Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Cover Story

Cover Story

Small Fry

Zakharova_Natalia  / iStockphoto

Zakharova_Natalia / iStockphoto

By Anna Kuparinen, Asta Audzijonyte & Elizabeth Fulton

Fish are becoming smaller all over the world as oceans change and catches increase, with even small changes having great consequences for ecosystems and fisheries.

Anna Kuparinen is with the University of Helsinki, and Asta Audzijonyte and Elizabeth Fulton are with CSIRO’s Wealth from Oceans Flagship.

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Sex: Why Does It Have To Be So Complicated?

ltsimage/iStockphoto

ltsimage/iStockphoto

By Rob Brooks, Guest Editor

Sex. Three simple letters and a world of complication. How can something so simple, so natural and so very important be so bewilderingly complicated?

Professor Rob Brooks is Director of the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, and the author of Sex, Genes & Rock 'n' Roll: How Evolution Has Shaped the Modern World (NewSouth). He is Guest Editor of this edition of Australasian Science.

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Hobbit Saga Highlights a Science in Crisis

Painting by Peter Schouten supplied by the University of Wollongong

Homo floresiensis painting by Peter Schouten supplied by the University of Wollongong

By Darren Curnoe

The latest salvo in the ongoing Homo floresiensis battle has placed the science of human evolution in deep conceptual crisis.

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Extreme Photosynthesis: How Life on Earth Could Survive on Mars

A Chroococcidiopsis colony containing both normal and “far-red” photosynthetic c

A Chroococcidiopsis colony containing both normal and “far-red” photosynthetic cells. Credit: Dennis Nürnberg

By Elmars Krausz

The discovery of a new form of photosynthesis extends the limits where life can survive on Earth, and might provide a first step to terraforming Mars.

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Brain Circuits that Control Drinking

Credit: KariDesign

Credit: KariDesign

By Philip Ryan

Cutting-edge genetic technology has revealed how the “love hormone” oxytocin protects us from drinking too much, and could lead to a better understanding of the brain circuitry underlying mental illnesses.

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Gene Drives: A Way to Genetically Engineer Populations

Credit: Mopic/Adobe

Credit: Mopic/Adobe

By Charles Robin

Gene drives occur when a bias in the mechanism of inheritance spreads particular genetic variants through a population. Developments in gene-editing technology now make it possible to construct gene drives that address problems in health, agriculture and conservation.

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Genomic Testing as a Lifetime Health Resource?

Credit: mrallen/adobe

Credit: mrallen/adobe

By Ainsley Newson & David Amor

If lives could be saved by being “forewarned” by a genomic test, should we perform genomic testing of all babies at birth?

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Fertility in the 21st Century

Credit: Clicknique/iStockphoto

Credit: Clicknique/iStockphoto

By Rebecca Robker & Eileen McLaughlin

Fertility is a diverse field of research that encompasses male and female infertility, pregnancy complications, and environmental and lifestyle influences that can affect the reproductive health not only of future generations but also our native wildlife.

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Survival of the Sexiest

iordani/Adobe

Credit: iordani/Adobe

By Barnaby Dixson & Monica Awasthy

“Survival of the fittest” never applied to beards, so why did they evolve and what role do they play in mate selection in modern society?

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Rock around the Cosmic Clock

Credit: NASA/JPL

Credit: NASA/JPL

By Paul Brook

Astronomers examine pulsar emissions for signs of gravitational waves, but now they believe that an asteroid may have affected the accuracy of one of these “cosmic clocks”.

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