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Feature article

Meet Our Weirdest Ever Cousins

A school of vetulicolians swimming in the Cambrian ocean

Our strangest relatives? A school of vetulicolians swimming in the Cambrian ocean, 515 million years ago. Credit: Katrina Kenny

By Diego García-Bellido & Michael Lee

Strange-sounding and even stranger-looking, vetulicolians are close relatives of vertebrates.

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Human Races: Biological Reality or Cultural Delusion?

race

The use of “race” in biology has been controversial for many decades irrespective of which species it has been applied to, human or otherwise.

By Darren Curnoe

Is the concept of racial groups a sociopolitical construct or is there scientific evidence that races exist in humans?

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The Myth of the Love Hormone

Oxytocin is the molecule that helps a mother bond with her baby

Oxytocin is the molecule that helps a mother bond with her baby, and also to fiercely protect it from those she doesn’t trust.

By Signe Cane

There is a molecule intimately involved in your sex life. However, its effects are not as straightforward as some would make you think.

Signe Cane is a freelance science writer, and editor at Wonder (www.pausetowonder.org).

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Ancient Agriculture’s Role in Maternal and Infant Mortality

The skull of a young woman from Quiani-7 shows abnormal bone formation (arrowed) that may be associated with scurvy-related haemorrhage of the infraorbital artery. Credit: A. Snoddy

The skull of a young woman from Quiani-7 shows abnormal bone formation (arrowed) that may be associated with scurvy-related haemorrhage of the infraorbital artery. Credit: A. Snoddy

By Anne Marie Snoddy & Siân Halcrow

Ancient human remains have revealed evidence that the adoption of agriculture led to malnutrition in a mother, her foetus and other infants.

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The Wild West of Robot Law

Credit: DM7/Adobe

Credit: DM7/Adobe

By Matthew Rimmer

Robots remain a law unto themselves, with legal frontiers including issues such as liability, copyright and even the taxing of robots much like the human workers they are replacing.

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The ART of Milk Production

Per Tillmann/Adobe

Credit: Per Tillmann/Adobe

By Tamara Leahy & Simon de Graaf

Assisted reproductive technologies play an increasingly important role in the genetic improvement of the high-yielding dairy cow.

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Flower Evolution from the Birds to the Bees

 Credit: BirdImages/iStockphoto

Credit: BirdImages/iStockphoto

By Mani Shrestha, Adrian G. Dyer and Martin Burd

Walking around in the Australian bush we can see a dazzling array of different flower colours, but have you ever wondered how and why these evolved?

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Does Red Meat Deserve Its Bad Reputation?

bbq

Because Australian red meat differs so significantly from other western countries, we need to be very careful about interpreting the results of major studies examining health outcomes associated with red meat intake.

By Amanda Patterson

Returning to the tradition of eating “meat and three veg” for dinner may improve the eating patterns and nutritional status of Australians, and help to reduce rates of chronic disease.

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False Killers

Two juvenile false killer whales off north-eastern New Zealand.

Two juvenile false killer whales off north-eastern New Zealand. Image: Jochen Zaeschmar

By Jochen Zaeschmar

The false killer whale appears to form long-term relationships with another dolphin species.

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Are You Looking at Me?

eye spy

Observers have a tendency to believe that someone's gaze is directed towards themselves.

By Colin Clifford & Isabelle Mareschal

Is that person wearing the sunglasses looking at you? Or are we programmed to anticipate that we are being watched even when we’re not?

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