New scientist new law claims a fetus can feel pain

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New scientist new law claims a fetus can feel pain

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New scientist new law claims a fetus can feel pain

  1. 1. For daily news stories, visit www.NewScientist.com/news 60 SecoNDStrip to an asteroid, he said. Paper wastage recycled paper consumes 64 per Tibetan toll Travelling to an asteroid will not cent less energy and 50 per cent China’s Qinghai province isbe easy. Astronauts will be exposed NEXT time you reach for the toilet less water, and creates 74 per cent recovering from a magnitudeto higher levels of radiation, and roll, consider this: 60 million rolls less air pollution, compared with 6.9 earthquake that hit on 13 April,will have to find a way to attach of toilet paper are flushed away in paper made from virgin wood killing around 2000 people. Thethemselves to the asteroid’s surface Europe every day. And the average pulp. The biggest obstacle to United States Geological Surveyto cope with its weak gravity. American gets though 57 sheets a recycling, says Worldwatch, is a says the quake occurred because But the pay-off for planetary day, six times the global average. the Indian plate is colliding with Asia,defence could be big. One future In a report last week, the “Millions of tonnes of office causing this part of the Tibetanmission might be to nudge an Worldwatch Institute in paper and newspaper are Plateau to move eastwards.asteroid from its original orbit. Washington DC highlighted the dumped, despite beingThat “would demonstrate once wastage of paper in rich and rapidly recyclable as toilet paper”and for all that we’re smarter than developing nations. In the US, Halting hepatitis Cthe dinosaurs and could therefore 14.5 million tonnes of office paper preference for luxury, multi-ply Hepatitis C virus – which causesavoid what they didn’t”, White and newspaper will be dumped tissues. The problem is growing: liver cancer and cirrhosis andHouse science adviser John this decade, despite being ideal western nations are the biggest infects nearly 200 million peopleHoldren said in a discussion for recycling as toilet paper. users of toilet paper, but its use is worldwide – may have met its match.after the speech. The potential savings are huge: increasing in China and Africa. An experimental drug stopped it replicating in test tubes and reduced the levels of virus in eight peopleDam war rages on New law claims fetuses feel pain with hepatitis C by a factor of more than 1000 (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/A TUG of war that has raged for CAN fetuses feel pain – and if so, The law also claims that after 20 nature08960).decades over the construction of when? The questions have long been weeks fetuses have reflex responseswhat would be the world’s third- debated by scientists and are key for to evade painful stimuli. Rosen Sunbed worshiplargest dam is becoming frantic. opponents of abortion. But this week counters that these responses are Surveys normally used to identify The Belo Monte dam on the Nebraska became the first US state involuntary, and, like “knee-jerk” alcoholism have found that ofXingu river in the Brazilian to restrict abortion on that basis. reflexes, don’t correspond to pain. 229 users of tanning beds, theAmazon could power as many The Nebraska law, passed on Vivette Glover of Imperial College behaviour of 50 indicated addiction.as 23 million homes. But since 13 April, lays out several arguments London says that fetuses may feel The study authors suggest thatits proposal 20 years ago, it has about fetal pain. Each was pain at 20 weeks, but they can be interventions to reduce skin cancerbeen the subject of a vitriolic contradicted last month in a letter given anaesthetics in any case. must address addiction and anxietydispute with the government on to the Nebraska legislature by Mark Rosen and others believe the in order to be effective (Archives ofone side and indigenous people Rosen of the University of California, law is designed to provoke a legal Dermatology, vol 146, p 412).and green groups on the other. San Francisco, co-author of a 2005 challenge from LeRoy Carhart, a The latter say it would flood review on the subject. surgeon who performs late-term Salt licked500 square kilometres of farms The law states that at 20 weeks abortions in Nebraska. This could The US government should curband rainforest and prevent the a fetus “has the physical structures take the claims of fetal pain to the US salt levels in prepared and processedmigration of fish that are a major necessary to experience pain”. But Supreme Court, which has the power foods, according to a Nationalfood source for 800 indigenous Rosen argues that fetuses don’t have to overturn the Roe vs Wade ruling Academy of Sciences report. Thecommunities. It would also the brain connections needed to feel of 1973 that gave US women almost Food and Drug Administration hasfunction at full capacity for a mere pain until about 29 weeks. unrestricted access to abortion. the authority to force manufacturersthree months of the year – the dry and restaurants to reduce salt levels.season means its overall efficiency Brian Lehmann/The new York Times redux/eYevine Companies should also cut themwould be just 39 per cent. voluntarily, the report says. Contractors were due to bid forthe project at noon on Tuesdaybut the auction was suspended Tree data releasedby an injunction late on Monday. A UK university has been toldA similar injunction was issued, to release tree ring data goingthen lifted, last week. back about 7000 years. The ruling The latest one calls for Brazil’s follows a three-year Freedom ofenvironment agency to revoke Information (FOI) dispute. In January,a go-ahead it gave the project the Information Commissioner’searlier this year. It claims some office criticised the Universityevidence was ignored during the of East Anglia for its handlingenvironmental impact assessment. of FOI requests from climateAs New Scientist went to press, this change sceptics.injunction was still in place. –Under siege– 24 April 2010 | NewScientist | 5

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