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Indigenous Genomics

Indigenous Genomics

By Emma Kowal, Simon Easteal & Mick Gooda

Mistrust is a significant but not insurmountable barrier to the acceptance of genomics by Indigenous people.

In 1994 Indigenous people around the world raised the alarm about scientists who wanted to steal their biological material, patent it and make drugs from it. The scientists were part of the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP), a companion project to the Human Genome Project that completed sequencing of the entire human genome in 2001.

A New Basis for Nuclear Structure

Evidence being sought that the structure of the bound proton and neutron has changed in a nucleus would herald a new paradigm for the structure of atomic nuclei.

Evidence being sought that the structure of the bound proton and neutron has changed in a nucleus would herald a new paradigm for the structure of atomic nuclei.

By Anthony Thomas

The idea that the internal structure of protons might change under certain circumstances is being put to the test, and could help to explain some inconsistencies in theoretical physics.

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Melbourne Observatory Celebrates 150th Anniversary

The Melbourne Observatory celebrates its 150th anniversary this month with a weekend of activities on 23 and 24 November.

Stargazers and history lovers are in for a treat this November when the Melbourne Observatory celebrates its 150th anniversary with a weekend of activities on 23 and 24 November.

A special, colourful historic re-enactment of the opening of the Melbourne Observatory in
1863 will open the weekend’s festivities.

Dressed in period costume, the re-enactment will include the original speeches from the
opening with appearances by the Governor of the day Sir Henry Barkly, Director of the
Gardens Ferdinand von Mueller, and the Government Astronomer Robert Ellery.

How half our brain keeps watch when we sleep in unfamiliar places

By Masako Tamaki and Yuka Sasaki

Poor sleep in an unfamiliar setting may be linked to an important function of the brain to protect the sleeper from potential danger.

Have you ever arrived in a hotel room after a long flight and, despite being exhausted, found it painfully difficult to fall asleep? And even once you managed to get to sleep, did you still wake frequently in the night, or too early in the morning, feeling groggy and desperate?

Researchers have long known about this phenomenon in an experimental setting, terming it the “first-night effect”. Sleep study participants often sleep poorly during their first experimental session in a new environment and sleep quality usually improves dramatically on the second night.

A Scientist’s Defense of Free Will

By Mahir S. Ozdemir

Why scientists should not jump to the unwarranted conclusion that free will is just an illusion.

Our commonsensical view holds that everything we do in life is a choice and we are totally free to choose between the options which we think are available to us. Many scientists, however, see a fundamental problem with the conventional wisdom about free will and claim that it is nothing more than an illusion.

Top Ten Weirdest Science Stories of 2014

By Australian Science Media Centre

A recap of the weirdest science stories in 2014, from the attractiveness of hipster beards and the induction of a dream within a dream to the number of bacteria transferred during a kiss.

Sorry hipsters, we hit peak beard