14 Thursday, 30 July 2009 London Lite Space invader: a moon-bound comet PREHISTORIC MEETS HI-TECH AS WE BY anne shooter Thedinos whohave roarT-rex appeal... Lite bytes Science news in brief from around the world THE US Food and Drug Administration wants to slash the recommended dosage of paracetamol, the main cause of acute liver damage in America. Now there is a cheap, safer alternative -- SCP-1 is made up of molecules of paracetamol joined to saccharin molecules, but minus the toxic by-products of paracetamol. THE smell of the sweat you produce when terrified is not only registered by the brains of others, but changes their behaviour, too, adding to evidence that humans may communicate using scent in a similar way to how other animals use pheromones. Exposure to stress sweat heightened peoples awareness of threat, making them 43 per cent more accurate in judging whether a face was neutral or threatening. ICY comets pummelled Earth and the moon about 3.85billion years ago, a new study suggests. The Earth and moon formed around 4.5billion years ago, but almost all the craters on the moon date to the Late Heavy Bombardment when 100 million billion tonnes of rock or ice crashed on to the lunar surface. The Earth would have been pummelled at the same time, although plate tectonics have since erased the scars. Science&technology The week in numbers 5clinical trials for two pandemic swine flu vaccines will begin early next month, the US National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases has announced. Mass vaccination against H1N1 is likely to commence in America in September. 4,000-year-old sediments found in a Peruvian lake contain evidence that the meteoric growth of the Incan empire was driven by a sustained period of warmer weather. The sediments contain biological and organic evidence revealing sharp changes in land use and agriculture around Marcacocha, a small lake near Cusco at the heart of the empire that flourished between 1400 and 1532. 8per cent of the weight of depressed, overweight patients was lost after a six- month behavioural fat-reduction programme, according to research to be presented to the Society For The Study Of Ingestive Behaviour. The research also found major improvements in their symptoms of depression. Clinically depressed people are not usually included in weight loss trials, as it is feared shedding pounds could worsen their depression. 6volunteers who spent 105 days locked in a mock spaceship simulating a trip to Mars are about to finish their ordeal. The programme, which was used to test the psychological and physiological effects of isolation, will pave the way for a longer 520-day mock mission to start in the first half of next year. Unsurprisingly, monotony has been the guinea pigs biggest bugbear. D INOSAURS died out 65 million years ago, but the technology bringing them to London this summer couldnt be more modern. The arena show Walking With Dinosaurs is a jaw- droppingly convincing experience. Based on the BBC documentary of the same name, the stage show took years to develop as renowned designers worked with palaeon- tologists, spending 10m. But how did they bring the dinosaurs back to life? Theline-up The shows 15 dinosaurs include the herbivore plateosaurus, which roamed in herds round europe, and the stegosaurus and its tiny brain (80g for its five tonnes). Biggest of all is the brachiosaurus, which fed constantly to sustain its 50-tonne bulk, and is a vast 11m tall and 17m long. Then theres the flying ornithocheirus, soaring above the stage with an 11m wingspan, and a tyrannosaurus rex with its chilling roar. Bringingdinotolife SO, hOW do you make a puppet the size of a house walk, fight, eat and roar realistically? The mastermind is Sonny Tilders, an expert in animatronics (hi-tech puppetry) whose film special effects work includes the Star Wars and Narnia series. hes used technology borrowed from the movies to create the larger dinosaurs, like T-rex or the massive horned torosaurus. These each need three people to operate them. A driver in a buggy camouflaged as a rock steers the creature on stage. Voodoorigs MeANWhILe, two puppeteers control it from hundreds of feet away using a voodoo rig. This small, metal model of a dinosaur is hand-operated to control the dinosaur like a radio-controlled car. One puppeteer takes care of the limbs, head and tail. The other controls such details as blinking, roaring or snorting. each beast has 24 microprocessors to control movement, and a hydraulic system with 15 motors and six cylinders. every one of the puppets needs 7kW power from 12 lorry batteries. Its no shock to learn Bored: the volunteers on the simulated 105-day Mars trip index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html