Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Online Feature

Climate policy needs a new lens: health and well-being

By Fiona Armstrong & Peter C. Doherty

As the new Australian parliament takes the reins, health groups are moving to ensure that health minister Sussan Ley addresses a major health threat in this term of government: climate change.

Largely ignored by successive federal governments, the health risks from climate change are increasingly urgent. One or two degrees of warming at a global level may not sound like much, but if you take many organisms (including humans) too far outside their comfort zone, the consequences are deadly.

Pokémon Go puts pressure on when technology meets the law

By Michael Douglas

There are two PokéStops and a Gym within range of my desk at work. Pokémon Go presents a real threat to my productivity. Apparently, it also presents a threat to justice in Australia.

Last Monday, the New South Wales Department of Justice issued a warning through its Facebook page:


Attention budding Pokémon trainers: you do not need to step inside a courthouse to find Pokémon.

Nightmares and night terrors in kids: when do they stop being normal?

By Harriet Hiscock

Two of the most common causes of night waking in children are night terrors and nightmares. Parents often get them confused but they are different, as is how they should be managed.

Before we can understand night terrors and nightmares, we need to understand normal sleep. All children and adults cycle through stages of deep sleep, also known as non-rapid eye movement (non-REM), and light sleep, also known as REM.

Individuals not the priority in the Cyber Security Strategy

By Robert Merkel

The Cyber Security Strategy announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull clearly places a high priority on protecting Australian government systems from foreign powers.

But when it comes to protecting citizens' personal information, it appears to be rather a mixed bag.

CSIRO must ensure climate science is maintained

By John Church

Parts of CSIRO’s climate science capability axed from the organisation could be absorbed by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, according to media reports this week.

Regenerating body parts: how we can transform fat cells into stem cells to repair spinal disc injuries

By John Pimanda, Ralph Mobbs & Vashe Chandrakanthan

We often hear about the next big thing in stem cell therapy, though few of these promises eventuate or are backed up by evidence.

Well, we think we’re close to a genuine breakthrough in stem cell therapy, based on new research published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

We have developed a stem cell technique capable of regenerating any human tissue damaged by injury, disease or ageing.

Why is it so hard to recruit good maths and science teachers?

There are well-recognised problems with student participation and achievement in maths and science. Widespread shortages of suitable secondary maths and science teachers and low levels of students studying these subjects at secondary and tertiary levels are not just problems faced by Australia, but have become international issues.

A number of interrelated factors that form a self-perpetuating cycle contribute to this situation.

Fossil fuel growth centre harks back to old ideas about climate costs

By Ben Parr

On Wednesday, the minister for industry, innovation and science, Christopher Pyne, launched a new “growth centre” for Australia’s fossil fuel industry (and uranium), to be known as National Energy Resources Australia. The government will invest A$15.4 million over four years in the centre, which seeks to make coal and gas firms operating in Australia more competitive with fossil fuel firms operating overseas.

Gluten- and casein-free diet makes a meal of autism science

By Andrew Whitehouse

From the moment a child is diagnosed with autism, their family enters the unknown. Conference halls are lined with salespeople, letterboxes are stuffed with pamphlets, and life is transformed into a whirlwind tour of a fantastical array of therapies and potions that are positioned as the “cure all” for their child’s difficulties.