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Feature article

Hormones In Meat: Science or Spin?

Hormone-free meat

Hormone growth promotants are used in as many as half of the steers and heifers raised for meat destined for the Australian market.

By Kate Osborne

Is the decision by supermarket giant Coles to sell only meat that is free of growth promoters based on science or just a clever marketing ploy?

Kate Osborne is an ecologist and science writer.

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Smarter than Smartphones?

iPhone apps

The current round of patent litigation is now focused on technologies related to the convergence of cellphones and computers.

By Mike Lloyd

New technology is untangling the complex network of patents at the centre of a litigation war between smartphone companies.

Mike Lloyd is an IP consultant at Griffith Hack.

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Cleaning Up the Toxins After the Fire

Firefighting

The South Carolina Fire Academy goes through its paces. Credit: Ryan Adrian King

By Venkata Kambala

Toxic chemicals in firefighting foam accumulate in animal and human tissue, causing cancer and neonatal mortality. New technology is now keeping it from accumulating in the environment.

Venkata Kambala is a research fellow with CRC CARE and the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation (CERAR) at the University of South Australia.

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How Tectonic Plates Take the Plunge

Mt Etna

The formation of Europe’s largest volcano, Mt Etna, cannot be explained directly by the theory of plate tectonics. Credit: Sebastien Litrico

By Wouter P. Schellart

New evidence shows that the speed of the Earth’s tectonic plates and their boundaries, as well as the formation and destruction of mountain ranges, is controlled by the size of plate boundaries.

Wouter P. Schellart is an Australian Research Council QE II Fellow and a Monash Fellow with the School of Geosciences at Monash University.

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Getting to the Heart of Inflammation

Many babies born prematurely suffer from different kinds of inflammation.

Many babies born prematurely suffer, sometimes fatally, from different kinds of inflammation.

By Julia Veitch

Pre-term babies with bronchopulmonary disease are providing insights into inflammatory responses behind diseases as diverse as migraine, arthritis and diabetes.

Julia Veitch is Communications Manager with Monash University’s Central Clinical School.

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Molecular Assassins

Perforin punching pores through a cell membrane

Perforin punching pores through a cell membrane, allowing granzyme toxins to move into and destroy the cell. Credit: Mike Kuiper, VPAC

By Tim Thwaites

A molecular assassin that bacteria use to punch their way into our cells is also used by our immune system to return fire, opening up avenues for treating autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Tim Thwaites is News Editor with Australasian Science.

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Earthquakes with the Midas Touch

The enormous Goldstrike pit in Nevada

The enormous Goldstrike pit in Nevada, USA, was formed about 40 million years ago, possibly due to ancient earthquakes.

By Steven Micklethwaite

Earthquakes are catastrophic events, but the stress changes they generate deep in the Earth mean they have not so much a silver lining, but a golden one.

Steven Micklethwaite is a Senior Research Fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence in Ore Deposits at the University of Tasmania.

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New Insights into the Autistic Brain

By Gio Braidotti

Studies of the brain have identified a physiological basis for autism’s impact on human perception, but new technology is making it possible to develop a biologically based diagnostic tool.

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Comfort Foods and Exercise Reverse Anxiety from Early Life Stress

Ingestion of a meal rich in carbohydrate is associated with improved mood.

Ingestion of a meal rich in carbohydrate is associated with improved mood and increased cognitive performance.

By Jayanthi Maniam and Margaret Morris

Stressful experiences during childhood can affect brain development, leading to increased anxiety and depression-like behaviours in adults, but this process can be reversed with diet and exercise.

Jayanthi Maniam is a PhD student with Margaret Morris, who is Head of Pharmacology at the University of NSW School of Medical Sciences. The research described in this article was published by the authors in Psychoneuroendocrinology.

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How much free will do we have?

By Tim Wetherell

Quantum mechanics may be even spookier than we thought.

Source: ANU

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