Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Cover Story

Cover Story

The Olympic Dam Story

Olympic Dam image courtesy BHP Billiton

It’s easy to think that the sheer size of Olympic Dam made its discovery inevitable. Image courtesy BHP Billiton

By David Upton

The discovery of the Olympic Dam mine is a story of innovative geologists who defied conventional thinking, and the corporate leaders who maintained faith in them.

David Upton is author of The Olympic Dam Story. This is an extract.

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Bloody Battle

Image © Commonwealth of Australia Department of Defence

Image © Commonwealth of Australia Department of Defence

By Geoffrey P. Dobson

Soldiers suffering catastrophic blood loss often die on the battlefield before they can be evacuated, but emerging science is targeting new ways to stabilise the heart and circulation to buy time and save lives.

Geoffrey P. Dobson is Personal Chair of the Heart Research Laboratory at James Cook University. He is the founding director of Hibernation Therapeutics Global Pty Ltd (www.adenocaine.com) and is the sole inventor on nine patents (issued and pending) relating to adenocaine. The research described here was recognised at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium last year when he and MSc student Hayley Letson were awarded the best-of-the-best abstracts (trauma), and this year he was invited to present the resuscitation research at NATO’s Operations Medical Conference.

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The Mouse Is Not Enough

The invasive nature of embryo retrieval has necessitated the use of a mammalian

The invasive nature of embryo retrieval has necessitated the use of a mammalian species that reproduces rapidly and is inexpensive to house – the mouse.

By Peter Pfeffer and Debra Berg

Fundamental differences in embryonic development mean that research using mice may not be reliably applied to other mammals, and that cattle embryos may be a better model for stem cell studies in humans.

Peter Pfeffer and Debra Berg are Senior Scientists at Agresearch in Hamilton, New Zealand.

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It’s Evolution – But Not As We Know It

Cane toad

Perhaps some other process, not natural selection, is responsible for the evolved acceleration of the toad invasion.

By Rick Shine

The accelerating pace of the cane toad’s advance through tropical Australia has revealed a new mechanism of evolution.

Rick Shine is a Professor in Biology at the University of Sydney.

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The Evolution of the Inadequate Modern Male

The weak have inherited the Earth.

The weak have inherited the Earth.

By Peter McAllister

The superior strength, endurance and eyesight of ancient humans reveals that the weak have now inherited the Earth.

Peter McAllister is an archaeologist and lecturer at Griffith University, and author of Manthropology (Hachette Australia).

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A Nation of Creationists

Most Australian adults believe in divine creation over Darwinian evolution.

Most Australian adults believe in divine creation over Darwinian evolution.

By David Wilson

A survey of beliefs in the origin of life and the universe has found that the majority of Australians believe in creationism and theistic evolution.

David Wilson is Head of the Surveillance and Evaluation Program for Public Health at the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of NSW. He carried out this study while at the University of Newcastle.

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Tiny Climate Changers

Marine plankton

Ecological processes among microscopic marine plankton can influence chemical cycling processes that ultimately control climate at the global scale.

By Justin Seymour

Marine microorganisms have profound impacts on the chemical cycling processes that influence global climate. Now their behaviours and preferences have been captured on video.

Justin Seymour is a Research Fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney.

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The Truth About Impact Craters

Wolf Creek crater

Wolf Creek crater

By Fred Jourdan

The Earth is scarred from meteor impacts, but how old are they and do these ages match the dates of mass extinction events?

Fred Jourdan is a Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University.

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How Does a Black Hole Eat Its Breakfast?

A large black hole

A large black hole located at the centre of an active galaxy. An accretion disk forms as matter falls inwards from the galaxy. The matter forms a spiral disc that is compressed and heated so that it begins emitting photons. The accretion disk becomes so hot that its radiation physically pushes matter away from the black hole, and accelerates gas into the jets that emerge from its poles.

By David Floyd

The bending of space–time by mass allows astronomers to peer deep into the universe, and they have begun to use this to probe one of the most enigmatic phenomena in the universe: the explosions of light surrounding black holes known as quasars.

David Floyd is an Australian Astronomical Observatory “Magellan Fellow” and researcher at the University of Melbourne.

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The Risky Business of Being Male

Foetus

Male and female babies may need to be treated differently in the neonatal intensive care unit.

By Vicki Clifton

Female babies are more likely to survive a stressful pregnancy.

A/Prof Vicki Clifton is NHMRC Research Fellow at the Robinson Institute, University of Adelaide.

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