Cuba flies lone flag for sustainability

New Scientist newsletter at
Fri Oct 5 05:32:39 PDT 2007 newsletter, 4 October 2007

Dear Darling, welcome to the New Scientist newsletter, which this week reveals why Cuba is currently the world's only sustainable nation, how 'traitor' immune cells could be reprogrammed to fight cancer, and why a robot's mistakes mean that it is becoming more human...
World Failing On Sustainable Development *
If the world is to start developing in a sustainable way, we are going in the wrong direction. This is the message from the first study to show the ecological impact of our changing lifestyles. The international team looked at 93 nations over the last 30 years and found that just one nation - Cuba - is developing sustainably. Cuba was the only nation found to provide a decent standard of living for their people without consuming more than its fair share of resources...


Reprogrammed immune system fights cancer *
Immune cells called macrophages can be "re-educated" so that instead of helping tumours to grow, they turn against them instead

Robot brain makes the same mistakes as humans *
Recreating cognitive, human flaws in software programs - and one day robots - might prove to be a critical step towards building a true artificial intelligence

Glittering star cluster is galactic heavyweight (Video available)
One of the Milky Way's most massive young star clusters is nestled in a nebula with enough gas and dust to form 400,000 Suns

Smart sheets let gadgets talk through their feet *
Flexible, electronic sheets could be embedded in tables, walls and floors, allowing devices anywhere in the home to communicate

Powerful solar outburst rips off comet's tail (Video available)
A wave of charged particles from the Sun rips off a comet's tail in a dramatic new video from NASA's STEREO spacecraft

World faces polio dilemma *
Virus from live polio vaccine used in developing countries could lead to outbreaks of the disease as vaccination is phased out - but there is a solution

Tea might pose fluoride risk *
Tea can boost fluoride intake, meaning it could pose a danger in areas with high levels of the substance

Tether mishap 'slingshots' satellite into space (Video available)
Despite the accident, the mission still shows that space tethers can provide a cheap, safe way of returning payloads to Earth, say scientists

Chemical 'sponge' could filter CO2 from the air
Sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it underground could provide a last-ditch solution to climate change, says a US scientist

Dawn spacecraft launches to study giant asteroids (Video available)
The mission will use an advanced ion engine to reach two titans of the asteroid belt - Vesta and Ceres

Invention: Brain radiator
This week's patent applications include a radiator to control epileptic seizures, plane parts that signal when they are stressed, and an energy-boosting treatment for cells during a heart-attack

This week's Feedback reveals why you shouldn't talk to your spouse online, a crucial new feature of ice-cube trays, and where to find the secrets of the universe for just $388...



Last Word blog: Breathless beagles
Why don't dogs hyperventilate when they pant in the heat?

Tech blog: Hybrid cars: Too damned quiet?
Virtually silent electric vehicles are a new danger to pedestrians

Space blog: A bridge built by monkeys?
NASA is a bemused participant in the strangest of court cases

Short Sharp Science blog: Fluid motion (Video available)
If you thought liquid only travelled downhill, think again

Environment blog: Solving the oystercatcher migration mystery
Join the scientists investigating where oystercatchers spend winter


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Probing the true nature of black holes *
A host of new techniques means we will soon know whether black holes are what we think they are, says Michael D Lemonick

Secret text reveals Archimedes' true genius *
A new analysis of a hidden text reveals that Archimedes' understanding of mathematics was much more advanced than previously thought

Assisted migration: Helping nature to relocate *
The climate is warming so rapidly that many species will become stranded and face extinction - should we FedEx them to new homes?

The camel factor: Nanobody revolution *
A unique ingredient in the blood of camels and their relatives could help treat everything from dandruff to cancer



Could space colonies be political utopia? *

A third of US kids pop dietary pills

Extent of Windscale contamination was covered up *


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