Today on New Scientist: 9 December 2012

Climate talks stumbling towards a deal

As the Qatar climate summit looks set to run into the weekend, we look at some key issues, such as compensation for poor countries harmed by climate change

Twin spacecraft map the mass of the man in the moon

Two satellites called Ebb and Flow have revealed the fine variations in the moon's surface with the most detailed gravity map ever

Just cut down on fat to shed weight

A review of studies involving 75,000 people shows that simply eating less fat made them lighter

North-east Japan quake rattles same fault as last year

A new quake off Japan's Pacific coast revives memories of 2011 tsunami; Fukushima nuclear power station "undamaged"

YouTube reorganises video with automated channels

Software that automatically classifies video into channels catering to specific interests is YouTube's latest ploy to become the future of television

A mathematician's magnificent failure to explain life

An attempt to explain life was career suicide for mathematician Dorothy Wrinch, we learn from Marjorie Senechal's biography I Died for Beauty

Parasite makes mice fearless by hijacking immune cells

The Toxoplasma parasite does its dirty work by getting immune cells to make a chemical normally found in the brain

'Specialist knowledge is useless and unhelpful' has turned data prediction into sport. People competing to solve problems are outclassing the specialists, says its president Jeremy Howard

Feedback: Numerical value of 'don't know'

The value of indifference, carbon-free sugar, scientists massacred in the nude, and more

Friday Illusion: 100-year-old quilt reveals 3D vortex

See a mind-bending effect crafted into a recently discovered quilt that changes depending on its colours and dimensions

Space-time waves may be hiding in dead star pulses

The first direct detection of gravitational waves may happen in 2013, if new studies of pulsars affected by galaxy mergers are correct

2012 Flash Fiction shortlist: Go D

From nearly 130 science-inspired stories, our judge Alice LaPlante has narrowed down a fantastic shortlist. Story five of five: Go D by Michael Rolfe

Captured: the moment photosynthesis changed the world

For the first time, geologists have found evidence of how modern photosynthesis evolved 2.4 billion years ago

Commute to work on the roller coaster train

A Japanese train based on a theme park ride could make getting around cleaner - and more fun

BSE infected cattle have prions in saliva

The discovery of tiny levels of prions in cow saliva might pave way for a test for BSE before symptoms develop, and raises questions about transmission

Space bigwigs offer billion-dollar private moon trips

Robots aren't the only ones heading to the moon. The Golden Spike Company will sell you a ticket whether you want to explore, mine or just show off

Human eye proteins detect red beyond red

Tweaking the structure of a protein found in the eye has given it the ability to react to red light that is normally unperceivable

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