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The Cutting Edge of Cognition

Acheulean handaxe

Four views of an Acheulean handaxe created 300,000–500,000 years ago in France. Credit: Didier Descouens/Wikimedia Commons

By Natalie Rogers

Modern brain scans are revealing whether Stone Age hominins planned to make specific tools or whether their craftsmanship determined the outcome of their endeavours.

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A Kink in the History of Sex

The first act of copulation in vertebrates

The first act of copulation in vertebrates was in these 385 million-year-old antiarch fishes from Scotland (Microbrachius dicki). The male (right) uses his bony L-shaped claspers to inseminate the female (left). Credit: Brian Choo

By John Long

The discovery of the first vertebrate to have copulated reveals not only the genesis of different male and female forms but also some surprising kinks in how sex has evolved.

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Did Standing Up Drive Human Evolution?

Credit: travenian /iStockphoto

Credit: travenian /iStockphoto

By Mac Shine & Rick Shine

Watching a toddler learn to walk has led to a new hypothesis that bipedalism drove the evolution of the human brain.

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Along Came a Spider

A large female golden orb-web spider

A large female golden orb-web spider is often surrounded by many small males competing for proximity to her on the web. But size isn’t the only factor determining who wins each fight.

By Michael Kasumovic

The comparative size and weight of two animals determines the outcome of 80% of fights. Now a small spider has revealed the physiological factors that help explain the other 20% of contests.

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Space as a Military Centre of Gravity

Credit: US Navy

The USS Lake Erie launched a Standard Missile-3 at a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite as it travelled in space at more than 27,000 km/h over the Pacific Ocean on 20 February 2008. Credit: US Navy

By Malcolm Davis

There is a common misconception that space is a pristine global commons that sits above terrestrial geopolitical rivalries. Nothing could be further from the emerging reality.

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Which Pregnant Women Are at Risk?

Credit: Olesia Bilkei/Adobe

Credit: Olesia Bilkei/Adobe

By Claire Roberts & Tina Bianco-Miotto

A new screening test can identify the risk of pregnancy complications based on a genetic test in conjunction with lifestyle factors.

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How to Recruit 23 Million Scientists

Credit: Stuart Harris

Credit: Stuart Harris

By Carla Sbrocchi, Gretta Pecl, Chris Gillies & Philip Roetman

Partnerships between scientists and everyday Australians are changing the face of scientific discovery and exploration.

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Strangers on the Shore

rock art

Ships depicted in the rock art of Arnhem Land indicate the influence of Makassan mariners in the region.

By Daryl Wesley & Sue O’Connor

New analysis of rock art and other artefacts found in northern Australia are revealing the timing and extent of an ancient aquaculture industry developed by South-East Asian mariners.

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Is Milk Causing Breast Cancer?

milk

Geoscientist Jane Plant attributes her remission from cancer to cutting diary from her diet. Is there any scientific basis to this?

By Matthew Flavel

Is there any basis to claims that a dairy-free diet can prevent breast cancer?

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Science Funding Attracts a Crowd

Science Funding Attracts a Crowd

By Tina Thorburn

Crowdfunded scientific research has hit Australia as researchers communicate and engage with the public in exchange for their funds and their faith.

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