Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Cover Story

Cover Story

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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What Is the SKA?

The first phase of the Square Kilometre Array at night.

Artist’s impression representing the first phase of the Square Kilometre Array at night, with its two instruments SKA1 LOW (in Australia, on the left) and SKA1 MID (in South Africa, on the right). SKA1 LOW will comprise 130,000 dipole antennas while SKA1 MID will comprise 200 dishes, including 64 MeerKAT dishes. Credit: SKA Organisation

By Willem van Straten

The Square Kilometre Array is an unprecedented international collaboration to build the world's largest radio telescope and address some of the most fundamental questions of modern science.

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Tattoo Inks: Poison Pigments?

Credit: iStockphoto/yulkapopkova

Credit: iStockphoto/yulkapopkova

By Ian Musgrave

Allergy and infection are two causes for caution when contemplating a tattoo. But are tattoo pigments toxic, and do they increase the risk of cancer?

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Post Mortem: What Happens to Drugs after Death?

morgue

Many factors result in drug concentrations rising, falling or even disappearing after death.

By Michael Kennedy

Drug levels can rise, fall or even disappear entirely after death, potentially leading to incorrect conclusions about murder, suicide and drug overdoses.

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Saving Lives on the Battlefield

Credit: 1JPAU © Commonwealth of Australia

Credit: 1JPAU © Commonwealth of Australia

By Geoffrey Dobson

Treatments that stem blood loss after a catastrophic injury in the battlefield can damage the brain. However, a new drug strategy aims to stabilise both in the first crucial 10 minutes.

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Brain Stimulation & Memory: How Strong Is the Evidence?

neuron

The data show convincingly that tDCS does not enhance brain function.

By Jared Cooney Horvath

For nearly 15 years, scientists have reported that running a weak electric current through the brain can improve learning and memory. What if we got it wrong?

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Does Eating Less Extend Life?

Baweg/iStockphoto

Lifespan extension due to dietary restriction has been demonstrated in species ranging from yeast to flies to mice – and even primates too. Credit: Baweg/iStockphoto

By Margo Adler

Dietary restriction extends the lives of species as diverse as yeast, flies and mice, but is this effect simply due to artificial conditions in the laboratory?

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Window of Opportunity

Interleukin-2 therapy will achieve a complete response when it is administered d

Interleukin-2 therapy will achieve a complete response when it is administered during a 12-hour window in the 7-day immune cycle.

By Martin Ashdown & Brendon Coventry

By targeting cancer treatments to specific phases of the immune cycle, researchers believe they can dramatically improve the chances of complete remission.

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