Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Mining Minerals in Space
Space is a vast source of valuable minerals that could soon propel an extraterrestrial mining industry that underpins a colony on Mars.
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Credit: iStockphoto/ogalT
Cobalt Blues
The spring racing carnival commences this month, but behind the glitz and glamour is a bitter legal case as horse trainers appeal bans for allegedly doping their horses. Dave Sammut examines the effects of cobalt and the science...
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Credit: Andrés Castañeda
Habitat Highways Save Animals from Fire
Fire can act in a similar way to habitat fragmentation and restrict the movement of animals across the landscape.
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Credit: ktsdesign/adobe
Autism Genes Exist in Us All
A new study has found that genetic factors underlying autism are present in everyone and are influencing our behaviour.
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Credit: Monkey Business
Early and Delayed Motherhood Linked to Schizophrenia Risk
A mother’s age when she gives birth is associated with her child’s likelihood of developing schizophrenia, but is this because psychosocial factors associated with the mother's age affect her child's risk, or because women with a...
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Credit: Gino Santa Maria
Predicting Pandemics
Which factors determine whether an emerging virus is likely to burn out or spread like wildfire between people?
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Credit: koya979/adobe
Can Robots Replace Tradies?
To what extent will intelligent robots transform the construction industry within the next 20 years?
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Credit: arsdigital
Light, Soap and Magnets Turn Graphene into “Black Gold”
Some clever chemistry is employing magnetism and a light-sensitive soap to turn simple graphene into a super-material with applications in water purification and electronic devices.
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COVER STORY
Credit: Gino Santa Maria
Which factors determine whether an emerging virus is likely to burn out or spread like wildfire between people?
FEATURES
Space is a vast source of valuable minerals that could soon propel an extraterrestrial mining industry that underpins a colony on Mars.
Credit: iStockphoto/ogalT
The spring racing carnival commences this month, but behind the glitz and glamour is a bitter legal case as horse trainers appeal bans for allegedly doping their horses. Dave Sammut examines the effects of cobalt and the science underpinning allowable thresholds.
Credit: Andrés Castañeda
Fire can act in a similar way to habitat fragmentation and restrict the movement of animals across the landscape.
Credit: ktsdesign/adobe
A new study has found that genetic factors underlying autism are present in everyone and are influencing our behaviour.
Credit: Monkey Business
A mother’s age when she gives birth is associated with her child’s likelihood of developing schizophrenia, but is this because psychosocial factors associated with the mother's age affect her child's risk, or because women with a higher genetic risk for schizophrenia are more likely to have their first child at an early or late age?
Credit: koya979/adobe
To what extent will intelligent robots transform the construction industry within the next 20 years?
Credit: arsdigital
Some clever chemistry is employing magnetism and a light-sensitive soap to turn simple graphene into a super-material with applications in water purification and electronic devices.
UP FRONT
Predatory journals not only scam genuine scientists, they provide plausible citations that promote pseudoscience.
conSCIENCE
Primate research is shifting to China where animal welfare protocols are less rigid.
Researchers act as if they own their data, but this is counterproductive to the pursuit of science.
NEUROPSY
Researchers have located a brain circuit that regulates sleep and wakefulness.
LOWE TECH
A strong case has been made for a high-speed rail network passing within 50 km of 60% of Australians.
THE BITTER PILL
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency is dealing with more than 600 complaints about chiropractors. The majority of these cases involve caring practitioners who genuinely believe that their interventions are effective. The problem is their interpretation of evidence.
QUANDARY
Since IVF bypasses infertility it must also be having an effect on human evolution.
THE FIT
Contestants on The Biggest Loser have provided some startling evidence explaining why it’s difficult to keep weight off after dieting.
THE NAKED SKEPTIC
People who reject evidence-based medicine also subject their pets to veterinary quackery.
OUT OF THIS WORLD
There’s evidence that the Earth once had two moons, while light pollution obscures the Milky Way from one-third of the population.
ECO LOGIC
A creek restoration in a Perth suburb has increased the median home price within 200 metres of the project by around 5%.
EXPERT OPINION
The Climate Change Authority has called for the introduction of an emissions trading scheme, but two members of its board, David Karoly and Clive Hamilton, have since issued a dissenting minority report calling for stronger measures to reduce emissions.
DIRECTIONS
Leaders must think strategically about how to plan, fund and implement infrastructure projects.
AUSTRALASIAN SKY
Your map of the night sky this month.
PARACELSUS' POISON
The headline image of the University of Melbourne’s Facebook link to its press release about recent research on Bisphenol A (BPA) is of a takeaway coffee cup. The kind that does...