Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

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Feature article

I ❤ Lizard Venom

Dr Bryan Fry with a desert spotted monitor.

Dr Bryan Fry with a desert spotted monitor.

By Stephen Luntz

Toxins found in lizard venom can reduce blood pressure, opening the possibility of developing them as drugs to treat heart disease.

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Something Kind of Awesome

An elevated view of four of CSIRO’s new ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-As

An elevated view of four of CSIRO’s new ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory, October 2010. Credit: Ant Schinckel, CSIRO

By Brian Boyle

This month Australia and New Zealand join forces to submit their bid to host one of the biggest science projects ever – the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

Brian Boyle is anzSKA Director.

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The Big Twist

By Zheng-Xiang Li

Fossil magnetic needles in ancient Australian rocks have revealed that the continent underwent a 40° twist that split apart its most famous mineral provinces.

Zheng-Xiang Li is professor in geology and geophysics at the Institute for Geoscience Research, Curtin University.

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Chiro for Kids?

Paediatric patients form a significant part of chiropractic care.

Paediatric patients form a significant proportion of chiropractic patients.

By Loretta Marron

Why is a university running a paediatric chiropractic clinic that targets the vulnerable parents of sick children?

Loretta Marron was named Australia’s Skeptic of the Year in 2007.

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Baby Blues

Mother and foetus

Studies of environmental risk factors, and the specific timing of these insults, is beginning to provide a better understanding of why schizophrenia develops in some individuals and not others.

By Desiree Dickerson

A mother’s immune response to influenza and other infections during pregnancy increases the risk of schizophrenia in her unborn child.

Desiree Dickerson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

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First Ladies of Science

Cathy Foley is President of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technolo

Cathy Foley is President of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies.

By Bill Mackey

Australasian Science profiles 12 women who have made outstanding contributions to science and technology in Australia. What are the secrets to their success, and what barriers did they have to overcome?

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Gender Barriers In Science

Studies of women scientists show that many consider their workplace to have an u

Studies of women scientists show that many consider their workplace to have an unfriendly culture.

By Stephen Luntz

Australia is losing a huge proportion of potential scientists as women drop out of science at a disturbingly high rate.

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Droughts? Floods? Or Will We Run Out of Fuel First?

By James Ward & Simon Beecham

Does the impending arrival of “peak carbon” mean that alarming climate change scenarios need to be revised downwards?

James Ward is a Lecturer in Water and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Australia. Simon Beecham is Professor of Sustainable Water Resources and Head of the School of Natural and Built Environments at the University of South Australia.

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Rig Recycling

Two tugboats pull the Perdido spar from Texas shore to Alaminos canyon, where it

Two tugboats pull the Perdido spar from Texas shore to Alaminos canyon, where it was secured to the seafloor in ~2450 metres of water. Photo: Shell

By Ashley Fowler, Peter Macreadie & David Booth

Some 6500 oil rigs are due for decommissioning by 2025 at a cost of $100 billion. Would they be more useful as artificial reefs?

Ashley Fowler, Peter Macreadie and David Booth are with the Fish Ecology Laboratory at the University of Technology, Sydney.

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Undervalued, underfunded, undermined… How science fared in the Budget

By Rod Lamberts

Once again the Federal Budget treated science as discretional spending rather than a key to the nation's competitiveness.

Anyone expecting undying gratitude from scientists should think again. MacGeekGrl/Flickr
The post-budget political rhetoric to me reinforces the underlying, ongoing, disdain that this, and indeed many previous, governments have for science-related matters in Australia.

Minister Carr is reported as saying that finding the “record” $3 billion to keep CSIRO going for the next four years “wasn’t easy".

While I applaud him for fighting the good fight to secure this cash, I’m still left feeling bewildered that a fight was even necessary.