Sunday, October 01, 2006

60 Seconds

Internet entrepreneur Daisuke Enomoto, who would have been Japan's first space tourist, has failed his medical. He will not be allowed to fly to the International Space Station in September, the Russian space agency Roskosmos announced on Monday. Enomoto could fly at a later date after "additional measures" are taken.

Noise, noise everywhere
There is no escape from industrial noise pollution — not even underwater. Since the 1960s there has been a tenfold increase in underwater ocean noise off southern California, according to a study published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. The noise is blamed on the increase in global shipping and higher ship speeds. Its effect on wildlife is unknown.

Don't chew on this
Whether it's smoked through a water pipe or rolled up in a dried leaf, tobacco will raise your risk of heart disease, according to a study in The Lancet last week. It looked at over 27,000 people from 52 countries and found that even chewing tobacco — recently touted as a safer alternative to smoking — can double the risk of heart disease.

Biobank gets go-ahead
The UK's huge project to investigate how genes and lifestyle combine to cause common diseases has received the go-ahead to proceed in full. After a successful three-month pilot scheme in Manchester, Biobank's organisers will now begin recruiting half a million citizens aged between 40 and 69 — about 1 per cent of the UK population.

No such thing as a hobbit
More scientists have criticised claims made last year that bones found on the Indonesian island of Flores are those of a new hominin species, dubbed "the hobbit". Flores is too small to have maintained an isolated population for long enough to allow the evolution of a new species, say researchers at Pennsylvania State University.

New Scientist, 8/26/2006


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