Today on New Scientist: 22 October 2012

Today on New Scientist: 22 October 2012

US tainted drug deaths are symptom of wider problem

The death toll from fungal meningitis caused by contaminated medication has risen to 23, but the problems behind the scandal are far from unique

First analysis of beluga whale mimicking human speech

Stories of beluga whales “talking” were once dismissed as sailor’s tales, but now there is hard evidence that they really can do it

Memento mori: it’s time we reinvented death

The knowledge that we will die profoundly shapes our lives – but the nature of death itself is elusive and changeable

Recovering heroin addicts may lose their inner voice

People recovering from addiction seem to suffer a working memory overload when it comes to words

No signs of life from Lake Vostok – so far

The first samples from Antarctica’s vast subglacial lake reveal no life, but microbes may lurk deeper in the lake

A portrait of humanity in the purchases we make

A software visualisation of eBay trading, created for the Zero1 Biennial festival, shows how companies’ records are a window on ourselves