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REWRITING LIFE Bacteria engineered to read alien code

WEEKLY October 26 - November 1, 2013

THE END OF ANONYMITY What happens when we can’t hide who we are anymore?

DEPOPULATION BOMB

Science and technology news www.newscientist.com Faculty jobs No2940 US$5.95 CAN$5.95

How falling fertility is changing human evolution COSMIC SHOVE Ghostly field pushed universe into being

CARDIAC ROULETTE One in four of us has a hole in the heart

GAIA: THE VERDICT Just how motherly is the Earth?

 



 




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CONTENTS

Volume 220 No 2940

This issue online newscientist.com/issue/2940

News

News 6

UPFRONT A hitchhiker’s guide to space on Earth. Polio reawakens in Syria. Record fires in Australia 8 THIS WEEK Ghostly field pushed universe into being. American footballers’ brains struggle to keep up. Mars atmosphere turned to stone. India goes to Red Planet. Cure for baldness. Ancient skull may prune our family tree. Breasts age faster than rest of female body 18 IN BRIEF Titan’s meteorites go splash. Universal law of urination. Galloping dung beetles. Protein saboteur protects against HIV

8 Rewriting life

PASIEKA/SPL/GETTY

Bacteria engineered to read alien code

Technology On the cover

34

8 46

The end of anonymity

10

What happens when we can’t hide who we are any more?

42 30

Rewriting life Bacteria read alien code Depopulation bomb Falling fertility is changing human evolution Cosmic shove Ghostly field pushed universe into being Cardiac roulette Our holey hearts Gaia: the verdict How motherly is Earth?

Cover image James Lauritz/Getty

21 Police-worn cameras record every move. Spot the smugglers. Dolphin-inspired radar sees bombs. Home-cooked food away from home

Aperture 26 All aboard the Photo Ark

Opinion 28 Back to school Anyone who asserts that educational attainment is set at birth needs a lesson in science, says Steven Rose 29 One minute with… Craig Venter Time to find life’s basic operating system 30 Gaia: the verdict The theory took us by storm. But is it right, asks Toby Tyrell 32 LETTERS Nobel joy. Money for nothing

Features

Features

46

34 The end of anonymity (see above left) 38 Jet extremes Is climate change messing with the winds that make our weather? 42 Cardiac roulette One in four of us has a hole in the heart 46 Depopulation bomb (see left)

How falling fertility is changing human evolution

BERTRAND MEUNIER/TENDANCE FLOUE

Depopulation bomb

CultureLab 50 What a good child The morality we spot in babies may not be the real deal 51 Life in 2050 Jonathon Porritt imagines the future, and it’s far from doom and gloom

Regulars

Coming next week…

5

Saving time

32 64 65 52

Physics killed it. Do we need it back?

Mirror, mirror on the wall

EDITORIAL Is online anonymity worth defending? ENIGMA FEEDBACK Eco-friendly superyachts THE LAST WORD Stick in the mud JOBS & CAREERS

The ghostly illusion that looks deep into you

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 3


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Tfiitbpbb^obmb^qlcqebpm^`b o^`b)qefpqfjb^fjfkdcloJ^op< @ljmbqfqflkaofsbpfkkls^qflk)ql _bprob+?rqqebbkdfkbbofkd^ka cfk^k`f^i`e^iibkdbpfkslisbafk mrqqfkderj^kplkJ^opj^v_b plerdb^pqla^rkqbsbkqebqtl >pf^kprmbomltbop+Mboe^mpqefp qfjb)`lii^_lo^qflktfiimolsbql _bqebtfkkfkdpqo^qbdv+N 26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 5


UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1628/BASSEL HALABI

UPFRONT

Polio reawakens in Syria IT IS the news disease-watchers feared: 22 suspected cases of polio have been reported in north-east Syria and many more people may be infected. Polio is on the brink of global eradication, but if the war in Syria hampers efforts to smother this outbreak, the disease could make a wider comeback. A massive vaccination drive should be under way within weeks, says the World Health Organization. However, the real problem is north-west Pakistan, where local leaders have banned polio vaccination. Polio is a virus spread mainly in sewage and can cause paralysis. More than 6 million Syrians are now refugees, and half are children who may not have been vaccinated.

In August, the WHO started seeing paralysed children in Deir al-Zour, a region of fierce fighting. On 17 October, tests showed the cause was probably polio. Genetic sequencing will show whether the outbreak is a live vaccine virus that has regained its virulence, or a wild virus – the more likely option. Syria eliminated polio in the 1990s. This reintroduced virus can be contained by vaccinating children, but conflict could make this difficult. Once sequenced, it may also be possible to trace the virus’s route into Syria and to identify other areas at risk. “The Syrian outbreak shows why eradication is the solution for this virus,” says Bruce Aylward of the WHO. “As long as it persists, if children are non-immunised, it will find them.”

–Take that, polio–

Extreme roving

TIM IRELAND/PRESS ASSOCIATION

Qebpb^obqebploqplcpfqbp ^pqol_flildfpqpj^vt^kqqlpqrav KBBAqlcfkaqebkb^obpqmbqoli qlcfkalrqtebobe^oavifcbjfdeq pq^qflkqlvlroÎJ^oqf^kÏi^s^ bufpqlklqebotloiap+ cfbia<Illhklcroqeboqe^kqefp Qebdrfab^iplmolsfabpIlkbiv qo^sbidrfabqlqebjlpqbuqobjb Mi^kbq*ifhbabq^fip)fk`irafkdelt mi^`bplkB^oqe)tebobqb^jp`^k jr`efqtfii`lpq)tebkqldl^ka cfbia*qbpqqllip^kaqb`ekfnrbpclo fcqebobfp^kva^kdbolrptfiaifcb+ ÎQefpillhpifhbfq`lria_bsbov “If you want to study lava rpbcri)Ïp^vpOl``lJ^k`fkbiif^q tubes on Mars, what is a qebPBQFFkpqfqrqbfkJlrkq^fk near equivalent on Earth – Sfbt)@^ifclokf^+ÎFcFtbob Iceland, Hawaii, Tenerife?” fkqbobpqbafk`lkar`qfkdobpb^o`e fkqebcfbialkJ^oplo^kvlqebo jfppflkpqllqebomi^kbqp+ ^k^ildrbbksfolkjbkq)qefp Molar`ba_vqebBrolmb^k `^q^ildrbtlria_b^dllami^`b Pm^`b>dbk`v%BP>&)Qeb@^q^ildrb qlpq^oq+Ï lcMi^kbq^ov>k^ildrbpfabkqfcfbp `elf`bpfqbpclopr`ebumbofjbkqp+ ÎFcvlrt^kqqlpqravi^s^qr_bp lkJ^op)te^qfpqebkb^obpq bnrfs^ibkqlkB^oqe<Abmbkafkd lkvlrojfppflk)vlr`lria `lkpfaborpfkdF`bi^ka)E^t^fflo Qbkbofcb)Ïp^faLifsbo>kdbobo) BP>Ñperj^kbumilo^qflkp`fbk`b `lloafk^qlo)fkqeb ^kklrk`bjbkq+ >ptbii^plqebotloiaivqboo^fk clool^a*qbpqfkdolsbop)pr`e^p fjm^`q`o^qbop)i^s^ciltp^ka qrkao^)B^oqe^iple^pbuqobjbiv elq)`lia)^`faf`^kap^iqvmi^`bp+ 6 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

Quantum Minecraft

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The price of power >AB>Ie^p_bbkpqor`hÌ_rqfpfq ^dllalkb<QebRHtfiie^sbfqp cfopqkbtkr`ib^oob^`qlopclo /2vb^op^cqboqebdlsbokjbkq ^dobba^dr^o^kqbbamof`bcloqeb bib`qof`fqvqebvtfiidbkbo^qb+Qeb qtlob^`qloptfii_b_rfiq_vBAC Bkbodv^kafqpm^oqkbop)tef`e fk`irabqtl@efkbpb`ljm^kfbp) ^qEfkhibvMlfkqlkqebPljbopbq `l^pq+Qebvtfiiprmmiv^_lrq 4mbo`bkqlcqebRHÑpbib`qof`fqv –Nuclear announcement– tebkqebv`ljblkifkbfk/-/0+


For daily news stories, visit newscientist.com/news

60 SECONDS

Dwindling moose

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Record heat behind bush fires

Hawaii’s GM ruling

BRAD HUNTER/NEWSPIX/REX FEATURES

IFCBfkm^o^afpbgrpqdlq^_fq “WE ARE paying the price with wildfires.” So said UN climate chief qlrdeboÌclo_flqb`e`ljm^kfbp+ Christiana Figueres as Australia’s Cfojpe^sbilkdrpbaqeb most populous state struggled with E^t^ff^kfpi^kalcH^r^f^p^ its worst fires for 45 years. qbpqfkddolrkaclodbkbqf`^iiv As New Scientist went to press, jlafcfba`olmp^kambpqf`fabp+ temperatures were expected to hit Fqpbnr^qlof^i`ifj^qbbccb`qfsbiv 35 °C in Sydney on Wednesday, and dfsbpfqqeobbdoltfkdpb^plkp the fire danger warning had been bsbovvb^o+?rqkltqebfpi^kaÑp raised to “extreme” for the Greater @lrkqv@lrk`fie^pm^ppba^i^t Sydney region. So far, more than `i^jmfkdaltklkqebqbpqp+ 200 houses have been destroyed I^pqtbbh)?fii/16.t^pm^ppba) and at least one person has died. fkqolar`fkdpqof`qobdri^qflkp+ In an attempt to control the blaze, Fqpbqprm^pqravlcqebeb^iqe on Tuesday firefighters intentionally bccb`qplcqebmbpqf`fabp)^ka joined two fires in the Blue bpq^_ifpebp_rccbowlkbp^olrka Mountains west of Sydney. The move p`ellip)m^ohp^kaeljbptebob created a fire front 1500 kilometres `olmp`^kÑq_bqbpqba+Jlob long. The largest firefighting force `lkqolsbopf^iiv)qeb_fii^iplp^vp ever seen in New South Wales – some ^dof`riqro^i`ljm^kfbpjrpq afp`ilpbtef`embpqf`fabp^ka dbkbqf`^iivjlafcfba`olmpqebv ^obqbpqfkdÌfkcloj^qflkqe^q fprpr^iivhbmqpb`obqclo molmofbq^ovob^plkp+ Fqfpqebi^qbpqjlsbqlobdri^qb qebrpblcdbkbqf`^iivjlafcfba `olmpfkqebRP)tebobqeb`olmp ^obdoltk^kab^qbktfabiv+ ?v`lkqo^pq)Brolmbe^oaivdoltp ^kv)_b`^rpblccfbo`bmr_if` lmmlpfqflk+Mr_if`^qqfqrabpfk qebRP^objr`eibppe^oabkba) ^ka`^jm^fdkbopcl`rpj^fkiv lkbkprofkdqe^q^kvclla `lkq^fkfkdDJmolar`qpfp –More to come?– `ib^oivi^_biiba^ppr`e+

2500 people – has been assembled to tackle the inferno. Climate models predict that fire-friendly weather conditions will become more common in the state, but that isn’t why the current fires are so ferocious, says Andy Pitman at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Instead, he says it was the result of a very warm winter – part of Australia’s warmest 12 months on record – which was probably caused by climate change. “Vegetation that would commonly basically shut down in winter continued to transpire,” says Pitman. By continuing to give off water, the vegetation dried out the soil so the plants also became dry. That primed the landscape for fire.

Space balloon rides It is the budget airline of space travel – cheaper, but it leaves you a long way from your true destination. Paragon Space Development, a firm based in Arizona, has said it will sell balloon rides to an altitude of 30 kilometres for $75,000 a pop. That’s 9 km short of Felix Baumgartner’s space jump, and far off the 100 km line that marks the edge of space.

Cygnus’s trashy success Orbital Sciences’s Cygnus spacecraft has left the International Space Station, completing its first mission and showing that the firm is ready to take on cargo delivery for NASA. As New Scientist went to press, the capsule was drifting down to Earth with 1.3 tonnes of trash and will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

Cod wars in the Arctic War is brewing in the Arctic Ocean. Driven north by warming oceans, Atlantic cod have been spotted off the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, say biologists from the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany. The interlopers may compete with the native Polar cod, which are at a disadvantage because they have a less varied diet.

Medical say so The portrayal of homosexuality as a disease and attempts to treat it have been condemned by the World Medical Association. At its annual assembly in Fortaleza, Brazil, the WMA also called for a moratorium on the death penalty, stating that it is unethical for physicians to take part in capital punishment.

US emissions fall Greenhouse gas emissions in the US have reached their lowest level since 1994, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Carbon dioxide emissions fell 3.8 per cent last year, continuing their downward trend. A mild winter helped, as did the ongoing replacement of coal with cleaner natural gas from fracking.

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 7


Life rewritten to read alien code

PASIEKA/SPL/GETTY

THIS WEEK

Altering the meaning of ‘words’ in the genetic code allows us to customise materials – and life Linda Geddes

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QEBi^kdr^dblcifcbe^p_bbk obtofqqbk+>_^`qbofrje^pe^afqp dbkljbob`labaplqe^qlkblc fqpdbkbqf`tloape^p_bbkcobba rmqlfjm^oq^afccbobkqjb^kfkd) ^iiltfkdqeb`ob^qflklcmolqbfkp qe^qalkÑqbufpqfkk^qrob+ Qebtlohe^p_bbkabp`of_ba ^pqebcfopqpqbmqlt^oap^kbt _flildv_b`^rpbqebqb`ekfnrbp rpbapelrialmbkqeballoql obfksbkqfkdqebjb^kfkdlc pbsbo^itloappfjriq^kblrpiv+ “Recoding a whole genome Qefp`lriaib^aqlklsbiqvmbp is an amazing achievement lc_flj^qbof^ip^kaaordptfqe and allows us to think on a bulqf`molmboqfbp+Fq^iplo^fpbp much grander scale” qebq^kq^ifpfkdmlppf_fifqvlc fkqbdo^qfkdqebpbdbkbqf`^iiv dolrmplcqeobb)^ka3.lcqebpb ob`labalod^kfpjp%DOLp&fkql `lalkp^obrpbaqlbk`labqeb ifsfkdlod^kfpjpÌql`ob^qb sforp*obpfpq^kqmi^kqplo^kfj^ip) /-^jfkl^`fapclrkafkk^qrob+ Plpljblcqeb`lalkpbk`labqeb clobu^jmib+ p^jb^jfkl^`faÌ^mebkljbklk Qlrkabopq^kaeltqeb `^iibaobarka^k`v+Qebqeobb ob`lafkdt^p^`efbsba)tbkbba `lj_fk^qflkpibcqlsbo)R>D)R>> qlwlljaltkqlte^qe^mmbkp ^kaRD>)^`qifhb^criipqlmlo fkpfab`biiptebkmolqbfkp^ob

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UNNATURAL ANIMALS Amino acids that don’t usually exist in nature have been integrated into the proteins of bacteria (see main story) and fruit flies, but mammals had proved more challenging because they are larger and more complex. Now it has been done in the neurons of mice. Lei Wang at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, and his colleagues wanted to modify a protein channel that controls the flow of potassium ions into neurons. If the channel contained an amino

8 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

acid that changes shape in response to light, the channel could be opened or closed at the flick of a light switch. To modify neurons within living mice, the team injected DNA coding instructions for molecules called transfer RNAs and enzymes into the brains of mouse embryos while they were still in the uterus. The tRNAS and enzymes were designed to attach to an unnatural amino acid that was also injected into the brain. The embryos were then zapped with electricity, temporarily rendering

the cell membranes of the neurons permeable so they could take up the new material. When the pups were born, some of their neurons contained the modified proteins (Neuron, doi.org/pcr). The hope is the technique could be used to unpick the role of proteins in many complex processes, such as the consolidation of memories, or be used to block the interactions between proteins within cells to help illuminate the processes that underpin disease.

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In this section NMars atmosphere turned to stone, page 12 NCure for baldness, page 14 NPolice-worn cameras monitor every move, page 21

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THIS WEEK

Bouncing baby cosmos gets a push Lisa Grossman

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10 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

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For daily news stories, visit newscientist.com/news

American football makes brains struggle to keep up THE brains of former American football players work harder than those of non-players to perform the same tasks. The result is the first evidence of abnormalities in the way living brains work due to the sport – and comes amid revelations that the dangers of repeated head impacts have been known to the US’s National Football League (NFL) for some time. Autopsies of former NFL players had previously revealed higher levels of brain damage than in the general population, but little was known about how that affects living players. So Adam Hampshire of Imperial College London and his team used an fMRI machine to scan the brains of 13 retired professional American football players and 60 people who had never played, while they

performed a series of cognitive tests. The ex-players only showed modest deficits on the cognitive tasks, which included tests of planning, spatial awareness, memory and counting. However, their brains had to work much harder to achieve the same results. Regions of the frontal cortices that normally communicate with each other to handle reasoning and planning were particularly inefficient compared with the non-players (Scientific Reports, doi.org/pc3). “It’s almost as if there’s a loss of connectivity, like having to shout in a loud room,” says Hampshire. The abnormal activity was more pronounced in ex-players who reported more instances of being taken out of the game after a head injury and those who had played more

–And the hits keep coming– NFL seasons. Though the differences in actual performance on the cognitive tasks were small, team member David Hubbard says that all of the ex-players he scanned, who wish to remain anonymous, report problems with memory and attention. Neurologist Ann McKee at Boston University, who featured in a recent documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, says that abnormal activity in the recent brain

scans is in the same places as damage she has found in autopsied brains. Former player Isaiah Kacyvenski – now of Boston start-up MC10, which makes an electronic skullcap that logs hits to the head – recalls a stark contrast before and after his eight years in the NFL. “There were definitely differences cognitively and emotionally,” he says. “I had to readjust the way I did things – and I’m still adjusting.” Hal Hodson N

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Doing Well by Doing Good® 26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 11


USGS/SPL

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India ready for first attempt on the Red Planet IT’S the Mount Everest of the solar system, conquered only by an elite group. Now India is set to join the US, Russia and Europe in the exclusive club by sending a probe to Mars. The launch is expected early next month. Established in the 1960s, India’s space programme has focused on aiding the country’s development, building satellites to spot potential 12 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

sources of groundwater and monitor deforestation. Then, in 2008 it launched Chandrayaan-1, a lunar orbiter, and now has plans for further lunar probes and space weather satellites. These projects may seem divorced from India’s development goals, but could lead to spin-off applications in areas like remote sensing and shape the next generation of scientists and engineers, says K. R. Sridhara Murthi, who worked at the Indian Space Research Organisation for nearly 40 years. The main goal of the $73 million

–Red Planet’s carbon is rock hard–

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Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is to prove that India can put a working probe into Mars orbit – more than half of all Mars missions so far have failed. But it should also help to unravel some of the planet’s mysteries. On Earth, methane is mainly produced by life, so there was a stir when Earthbased instruments and a European probe detected traces of it in Mars’s atmosphere a decade ago. Some are

sceptical of those results. “I’d say the data are equivocal at the moment,” says John Mustard of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. MOM will seek out methane sources and may also help reveal how Mars became a cold, dry planet, with an atmosphere too thin to support liquid water for long periods. NASA’s MAVEN mission, also due to launch next month, will tackle that same puzzle, but with a larger suite of instruments. “Still, [MOM] could scoop MAVEN,” says Mark Bullock of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Maggie McKee N

“The goal is to prove that India can put a working probe into Mars orbit, but it could also reveal methane”


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Cure for baldness finally cuts it

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THIS WEEK

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14 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

–Hair today, gone tomorrow–

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Female breasts are ‘older’ than their owners BREAST tissue ages more quickly than the rest of the female body. So suggests the most accurate way yet of identifying a person’s age from a blood or tissue sample. As we age, our genes become more or less methylated; that is, they have methyl chemical groups added or removed. Steve Horvath at the University of California, Los Angeles, 16 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

GURAM BUMBIASHVILI, GEORGIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM

Michael Marshall

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“The 1.8-million-year-old skull is a fantastic specimen, unprecedented in its preservation” Lqebo^kqeolmlildfpqp^ob rk`lksfk`ba+Pmllo^dobbpqe^q qebAj^kfpfpmb`fjbkp^ob^ii E+bob`qrp^kaqe^qqebpmb`fbpt^p s^of^_ib)_rqebalbpklq_bifbsb qe^q^iiqeb>cof`^kclppfip_bilkd qlE+bob`qrp+Ebmlfkqplrqqe^q qebqb^jÑp^k^ivpfpprddbpqpqe^q bsbkqebjr`ejlob^mbifhb >rpqo^ilmfqeb`rpfpm^oqlcqebE+ bob`qrpdolrm+Fqfpklqpromofpfkd) qebk)qe^qqebfo^k^ivpfpjfppbp qebjlobpr_qibpe^mbafccbobk`bp –It’s a hominin face-off– tfqefkqebEljldbkrp)ebp^vp+N

performed an analysis of methylation in 7844 samples from 51 different types of tissue. Tissues came from people ranging in age from a fetus to 101 years old. This allowed the team to weed out methylation patterns that varied between tissues, leaving just those that are common to almost all tissues as they age. They used this subset to create an algorithm that could identify the age of a tissue sample. The team validated the algorithm against thousands more samples of known age. Horvath says the method is twice as accurate as the next best

method of determining tissue age, which is based on the length of telomeres – the caps of chromosomes, which “burn down” with age like candle wicks. He says his method has a 96 per cent chance of identifying someone’s age to within 3.6 years. Horvath says that, remarkably, some parts of the body age at different rates. When the team used its algorithm on heart tissue from two groups of average age 55 and 60, for example, it churned out a result that was nine years younger than actual age. And in a group of women with an average age of 46, breast tissue

seemed three years older than real age (Genome Biology, doi.org/pcx). Horvath thinks that breast tissue ages more quickly because of its constant exposure to hormones. Heart tissue may remain younger, by contrast, because it is constantly regenerated by stem cells. Cancerous tissue also seemed to age prematurely, appearing 36 years older than a person’s actual age. Horvath says the algorithm could be used in cancer diagnosis to reveal accelerated ageing in tissues, or in forensics to establish a suspect’s age from a blood sample. Andy Coghlan N


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IN BRIEF The beetles that gallop across Africa

Just minding my business, obeying the law of urination IN A race to empty their bladders, which of these wins – cows, elephants or dogs? Answer: none of them. They all do it in roughly 21 seconds. This weird fact is explained by a new “law of urination”, which looks at the physics behind what happens when you just gotta go. Patricia Yang and colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta filmed rats, dogs, goats, cows and elephants urinating and gathered footage from YouTube of other species relieving themselves. Combining this with data on mass, bladder pressure and urethra size, they created a mathematical model of urinary systems

to show why mammals take the same time to empty their bladder, despite differences in bladder size. Previous research focused on humans and other animals where the effect of gravity can be ignored. That’s not true of elephants, whose urethras are about 1 metre long and 10 centimetres wide, allowing the urine to reach higher speeds. Dogs and goats have shorter urethras, so get less of a gravitational boost, and have smaller bladders. The result is that they all empty their bladders in roughly the same time (arxiv.org/abs/1310.3737). There are limits to the law. Gravity only plays a small role in small mammals like rats and bats. Rather, viscosity and surface tension dominate, which explains why their urine is released as a stream of drops instead of the jet seen in larger mammals. They urinate in under a second.

Making a song and dance of language ELT`efjmpob^`qql^pqrccba pk^hbprddbpqpqebbslirqflklc pmbb`ejfdeqe^sb_bbk^pq^db pelt)tfqe_lqe`ofbp^kadbpqrobp clojfkdcrka^jbkq^i_rfiafkd _il`hpcloi^kdr^db+ A^otfkqelrdeqtbp^kdlro t^vqli^kdr^db)_rqob`bkq bsfabk`bprddbpqbadob^q^mbpÌ ^kamboe^mplro^k`bpqlopÌ lkivrpbasl`^i`ofbpqlbumobpp bjlqflkfk^kfkslirkq^ovt^v) 18 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

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MEL LINTERN

IT’S not exactly 24-carat, but you could say some Australian eucalyptus trees are decorated with gold leaf. Trees growing above gold deposits 40 metres under ground incorporate the precious metal into their leaves. Studying the leaves could point the way to gold deposits in remote areas difficult to assess using conventional tools. “The fact that these trees were able to take up gold from such depths was a big surprise for us,” says Mel Lintern of Australian science agency, the CSIRO. In two locations in Western Australia, Lintern and his colleagues demonstrated that gold was absorbed through the plant’s vasculature, and stored in the leaves and bark in concentrations as high as 100 parts per billion. Lab experiments showed how: some of the gold dissolves as ions in water, which is sucked up by the roots. Gold is toxic to plants, so they trap it in calcium oxalate crystals that cannot affect cell function, Lintern says (Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3614). The results show that trees can be used to find gold deposits in rugged terrain, where exploratory drilling can be difficult. Lintern says the method is so effective that some companies may already be aware of it, but have kept it quiet.

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Find gold leaves, hit a mother lode

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Brain is swept during slumber A GOOD night’s sleep may literally clear the mind. The brain’s molecular waste-disposal system is most active when we are slumbering. The find could inspire treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Most of the body’s waste disposal is done by the lymphatic system, which clears damaged molecules and pathogens from tissue. But this system does not reach into the brain. Last year, Jeffrey Iliff at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and his colleagues discovered that the brain flushes out its waste via a unique system, which

they dubbed the glymphatic system. Now the team has discovered that this system is most active in mice when they are either sleeping or anaesthetised. It is also twice as effective at clearing the mouse brain of beta amyloid protein – which is linked with Alzheimer’s when it forms clumps in the brain – if the mice are asleep rather than awake (Science, doi.org/pb7). It shows how even normal habits like sleep impact health later in life, says David Holtzman at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, who was not involved in the study.

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 19


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Police, camera, action

Chase them down with Google Glass

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 21


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TECHNOLOGY

–What’s on board?–

How to spot a smuggler Data-mining software can comb through shipping documents to find suspicious-looking cargo Plebe^p`ob^qba^a^q^*jfkfkd pvpqbjqe^q`^kp`^kjfiiflkplc FPQE>Q_l^qil^alcqlvpte^qfq pefmj^kfcbpqpqlcfka`^odlbp p^vpfqfp<Pmlqqfkdfiif`fq`^odl qe^qalkÑqpbbjnrfqbofdeq+ ^jlkdqeb_fiiflkplcqlkkbplc Qlalqefp)efpqb^j`ob^qba^k dllapqe^qjlsbqeolrdeqeb ^idlofqejql^k^ivpb/+1jfiiflk tloiaÑpmloqpb^`evb^ofp^_lrq pefmmfkdob`loapcoljfkarpqof^i qldbqb^pfbo)qe^khpqlj^`efkb a^q^_olhboMFBOP+B^`ej^kfcbpq fkqbiifdbk`b+ fk`irabp.6cfbiap)pr`e^pqeb PjrddifkdefqqebkbtpfkGriv) pefmÑpk^jb)`^odlabp`ofmqflk tebk^KloqeHlob^kpefm)qeb ^kamloqlclofdfk+Qeb^idlofqej @elkd@elkD^kd)t^ppqlmmba rpbpqefpfkcloj^qflkql^ppfdk fkM^k^j^^pfqqo^kpmloqba^ojp qebob`loaqllkblc/2`irpqbop+Fq colj@r_^+Qebtb^mlkptbob qebkcfkapqeblrqivfkdob`loapfk efaabkrkabokb^qe/--)---_^dp b^`e`irpqboÌqelpbqe^qalkÑqcfq lcprd^o+Qebprd^o^kaÎ/--- fktfqeqebbufpqfkdm^qqbokpclo bjmqvmlivbqevibkb_^dpÏtbob qelpbolrqbp)p^v)lo^ob`^oovfkd qeblkivfqbjpifpqbafkqeb`^odl ^krkrpr^i`^odlcloqe^qpefm+ j^kfcbpq)tef`epelriae^sb Qebob`lria_bmboe^mp.2 ^olrpbaprpmf`flk+ prpmf`flrpob`loaplrqlcqbkplc ?rqbufpqfkdqllipclocfkafkd qelrp^kap)tef`etlriaqebk_b ^klj^ilrpob`loap^obmofjfqfsb fksbpqfd^qba+ ^kafkslisblkivsbov_^pf` Pmlqqfkdaladv`^odl^pfq `eb`hp)p^vp>kqlkflP^kcfifmml `ljbpqeolrde`rpqljpfp ^qM^`fcf`KloqetbpqK^qflk^i _b`ljfkde^oaboqe^kbsbo)p^vp I^_lo^qlovfkT^pefkdqlkpq^qb+ ErdeDofccfqep)teltlohplk Hal Hodson

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ONE PER CENT

FLIPPER would be impressed. Dolphin clicks have inspired the development of a cheap, coin-sized radar gadget that can sense hidden electronics. The device could be used to find covert surveillance bugs, bomb triggers or timers – even if they are hidden in large piles of clutter or garbage. While watching a nature show, acoustics engineer Timothy Leighton of the University of Southampton, UK, wondered why dolphins blow clouds of bubbles from their blowholes to corral fish. Surely, he thought, these “bubble nets” must reflect sonar clicks and wreck the dolphin’s ability to locate their prey? “Even the best man-made sonar couldn’t distinguish between the fish and bubbles,” he says. “There had to be something else going on.” By experimenting with different forms of acoustic signals, he found that a large pulse followed by a small one could reflect sound waves in such a way as to allow fish and bubbles to be easily distinguished. “We built a sonar that did this and took it out to sea and it worked beautifully,” Leighton says, though he adds that he isn’t sure this is how dolphins detect their prey. The same technique should also work with radio waves, so Leighton built a prototype radar and tested it.

He found it could tell the difference between a wide range of materials (Proceedings of the Royal Society A, DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2013.0512). The radar is small – about 2 centimetres across – and Leighton says it can be built for just €2. “If you have bombs hidden in roadside rubbish like plastic bags, wood scrap, bike wheels and drinks cans it distinguishes the interesting devices – those containing metal

“If you have bombs hidden in roadside rubbish, this radar can detect metal wires to pinpoint them” wires and semiconductors – so you might pinpoint a bomb circuit for instance,” he says. It could also be used after an earthquake to locate people buried in rubble by seeking their iPods or phones. “This advanced radar shows promise,” says Gary Kemp, programme director at Cambridge Consultants in the UK. Any technology that increases the probability of detecting improvised explosive devices or buried casualties will undoubtedly save lives, he says. “Evolution has once again sparked ideas for remarkable innovation.” Paul Marks N

SENSEFLY

Dolphin sonar inspires coin-sized bomb detector

Mapping the Matterhorn For human climbers the Matterhorn is one of the most challenging Alpine mountains. But a fleet of autonomous, fixed-wing drones took just 6 hours to map the entire peak. Drone-makers SenseFly and photography company Pix4D launched three eBee drones from the top of the mountain. They skimmed their way down, 100 metres from the face, capturing data points just 20 centimetres apart. A second team intercepted the drones at the bottom and relaunched them. Watch them in action at bit.ly/matterhorndrone.

70 million The number of French phone records accessed by the National Security Agency in just 30 days, according to newspaper Le Monde, based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden

Cyborg gel to help treat diabetes Light can be used to control diabetes. Myunghwan Choi of Harvard Medical School implanted a transparent gel containing genetically modified light-sensitive cells under a mouse’s skin. Shining a light at the gel triggered it to produce a compound that stimulated the secretion of insulin and stabilised blood glucose levels (Nature Photonics, doi.org/ pcq).The device should reduce the need for insulin injections.

BARRY BLAND/NATUREPL.COM

Get crowdfunding and make it quick Many tech start-ups pin their hopes on raising money on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but they have a smaller window than it seems in which to make their case. Vincent Etter‘s team at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, analysed the rate at which cash was pledged and the Twitter response in 16,000 Kickstarter campaigns. They found that, within its first 4 hours online, it is possible to tell whether a project will reach its target with 85 per cent certainty. Around half of the campaigns analysed failed to meet their target.

–Time for some bubbles?– 26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 23


TECHNOLOGY INSIGHT The sharing economy

On vacation? Dine in No matter where you are, it’s easy to find a home-cooked meal online TO REALLY experience a place, you’ve got to eat like a local. Review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor help out-of-towners dodge overpriced tourist traps, but what about travellers seeking a unique, home-cooked meal in a foreign land? The rise of the sharing economy has already transformed finding somewhere to stay while on holiday, through sites like Couchsurfing and Airbnb. Now several start-up companies aim to connect tourists with amateur cooks who open their homes to provide an authentic meal outside of the restaurant setting. “We’re encouraging people to

discover new cultures and break down for a new culinary experience in their stereotypes,” says Audra Pakalnyte, town have also sprung up. HomeDine, co-founder of PlateCulture, a food based in San Francisco, allows people sharing start-up based in Kuala Lumpur to sign up for dinner alerts in their area that launched in June. “The ultimate or follow the home-chefs they like. goal is to make the world smaller.” Food is only part of the equation, To participate in a shared meal, “Instead of choosing people can search through events between restaurants, you posted by hosts. Cooks can specify will just choose the person the menu they plan to create, or give you want to meet today” an approximate idea, such as “organic vegan”, along with the price. The sites rely upon both diner reviews though, says Cédric Giorgi, co-founder and in-person visits from appointed of Cookening, based in Paris, France. representatives who verify chefs’ His site, launched in May, has identities and kitchen standards. 4000 members in 12 countries, Sites geared towards locals looking and he counts people’s interest in socialising as the reason for its growth. “People sign up because they want to have a very nice meal, but they leave with new connections,” he says. Similarly, several diners have told HomeDine founder Sagiv Ofek they found romance over dinner, and one landed a job with his culinary host. That helps explain the broader rise of the sharing economy on the internet, though it hasn’t been without growing pains. Earlier this month, the New York state attorney general subpoenaed Airbnb to hand over

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customer data as part of an investigation into whether or not some of them are violating state rental laws. Legal issues were on Pakalnyte’s mind when she created PlateCulture. For example, home gatherings of fewer than 25 people are not regulated in Singapore and Malaysia, but each country has its own regulations. “At the moment we’re operating in quite a grey area,” she admits. Rather than force firms into old legal frameworks, Arun Sundararajan at New York University’s Stern School of Business argues that laws should be tweaked to accommodate them. “Restaurants, hotels and yellow cabs are the old analogue to the sharing economy, and regulations were needed to keep them running,” he says. “In this new digital marketplace some regulations don’t fit.” As the concept takes off, Ofek imagines a future in which people will be able to open a mobile app and choose from dozens of homecooked meals nearby. Instead of deciding between restaurants, he says, “you’ll just choose who the person is that you want to meet today”. Rachel Nuwer N

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–Eating like a local, anywhere– 24 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013


   

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APERTURE

26 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013


All aboard the Photo Ark JOEL SARTORE travels the world photographing endangered animals from zoos and rescue centres for his Photo Ark project. He has photographed more than 2600 species so far. “The goal of all this is to simply get the public to finally wake up and pay attention,” says Sartore. “Half of all species could become extinct by the turn of the next century if we don’t stop tearing up the planet. This will be a lose-lose situation for all of us.” Although the set-up for Sartore’s photos is always the same – using white rolls of paper or black rolls of velvet for the backdrop – the outcome is always different. Sartore wants to publicise the plight of these species, some of which are no longer easily photographed in the wild, and some of which receive less publicity than their more charismatic relatives. The Damaraland mole rats (Cryptomys damarensis) in the top photo are from the Houston Zoo in Texas. These toothy beauties are less well-known than their fur-free cousins, the naked mole rats, but don’t deserve to be. Both species are burrowing rodents from sub-Saharan Africa and, on top of their odd looks, they share an unusual living arrangement. They are the only two mammals known to be eusocial, meaning that, like ants and bees, they live in colonies where only one individual – the queen – reproduces. On the bottom right is a royal antelope (Neotragus pygmaeus), native to west Africa, but this one is from the Los Angeles Zoo. The smallest of the antelopes, they stand 25 to 30 centimetres high at the shoulder and only weigh about 3 kilograms. The mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx), bottom centre, from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, looks like it has just belched. The striking scarlet ibises (Eudocimus ruber), far left, are from the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler, Texas, and get their colour from the crustaceans they eat. “We won’t care, and certainly won’t be moved to save anything, if we don’t know these species exist, and that many are in trouble. That’s where these photos come in,” says Sartore.

Rowan Hooper

Photographer Joel Sartore www.joelsartore.com/galleries

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 27


OPINION

Back to the classroom Anyone who asserts that educational attainment is in large part set at birth needs a lesson in science, says biologist Steven Rose FPFKQBIIFDBK@Bdbkbqf`^iiv abqbojfkba<Vlrjfdeqqefkhpl) fcvlrp^tqebeb^aifkb*do^__fkd obmloqcoljRHbar`^qflk^asfplo Aljfkf`@rjjfkdp+Qeb/1-* m^dbbpp^vt^p^m^oqfkddfcqqlefp _lpp)bar`^qflkjfkfpqboJf`e^bi Dlsb+Fk`i^fjfkdqe^qbar`^qflk^i ^_fifqvfpi^odbivfkebofqba)eb obfdkfqba^klia`lkqolsbopvqe^q j^kvqelrdeqe^a_bbkmrqqlobpq+ Qebebofq^_fifqv`i^fjabmbkap lkqtl^pprjmqflkp7qe^qtb`^k abcfkb^kajb^probfkqbiifdbk`b8 ^kaqe^qtb`^krkmf`hfqpdbkbqf` ^kabksfolkjbkq^i`lkqof_rqflkp+ >qqbjmqpqljb^prob fkqbiifdbk`bpqobq`e_^`hqlb^oiv i^pq`bkqrov)tebkqebCobk`e mpv`elildfpq>icoba?fkbqabsfpba ^pbofbplcqbpqpclop`elli`efiaobk lcafccbobkq^dbp)qlebimqb^`ebop fabkqfcvqelpbtel`lria_bkbcfq coljbuqo^ebim+Abcfkfkdqeb ^sbo^dbp`lobclob^`e^db ^p.--)ebqebk`ljm^obaqeb mbocloj^k`blcb^`e`efiatfqe qeb^sbo^dbcloqebfo^dbdolrmql `^i`ri^qbqeb`efia$pFkqbiifdbk`b Nrlqfbkq)loFN+ ?vqeb.6/-p)eltbsbo)qbpqp e^a_bbkabsbilmbaclo^ariqp^ka qebfomromlpbe^a`e^kdba+Qebv tbobklt_bifbsbaqlmolsfab^ cfubajb^prob_vtef`e^mboplk$p `^m^`fqv`lria_bo^qba^d^fkpq lqebopÌklilkdbo^t^vlc ebimfkd)_rqlcabcfkfkd+ FNe^a_b`ljb^proold^qb jb^prob)^ifkb^op`^ib^ilkd tef`ebsbovlkb`lria_bdolrmba ^pfc_vebfdeq+FNqeblofpqp fkpfpqbaqe^qfq`^mqroba^dbkrfkb ^kacfubarkfq^ovmolmboqv) il`^qbapljbeltfkqeb_o^fk+ Eltbsbo)rkifhbebfdeq)tef`e `^k_bjb^proba^_plirqbivtfqe 28 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

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Comment on these stories at newscientist.com/opinion

Steven Rose is emeritus professor of biology at The Open University, UK

ONE MINUTE INTERVIEW

Redesigning life Life runs on DNA software. Now it's time to find the basic operating system, says synthetic biologist Craig Venter You’re famous for building a synthetic organism from scratch. What was the point? Starting with four chemicals to build DNA and then booting that up to create a living cell proves that we can reduce life to an information system. But you inserted artificial DNA into an existing cell. Isn’t that a bit of a con? We’re not trying to recapitulate the origins of life. Obviously, life evolved from much simpler systems, but in terms of trying to get to the next stages of evolution that is not very useful.

PROFILE Craig Venter is a synthetic biologist and founder of the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland. His new book is Life at the Speed of Light: From the double helix to the dawn of digital life (Viking)

How has the definition of life changed during your lifetime? Even when Watson and Crick published their structure of DNA in 1953 it wasn’t settled that DNA was the genetic material. It has gone from that at the start of my life, to sequencing the first genomes and then writing the first genomes to prove that DNA is the basis of life. Is there a single advance that has shaped your understanding of what life is? When we were able to move the DNA from one cell to another, converting one species to another, that was the proof that life is a DNA software system. If you change the software, you change the species. Why do you think people find the idea of life as an information system hard to accept? Because we like to think of the complexity of things. When we sequenced the human genome, a lot of people were angry that we only had 22,000 genes instead of 300,000. That is more complexity than any of us could even imagine, but linear thinkers wanted one gene for each trait.

Now you’re trying to build an organism with the minimal set of genes needed for life – what you call the "Hail Mary" genome. Why? Understanding what a basic operating system looks like is essential. Then, we should be able to add components to evolve it into a new species. The first attempts have failed. But this is not an ambiguous area – either you have life or you don’t. We still don’t know what all the genes do, so you can’t just design something totally from scratch. Your projects, like coding your name into the genomes of your synthetic organisms, seem designed to provoke. Is that deliberate? Nothing is done to provoke people. We're making artificial species starting from a very different point in evolution, and I feel that anybody doing that needs to watermark them, or we will lose track of the evolutionary history. Also, a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this. We felt as passionate about it as artists signing their work. Will synthetic biologists ever progress from tinkering with bacteria to radically altering complex organisms – even humans? Working in the bacterial world can have a great impact – by changing things like food sources and potential fuel sources. As we move from relatively simple bacteria to ones with larger genomes, the complexity goes up enormously. So I don’t think anybody is going to make synthetic humans any time soon. Interview by Linda Geddes

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 29

MARK MAHANEY/REDUX/EYEVINE

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OPINION THE BIG IDEA

Gaia: the verdict is… James Lovelock’s Gaia theory took the world by storm when it was first put forward in the 1970s. But is it right? Oceanographer Toby Tyrell says the knowledge we have built up in the past 40 years points to a clear answer

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PROFILE Toby Tyrrell is professor of earth system science at the University of Southampton, UK. He researches ocean acidification, marine biogeochemistry and, more generally, how life and environment interact. His book On Gaia: A critical investigation of the relationship between life and Earth was published this year by Princeton University Press

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For more opinion articles and to add your comments, visit newscientist.com/opinion

MICHAEL APPELT/ANZENBERGER/EYEVINE

Climate cycles and ice ages seem incompatible with the Gaian notion of a hospitable planet

B^oqeÑpdobbkelrpbt^ojfkd+ Fclrkafqql_bprmmloqba+Qebobfpmibkqvlc >iplrkebimcricloifcb^obqebclojpfk bsfabk`blc_flildf`^i^iqbo^qflklcqebdil_^i tef`ekfqoldbkfpclrkalkB^oqe+S^pq bksfolkjbkq+Clofkpq^k`b)ifcb^ccb`qpqeb nr^kqfqfbplcfq^obmobpbkqfkqeb^fo^kapb^^p mi^kbq^ov^i_balÌqebabdobbqltef`eB^oqe fkboqjlib`ribpj^ablcqtlkfqoldbk^qljp) obcib`qppli^obkbodv_^`hlrqqlpm^`bÌ tef`elkivkfqoldbk*cfufkdjf`ol_bp`^k qeolrdeqebdbkbo^qflk_vl`b^kjf`ol_bplc j^hbrpblc8jr`eo^obo^obclojpjlobb^pfiv afjbqeviprimefab)^`ebjf`^iqe^qfkcirbk`bp rpba_vifcb)pr`e^pkfqo^qbp+Qefpib^apql `ilracloj^qflk+ tfabpmob^akfqoldbkpq^os^qflkabpmfqbqeb Eltbsbo)qefpbccb`q)ilkdebiarm^p bibjbkqÑpprmbo^_rka^k`b+B^oqeÑpkfqoldbk `lkcfojfkdD^f^)e^pqrokbalrqql_b `v`ibfpork^ijlpqbkqfobiv_vjf`ol_bpÌ_rq obi^qfsbivtb^h%KbtP`fbkqfpq)/6Grkb/-.0) qeblrq`ljbfpqebbu^`qlmmlpfqblcte^q lrdeqqle^mmbklk^D^f^kmi^kbq)lktef`e “On a Gaian planet, life ifcbtlria_bbumb`qbaqlbkdfkbbojlob engineers more favourable c^slro^_ibbksfolkjbkq^i`lkafqflkp+ TebkFillhbafkqlIlsbil`hÑppb`lka`i^fj) environmental conditions”

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Free to object

Enigma Number 1772

Clueless SUSAN DENHAM Shown right is a cross-figure to complete. However, there are no across or down clues. Instead you have to ensure that: a) if an answer uses one of the numbered squares then that answer must be divisible by the little number in that square (for example the five-figure number in 1 down must be divisible by 1, 4 and 7; similarly the five-figure number in 7 across must be divisible by 7); b) in your answers, only two different digits can be used throughout, one of them odd and

1

2

4

1

3

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7

the other even; c) the odd digit must be written at most once in any row or column of the grid. What are the answers to 1 across, and 7 across?

WIN £15 will be awarded to the sender of the first correct answer opened on Wednesday 20 November. The Editor’s decision is final. Please send entries to Enigma 1772, New Scientist, Lacon House, 84 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8NS, or to enigma@newscientist.com (please include your postal address). Answer to 1766 Triangular sums: The numbers are 6, 49, 23, 58 and 17 The winner Jesse Banwell of Ben Lomond, California, US

32 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

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Break the cycle

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To join the debate, visit newscientist.com/letters

i^ka^`nrfpfqflkpfkabsbilmfkd `lrkqofbp_vclobfdk`ljm^kfbp %./L`ql_bo)m4&+FqrpbaqebI^ka J^qofu)^klkifkbmr_if`a^q^_^pb qe^qqo^`hpi^odb*p`^ibi^kaab^ip) tef`eqebFkqbok^qflk^iI^ka @l^ifqflkebimpork+Qefpfprkabo `lkqfkrlrpfjmolsbjbkq+ FkGrkb/-.0)lkbjlkqe_bclob B`lcvpmr_ifpebafqpobmloq)qeb I^kaJ^qofut^pobi^rk`eba tfqe^obsfpbaa^q^pbqqe^q afccbobkqf^qbp_bqtbbkpq^dbplc kbdlqf^qflk^kafjmibjbkq^qflk fki^kaab^ip+B`lcvp^``bppbaqeb a^q^fkG^kr^ov/-.0)tef`e^qqeb qfjb^ddobd^qbaab^ip^q^kvpq^db lckbdlqf^qflk+ Lrqlcqeb33ab^ipqe^qtbob jbkqflkbafkqebobmloq)lkiv/. ^obsfpf_ibfkqebkbta^q^pbqtfqe qebabc^riqcfiqbop+ Oljb)Fq^iv

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Third time lucky? ColjM^ri?bqebi Co^khPfbdofpqprddbpqpqe^qqefoa `efiaobk^obrpr^iiv^k^``fabkq %2L`ql_bo)m0.&)_rqfkjvBkdifpe jfaaib*`i^ppbksfolkjbkq)^iiqeb c^jfifbptfqeqeobb`efiaobke^sb

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Sticky subject ColjJ^o`lLsboa^ib I^j_olpJ^i^clrofppq^qbpqe^q qebrpblcqllip_v^kfj^ip)pr`e ^p^`efjmrpfkd^pqf`hqlbuqo^`q ^kfqbjlccllacolj^elib)fp crka^jbkq^iivafccbobkqcolj erj^kqllirpb%4Pbmqbj_bo) m/5&+Efpmlfkq)`ljm^ofkd ^_ifkamboplkÑppqf`hqlqeb `efjmÑp)t^pqe^qqeberj^k rpbpqllip^p^kbuqbkpflklc qebpbkpbp)pfdeqfkqefp`^pb) tebob^pqeb`efjmfppfjmiv l_q^fkfkdclla+ FÑjprob^`efjmpqf`hfkd^qtfd fkql^elib`lkq^fkfkd^pnrfpev _rdfpÎcbbifkdÏ^olrka)klq _ifkaivmirkdfkdfkqebelmblc clla+?rqteltfiibsbohklt< Tbiifkdqlk)KbtWb^i^ka

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For the record N More than £75,000, rather than $75,000, has been raised by the developers of brewing robot Brewbot on Kickstarter (12 October, p 21), N You may have experienced a feeling of déjà vu when attempting Engima 1770 (12 October, p 30). It was an earlier puzzle republished in error. Entries will be honoured and a winner picked in the usual way. N In our look at the impact of the US government shutdown on disease control work (12 october, p 8), we should have said that there were 75 cases of cholera in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. Letters should be sent to: Letters to the Editor, New Scientist, 84 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8NS Fax: +44 (0) 20 7611 1280 Email: letters@newscientist.com Include your full postal address and telephone number, and a reference (issue, page number, title) to articles. We reserve the right to edit letters. Reed Business Information reserves the right to use any submissions sent to the letters column of New Scientist magazine, in any other format.

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 33


What happens when we can no longer hide who we are online, asks Chris Baraniuk

End of anonymity 34 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

Warning: This feature begins with language that some readers may find upsetting

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ALEX WILLIAMSON

cfopqJfpp>jbof`^lcFkaf^kabp`bkq)Qtfqqbo bumilabatfqeo^`fpqfksb`qfsb+Klqbsbovlkb `^kpq^karmqlpr`e^_rpb7fqe^paofsbk pbsbo^iqbbk^dbopqlprf`fab+ Fqe^p_bbk`^iibaqeblkifkbqluf` afpfkef_fqflkbccb`q)^kafqfp^`lkpbnrbk`b lc^_^pf`c^`qlcfkqbokbqifcb7lkifkb)kllkb hkltptelvlr^ob+Î>ilqlcmblmibtlriakÑq p^vqefkdpqllqebomblmibpÑc^`bpqe^qqebval lkqebp`obbk)Ïp^vp?ollhbp+ Lsboqebvb^op)j^kv^qqbjmqpe^sb_bbk j^abqlplisbloibppbkqebmol_ibj)tfqe ifjfqbabccb`q+Klt)qebj^o`elcqb`eklildv j^v_b^_lrqql`e^kdbqefkdp+Fkqebpb^o`e clo^iqbok^qfsbpqlm^pptloap)>mmib^kalqebo cfojp^obqrokfkdql_fljbqof`qb`eklildfbp pr`e^pcfkdbomofkqpqlrkil`hqebabsf`bptfqe tef`etb^``bppqebtb_+Pllk)fqj^vklq_b mlppf_ibqldllkifkbtfqelrq^qib^pqqbiifkd vlroabsf`btelvlr^ob+Qebbkalc^klkvjfqv lkqebtb_`lria_bc^pq^mmol^`efkd)o^fpfkd ^elpqlcnrbpqflkp^_lrqmofs^`v)pb`rofqv ^kacobbalj+?rq`lriafq^iple^sb^ibpp ^kqf`fm^qbabccb`q7^kbt^dblcfkqbokbq `fsfifqv<Fcpl)fpqebmof`btloqem^vfkd<

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qe^q_bfkdifkhbaql^ob^ik^jb`e^kdbp mblmibÑp_be^sflro)Ïp^vpmpv`elildfpq>a^j GlfkplklcqebRkfsbopfqvlcqebTbpqlcBkdi^ka fk?ofpqli)RH+Fklkblcj^kvbu^jmibp)tebk ^klkifkb`ljjrkfqvlcRPpliafbopbifjfk^qba ^klkvjlrpmlpqp)^kqfpl`f^i`ljjbkqp aolmmba_v56mbo`bkq+Qe^qÑplkbob^plk tevj^kvkbtppfqbpklt^ph`ljjbkqbop qlobdfpqboloildfksf^pl`f^ijbaf^molcfibp+ Eltbsbo)qebobpriqplcjlobtfabpmob^a oliilrqpe^sb_bbkjfuba+Fk/--4)^i^tt^p fkqolar`bafkPlrqeHlob^obnrfofkd^ii tb_pfqbptfqelsbo0--)---sfbtbopql obdfpqborpfkdqebfok^qflk^iFAlo`obafq `^oa+>vb^oi^qbo)^pqrav_vqebHlob^ @ljjrkf`^qflkp@ljjfppflkpeltba^_rpb ^kasbklje^aaolmmba_vgrpq-+6mbo`bkq+ Qelpbtelt^kqbaqlmlpq^klkvjlrpiv pfjmivcibaqlfkqbok^qflk^itb_pfqbp) tebobqebi^tafakÑq^mmiv+Qefp)`lj_fkba tfqebsfabk`blctfabpmob^ae^`hfkd^ka^ ab`fpflk_vgradbpqe^qqebi^tt^pqlldob^q^ obpqof`qflklkcobbpmbb`e)ibaqebdlsbokjbkq qlaolmqebjb^prob+>pqravlcqebi^tÑp fjm^`q)_vA^bdlk@el^q@^okbdfbJbiilk > 26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 35


WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE Over the past decade, researchers around the world have uncovered a variety of ways in which technology can exploit our uniqueness to identify us. The Nymi – a bracelet made by biometric security firm Bionym based in Toronto, Canada – reads the minor fluctuations in your heart rate to generate an exclusive identifier that authenticates the one and only you. Touché, developed by Disney Research, delivers a tiny electrical signal when you make contact with a touchscreen, which returns a unique measurement related to your body density. One day, you might even generate “passthoughts” with your brain waves. It’s not just your body that can be mined for unique patterns: your behaviour also gives you up. One technique developed by BehavioSec, based in Palo Alto, California, identifies you from the way you move your mouse or use your smartphone’s touchscreen. Danske Bank, in Scandinavia, used it to differentiate 18,000 online users with an accuracy rate of 99.7 per cent. Another behavioural biometric, called natural language analysis, parses the way you use small words such as pronouns to zero in on what part of a country you come from, your age or career. That gives broader implications to behavioural biometrics, because it might become possible to identify you without you even knowing anyone was looking and, unlike most biometrics, without your consent. “We all have our own fingerprints in language,” says James Pennebaker of the University of Texas in Austin, who developed the technique. “Let’s say on a news website: if I look at all the comments that people are making and I start tracking one particular person, then I can identify that person in other places. Making educated guesses, eventually I might be able to track down and figure out who that person is.” Unsurprisingly, many parties – from accounting firms to intelligence agencies and law enforcers – have asked Pennebaker for help to profile individuals.

36 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

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The jet streams that dictate our weather seem to be changing – but how, and what’s to blame, asks Fred Pearce

AIRTEAMIMAGES

Jet extreme

38 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013


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Thanks to the jet stream, transatlantic flights can be an hour quicker

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 39


Wasaburo Ooishi’s pioneering research into the jet stream in the 1920s was “essentially ignored” in the West because he published his research in Esperanto (see main story). So says John Lewis of the US government’s National Severe Storms Laboratory in Reno, Nevada, who has researched the affair. The turnaround came during the second world war when, now in conflict with the US, Japan hatched a plan to surprise Uncle Sam by using the wind to express-deliver bombs. Hydrogen balloons rode the jet stream from Japan, carrying incendiary devices that were timed to drop on arrival over land. Guided by Ooishi’s wind charts, 9000 balloon bombs, called Fu-Go, were unleashed from Japan between November 1944 and April 1945. Luckily for the US, Japan’s meteorologists got the timing wrong. The jet stream was a little weaker than Ooishi had calculated, and the balloons took 96 hours on average to cross the Pacific, rather than the estimated 65 hours, says Lewis. All but about 300 of them dropped their bombs harmlessly into the Pacific Ocean. One that did make it hit a power line, blacking out the Hanford nuclear weapons plant in Washington, which was then preparing the atomic bombs destined for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Another Fu-Go bomb landed on a Sunday school picnic in Oregon, killing six people – the only combat casualties on the US mainland during the entire war. That made the West finally wake up to the jet stream’s power. Balloon bombs spoke louder than Esperanto. 40 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

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US ARMY PHOTO

FU-GO NO GO

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Moving on up The position of the polar jet stream determines the weather at mid-latitudes in the northern hemisphere Polar air brings cold conditions to areas north of the jet stream STRATOSPHERE

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Underneath the jet stream, rapidly moving, rising air produces changeable weather and plentiful rain Areas south of the polar jet are influenced by warmer air from the equator

TROPOSPHERE

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POLAR JET

SUB-TROPICAL JET

NOT TO SCALE

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Heart-stopping Would you have an operation to fix a hole in your heart even though no one is sure if the benefits outweigh the risks? Liz Bestic investigates a medical dilemma

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KOTRYNA ZUKAUSKAITE

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42 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

Route to trouble Some people have a hole between the heart's two upper chambers, a relic from our time in the womb

HOLE FROM THE LUNGS FROM THE BODY

TO THE LUNGS

TO REST OF BODY

Blood that leaks through a hole in the heart bypasses the lungs, where small blood clots would normally be filtered out. This means the clots may end up reaching the brain instead, potentially triggering a stroke

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26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 43


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”Astonishingly, 1 in 4 of us is walking around with a hole in the heart. It may be behind strokes, migraines and other issues too”

44 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013


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”No operation is completely safe. There is even a risk that it could trigger another stroke as the hole is forced open”

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 45


BERTRAND MEUNIER/TENDANCE FLOUE

Population paradox Given a choice, many humans decide to have few children or none at all. Why? And how will this affect the future of our species, wonders Mairi Macleod 46 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013


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Quantity versus quality Plm^obkqptel`ellpbqle^sbcbtbo`efiaobk j^v_bfksbpqfkdjlobfkqelpbqebve^sb+ ?rqfkbslirqflk^ovqbojpqebhbvnrbpqflk obj^fkp7^obqeb^as^kq^dbplctb^iqe ^kapj^iic^jfivpfwb`^oofbaqeolrdeqeb dbkbo^qflkpqlmolar`bjlobabp`bka^kqp riqfj^qbiv<>kptbofkdqefptlriaobnrfob a^q^lkbar`^qflk)tb^iqe^kaobmolar`qflk pm^kkfkdpbsbo^idbkbo^qflkp+Obj^oh^_iv) qefpfkcloj^qflkfp^s^fi^_ibclo^`leloqlc .1)---Ptbafpetljbk_lokfk.6qe*`bkqrov Rmmp^i^^kaqebfoabp`bka^kqpqlqebmobpbkq a^v+I^tplk^ka`liib^drbpe^sbob`bkqiv ^k^ivpbaqe^qa^q^pbq+Plte^qalbpfqqbiirp< Jfoolofkdqebmobsflrppqrav)qeb abp`bka^kqplctljbkfkqeblofdfk^i`leloq tele^acbtbo`efiaobktbobjlobifhbivql dlqlrkfsbopfqv^kab^okjlob+Eltbsbo) qebpbefde*fksbpqjbkqifkb^dbptbobklq jlobpr``bppcrifkqebilkdork+Fkpqb^a) >

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 47


”People who invest more highly in a smaller number of children do not have more descendants in the long run”

XPACIFICA/REDUX/EYEVINE

Our evolved tendency to seek wealth and status makes having children more costly and unappealing

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REASONS TO BE CHILDLESS Studies of twins indicate that an individual’s motivation to reproduce is partly genetic. This heritable component is bound to be complex, but clues are starting to emerge. First, personality – which has a strong genetic component – was found to influence fecundity (see main story). Now, in research soon to be published, a team led by Melinda Mills at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands reports pinpointing several genes associated with the timing of first birth and number of children in both men and women. Relatives have a vested genetic interest in our reproduction. To build up a picture of how family affects fertility patterns, Rebecca 48 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

Sear and Paul Mathews at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analysed data from 1900 women in the UK. They found that women who are in closer contact with extended family are more likely to fall pregnant, even controlling for factors such as income, education, religion and ethnicity. “Kin are providing practical support such as childcare,” says Sear. “It could also be because of things like emotional support and encouragement to have children.” High-earning career alphawomen tend to have very few children, at least in the UK and US. The work-family trade-off is very different for alpha women, says Alison Wolf at King’s College

London, author of The XX Factor (Profile Books, 2013). “It’s not just that you lose earnings while you stay at home. If you give up altogether, you drop out of sight, don’t get promoted, don’t stay up to date, and so will probably do less well in your later career. For women lower down the socio-economic spectrum, it’s not such a dilemma,” she says. Overall there is not much link between socio-economic class and family size, but on closer inspection the picture is more complex. Daniel Nettle and Thomas Pollet at Newcastle University found that in the UK, lower-earning women tend to have more children than the average, but for men income is

positively correlated with fertility, with the poorest men likely to be childless. Men with few resources will have the toughest time attracting a partner with whom to have kids, says Nettle. Even something as simple as the local sex ratio may have an effect. A team led by Kristina Durante of the University of Texas, San Antonio, calculated the relative numbers of unmarried men and women of reproductive age for 50 US states. Looking at earnings, they found that women living in states with a low proportion of men tended to have highly paid jobs. Durante suggests that the unavailability of eligible partners encourages women to prioritise briefcase over babies.


LYNSEY ADDARIO/VII

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Parenting personality

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An evolutionary conundrum Given more resources, animals tend to produce more offspring, so why are human birth rates so low in the world's most affluent countries? Replacement value* Japan Russia EU Canada Brazil Australia US UK World 0

0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 Average births per woman

*Births per woman required to maintain a stable population

2.5

SOURCE: WORLDBANK.ORG, 2011

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CULTURELAB

Ah, what a good little child! Babies seem to act morally very early on. But is this really morality, wonders Shaoni Bhattacharya Small children comforting others may be an evolved trait

Just Babies: The origins of good and evil by Paul Bloom, Random House, £16.99

GHISLAIN & MARIE DAVID DE LOSSY/GETTY

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For more books and arts coverage and to add your comments, visit newscientist.com/culturelab

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MANUFACTURING REBORN/SAHARA FOREST PROJECT

Sustainable living

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26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 51


THE INSIDER

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CHEMISTRY Tenure Track Faculty Position, Assistant Professor Duke University Medical Center NC - North Carolina The candidate should have a laboratory research program in an area of membrane excitability and/ or ion channel structure/function and/or ion channel physiology. Among the broad research areas relevant to this search are programs employing cutting-edge molecular and biochemical approaches that focus on channelopathies, neuropsychiatric disorders and neuronal function, cardiac arrhythmias, peripheral nociception, optogenetics, and development. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401477062

Computational ADME/ Toxicology Scientist (208476) Henry M Jackson Foundation MD - Maryland The Henry M. Jackson Foundation (HJF) is looking for junior and senior scientists to join the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute (BHSAI) [www.BHSAI.org]. HJF provides scientific, technical, and programmatic support services to the BHSAI. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401478887

Faculty Position in Chemistry (Assistant Professor, tenuretrack, 36 weeks Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Worthington Scranton PA - Pennsylvania Teach undergraduate chemistry courses using traditional and hybrid delivery modes. Assignments will include general and organic 54 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

chemistry. Experience teaching other science courses, such as biochemistry, is desirable. Teaching assignments may require teaching day, evening or Saturday classes. Publish in refereed journals. Participate in course, curriculum, and program development. Advise students and provide career guidance. Participate in professional organizations and in campus, university, and community service activities. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401475832

Visiting position in Inorganic Chemistry at Reed College Reed College OR - Oregon The Chemistry Department invites applications for a three-semester, visiting position, preferably at the assistant professor level, in Inorganic Chemistry beginning January 2014. A PhD is required and postdoctoral experience is preferred. The successful candidate must have a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching and research. Teaching duties will include general chemistry, a sophomore-level course in inorganic chemistry including laboratory, and an advanced topics course. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401479007

TWO FACULTY POSITIONS Department of Biology

ARTS AND SCIENCE New York University’s Center for Genomics & Systems Biology (http://cgsb.as.nyu.edu) in the Department of Biology invites applicants to apply for two open rank faculty positions to begin September 1, 2014, or as negotiated pending budgetary and administrative approval. We are open to applicants using a wide array of systems biology approaches but are especially interested in the following areas: 1) novel imaging approaches to high-throughput phenotyping or single molecule analysis, 2) single-cell genomic and microfluidic methods, 3) computational biology, and 4) systems approaches to genetics or evolution. Candidates will be expected to have or develop active, externally funded, research programs and to participate in the department’s teaching activities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Department of Biology (http://biology.as.nyu.edu) offers an outstanding, collegial and interdisciplinary research environment that supports ambitious research projects in genomics and systems biology. In addition, strong interactions exist with faculty in other divisions within NYU including the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and NYU-Abu Dhabi, which has built high-throughput experimental resources in robotics for chemical screens, sequencing, high performance computing, and other instrumentation. Faculty at NYU-Washington Square collaborate and utilize resources at both institutions. Application packages should include a cover letter, research statement, teaching statement, curriculum vitae, and three letters of reference. Please apply online via the New York University D epar tment of B iology website (ht t p://biology. as . nyu .ed u), u s i n g t h e “ E m p l oy m e n t ” l i n k . T h e c ove r l e t te r s h o u l d b e addressed to: Chair of the CGSB Search Committee, Department o f B i o l o g y, N ew Yo r k U n i ve r s i t y, 1 0 0 9 S i l ve r C e n t e r, 1 0 0 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003. Selection will begin November 15, 2013; applications received prior to this date will be guaranteed full evaluation. NYU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

CANADA RESEARCH CHAIR TIER 2 University of British Columbia, Department of Chemistry Vancouver, BC - Canada The focus of chair can be in diverse areas such as: environmental chemistry, for example, air or water quality, climate change, transport and fate of pollution in water, soil or air; green chemistry, for example, efficient heterogeneous catalysis, improved efficiency and environmental safety in chemical syntheses, chemistry of biomass/

renewable or gaseous feedstocks; or materials chemistry, for example, polymer or membrane chemistry, organic materials for alternative energy applications, nanomaterials for energy conversion or environmental remediation. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401476824

Academic Faculty: Asst.

Professor, Chemistry University of Idaho ID - Idaho The successful candidate will perform experimental research in either Physical or Analytical Chemistry. It is expected that he/ she will involve undergraduate and graduate students in their research, thus expanding the research opportunities in the department. The faculty member will be expected to secure competitive


FACULTY JOBS

&Ä&#x201A;Ä?ƾůĆ&#x161;Ç&#x2021;WĹ˝Ć?Ĺ?Ć&#x;ŽŜĆ?

Conservation Biologist Tenure Track Assistant Professor Department of Biology, Swarthmore College The Department of Biology at Swarthmore College invites applications for a new tenure-track position at the assistant professor level, beginning September 2014. Applicants should have a Ph.D., teaching experience, and a strong commitment to undergraduate education. Post-doctoral experience is desirable. Successful candidates should be committed to combining teaching and research at a small liberal arts college and will be prepared to contribute to an integrative Biology curriculum. They will be expected to establish an independent, active research program that will provide opportunities for undergraduate participation, and the College oďŹ&#x20AC;ers competitive research start-up packages to support faculty research and teaching. In addition, there are opportunities for participating in the interdisciplinary program in Environmental Studies. Please visit our website at http://www.swarthmore.edu/x52880.xml for more information. We seek a broadly trained conservation biologist whose research and course oďŹ&#x20AC;erings complement those of other faculty in the department. We invite applicants who use contemporary methodologies, including computational and/or modeling techniques, to study any taxa. Teaching responsibilities include participation in a team-taught introductory course, a one-semester course in conservation biology with a laboratory and/or ďŹ eld component, and an advanced seminar with research projects in the area of the applicantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interest. All application materials should be submitted online* by November 4, 2013. Questions regarding this position should be addressed to the search chair, Nick Kaplinsky, at conservation.bio@swarthmore.edu or by calling 610-328-8039. Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college, located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence through diversity in its educational program and employment practices. The College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualiďŹ cations, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world.

*https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/2770

funding. The individual selected will be expected to contribute to the overall research, teaching, and service mission of the department, college and university by serving on committees, advising students, participating in seminars and interacting with faculty and students. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401479952

CLINICAL Dermatology Research Faculty (Psychophysics and Neuroimaging) Temple University, School of

Medicine PA - Pennsylvania Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM) seeks nontenure track research faculty in the Department of Dermatology. The Faculty Researcher will be responsible for conducting research in the field of psychophysics and neuroimaging of itch and publish the results of his/her work in peerreviewed journals. The Faculty Researcher will also be responsible for obtaining extramural funding to support research effort and salary. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401476818

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Ć?Ĺ&#x161;ŽƾůÄ&#x161; ĆľĆ&#x2030;ĹŻĹ˝Ä&#x201A;Ä&#x161; Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ĺ?Ć&#x152; Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x2030;ĹŻĹ?Ä?Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜ Ç&#x20AC;Ĺ?Ä&#x201A; Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E; ĨÄ&#x201A;Ä?ƾůĆ&#x161;Ç&#x2021; Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x2030;ĹŻĹ?Ä?Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜ ĨŽĆ&#x152;Ĺľ Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161;+Ĺ?Ć&#x2039;Ä?ĆľÇ Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;ůŽŽÄ?Ä&#x201A;Ç Ä&#x17E;ĹŻÄ?ŽžÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x2030;Ĺ˝Ć?Ĺ?Ć&#x;ŽŜĆ? &Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;žŽĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ĺ?ŜĨŽĆ&#x152;ĹľÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜÄ?ŽŜĆ&#x161;Ä&#x201A;Ä?Ć&#x161; /ĹśĆ?Ć&#x;Ć&#x161;ĆľĆ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;ĨŽĆ&#x152;YĆľÄ&#x201A;ĹśĆ&#x161;ƾžŽžĆ&#x2030;ĆľĆ&#x;ĹśĹ? hĹśĹ?Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ç&#x2021;ŽĨtÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;ůŽŽ tÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;ůŽŽKĹśĆ&#x161;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x152;Ĺ?Ĺ˝Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x201A;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x201A;EĎŽ>ĎŻ'Ď­ Ä&#x17E;ĹľÄ&#x201A;Ĺ?ĹŻ+Ä&#x161;Ĺ?Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä?Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;Î&#x203A;Ĺ?Ć&#x2039;Ä?Ä?Ä&#x201A; Ć&#x2030;Ĺ&#x161;ŽŜÄ&#x17E;+͞Ϲϭá&#x20AC;&#x201C;(á&#x20AC;&#x2019;á&#x20AC;&#x2019;á&#x20AC;&#x2019;Ď°ĎŹĎŽĎ­Ç&#x2020;Ć&#x161;ϯϳώϏϭ ĨÄ&#x201A;Ç&#x2020;+͞Ϲϭá&#x20AC;&#x201C;(ϳϰϲĎŽĎŻĎŻá&#x20AC;&#x201C; dĹ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x2030;Ĺ˝Ĺ?ĹśĆ&#x161;ĹľÄ&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x161;Ć?Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć?ĆľÄ?ĹŠÄ&#x17E;Ä?Ć&#x161;Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x201A;Ĺ?ĹŻÄ&#x201A;Ä?Ĺ?ĹŻĹ?Ć&#x161;Ç&#x2021;ŽĨĨƾŜÄ&#x161;Ć?ĹŻĹŻĆ&#x2039;ĆľÄ&#x201A;ĹŻĹ?ÄŽÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ä?Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ĺ?Ä&#x161;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć? 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Ç Ĺ?ĹŻĹŻÄ?Ä&#x17E;Ĺ?Ĺ?Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x2030;Ć&#x152;Ĺ?Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ç&#x2021;dĹ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;hĹśĹ?Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ç&#x2021;ŽĨtÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;ůŽŽÄ&#x17E;ĹśÄ?ŽƾĆ&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ĺ?Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x2030;ĹŻĹ?Ä?Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜĆ?ĨĆ&#x152;Žž Ä&#x201A;ĹŻĹŻĆ&#x2039;ĆľÄ&#x201A;ĹŻĹ?ÄŽÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Ĺ?ĹśÄ&#x161;Ĺ?Ç&#x20AC;Ĺ?Ä&#x161;ĆľÄ&#x201A;ĹŻĆ?Ĺ?ĹśÄ?ĹŻĆľÄ&#x161;Ĺ?ĹśĹ?Ç Ĺ˝ĹľÄ&#x17E;ŜžÄ&#x17E;ĹľÄ?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?ŽĨÇ&#x20AC;Ĺ?Ć?Ĺ?Ä?ĹŻÄ&#x17E;ĹľĹ?ŜŽĆ&#x152;Ĺ?Ć&#x;Ä&#x17E;Ć?ĹśÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x;Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x17E; Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ĺ˝Ć&#x2030;ĹŻÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ć&#x2030;Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?ŽŜĆ?Ç Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x161;Ĺ?Ć?Ä&#x201A;Ä?Ĺ?ĹŻĹ?Ć&#x;Ä&#x17E;Ć?

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 55


FACULTY JOBS

Harvard University Psychology / Center for Brain Science Faculty Search The Department of Psychology, in conjunction with the Center for Brain Science, seeks faculty applicants whose research is focused on neurobiological approaches to human brain function. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, perception, sensory and motor function, decision-making, biological bases of psychiatric disease, connectomics, and theoretical neuroscience. The successful appointee will be expected to strengthen links between the Department and the Center, where research focuses on the structure and function of neural circuits and their relationship to behavior. The appointment is expected to begin on July 1, 2014. Candidates at all levels are encouraged to apply.

WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION

Fellowships for Postdoctoral Scholars

New or recent doctoral recipients with research interests associated with the following are encouraged to submit scholarship applications prior to January 5, 2014. Departments â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Awards related to the following areas are anticipated: Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering; Biology; Geology & Geophysics; Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry; Physical Oceanography.

Candidates should have demonstrated excellence in both research and teaching. Teaching opportunities will include offerings at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Institutes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Each Institute fosters interdisciplinary research addressing critical issues, and will award a scholarship to support related research: Ocean and Climate Change Institute; Coastal Ocean Institute; Deep Ocean Exploration Institute; Ocean Life Institute.

An appointment may be made at either the tenured or tenure-track (assistant or associate) levels.

The Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region â&#x20AC;&#x201C; will award a Fellowship in one of five theme areas: Ecosystem Forecasting, Ecosystem Monitoring, Ecosystem Management, Protection and Restoration of Resources, Sustained Ocean Observations and Climate Research.

Candidates for tenured positions should upload applications to: http://academicpositions.harvard.edu/postings/4935 Candidates for tenure-track positions should upload applications to: http://academicpositions.harvard.edu/postings/4933 Questions regarding this position can be addressed to BrainSearch@wjh.harvard.edu. The committee will begin considering completed applications on November 15, 2013.

Awards are competitive, with primary emphasis placed on research promise. Scholarships are 18-months with an annual stipend of $57,500, a research budget and eligibility for health and dental insurance. Recipients are encouraged to pursue their own research interest in association with resident staff. Communication with potential WHOI advisors prior to submitting an application is encouraged. Further information may be obtained at: http://www.whoi.edu/postdoctoral An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

+DUYDUG8QLYHUVLW\LVDQ$IĂ&#x20AC;UPDWLYH$FWLRQ(TXDO2SSRUWXQLW\(PSOR\HUDQG we actively encourage applications from women and minority groups.

Faculty & Clinical Opportunities University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine PA - Pennsylvania Assistant, Associate or Professor positions in tenure or nontenure tracks at the University of Pittsburgh with rank and salary commensurate with experience and academic credentials. Positions are open to all applicants who hold doctoral level education (MD, DO, PhD), are board certified or board eligible, are qualified for medical licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and meet the minimum position credentials. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401478392

FL - Florida The Florida State University Department of Biological Science invites applications for a tenuretrack faculty position, at the Assistant Professor level. We seek a creative and interactive individual using theory to answer basic questions in ecology, evolution, or the interface of these fields, and whose research will enhance existing strengths in our Ecology and Evolution research group. Candidates should demonstrate high potential for collaborations with empiricists, externallyfunded research, and engaging instruction at both graduate and undergraduate levels. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401480090

EARTH, ENVIROMENT & ENGINEERING ENERGY Faculty Position in Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track), Ecological or Evolutionary Theory Florida State University 56 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

Engineering, Applied Materials Pennsylvania State University, Penn State DuBois

PA - Pennsylvania Teach three courses (9 credits) each semester using traditional, hybrid and online delivery methods in the B.S. program in General Engineering. Teaching assignments will include engineering courses at all levels of the undergraduate curriculum including Applied Materials. Supervise laboratory activities. Teaching assignments may require teaching day, evening and/or Saturday classes as needed. Establish a high-quality research program that includes publishing in refereed journals and can involve undergraduate students. Stay current in Materials Engineering pedagogy through appropriate scholarly activities. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401476746

Faculty Position in Mechanical Engineering Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Hazleton PA - Pennsylvania

Teach three courses (9 credits) each semester using traditional, hybrid and online delivery methods in the B.S. program in General Engineering, Alternative Energy and Power Generation. Teaching assignments will include engineering courses at all levels of the undergraduate curriculum including Electrochemistry, Fuel Cells, Wind Energy and Engineering Mechanics. Teaching assignments may require teaching day, evening and/or Saturday classes as needed. Establish a high-quality research program that includes publishing in refereed journals and can involve undergraduate students. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401476744

Chair - Department of Biological Sciences University of Texas at El Paso TX- Texas The Department of Biological Sciences at The University of Texas


FACULTY JOBS

Endowed Oral Cancer Faculty Position In Dentistry The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Dentistry is seeking an individual to serve as the inaugural Dr. Byron H. & Mary Virginia Weeth Endowed Chair in Dentistry. The selected candidate will be an outstanding clinical or translational scientist with a documented record of extramural funding and leadership in oral cancer research. Primary responsibility is to maintain an active, externally-funded, clinical or translational research program with limited didactic and/or clinical teaching. The College is expanding its research focus in oral cancer and the successful candidate is expected to make a significant contribution in building the clinical or translational research component of this program that will complement our existing, well-established cellular signaling in cancer biology program. Research collaborations with investigators at the UNMC Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center, is anticipated. Outstanding candidates with a DDS, DMD, MD, PhD or equivalent are welcome to apply. Salary and rank will be commensurate with background, training and experience. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Applications are being accepted online at http://jobs.unmc.edu (position #2013-165). Questions regarding this position may be directed to Dr. David Shaw, Search Committee Chair (dshaw@unmc.edu). Individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Assistant Professor (Tenure-Track), Forest Ecophysiologist/Ecosystem Modeler West Virginia University invites applications for a tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level in the Department of Biology beginning August 2014. We are seeking applications from individuals whose research uses modeling approaches to examine forest ecosystem processes and patterns. The research may include topics such as primary productivity, water transport, biogeochemical cycling, climate change, or changes in other environmental factors, and may use a combination of empirical and modeling techniques to answer ecosystem questions at multiple spatial and/or temporal scales. Requirements include a PhD, a strong record of scholarly publications, the potential to secure external funding, and evidence of effective teaching. Preference will be given to candidates with one or more years of postdoctoral research experience. Qualified applicants should submit a single PDF file including: 1) statement of research interests; 2) statement of teaching philosophy; 3) summary of prior teaching experience; 4) curriculum vitae; 5) copies of representative publications; and 6) list of 3 potential references to WVUBiology@mail.wvu.edu. Review of applications will commence on November 15. For more information about the position contact William T. Peterjohn, bpj@wvu.edu.

FACULTY POSITION Biology NYU SHANGHAI NYU Shanghai is inviting applications for two tenure-track positions from candidates with research programs in genomics and systems biology. We are open to a wide range of applicants working on systems biology, but will give special consideration to candidates working in the areas of novel imaging techniques, single cell genomics, computational biology and systems approaches to development and evolution. Candidates must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent by the time of application. Successful candidates must demonstrate an active research program and a commitment to undergraduate teaching. Review of applications will begin December 1, 2013. The appointment may begin as soon as September 1, 2014. NYU Shanghai is the first Sino-US higher education joint venture to grant a degree that is accredited in the US as well as in China. A research university with liberal arts and sciences at its core, it resides in one of the world’s great cities, which is also a vibrant intellectual community (http://shanghai.nyu.edu/). NYU Shanghai will recruit scholars who are committed to our global vision of transformative teaching and innovative research. New York University has established itself as a Global Network University, with three degree-granting campuses - New York, Shanghai, and Abu Dhabi - complemented by 12 additional academic centers across five continents. Faculty and students circulate within the network in pursuit of common research interests and cross-cultural, interdisciplinary endeavors, both local and global. The terms of employment in NYU Shanghai are comparable to U.S. institutions. Faculty may also spend time at NYU New York and other sites of the global network, engaging in both research and teaching opportunities. Tenure/tenure-track faculty will also have the opportunity to be affiliated with the NYU Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and the Biology department at NYU New York. Applicants should submit curriculum vitae, a statement of research and teaching interests, electronic copies of five recent publications, and three letters of reference in PDF format. Please visit our website at http://shanghai.nyu.edu/about/open-positions-faculty for additional information or e-mail shanghai.faculty.recruitment@nyu.edu.

West Virginia University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and the recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity. The University is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applications from all qualified individuals. NYU Shanghai is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

at El Paso (UTEP) is seeking a Chair at the tenured Professor level. The Chair will join a multidisciplinary, collaborative department at a national research University poised to achieve Tier 1 status. The selected candidate will be expected to expand and enhance the departmental research base, facilitate the development of translational research, lead his or her own externally funded research program, and fulfill the department’s teaching mission. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401478219

LIFE SCIENCES Psychology / Center for Brain

Science, Faculty Search Harvard University MA - Massachusetts The Department of Psychology, in conjunction with the Center for Brain Science, seeks faculty applicants whose research is focused on neurobiological approaches to human brain function. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, perception, sensory and motor function, decision-making, biological bases of psychiatric disease, connectomics, and theoretical neuroscience. The successful appointee will be expected to strengthen links between the Department and the Center, where research focuses on the structure and function of neural circuits and their relationship to

Colgate University announces searches for the following fulltime tenure-track positions, beginning Fall 2014. Candidates for faculty positions should have a strong commitment to undergraduate and interdisciplinary teaching in a liberal arts context. Developing and sustaining a diverse faculty, staff, and student body further the University’s educational mission. Colgate is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer; women and candidates from historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.  r The Department of Biology: Epidemiology with a global perspective: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/3099  r The Environmental Studies Program and the Department of Physics and Astronomy: Sustainable Technology and Design with a global perspective: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/3090 Additional information on these openings can be found on the following website: http://www.colgate.edu/offices-and-services/working-at-colgate/faculty-job-opportunities. 26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 57


FACULTY JOBS

Biology of Parasitism, Assistant Professor The Department of Cellular Biology at the University of Georgia invites applications for a full-time tenure track Assistant Professor position to begin August 2014. We seek an individual who has a research program in cellular and molecular parasite biology, with particular interest in systems biology approaches. The Department has strong representation in the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, one of the world’s leading centers for parasite research. The position includes a very competitive salary, excellent laboratory space and a generous start-up package. Applicants must hold a PhD degree and have at least two years postdoctoral training. The successful candidate will have teaching responsibilities in our undergraduate and graduate programs. Applicants should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, research statement and teaching philosophy at: https://secure.interfolio.com/apply/23064, and request submission of three confidential letters of recommendation via Interfolio. Review of applications will begin on November 15, 2013 and continue until the position has been filled. Contact cbsearch@uga.edu with questions. The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Georgia is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and students, and sustaining a work and learning environment that is inclusive. Women, minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The University of Georgia is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Institution.

behavior. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401479399

Faculty Position in in Biology Penn State York PA - Pennsylvania The successful applicant must have an excellent teaching record, using traditional and blended delivery modes, and hold a Ph.D. in biology or a related discipline. Teaching responsibilities will include freshman biology with lab sections and advanced botany/ biology courses in the candidate’s area of expertise. Twelve contact hours of instruction is expected per semester. A background in botany, plant pathology, or plant physiology is required. The successful applicant should also have an interest in maintaining the operation of a small greenhouse for which a modest budget is available. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401478588 58 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

Assistant Professor of Biology, Tenure-Track, 36 weeks Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Brandywine PA - Pennsylvania Teach undergraduate courses in biology (9 credits each semester) using traditional, hybrid and online delivery methods. The successful candidate will be expected to work collaboratively with colleagues to develop novel methods to integrate instructional technology and undergraduate research into biology courses and the new B.S. in Biology program. Teaching assignments may require teaching day, evening and/or Saturday classes. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401475830

Faculty Position in Biochemistry Purdue University IN - Indiana The Department of Biochemistry at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana invites applications for

Tenure-Track Faculty Position in Atmospheric Science, #1884 The Department of Atmospheric Science at the University of Wyoming invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position which focuses on atmospheric airborne observations with the department’s highly instrumented King Air research aircraft, supported by the National Science Foundation as a national lower atmospheric observing facility. The successful candidate will join other faculty and staff in using and further developing the King Air’s in situ and remote sensing observational capabilities which support research that includes cloud microphysics and dynamics, air-land and air-sea interactions and boundary-layer processes, atmospheric aerosol and chemistry, and experimental measurement technologies. The King Air’s cloud-sensing radar and lidar are recent examples of faculty-led developments. 7KLVSRVLWLRQZLOOEHÀOOHGDWWKHDVVLVWDQWSURIHVVRUOHYHO$3K'LQDWPRVSKHULF VFLHQFH SUHIHUUHG RUFORVHO\UHODWHGÀHOGLVUHTXLUHGDWWKHWLPHRIDSSRLQWPHQW The ideal candidate will have demonstrated abilities and potential to develop and fund an innovative and active research program, preferably in cloud and precipitation microphysics and dynamics, as evidenced by lead authorship on publications and proposals, and leadership as demonstrated by for example student, staff, or lab supervision, as well as the vision and potential for excellence LQERWKFODVVURRPWHDFKLQJDQGVWXGHQWPHQWRULQJ3RVWGRFWRUDOH[SHULHQFHLQ atmospheric science, and experience with airborne observations, are preferred. This is an academic year (9-month) tenure-track position. Interested parties should go http://www.atmos.uwyo.edu/info/FacultyPosition/ for application instructions. The search committee will begin reviewing DSSOLFDWLRQVRQ1RYHPEHUDQGZLOOFRQWLQXHXQWLOWKHSRVLWLRQLVÀOOHG

a tenure track faculty position at the Assistant or Associate Professor level. The search will be focused on identifying researchers addressing critical questions in mechanistic protein biochemistry including, but not limited to, enzyme structure/function relationships and metabolic pathway analysis in plants, microorganisms, or animals. Applicants whose research is enabled by approaches such as genomics and bioinformatics, single molecule analyses, synthetic biology or chemical biology will be of particular interest. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401475575

Faculty position in Computational Biology Stowers Institute for Medical Research MO - Missouri The Stowers Institute for Medical Research invites applications for a faculty position in Computational Biology. We anticipate making an appointment in 2014 at the rank

of Assistant Investigator. The successful candidate is expected to establish a vigorous and innovative research program, which may also include a wet lab component. Research programs of particular interest include, but are not limited to, genomics, gene expression, image analysis, systems biology, evolution and population genetics. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401475778

Neuroscientist Faculty Temple University, School of Medicine PA - Pennsylvania The appointment may be made at any rank, dependent on qualifications. Applicants should have an MD and/or PhD degree and are expected to have, or establish, creative independent research programs and participate in teaching graduate and medical students. A track record of extramural funding (NIH, NSF or industry) is required. Areas of special


FACULTY JOBS

The Department of Pediatrics of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is seeking faculty for clinical programs, biomedical and health sciences research programs. Opportunities are available in the following subspecialties: Adolescent Medicine Allergy Bone Marrow Transplantation Cardiology Child Advocacy Child Development Hospitalists Emergency Medicine Endocrinology

Gastroenterology General Academic Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology Infectious Diseases Newborn Medicine Neurology Pulmonology Rheumatology

Assistant, Associate or Professor positions in tenure or non-tenure tracks at the University of Pittsburgh with rank and salary commensurate with experience and academic credentials Positions are open to all applicants who hold doctoral level education (MD, DO, PhD), are board certiďŹ ed or board eligible, are qualiďŹ ed for medical licensure in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and meet the minimum position credentials. Interested candidates should forward CV to claudia.brazet@chp.edu and indicate position of interest. The University of Pittsburgh is an Equal Opportunity/ AďŹ&#x192;rmative Action Employer.

interest are: neurovascular biology, traumatic brain injury, stroke, glial biology, neurotoxic effects of drug and alcohol abuse in the central nervous system (CNS), and drug delivery into the CNS. The research environment is interdisciplinary and highly collaborative For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401478886

Faculty Opportunities Temple University, School of Medicine PA - Pennsylvania The Assistant Professor of Research will need strong background on studying epigenetic regulation of T cell immune responses in the setting allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Candidate with strong background in the field of histone methylation regulation of transcription program in T cells and transplantation immunology is preferred. In addition, the candidate should have at least five yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience working with stem cell transplantation. PhD or

MD degree is essential. Competitive salaries and benefits will be provided. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401481020

Assistant Professor, Neuroscience University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) CA - California We are searching for talented investigators using electrophysiological, imaging, genetic and/or system neuroscience tools to understand the structure and function of the vertebrate nervous system. Examples of appropriate areas of research are neuronal development, synapse plasticity, and neural stem cells. We are preferentially interested in candidates with expertise in in vivo approaches and whose research program includes investigation of neuronal functional and circuit plasticity in development, learning and/or diseases in mice. The successful candidate

Senior Faculty Position in Chemical Biology As part of a major, institution-wide effort to develop a world-class environment for chemical biology at the University of Utah, the Department of Biochemistry is searching for an established chemical biologist for a 12-month appointment as Associate or Full Professor in the Tenure-Track. We are especially interested in investigators who are using phenotypic screens to discover new biological pathways, targets, and lead compounds, although related areas of chemical biology will also be considered. Notably strong opportunities for synergy exist in the areas of cardiovascular, cancer, metabolic, and neurological disorders. The successful candidate will have demonstrated academic excellence in original research and be committed to education. The faculty position is associated with the Center for Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, which is part of the Utah State Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, a long-term, statefunded investment to strengthen Utahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s knowledge economy and support the commercialization of novel technologies and therapeutics. The starting date LVĂ H[LEOH$SSOLFDWLRQVZLOOEHUHYLHZHGDVWKH\DUHUHFHLYHG7KHSRVLWLRQZLOO UHPDLQRSHQXQWLOĂ&#x20AC;OOHG&RQWDFW Apply online at: KWWSXWDKSHRSOHDGPLQFRPSRVWLQJV 7KH 8QLYHUVLW\ RI 8WDK LV DQ (TXDO 2SSRUWXQLW\$IĂ&#x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

will be expected to establish a vigorous, externally-funded research program, contribute to the intellectual vitality of the MCD Biology department, and teach at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401478391

Assistant Professor University of Washington, Department of Physiology and Biophysics WA - Washington The Department of Physiology & Biophysics at the University of Washington announces a search for a full-time faculty member at the assistant professor (tenure track) level. We seek an individual (PhD and/or MD or foreign equivalent) with outstanding scholarly achievements and research interests that complement and extend current activities in the department. The individual will be expected to maintain a vigorous research program

and participate in the teaching and educational activities of the department. For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401479955

Faculty Position in in Mathematics Penn State York PA - Pennsylvania Teach three courses (9 credits) in upper-division mathematics each semester using traditional, hybrid and online delivery methods. Teaching assignments may require teaching day, evening and/or Saturday classes as needed. Publish in refereed journals. Participate in professional organizations and in course, curriculum and program development. Advise students and provide career guidance. Participate in campus, university and community service activities For more information visit NewScientistJobs.com Job ID: 1401478586 26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 59


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FACULTY JOBS

Cures don’t just happen. They demand collaboration. Dedication. Talent. Teamwork. Job Opportunities – Computational Biology The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project (PCGP) is the largest investment to date aimed at understanding the genetic origins of childhood cancers. PCGP is establishing an on-site, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments certified laboratory at St. Jude. This lab will use next-generation sequencing (NGS) to evaluate samples from St. Jude patients and will explore the optimal way to use this data in patient care. To support the clinical genomics initiative, we are recruiting for multiple positions in the Computational Biology Department. The Computational Biology Department has a well-established track record in developing and delivering state-of-the-art computational methods for analyzing NGS data and for producing high-impact publications in top-tier journals. We are looking for highly motivated and talented bioinformatics scientists and engineers to work on competitive projects and solve challenging problems in genomic and epigenetic profiling of pediatric cancer for both research and clinical applications. To learn more about current job opportunities and to apply, visit www.stjude.org/jobs

Ranked in the top 10 best places to work in academia by The Scientist yearly since 2005.

www.stjude.org/jobs

Named the nation’s No. 1 pediatric cancer care hospital by Parents magazine, 2009. Named the nation’s best children’s cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report, 2010. Named to FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For yearly since 2011. An Equal Opportunity Employer — © 2013 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital-Biomedical Communications.

University of California, Berkeley Department of Chemistry &ĂĐƵůƚLJWŽƐŝƟŽŶƐŝŶŚĞŵŝƐƚƌLJ The Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley invites applications for up to two faculty positions beginning in the 2014 academic year - one at the assistant/associate professor level and one at the full professor level. Preference will be given to candidates in the field of theoretical chemistry. However, at the assistant/associate professor level, we will consider creative and energetic candidates who show extraordinary promise or accomplishment in research and teaching in any area of chemistry, particularly analytical, experimental physical, and inorganic chemistry. A Ph.D. or equivalent degree is required by date of hire. All applicants should prepare a curriculum vitae and a proposed research program. For the assistant/associate professor position, applicants should provide three letters of recommendation. Applications should be submitted electronically through our web-based system at: https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/apply/JPF00218. Please note that applications for the full professor position will appear incomplete without letters of recommendation, but they will be fully considered. All recommendation letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC statement on confidentiality (http://apo.chance.berkeley.edu/evalltr. html) prior to submitting their letters. The deadline for receipt of application material is November 1, 2013. Please direct questions to Lauren Nakashima (ltnakashima@berkeley.edu). The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. UC Berkeley is committed to diversity in all aspects of our mission and to addressing the family needs of faculty, including dual career couples and single parents.

Tenure track faculty positions in the field of “Gene Expression and Signaling” Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (www.bmb.msu.edu) at Michigan State University seeks to recruit two outstanding tenure system Assistant / Associate Professors. The individuals will employ innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to address central questions in gene expression and signaling in development and disease. Successful candidates will contribute to the highly collaborative research environment on campus. The position is intended to integrate with existing research in one or more of the following groups: Gene Expression in Development and Disease, Molecular Metabolism and Disease, Mitochondrial Science and Medicine, and Bio/computational Evolution in Action Consortium; and/or with ongoing cancer and neuroscience research. Review of application materials will begin on November 11th, 2013, and continue until suitable candidates are identified. Applicants should upload a single PDF file with cover letter, CV, up to three pages of research interests and future directions, and a one-page statement of teaching philosophy to https://jobs.msu.edu (position #6878). Three to five letters of reference should be sent to GESfacultysearch@cns.msu.edu. Questions about the position can be addressed to the Chair of the Search Committee, Min-Hao Kuo at (GESfacultysearch@cns.msu.edu). MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. The University actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life, and offers employment assistance to the spouse or partner of candidates for faculty and academic staff positions.

26 October 2013 | NewScientist | 61


FACULTY JOBS

Faculty Position in Cervical Biology Wayne State University School of Medicine 

Wayne State University (WSU) seeks nominations and applications for a full-time faculty position focused on the study of the uterine cervix in pregnancy complications. The programmatic goal is to  be a part of an exceptional unit to characterize cervical biology in normal pregnant women and  those with complications. A priority is to develop an understanding of the mechanisms involved in cervical disease in pregnancy. A cervical biology unit, specific to reproduction, is in place and this recruitment is meant to strengthen the Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impressive record of innovative discoveries and achievements in obstetrics, maternal-fetal medicine and perinatal medicine. The unit promotes collaboration among clinicians and faculty members working in reproductive immunology, genomics and computational biology. This position is part of the WSU Perinatal Initiative to create partnerships with the Perinatology Research Branch of the Division of Intramural Research, NICHD, NIH, DHHS, housed at the WSU campus. The successful candidate is expected to establish a productive and independent research program in the area of cervical biology. A Ph.D. degree or equivalent, expertise and training in the areas of extracellular matrix and collagen metabolism in the reproductive tract. The program is to examine the mechanisms of cervical remodeling in pregnancy, as well as the effect of specific drug-delivery systems on the cervix. Emphasis will be on both human and animal models. The faculty member should be able to establish a laboratory, participate in graduate and medical education, recruit and supervise laboratory staff, and lead a productive and dynamic team. WSU is committed to academic excellence and diversity within the faculty, staff and student body. WSU is interested in candidates who have demonstrated commitment to excellence in research and teaching. Some scholarly activity and service towards building an equitable and diverse scholarly environment is required. Successful candidates should possess excellent written and verbal communication skills. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and based on the WSU pay scale. Tenure and non-tenure track positions are available. Series of appointment, as well as a competitive start-up package, will be determined based upon the candidateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skills, qualifications and experience. National and international applicants are welcome. Review of applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled. Interested individuals should send: x x x

a curriculum vitae, a separate statement summarizing their experience and professional contributions, and a list of three references to: Sonia S. Hassan, M.D. Associate Dean for Maternal, Perinatal and Child Health Wayne State University School of Medicine mpch@med.wayne.edu Wayne State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer

62 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013


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FEEDBACK

PAUL MCDEVITT

of your choice”, which is then “shot out at high speed into the drinker’s mouth”. It is, says the ad, “ideal for stag and hen nights”. Feedback was greatly taken by the whistle-in-the-wind statement concluding the promotion: “NB. Please enjoy Alcohol Shot Gun by drinking responsibly.”

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WHAT on earth could an “alcohol shot gun” be? Richard Lucas sends us a scan of an ad he saw in the CPC catalogue promoting the “Shootndrink” gun, describing it as a “high speed spirit delivery system” to “take drinking games to another level”. The gun comes with a cartridge – you “fill the cartridge with the spirit

The Domino’s Pizza leaflet that dropped through Charlie Wartnaby’s letter box defies logic by promising “Savings of up to and over £350” 64 | NewScientist | 26 October 2013

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THE advert for the Sentinel Q Electronic Snake Repeller that Anna Butcher spotted in Australia’s Farmer Direct aroused her interest, partly because the illustration and description didn’t make it at all clear how the repeller worked – or indeed whether it worked. But it was also because it included the statement: “100 per cent safe to use around children and animals”.

“This means,” says Anna, “that the snakes, being animals, won’t be harmed by the Snake Repeller – but I am concerned for my own safety, being an adult.”

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FINALLY, the International Journal of Latest Research in Science and Technology told Andrew Kirk in an email soliciting papers that it is an “academic Online Open ‘Right to Use’ Pear Reviewed International Journal”. Andrew wonders how the pear review process is conducted – and whether it makes the journal more likely to accept fruitloopery.

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THE LAST WORD

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Stick in the mud I know how green leaves photosynthesise, and The Last Word has explained how red leaves photosynthesise. I have an air plant Tillandsia with long, thin spiky leaves that appear yellow-brown, dry and, to all appearances, dead. How do these photosynthesise? I don’t water it, but it is alive because every so often a new leaf shoot appears.

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Long-haul racers Can any land-based animal outperform an elite human marathon runner over the full distance? If so, which ones?

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The writers of answers published in the magazine will receive a cheque for £25 (or US$ equivalent). Answers should be concise. We reserve the right to edit items for clarity and style. Include a daytime telephone number and email address if you have one. We are pleased to acknowledge financial support from Statoil in producing The Last Word. New Scientist retains total editorial control over the content. Reed Business Information Ltd reserves all rights to reuse question

and answer material that has been submitted by readers in any medium or in any format. Send questions and answers to The Last Word, New Scientist, Lacon House, 84 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8NS, UK, by email to lastword@newscientist. com or visit www.newscientist.com/topic/ lastword (please include a postal address in order to receive payment for answers). Unanswered questions can also be found at this URL.

“The yellow-brown and dry parts of the leaves on the plant are dead, with only deeper green parts alive”

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THE LAST WORD ON ENERGY Don’t miss the winning answers to last month’s question on page 25 Answer our next question and you could win £100 Turn to page 25 to see the latest question or visit www.newscientist.com/topic/energy, where you will also find the terms and conditions


New scientist 26 october 2013  

New Scientist is a weekly non-peer-reviewed English-language international science magazine, founded in 1956. Since 1996 it has also run a w...

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