Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue Jan/Feb 2016

Cover Story: Fertility in the 21st Century
Fertility is a diverse field of research that encompasses male and female infertility, pregnancy complications, and environmental and lifestyle influences that can affect the reproductive health not only of future generations but also our native wildlife.
Credit: Mopic/Adobe
Feature: Brave New Embryology
New technologies are being developed to improve fertility, but the effects on the embryo are uncertain.
Credit: Maridav/Adobe
Feature: Egg Supply and Demand
Understanding the relationship between the number of healthy eggs stored in the ovaries and the length of the fertile lifespan will lead to more accurate predictions about how long each woman will remain fertile.
Credit: alex-mit/iStock
Feature: The Boys Are Not OK
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.
Credit: Olivier Le Moal/Adobe
Feature: The Biggest Fertility Issue
Emerging evidence indicates that an obese mother or father predisposes their child to obesity via nutritional signals conveyed before birth.
Credit: Olesia Bilkei/Adobe
Feature: Which Pregnant Women Are at Risk?
A new screening test can identify the risk of pregnancy complications based on a genetic test in conjunction with lifestyle factors.
Credit: herjua/iStockphoto
Feature: Born Too Soon
Each year a million babies die after premature birth, but researchers have now identified a potential treatment.
Credit: Per Tillmann/Adobe
Feature: The ART of Milk Production
Assisted reproductive technologies play an increasingly important role in the genetic improvement of the high-yielding dairy cow.
Credit: davemhuntphoto/Adobe
Feature: Reproductive Threats to Australia’s Marsupials
Chemicals used in agriculture, industry and household goods can have effects on marsupial fertility as profound as sex reversal.
Feature: Top 10 Science Stories of 2015
What were the biggest national and international science stories of 2015?
Australasian Sky: This Month's Star Chart
Your map of the night sky for this month.
conSCIENCE: Bridging the Divide between Academia and Industry
The Science Next Collaborative is helping early- and mid-career researchers to make the leap from research to commercialisation.
The Bitter Pill: Smoke, Mirrors and Nanotechnology
Alternative health practitioners are quick to offer a variety of untested therapies. Nanotechnology is yet another in the list.
Directions: Additive Manufacturing: Collaboration Trumps Complexity
Subsidies are required to provide industry-wide access to additive manufacturing technologies.
Eco Logic: Conserving Freshwater Crayfish in Australia
Australia has a rich diversity of freshwater crayfish, but many of our species are at risk.
Expert Opinion: Nuclear Waste Sites Shortlisted
The Federal government has shortlisted six sites for a permanent National Radioactive Waste Management Facility. The site will contain Australia’s low-level radoactive waste, with the capacity to store some intermediate-level waste.
Expert Opinion: Annual Climate Statement: 2015 Was a Hot Year
The Bureau of Meteorology has released its Annual Climate Statement for 2015.
Expert Opinion: Gravitational Waves Detected
Australian astronomers involved in the detection of gravitational waves discuss the significance of the discovery
The Fit: Now Even Sitting Researchers Are Sitting on the Fence
To sit or stand has become an uncomfortable question for health researchers.
Fossil File: Delving into Dinosaur Body Temperatures
New research finds that the dinosaur ancestors of birds had quite high body temperatures.
Lowe Tech: Double-speak on Coal
The Turnbull government’s support for the coal industry relies on twisted logic.
Naked Skeptic: A History Lesson for Smart Kids
Harry Messel was the inspiration for a talk Peter Bowditch gave at the 2015 Young Scientist Awards organised by the Science Teachers’ Association of NSW.
Neuropsy: A Mote to Trouble the Mind’s Eye
The study of aphantasia offers a window into our ability to visualise.
Out of this World: A Milestone in Predicting Solar Flares
A milestone in predicting solar flares, and the discovery of a global ocean on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
Quandary: Will IVF Keep Us Young?
Talk of IVF as a solution for declining birth rates is a sign that governments are clutching at straws.
Simon Says: Terrorism and the Sharing Economy
Whether new technologies are applied for good or ill, they encounter evolutionary pressure to fit in to the environments they inhabit.
Up Close: Germ warfare: Young researchers seeking answers to diverse microbe threats
Two young science researchers discuss their investigations of microbes that threaten, respectively, human health and our food supply. We chat with Claire Gorrie about aspects of the drug-resistant bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae, and how it's implicated in serious infections. And Rebecca Vandegeer tells us how the Barley Yellow Dwarf virus strips our wheat crops of their defences, posing a threat to food security.
Up Close: Can't give it up: The science behind addiction and the brain
Behavioral neuroscientist Prof Andrew Lawrence discusses addictive and compulsive behaviors around drug and alcohol use, the power of psychological dependence, and how the brains of addicts differ from those of the rest of us.
Up Close: Thought Controlled Futures
We talk to the people behind revolutionary technologies enabling people to control movement and manipulate objects using their thoughts alone. In particular, we take a look at the stentrode, a metal scaffold implanted in a blood vessel, that allows brain activity to be recorded and commands generated to control a full-body exoskeleton.
Up Front: CSIRO's Ideology Is Questionable
The decision to dismantle CSIRO's climate research underlines a shift in priorities from support of broad societal needs towards a focus on wealth generation.
Up Front: An open letter to the Australian Government and CSIRO
Almost 3000 of the world's scientists have signed an open letter to the Australian government and the CSIRO in response to the cuts to CSIRO's climate research.
Online Feature: Seven secrets of stylish academic writing
How do you undo years of scholarly training and learn to write like a human being?
Online Feature: Back to Basics: The Magician’s Apprentice 50 Years On
The prefix "neuro" these days appears before so many other existing disciplines – neuroethics, neurophilosophy, neuroeconomics and neuroforensics – but can all these disciplines be better comprehended and mastered through the lens of brain mechanisms?
Online Feature: The disruptive technologies that will shape business in the years ahead
Online Feature: Eating healthily during the week but bingeing on weekends is not OK for your gut Online Feature: It's official: 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded
Online Feature: Australia's outgoing Chief Scientist says we're good but we can be better Online Feature: Gluten- and casein-free diet makes a meal of autism science