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Stories From 10 May 2003 Issue

Stories From 10 May 2003 Issue

THE NEXT IVF REVOLUTION? Mammalian eggs have been created outside the body for the first time-using stem cells derived from mouse embryos. Now, Japanese researchers may have created sperm in a similar way. If healthy human eggs and sperm can be produced this way, two men could become biological parents, or a man could even fertilise his own egg. Pages 4-5, and Editorial

THE DOUBLE LIFE OF WOMEN Women are mysterious double creatures, a mixture of two different genetic identities. They cope with having two copies of the X-chromosome by switching off one of them at random. But scientists now believe this dual nature of cells in women can cause identical twins, or even make them attack their own bodies. Pages 42-45

NO ESCAPE FOR ALIEN GENES Poor farmers could soon be growing genetically modified plants from home-grown seeds. The plants have been designed to produce fertile seed carrying desirable new traits, but will be incapable of spreading their alien genes into the environment. This crucial feature could herald a new era in GM crops. Page 14

IF YOU GET LOST IN THE WOODS Wood mice make signposts out of leaves and twigs to help them find their way as they scamper around featureless fields. Page 16

DRUG RECALL SPREADS Shops and pharmacies in many countries may still be selling nutritional supplements, vitamins and a few conventional medicines made by Pan Pharmaceuticals, the Australian company accused of serious flaws in its manufacturing processes. Page 11

TO TRUST IS HUMAN Most of us are generous, trusting people, frequently putting our faith in others. The search is now on to find the biological mechanisms that support such behaviour. And the hormone oxytocin is emerging as a strong candidate for influencing human decisions on trust. Pages 32-37

ROMAN NOSE SNIFFS OUT LUNG CANCER An electronic nose developed at the University of Rome can identify people with lung cancer simply by sniffing their breath. The nose uses an array of sensors which are designed to detect a profile of compounds in breath. In a test sample of patients, the e-nose successfully pinpointed every cancer patient. Page 15

THE END OF FREE WILL: MY BIOLOGY MADE ME DO IT Sex, brains, robots and Buddhism-read what a panel of British speakers have to say about free will. Then, come and discuss the issues with their Australian counterparts at Storey Hall, RMIT University, Melbourne on Friday 16 May at 7 pm. For tickets, phone 1300 308 9999 or book online at Pages 46-49

Also GENDER: ARE WE REALLY VENUS AND MARS? City Recital Hall, Sydney on Thursday 15 May at 7.30pm. For tickets, phone 02 8256 2222 or book online at

ANTIPODES: A DEER PRICE TO PAY Introduced species, like deer, are damaging New Zealand's forests. Yet hunters are deliberately spreading them, says Ian Lowe. Page 55

VIOLENT SONG LYRICS INCREASE AGGRESSION Songs with violent lyrics increase aggressive thoughts and emotions, a study of US college students suggests. See also... Horrific VD hits baboons; The Soyuz software glitch; Reversing mental slowdown. New Scientist's free public website at

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