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Feature article

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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Resurrecting a Wonder Drug

African clawed frog

Eggs from the African clawed frog have enabled scientists to determine how malaria parasites developed resistance to chloroquine.

By Tegan Dolstra

As the malaria parasite pits its all against the only treatment still standing, award-winning research has revealed the secret to reviving the most successful antimalarial drug in history.

Tegan Dolstra is a PhD student in the Australian National University’s Research School of Biology.

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The Fish Cleaners

Tropical fish the sailfin tang visits a cleaner fish.

Tropical fish the sailfin tang visits a cleaner fish.

By Stephen Luntz

Not all cleaner fish are trustworthy, so why don’t more of them get eaten?

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Is Intelligence Out There?

alien

Is human-like intelligence too much to expect?

By Stephen Luntz

Intelligence may not be the ultimate outcome of evolution on Earth, so why should we expect human-like intelligence elsewhere in the cosmos?

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The Rise of the Crocodile Hunters

The skull of Australopithecus sediba from Malapa in South Africa.

The skull of Australopithecus sediba from Malapa in South Africa. Photo by Brett Eloff courtesy Lee Berger

By Andy Herries

Recent excavations in Kenya have revealed the first evidence that a diet of fish and crocodiles two million years ago may have aided the development of larger brains in the human lineage.

Andy Herries is Senior Research Fellow at the University of NSW School of Medical Sciences. He helped estimate the age of the archaeological remains at FwJj20.

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Fool’s Gold: The Search for Early Life

Michaela Partridge examining a banded iron formation from the Archean.

Michaela Partridge in the Pilbara examining a banded iron formation from the Archean.

By Michaela Partridge

The golden mineral, pyrite, is a valuable tool in the search for the secrets of early life on Earth.

Michaela Partridge is completing her PhD in astrobiology at the University of Queensland.

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