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Feature article

Rise of the Machines

By Trevor Lithgow

The cells in our body work because of the many "molecular machines" within them – but where did these machines comes from?

Read this article in Australasian Science Magazine (print only).

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Sea Slugs Turn up Heat on Bleaching

By Ingo Burghardt

Symbiotic sea slugs employ similar zooxanthellae species as corals, offering fresh insights into why heat-stressed corals bleach.

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NASA's Uncharted Future

By Morris Jones

What does the scrapping of NASA's plans to revisit the Moon mean for space exploration?

Read this article in Australasian Science Magazine (print only).

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Can Mimicking Nature Quench Our Thirst?

African Stenocara beetle

photo: Hans Hillewaert

By Stuart Thickett, Chiara Neto and Andrew Harris

Patterned polymer surfaces based on the African Stenocara beetle could be applied to our roofs to collect drinking water from the atmosphere.

Maintaining a stable supply of drinking water in Australia is a continual challenge. In 2006 the drought that gripped most of the Australian mainland was termed “the worst drought in 1000 years”, with the once-ferocious Murray River receiving only 5% of its average inflow.

A Matter Of Time

image of woman holding her bowed and bald head in hands

photo: iStockphoto

By Martin Ashdown and Brendon Coventry

Successful treatment of cancer may depend on the accurate timing of chemotherapy or vaccine therapies to match fluctuations in each patient’s immune system.

Not all cancer patients are cured by chemotherapy, biological therapies, radiotherapy or surgery. Some patients can have complete regression of all cancer, while others do not appear to be responding or show some level of clinical response but not enough to overcome the tumour.

This variability has remained unexplained for many decades, and at the end of this week about 800 Australians with cancer will be dead. In the US the numbers will be close to 12,000 per week.

The Art of Science

Credit: Caleb Dawson

A lung riddled with cancer cells labelled with three different colours to trace their movements through the body. The arrangement of cells provides clues about how they have arrived in the lung. Credit: Caleb Dawson

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute has created an exhibition of gorgeous images revealing biological processes such as breast and lung cancer, blood vessel development and embryogenesis.

Birth of the Red Sea

Peter Betts standing on exposed coral reef on the Farasan Islands

Peter Betts standing on exposed coral reef on the Farasan Islands in the southern Red Sea. The coral has been uplifted by upwelling of a salt diapir beneath the reef.

By Peter Betts

New evidence about the creation of the Red Sea has fundamentally changed how geologists understand the birth of oceans.

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Getting to Know Ötzi Using Chemistry

Scientific examination of the mummy.

Scientific examination of the mummy. © South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology/ EURAC/ Samadelli/ Staschitz

By Alf Larcher

Some stunning analytical chemistry has revealed the story of Ötzi, whose frozen, partly battered remains were hacked from a glacier on the Austro-Italian border after 5000 years.

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Australian sugary drinks tax could prevent thousands of heart attacks and strokes and save 1600 lives

Credit: Daniel Oines/Flickr CC BY 4.0

Most Australians exceed the recommended maximum levels of sugar. Credit: Daniel Oines/Flickr CC BY 4.0

A 20% rise in the price of soft drinks and flavoured mineral waters would save lives and reduce cardiovascular disease in Australia.

By Gary Sacks, Jane Martin and Lennert Veerman

Earlier this year the United Kingdom announced a sugar tax on soft drinks. The tax will come into effect in 2018, with the funds to be used to address childhood obesity.

How Can Heartburn End Up As Anaemia?

By An Duy Tran

Research finds a link between some of the most popular heartburn treatments and iron deficiency, which can lead to anaemia

If you studied chemistry at school, you would probably be aware of the dangers of touching hydrochloric acid. This hazardous, corrosive and smelly chemical comes with a lot of safety requirements including wearing gloves and masks when you’re handling it.

What you may not know is that this toxic substance plays an essential role in our own bodies.