Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue July/August 2016

Cover Story: Genomic Testing as a Lifetime Health Resource?
If lives could be saved by being “forewarned” by a genomic test, should we perform genomic testing of all babies at birth?
Feature: Will Genomics Motivate Healthy Behaviours?
Will communicating the genetic risks of disease necessarily motivate people to make healthier behaviour choices?
Feature: Indigenous Genomics
Mistrust is a significant but not insurmountable barrier to the acceptance of genomics by Indigenous people.
Feature: The Ethics of Online Genomics Tests
There is a significant difference between the expectation and reality of direct-to-consumer personal genome testing, creating a gap where interesting tensions and ethical dilemmas sit.
Feature: Personal Genomics: What Do Consumers Want?
Are Australian consumers excited or cynical about the promises of personal genome tests, and are they adequately prepared for the information they’ll receive?
Feature: The Changing Role of IP in Genomics
Recent court decisions have overturned previous rulings about genetic patents, but other intellectual property regimes are already taking their place.
Feature: Biobanks Go Global
Global networks of depositories for biological samples open a range of scientific, legal and ethical challenges.
Feature: The Stem Cell “Sell”
The unfettered commercial environment that has allowed stem cell tourism to flourish must be challenged, and the professionals who enable it should be held to account.
Credit: kentoh/adobe
Feature: Like, Comment, Share: Should You Share Your Genetic Data Online?
The culture of sharing our private details online is extending to health and ancestry data generated by genome testing. What are the benefits and what are the risks?
Australasian Sky: This Month's Star Chart
Your map of the night sky this month.
conSCIENCE: A Toxic Legacy from Firefighting Foams
Australian communities and environmental systems adjacent to Defence sites, airports and firefighting training centres have been contaminated by toxic chemicals.
The Bitter Pill: Is Saturated Fat Good or Bad?
Populist TV, blogs and publications have portrayed saturated fats as healthy rather than dietary villains, but this is an oversimplification as it’s not valid to judge our complex dietary intake by only one component.
Directions: Setting the Record Straight on Coral Bleaching
The mass bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef this summer is the most damaging recorded.
Eco Logic: “Robots” vs Environmental Managers
Can automated algorithms do better than humans in conservation games?
Expert Opinion: Nanotech Cleared in Food Additives and Packaging
Food Standards Australia New Zealand has released two reports reviewing the evidence for the safety of nanotechnologies in food packaging and in food additives. Based on patent searches rather than on nanotech declarations to the regulator, the reports suggest there is no direct evidence that novel nanomaterials are currently being used in food packaging applications in Australia or New Zealand.
The Fit: The Language of Disease
What if doctors could diagnose disease by what you wrote on Facebook and Twitter?
Fossil File: The Best of Australian Palaeontology on Show
The public is welcome to attend one of Australia’s largest palaeontology conferences.
Lowe Tech: What We Learned in the Election Campaign
The election revealed a bipartisan lack of understanding of the role of science in innovation and of the coal industry in the fate of the Great Barrier Reef.
Naked Skeptic: The Myth of “The Myth of Mental Illness”
Scientologists argue against the existence of the mind, and therefore mental illness.
Out of this World: A Habitable Planet May Be Just Around The Corner
Astronomers have discovered the closest habitable planet outside our solar system, and discovered one of the biggest black holes ever.
Quandary: Masters or Slaves of AI?
If neural lacing enables our brains to be networked, we could easily be hacked or become the tools of Google or government.
Up Close: Slippery descent: Untangling the complexity of our evolutionary history
Renowned paleoanthropologist Bernard Wood explains how continuing research into fossil and other evidence of our evolutionary history produces insights but also reveals how much we have yet to learn. How good, for example, are we at telling our recent ancestors and close relatives from those of the apes? How can we know how many species preceded our own? And can we tell which of those species are our ancestors, and which are non-ancestral close relatives?
Up Close: Ongoing symptoms: Why isn't treatment for depression and anxiety leading to lower prevalence?
Public health researcher Prof Tony Jorm asks why prevalence of anxiety and depression in North America, Australia and elsewhere has not decreased despite a quarter century of more and better treatment for two of the world's most common mental health problems.
Up Close: Not merely emotion: Reclaiming "passion" as a driver of human behaviour
Philosopher of the emotions Prof Louis Charland argues that we need to reinstate the notion of "passion" in our understanding of human behaviour. Now little mentioned outside of the arts and self-help domains, passion has deep historical roots and may have important contemporary use as a lens through which to view certain psychiatric conditions.
Up Front: The Age of Genomics
This edition of Australasian Science focuses on the ethical, legal and social issues associated with advances in genomic science.
Online Feature: Nightmares and night terrors in kids: when do they stop being normal?
Online Feature: Pokémon Go puts pressure on when technology meets the law Online Feature: Climate policy needs a new lens: health and well-being