Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue April 2015

Credit: 1JPAU © Commonwealth of Australia
Cover Story: Saving Lives on the Battlefield
Treatments that stem blood loss after a catastrophic injury in the battlefield can damage the brain. However, a new drug strategy aims to stabilise both in the first crucial 10 minutes.
Credit: PhenomArtlover/iStockphoto
Feature: Molecules that Mould the Mind
Molecular psychiatrists are revealing how stress during critical periods in adolescence can influence mental illness later in life.
Feature: The Evolving Story of Heredity
Biologists are discovering that there is a lot more to heredity than genes. In the latest twist, it turns out that offspring size in an Australian fly species can be determined by the diet of its mother’s previous mating partner.
Credit: Menna Jones
Feature: The Devil Is in the DNA
DNA analysis reveals that Tasmanian devils survived a major population decline thousands of years ago, leaving them with low genetic diversity to withstand devil facial tumour disease.
Credit: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith
Feature: Australia’s Ebola Risk
Improving outbreak control in West Africa resulted in reduced risk to Australia.
Feature: How Zombies Can Save Us from a Real Apocalypse
Mathematical modelling of a zombie apocalypse has real-world applications in our responses to infectious diseases such as Ebola and HIV, wildlife conservation and even the teaching of statistics.
The skull of Homo floresiensis (right) is much smaller than ours (left).
Feature: Big Questions about Little Hominins
The discovery of diminutive human fossils in Indonesia has challenged paradigms in human evolution – and has therefore been highly controversial. How strong is the evidence that Homo floresiensis is a separate species and not a stunted modern human?
Feature: Can Hookworms Cure Coeliac Disease?
Coeliac disease patients infected with hookworms can tolerate gluten-containing foods, revealing the potential for these parasites and their secretions to treat a range of inflammatory diseases.
Credit: Ugreen/iStockphoto
Feature: Bioprinting of Human Organs
While bioprinting of living tissue has been possible for some time, the creation of functional organs has been limited by the ability to vascularise these tissues – until now.
Feature: The Criminal Underbelly of 3D Printing
While 3D printing promises to revolutionise manufacturing and biomedicine, it also stands to benefit criminals through the printing of guns, drugs and counterfeit goods.
Australasian Sky: This Month's Star Chart
Your map of the night sky for this month.
conSCIENCE: Science Is Not Just Whitefella Business
Australia’s indigenous culture has a rich scientific heritage, yet indigenous people are under-represented in science-related careers today. Some simple steps can change this.
The Bitter Pill: What’s the Evidence, Ms Kardashian?
It is disturbingly common to find celebrities paid to spruik alternative treatments, medicines and practices that science has already shown are ineffective – or worse.
Directions: Can Intelligent Networks Solve Our Energy Challenge?
We’re changing to a two-way network to exchange electricity between participants.
Eco Logic: Burning Questions for Black Cockatoos
Fire management around Perth may hold the key to the future of an endangered cockatoo.
Eureka!: New York Subway Home to Bubonic Plague and Anthrax
Traces of DNA sampled across New York’s subway have revealed a trail of anthrax, bubonic plague and drug-resistant microbes.
Expert Opinion: Organic Pollutants Linked to Early Menopause
A new study has found that women who are exposed to high levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals begin menopause 2–4 years earlier.
The Fit: Descreening Kids
Kids are spending more time in front of screens, but government guidelines have become hopelessly out of date.
Fossil File: A Gold Medal for the World’s Oldest Life
To enable science to match media coverage of sport, maybe we need to award some gold medals.
Lowe Tech: Cheap Petrol Signals End of the Oil Age
Petrol prices have dropped as the Saudis recognise that a cheap barrel now is better than a barrel left in the ground tomorrow.
Naked Skeptic: It Can’t Hurt You: It’s Natural
The company that marketed a raw milk product that killed a child should not be allowed to use product-labelling loopholes to escape justice.
Neuropsy: All of This Has Happened Before
A new case report shows that déjà vu can be persistent, debilitating and psychogenic.
Out of this World: Astronomers Locate Oldest Known Solar System
At 11.2 billion years of age, Kepler-444 is the oldest star with Earth-like planets ever found.
Quandary: The Science of Persuasion
How did scientists win the public relations war to persuade British Parliament to approve the creation of three-parent babies?
Simon Says: Political Immunity
Vaccination sceptics are active in all vaccinated societies, but which side of politics they inhabit is a matter of national difference.