Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Feature

Feature article

The Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole: A Harbinger of Doom?

Figure 1. Two galaxies in the process of merging. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Figure 1. Two galaxies in the process of merging. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

By Michael Cowley

Contrary to popular belief, new work from an Australian-led study suggests that supermassive black holes may not be starving galaxies like the Milky Way to death.

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.

Genetic “Backburning” Can Stop Cane Toads

Credit: Johan Larson/Adobe

While rabbits have tens of babies, cane toads have tens of thousands. Credit: Johan Larson/Adobe

By Ben Phillips

Could the cane toad’s march through the Kimberley be stopped in its tracks by introducing less-dispersive toads ahead of the invasion front?

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.

Personal Genomics: What Do Consumers Want?

Credit: vege/adobe

Credit: vege/adobe

By Sylvia Metcalfe

Are Australian consumers excited or cynical about the promises of personal genome tests, and are they adequately prepared for the information they’ll receive?

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.

The Boys Are Not OK

Credit: alex-mit/iStock

Credit: alex-mit/iStock

By Moira O’Bryan & Rob McLachlan

Not only is male infertility a determining factor in a couple’s ability to start a family, it is also associated with a higher risk of early death.

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.

A Renewable Solution to the Problem of Peak Power

Credit: Kletr/Adobe

Credit: Kletr/Adobe

By Andrew Blakers

Despite the rapid uptake of solar and wind energy worldwide, fossil fuels are still required when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. However, a cheap and proven storage option, in combination with wind and solar energy, could replace the need for fossil fuels within 15 years.

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.

The Criminal Underbelly of 3D Printing

belekekin/iStockphoto

belekekin/iStockphoto

By Colin Scholes

While 3D printing promises to revolutionise manufacturing and biomedicine, it also stands to benefit criminals through the printing of guns, drugs and counterfeit goods.

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.

Dr Who Meets Professor Heisenberg

Example of a CTC.

A space-time structure exhibiting closed time-like curves. Here a wormhole connects two points at the same location in space (horizontal) but at different times (vertical). A quantum particle travelling on such a path might interact with its older self.

By Martin Ringbauer

Researchers have simulated in the laboratory how quantum particles could overcome the “grandfather paradox” of time travel.

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.

A Catalyst for Life

Credit: agsandrew/iStockphoto

Credit: agsandrew/iStockphoto

By Rowena Ball

A chemical found in hair bleach may have catalysed life, and can even explain why new life is no longer being created from non-living building blocks on modern Earth.

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.

How Certain Can You Be?

atom

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is one of the central features of quantum mechanics, but it has been misunderstood for a long time. Only now – almost a century later – has a first complete quantitative description of his uncertainty principle been found.

By Martin Ringbauer

A team of physicists has challenged the limits of Heisenberg’s famous uncertainty principle by measuring quantum particles with unprecedented accuracy.

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.

A Fine Balance for Dementia Drugs

The transparent nature of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans makes it easy for scientists to study its cells. Credit: HoPo/Wikimedia Commons

The transparent nature of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans makes it easy for scientists to study its cells. Credit: HoPo/Wikimedia Commons

By Yee Lian Chew & Hannah Nicholas

Since too much or too little of a key protein expressed in the brain can accelerate brain ageing, drugs developed to regulate its levels face a fine balancing act.

To view this article subscribe or purchase a yearly pass here.