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Feature article

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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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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