Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Cover Story

Cover Story

Ancient Australia’s Super-Eruptions

Credit: Microstocker/Adobe

Credit: Microstocker/Adobe

By Milo Barham

Sediments beneath the Nullarbor Plain have revealed that super-eruptions in eastern Australia more than 100 million years ago were powerful enough to blast crystals right across the country.

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Skeletons Come out of the Closet to Fight Cancer

Cancer cells divide rapidly and uncontrollably.  Anticancer drugs that target the microtubule cytoskeleton work by preventing cancer cells from dividing correctly, but they also affect other rapidly dividing healthy cells and some aggressive cancers are resistant to their effects. New insights are revealing how specific features of the microtubule cytoskeleton are making cancer cells more aggressive and difficult to treat, paving the way for new anticancer therapies. Credit: Mopic/adobe

Cancer cells divide rapidly and uncontrollably. Anticancer drugs that target the microtubule cytoskeleton work by preventing cancer cells from dividing correctly, but they also affect other rapidly dividing healthy cells and some aggressive cancers are resistant to their effects. New insights are revealing how specific features of the microtubule cytoskeleton are making cancer cells more aggressive and difficult to treat, paving the way for new anticancer therapies. Credit: Mopic/adobe

By Amelia Parker

Cells have skeletons that hold their shape and help them move around. Recent discoveries have revealed that a protein in some cytoskeletons is making cancer cells more deadly, fundamentally challenging our understanding of the function of the cell’s skeleton and offering new hope for the development of targeted and effective cancer therapies.

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Predicting Pandemics

Credit: Gino Santa Maria

Credit: Gino Santa Maria

By Jemma Geoghegan

Which factors determine whether an emerging virus is likely to burn out or spread like wildfire between people?

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The Emerging Potential of Video Games

Credit: hobbymb/ http://tinyurl.com/hd3u2pp

Credit: hobbymb/ http://tinyurl.com/hd3u2pp

By Aaron Kandola

A growing body of research is finding that video games stimulate the brain, but are the skills acquired transferable and is violence in games really an issue?

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The Dark Web Dilemma

adimas/adobe

Credit: adimas/adobe

By Eric Jardine

The dark web can hide the activities of organised crime and child abusers but it can also enable people in repressive regimes to communicate with the wider world.

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A Diet that Calms the Schizophrenic Mind

Credit: tankist276/adobe

The ketogenic diet is preferred by bodybuilders who need a high energy intake that doesn’t promote the conversion of fat from excess carbohydrates. Credit: tankist276/adobe

By Zoltán Sarnyai

The ketogenic diet favoured by bodybuilders also normalises schizophrenia-like behaviours.

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Creationism Evolves

Credit: enterlinedesign/adobe

Credit: enterlinedesign/adobe

By Nick Matzke

It’s 10 years since US legislation drafted to stop the teaching of “intelligent design” was ruled unconstitutional, yet anti-evolution legislation continues to replicate and “evolve” across the USA.

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Digital Immortality

Credit: vitanovski/SSilver

Credit: vitanovski/SSilver

By Mahir Ozdemir

Is a Google executive’s vision of a digital afterlife feasible or a fantasy?

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Aboriginal Astronomy & the Natural World

Credit: Barnaby Norris

An “Emu in the Sky” is formed by the dark spaces between stars in the Milky Way. In April and May, when emus lay their eggs, this perfectly aligns with an image engraved in the rock at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, north of Sydney. The emu’s folded legs signify that it is sitting on its nest.

By Carl Williams

Australia’s magnificent night sky is a fresco of narratives that has inspired and informed Aboriginal peoples’ exploration and understanding of the natural world.

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Turn Down the Volume?

VLADGRIN/iStock

A new study has examined the question of whether our concentration and memory are improved or hindered when we listen to music, and whether this can depend on our personality type and even the music we are listening to.

By Matthew Flavel

Does music help or hinder our concentration and memory?

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