Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

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A Diet that Calms the Schizophrenic Mind
The ketogenic diet favoured by bodybuilders also normalises schizophrenia-like behaviours.
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How Reliable Is an Eyewitness?
Eyewitness identification of criminals is notoriously unreliable, but a new study based on police records has identified factors that can determine which witnesses are accurate and which are guessing.
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A Gene for Speed
A gene that may have enabled ancient humans to spread to colder climates may also be the difference between power athletes and the rest of us, and play a role in muscle diseases.
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Credit: Juliet Taylor
About Schmidt
Nobel Prize winner Brian Schmidt discusses global warming, exploding stars, politics and Star Wars.
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Why Are Bigger Offspring Better?
Bigger offspring have greater energy needs, so why do they survive and reproduce more successfully than their smaller siblings?
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Generation Multi
As technology continues to become more richly embedded in our daily lives, so too comes the increased demand and temptation to multitask. But can we improve our ability to do two things at once?
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An aphid is tethered by a gold wire
Plant Viruses Threaten Crops as Climate Warms
Climate change will exacerbate the spread of a virus that reduces the yield of infected wheat by 70%.
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COVER STORY
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The ketogenic diet favoured by bodybuilders also normalises schizophrenia-like behaviours.
FEATURES
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Obesity permanently changes the way our body processes gastrointestinal signals about satiety. While appetite suppressants have had limited success, the identification of an appetite-regulating nerve channel offers a new approach to keeping weight off.
Credit: auremar/adobe
Eyewitness identification of criminals is notoriously unreliable, but a new study based on police records has identified factors that can determine which witnesses are accurate and which are guessing.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
A gene that may have enabled ancient humans to spread to colder climates may also be the difference between power athletes and the rest of us, and play a role in muscle diseases.
Credit: Juliet Taylor
Nobel Prize winner Brian Schmidt discusses global warming, exploding stars, politics and Star Wars.
Credit: Eric Isselée/adobe
Bigger offspring have greater energy needs, so why do they survive and reproduce more successfully than their smaller siblings?
Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds/adobe
As technology continues to become more richly embedded in our daily lives, so too comes the increased demand and temptation to multitask. But can we improve our ability to do two things at once?
An aphid is tethered by a gold wire
Climate change will exacerbate the spread of a virus that reduces the yield of infected wheat by 70%.
A 20% rise in the price of soft drinks and flavoured mineral waters would save lives and reduce cardiovascular disease in Australia.
UP FRONT
Can a sugar tax save us if obesity has already permanently suppressed the satiety signals that tell us to stop eating?
conSCIENCE
The rise of investment bank lending for infrastructure projects in developing countries is driving a “feeding frenzy” of developments with lower environmental controls.
The emerging stem cell industry needs to be able to fast-track therapies into clinical trials without clearing the way for clinics to offer unproven therapies to vulnerable patients.
NEUROPSY
Credit: Gage Skidmore
Donald Trump’s appeal to voters may be explained by a preference for authoritarian anti-establishment leaders.
LOWE TECH
Installations of solar and wind energy will need to maintain their pace to ensure that the coming demand for electric vehicles won’t be powered by fossil fuels.
THE BITTER PILL
Chiropractors claim that “functional neurology” can treat conditions ranging from epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease to autism and stroke, but the technology they use isn’t up to the task.
QUANDARY
Cases of sexual attraction are bound to grow as “genetic orphans” seek out their missing parents.
THE FIT
Is there something uniquely unhealthy about sugar above and beyond the excess calories?
THE NAKED SKEPTIC
Even people who are rational about most matters can hold opinions that aren’t supported by science or even common sense.
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Astronomers may have seen a “baby Earth” forming, and have found that Saturn’s moons may be younger than the dinosaurs.
ECO LOGIC
Inconsistent classification of species introduces systematic bias to ecological studies.
EXPERT OPINION
A second case of gene editing of human embryos has attempted to introduce resistance to HIV infection, but only four of the 26 embryos were modified successfully.
DIRECTIONS
Australia’s total net CO2 emissions are much lower than are implied by published numbers.
AUSTRALASIAN SKY
Your map of the night sky for this month.
PARACELSUS' POISON
The explosive expansion of the Zika virus in the Americas has only been exceeded by the rise of conspiracy theories blaming everything from vaccines to genetically modified...
Those of us who consume honey as a tastier alternative to refined sugar would have been disturbed to see headlines proclaiming Australian honey could be making us sick. Why, you...
For most of us, food is more than fuel, it is a source of delight and an important part of healthy living. Also for most of us, our food must travel substantial distances from...