Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue December 2016

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Cover Story: Ancient Australia’s Super-Eruptions
Sediments beneath the Nullarbor Plain have revealed that super-eruptions in eastern Australia more than 100 million years ago were powerful enough to blast crystals right across the country.
Feature: Star Laws: Legal Controls on Armed Conflict in Outer Space
An undeclared military space race is unfolding yet there is no clear understanding of how international law operates in the field of armed conflict in outer space.
Feature: Weighty  Issues
Is a switch to artificial sweeteners a smart alternative to sugar?
Feature: Fool’s Gold & the Ascent of Man
Ancient samples of pyrite, or fool’s gold, have revealed the role of plate tectonics in bursts of evolution and mass extinction events. Did man ultimately originate from mega-mountains?
Feature: Nature Calls
In a small Australian desert bird, parents talk to their eggs to warn them it’s hot outside. The unborn chicks that listened became more successful parents.
Feature: Cyborg Rights & Digital Divides
A growing number of people are implanting smart chips into their bodies. What issues do the rise of these “augmented and amplified” people raise?
Feature: Changes in Our Global Footprint
Our impacts on the Earth are slowing down relative to population and economic growth.
Feature: More Alternative Career Options for Scientists
A research career doesn’t suit everybody, but the skill sets of scientists can lead to rewarding careers beyond academia, such as in sales and business management.
Australasian Sky: This Month's Star Chart
Your map of the night sky this month.
conSCIENCE: The Unintended Consequences of Reducing Food Waste
With the global human population continuing to outpace agricultural production, we may need to reduce the amount of food that we waste. But what will be the unintended consequences for wildlife that depend on food waste?
conSCIENCE: Science Needs a Central Place in the New Urban Agenda
More of the global population is becoming concentrated in cities yet science has been largely excluded from global urbanisation planning.
The Bitter Pill: Why Acupuncture Misses the Point
History reveals the sociopolitical factors behind the rise and fall of acupuncture.
Directions: What’s Ahead for the Minerals Industry?
Significant innovation is a must to satisfy mining regulators and communities.
Eco Logic: The Inequity in Climate Change
The countries responsible for most greenhouse emissions incur the least impacts whereas those least responsible bear the greatest cost. How unfair is that?
Lowe Tech: Learned Academies Put Economics Ahead of Sustainability
Australia’s learned academies have set income increases as the nation’s major priority.
Naked Skeptic: The Bloated Truth About Gluten
Only 1% of people have coeliac disease, so why are so many people sensitive to gluten?
Neuropsy: Send in the Creepy Clowns
Fear of clowns may result from an evolutionary adaptive “creepiness detector”.
Out of this World: Our Solar System Expands
A new dwarf planet has been identified in our solar system, and a new theory suggests that life on Earth may have developed prematurely from a cosmic perspective.
Quandary: Patient Zero
An analysis of blood tests has revealed that HIV was widespread in the 1970s, and that the notion that Gaétan Dumas was the epicentre of the epidemic is flawed.
Up Close: Going viral: Global food security under threat from crop and livestock diseases
Virologist and infectious diseases expert Prof John Fazakerley details the myriad threats to the global food supply from pathogen infestations in crops and livestock, and how new genetic and surveillance technologies are lending hope to keeping them in check.
Up Front: A Sour Taste from Artificial Sweeteners
The food industry has been accused of influencing research that it sponsors.