Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Expert Opinion

Experts pick apart the veracity of claims made in research papers and the media.

Learning to Count Begins in Infancy

By AusSMC

A team led by a researcher from the University of Queensland assessed how 18 month-old babies responded to videos of counting, and claim they demonstrate that humans begin to learn to count earlier than previously thought.

“I think the study is an interesting one but the title is a bit disconcerting. ‘Learning to count begins in infancy’ resonates with numerous studies tacitly suggesting to non-scientists and non-researchers (everyday parents if you like) that somehow we might tap into this new finding to advance or improve a child’s capacities and long-term educational success.

The Mouse with Two Fathers

By AusSMC

US scientists have produced mice from two fathers using stem cell technology.

The researchers used a type of cell from a male mouse known as a fibroblast to produce stem cells. A portion of these stem cells spontaneously lost their Y chromosome so they only contained an X chromosome. These stem cells were then injected into embryos from donor female mice and were transplanted into surrogate mothers. The offspring of these mice were then mated with normal male mice. Some of the offspring were male and female mice that had genetic contributions from two fathers. The research was published in Biology of Reproduction.
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