
OLD MEN OF THE SEA HAVE ALL BUT GONE The world's fisheries are in a far worse state than anyone thought, according to a new Canadian study. Not only are the great predatory fish scarce, but stocks thought to be flourishing may already have been stripped bare without anyone noticing. Pages 4-5, and Editorial
WARNING AGAINST SOYA FOR INFANTS Britain's Food Standards Agency has raised concerns about the health effects of soya-based infant formula. Although not conclusive, it says, recent studies have strengthened the case for avoiding soya formula. Page 10
HUMAN NATURE SPECIAL Over the next two weeks, New Scientist has invited some great thinkers to take an in-depth look at what it means to be human. Pages 33-47...this week's dose includes: GENES ARE LIBERATING In the "nature versus nurture" debate, no side wins. When it comes to human behaviour, genes and the environment are inextricably intertwined. Pages 38-39...and, WHAT EVERY BABY KNOWS "Babies are like little scientists, continually overthrowing theories that no longer fit the evidence." Pages 42-45
WIRELESS CAMERAS RAISE PRIVACY FEARS Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia now makes a wireless digital camera that can snap a picture when prompted by a text message and send it to a phone or email address. Civil liberties groups are concerned people will be able to use these devices to take intrusive pictures just about anywhere. Page 11
NERVE CELLS MIRROR BRAIN'S LEFT-RIGHT DIVIDE A team of Japanese researchers has just added an intriguing piece to the left brain-right brain puzzle. They have discovered nerve cells are distributed differently on right and left sides of the part of the brain which oversees memories and learning. Page 20
ANTIPODES: SICKENING CHANGES A new report argues that global warming constitutes a significant health risk for Australia and New Zealand, says Ian Lowe. Page 49
ASTEROID RETRIEVER SPACECRAFT BLASTS OFF A Japanese space probe has blasted off on a pioneering mission to bring the first asteroid samples back to Earth. A few precious grams of asteroid material will be sealed into a container and landed by parachute somewhere in southern Australia. See also... Plant sap linked to child cancer; Fuel-cell powers plane; bizarre new jellyfish. New Scientist's free public website at http://www.newscientist.com