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Feature article

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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What’s Missing from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan?

By Robert White

How can up to 30% of the Murray-Darling Basin's water allocations be recovered?

There is no doubt that one of the most crucial issues for water management in Australia today concerns the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), a region where most of our irrigated agriculture occurs and which accounts for 39% of agricultural production.

Nuclear Spring?

Nuclear power station

Australians would prefer renewable energy sources over the nuclear option, but seem likely to accept nuclear power stations if it will help tackle climate change and improve energy security

By Deanne K. Bird, Katharine Haynes, Rob van den Honert and John McAneney

New research shows that the Australian public may accept nuclear energy if it will help tackle climate change.

Deanne K. Bird, Katharine Haynes, Rob van den Honert and John McAneney are with Risk Frontiers, Natural Hazards Research Centre at Macquarie University.

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An Apple a Day Keeps the Drought Away

The fruit industry used 2.6% of water extracted from the Murray-Darling Basin.

The fruit industry used 2.6% of water extracted from the Murray-Darling Basin.

By Geoff Russell

Think twice the next time you see fruit trees portrayed in media reports about diminishing water allocations in the Murray–Darling Basin.

Geoff Russell is a member of Animal Liberation and author of CSIRO Perfidy, in which he argues that The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is the most environmentally destructive diet on the planet. This article is a reworking of a piece originally published on bravenewclimate.com.

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A Bonsai Black Hole in Our Own Backyard

Radio image of Fornax A

Radio image of Fornax A, an iconic radio galaxy with extended lobes (orange). The grey region between the lobes is stellar light from the much smaller host galaxy. Fomalont et al. 1989, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 346, 17.

By Robert Soria

The discovery of powerful jets from a nearby black hole reveals new clues about the behaviour of massive quasars in the early universe.

Roberto Soria is a research fellow at University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory, and will join the Curtin Institute of Radio Astronomy in Perth this year.

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Forest Phoenix

Tree ferns were producing new fronds within months of the fire.

Tree ferns were producing new fronds within months of the fire. Credit: Forest Phoenix (CSIRO Publishing)

By David Lindenmayer, David Blair, Lachlan McBurney and Sam Banks

How well have animals and plants recovered after Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires 2 years ago?

David Lindenmayer, David Blair, Lachlan McBurney and Sam Banks of The Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment and Society are authors of Forest Phoenix: How A Great Forest Recovers After Fire, which is published by CSIRO Publishing and available at www.csiropublishing.au

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Ancient Genes Reveal Our Precambrian Ancestor

The Amphimedon sponge

The Amphimedon sponge (shown here inside a pink soft coral) is the first sponge to have its genome sequenced. Photo: Maely Gauthier

By Claire Larroux

The genome of a sponge found on the Great Barrier Reef is helping scientists to reconstruct the 600 million-year-old ancestor of the entire animal kingdom.

Claire Larroux completed her PhD at the University of Queensland, and is now a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Palaeontology & Geobiology at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.

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In Deep Guano

Christopher Wurster digging a guano pile in Gomantong Caves, Sabah, Malaysia.

Christopher Wurster digging a guano pile in Gomantong Caves, Sabah, Malaysia.

By Christopher Wurster

Deep deposits of guano are revealing why South-East Asia is a biodiversity hotspot.

Christopher Wurster is a Senior Research Associate at James Cook University.

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