Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Will Enhanced Soldiers Fight a Just War?
Technologies may be able to enhance a soldier’s strength, endurance, stress tolerance and cognitive ability, but could they reduce their moral capacity to follow the laws of armed conflict?
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Neural Interfaces: From Disability to Enhancement
Neuroprosthetic arms, mind-controlled exoskeletons and brain–computer interfaces are already enabling the disabled, but what happens when these and other devices become mainstream consumer products that blur the lines between enhanced...
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How We Sense Time
Our sense of time is critical to our everyday experience, from consciousness to movement and learning.
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Speed Bumps Slow Electric Vehicles
How much can electric vehicles reduce Australia’s carbon emissions, and what are the factors limiting the transition from Australia’s fleet of conventional combustion engines?
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Why Personal Data Breaches Are a Growing Problem
While most people whose online data have been compromised report little or no financial consequences, the overall cost runs into trillions of dollars even before the loss of trust in e-commerce is factored in.
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Why Do Whale Sharks Get So Big?
Whale sharks have evolved to become the world’s largest fish as a consequence of feeding on vast amounts of tiny prey in the cold ocean depths.
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The Illegal Wildlife Trade as a Source of New Alien Species
The illegal wildlife trade is increasing the likelihood that foreign reptiles will become established in the wild – with consequences for both biodiversity and human health.
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The Future of Frogs in the Face of Fire
The increasing risk of bushfires due to climate change is escalating the risk of extinction for frogs in Australia’s south-east.
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COVER STORY
Technologies may be able to enhance a soldier’s strength, endurance, stress tolerance and cognitive ability, but could they reduce their moral capacity to follow the laws of armed conflict?
FEATURES
Neuroprosthetic arms, mind-controlled exoskeletons and brain–computer interfaces are already enabling the disabled, but what happens when these and other devices become mainstream consumer products that blur the lines between enhanced human and machine?
Robots remain a law unto themselves, with legal frontiers including issues such as liability, copyright and even the taxing of robots much like the human workers they are replacing.
Quantum cryptography experiments onboard a new Chinese Earth satellite foreshadow secret communications on a global scale with security guaranteed by the laws of physics.
Our sense of time is critical to our everyday experience, from consciousness to movement and learning.
How much can electric vehicles reduce Australia’s carbon emissions, and what are the factors limiting the transition from Australia’s fleet of conventional combustion engines?
While most people whose online data have been compromised report little or no financial consequences, the overall cost runs into trillions of dollars even before the loss of trust in e-commerce is factored in.
Whale sharks have evolved to become the world’s largest fish as a consequence of feeding on vast amounts of tiny prey in the cold ocean depths.
The illegal wildlife trade is increasing the likelihood that foreign reptiles will become established in the wild – with consequences for both biodiversity and human health.
The increasing risk of bushfires due to climate change is escalating the risk of extinction for frogs in Australia’s south-east.
UP FRONT
Gender bias in science is found not only in pay and seniority but also in the peer review process.
conSCIENCE
In an age of "alternative facts", it may not be feasible to expect people to understand the details of scientific studies, but it is crucial that they respect the importance of evidence-based information underpinning scientific analysis.
NEUROPSY
Some readers “hear” characters speaking to them, even when the book is finished.
QUANDARY
If moral bioenhancement of psychopaths becomes obligatory, who will benchmark standards?
LOWE TECH
A 100% renewable energy system using pumped hydro can store enough power for peak demand at a competitive price to fossil fuels.
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Fast radio bursts have been detected near Canberra, and now you can join the hunt for a ninth planet in our solar system.
THE BITTER PILL
When the great Dutch scholar Erasmus famously wrote that “prevention is better than cure” around 500 years ago, he didn’t exactly have orthomolecular medicine and high colonics in mind.
THE NAKED SKEPTIC
A caustic paste can dissolve the authority of regulators more effectively than its purported use against cancer cells.
ECO LOGIC
Economics has a lot to offer ecological restoration. A greater engagement with economics would enhance the likelihood of success for many restoration efforts.
DIRECTIONS
Research priorities can place a greater emphasis on inputs than the potential outcomes.
EXPERT OPINION
The Australian government has set out a plan to use science to engage and enrich Australian society. Its objectives are to engage all Australians with science, building scientific skills, produce new research and technology, and improve Australians’ lives through research.
AUSTRALASIAN SKY
Your map of the night sky this month.
PUBLISH or PERISH
An extract from "And Then You're Dead: A Scientific Explanation of the World's Most Interesting Ways to Die".