Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Gogonasus
The First Breath
The African reedfish Polypterus has revealed how breathing first evolved in terrestrial animals, and perhaps how the structures of the ear first formed.
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 The red lionfish hides in plain sight using stripes and fins that disrupt the b
Lions of the Caribbean
Despite the extravagent appearance of red lionfish, these voracious carnivores are virtually undetectable by small prey and are causing massive problems in the Caribbean. So why aren’t they taking over the Great Barrier Reef?
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Islands of Extinction
Native mammals are disappearing rapidly as an aggressive invader takes over in forests fragmented by a hydroelectric dam.
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The oil spill at Montara lasted for 74 days.
After the Oil Spill
Just 4 years after the Montara oil spill, scientists have compiled the most detailed description yet of the wildlife, fish and habitats of the Timor Sea as they monitor the recovery of the species affected by the spill.
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 Moorish idol
Tropical Invaders Seek a Cool Change
As oceans warm, a new study has shown that certain measurable traits may help scientists predict which species of tropical fish will successfully shift into cooler temperate waters.
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short-eared rock wallabies
Mammals on the Brink
Traditional ecological knowledge and western science have combined to address one of Australia’s most pressing biodiversity conservation issues – the decline of its native mammal species.
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painted rock shelters
Reaching Australia’s Ancient Refugia
New research reveals how Australia’s ancient Aboriginal populations were challenged by extreme climate change between 23,000 and 12,000 years ago, and provides insights into how people may respond to dramatic climate change in the future.
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 The red lionfish hides in plain sight using stripes and fins that disrupt the b
Lions of the Caribbean
Despite the extravagent appearance of red lionfish, these voracious carnivores are virtually undetectable by small prey and are causing massive problems in the Caribbean. So why aren’t they taking over the Great Barrier Reef?
FEATURES - In depth articles on current research in Australia and abroad.
Native mammals are disappearing rapidly as an aggressive invader takes over in forests fragmented by a hydroelectric dam.
Gogonasus
The First Breath
The African reedfish Polypterus has revealed how breathing first evolved in terrestrial animals, and perhaps how the structures of the ear first formed.
The oil spill at Montara lasted for 74 days.
Just 4 years after the Montara oil spill, scientists have compiled the most detailed description yet of the wildlife, fish and habitats of the Timor Sea as they monitor the recovery of the species affected by the spill.
 Moorish idol
As oceans warm, a new study has shown that certain measurable traits may help scientists predict which species of tropical fish will successfully shift into cooler temperate waters.
short-eared rock wallabies
Traditional ecological knowledge and western science have combined to address one of Australia’s most pressing biodiversity conservation issues – the decline of its native mammal species.
painted rock shelters
New research reveals how Australia’s ancient Aboriginal populations were challenged by extreme climate change between 23,000 and 12,000 years ago, and provides insights into how people may respond to dramatic climate change in the future.
ONLINE FEATURES
The dramatic cuts in emissions needed to limit global warming to 2°C raise not just technical and economic challenges but also profound questions of ethics and values.
Researchers call for guidance on use of Tamiflu in light of most recent evidence about efficacy and side-effects.
The Dope on DMAA
DMAA is found in many weight loss and performance enhancement supplements, but it has now been classified by the TGA as a prohibited substance with no therapeutic potential.
Nations half the size of Australia spend more on scientific research, have higher employment levels for scientists, and greater appeal to foreign investors, according to a report on Australia’s global standing in science.
Science under Siege
When the denial machine goes after climate scientists it is, as one of them said, like the marines going into battle against boy scouts.
State of the Climate 2012
The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO have released an updated summary of Australia’s long term climate trends.
Study finds evidence for new evolutionary line of prehistoric humans in East Asia.
Encouraging GPs to “on-sell” products to patients is likely to produce unnecessary or inappropriate prescribing
Research misconduct is "serious and widespread" among Chinese scientists.
The field of synthetic biology poses a number of challenges for patent law.
EXPERT OPINION - Experts comment on scientific claims made in the news
Experts respond to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Summary for Policymakers on “mitigating climate change, and the underlying technical, economic and institutional requirements”.
Australian, UK and NZ experts respond to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's summary report for policy-makers.
Synthetic chemicals used in the packaging, storage and processing of foods might be harmful to human health because most of these substances are not inert and can leach into the foods we eat.
conSCIENCE - Scientific issues of public interest
Australia needs a repository of living brain tissue to explore the next frontier of medical research.
QUANDARY - Bioethical issues raised by new technology
Recent cases show that doctors still do not agree about when death actually happens.
NEUROPSY – Adventures in neuroscience
The restorative function of a night’s sleep may result from elimination of the day’s neurotoxins.
THE FIT - How lifestyle affects health
How much exercise do we need to remain healthy? A group of experts has now upped the ante dramatically.
OUT OF THIS WORLD - Space and astronomy news
Astronomers have discovered the oldest known star in the universe, and ice and water vapour have been detected on Ceres.
EUREKA - Quirky experiments and conclusions
It might be time to add to the selection of bait and lures used to catch freshwater fish now that scientists have observed catfish hunting pigeons and tigerfish catching swallows.
LOWE TECH - Ian Lowe examines the role of science in public policy
Renewables Targeted
A review of Australia’s renewable energy target appears to have been established with a particular outcome in mind.
THE BITTER PILL - Examining the science in medical claims
By looking for active ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines, ethnopharmacologists are finding evidence for their efficacy.
THE NAKED SKEPTIC - A critical eye on myths and pseudoscience
The Best Research Money Can Buy
Why is Swisse funding research into the effectiveness of its vitamins when the TGA requires it to have such evidence prior to their listing?
SIMON SAYS - Commentary by award-winning journalist Simon Grose
Two Drought Policies
How you cope with long dry spells depends a lot on your place in the evolutionary tree.
COOL CAREERS - Science beyond the lab bench
Circuits for Satellites
For a wide brown land, the prospect of finding water has always been tantalising. Now a final-year engineering student has found a way to contribute to this quest, winning a scholarship to attend the NASA Academy in the process.
AUSTRALASIAN SKY - This month's star chart
Star Chart, April 2014
Your map of the night sky for April 2014.
ECO LOGIC - New ways to protect biodiversity
Assigning an outcome to any single grant, paper or person makes a mockery of the scientific process.
DIRECTIONS - Science policy issues that affect our future
Manufacturing 2.0
The motor industry collapse brings urgency to the manufacturing dilemma.
UP CLOSE – a podcast from the University of Melbourne.
Marine biologist, Prof Robert Warner, discusses the relationship between marine predators and their prey. He also explains why marine environments may be more robust than terrestrial ecosystems in the face of human impacts.
World authority on strokes and post-stroke care Prof Vladimir Hachinski discusses how strokes can amplify the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and vice versa, and how lifestyle factors can be protective against both.
PUBLISH or PERISH – Your guide to new books
New books
Your guide to new books