From the release log page:
The upcoming 2.44 release is an upgrade for 2.43, with mostly two months of fixing reported problems and a couple of nice new features, of which two are worth mentioning now:
- 64 bits safe code and files
- SSS subsurface scatter render
After this release, the big event/took/UI code reconstruction project will start, leading to the 2.50 release.
From the download page it seems like while they were preparing RC1, some issues came up that forced the immediate release of RC2 already. You'll need the RC2 build to get the SSS patch; at the time of writing RC2 is only available for OSX/PPC, Linux-64 bit and Solaris, but I expect other builds will soon appear.
By the way, is there going to be a 2.44 Splash Screen Contest? I checked BlenderArtists.org but couldn't find it anywhere..