Today on New Scientist: 19 February 2013







Doctors would tax sugary drinks to combat obesity

Hiking the price of fizzy drinks would cut consumption and so help fight obesity, urges the British Academy of Medical Royal Colleges



Space station's dark matter hunter coy about findings

Researchers on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, which sits above the International Space Station, have collected their first results - but won't reveal them for two weeks



Huge telescopes could spy alien oxygen

Hunting for oxygen in the atmospheres of distant exoplanets is a tough job, but a new wave of giant telescopes should be up to the task



Evolution's detectives: Closing in on missing links

Technology is taking the guesswork out of finding evolution's turning points, from the first fish with legs to our own recent forebears, says Jeff Hecht



Moody Mercury shows its hidden colours

False-colour pictures let us see the chemical and physical landscape of the normally beige planet closest to the sun



LHC shuts down to prepare for peak energy in 2015

Over the next two years, engineers will be giving the Large Hadron Collider the makeover it needs to reach its maximum design energy



Insert real news events into your mobile game

From meteor airbursts to footballing fracas, mobile games could soon be brimming with news events that lend them more currency



3D-printing pen turns doodles into sculptures

The 3Doodle, which launched on Kickstarter today, lets users draw 3D structures in the air which solidify almost instantly



We need to rethink how we name exoplanets

Fed up with dull names for exoplanets, Alan Stern and his company Uwingu have asked the public for help. Will it be so long 2M 0746+20b, hello Obama?



A shocking cure: Plug in for the ultimate recharge

An electrical cure for ageing attracted the ire of the medical establishment. But could the jazz-age inventor have stumbled upon a genuine therapy?



Biofuel rush is wiping out unique American grasslands

Planting more crops to meet the biofuel demand is destroying grasslands and pastures in the central US, threatening wildlife




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