Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue July/August 2019

Cover Story: A Different Angle on Earth’s Climate History
Earth’s axial tilt affects our environment in many ways, but a much greater tilt in the remote geological past may have strongly influenced the planet’s climate history and the evolution of life.
Scientific examination of the mummy.
Feature: How Isotopes Traced Ötzi’s Origins
Some stunning analytical chemistry has revealed the story of Ötzi, whose frozen, partly battered remains were hacked from a glacier on the Austro-Italian border after 5000 years.
Feature: Too Much of a Good Thing
Our immune system protects us from disease but can also cause harm. Sydney scientists are now trying to interfere with the immune signals that can provoke serious side-effects.
Feature: A Social Approach to Crime Prediction
Computers can be trained to analyse location information generated by social media users to predict the likely time and place of specific crimes.
Feature: The Ecological Cost of Artificial Light
Public lighting must be reimagined so it’s both functional and safe, has less impact on ecological systems and allows visibility of the stars again.
Feature: Hacking the Illegal Trade in Wildlife
Hackers should be deployed to disrupt a $23 billion online market in wildlife and wildlife parts.
Feature: The Art of the Periodic Table
To mark the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the Periodic Table, a STEM education centre is unveiling a permanent installation illustrating the birth of the universe through elements of significance.
Feature: Is Australia Undergoing an Insect Armageddon?
Long-term studies all over the world show a dramatic decline in insect diversity and numbers, but we know little about the health of Australian insect populations.
Australasian Sky: This Month's Star Chart
Your maps of the night sky for July and August.
conSCIENCE: Maths Teaching Faces a Crisis
With student numbers swelling, new graduate teachers alone cannot make up for the impending retirement of many mathematically qualified teachers.
The Bitter Pill: CAM Laboratory Tests Fail Two Important Criteria
A study of 11 common laboratory tests ordered by complementary medicine practitioners finds that they lack clinical validity and utility.
Directions: 3D Printing of Bone
Hospitals are establishing 3D printing facilities that will make patient-specific bone tissue substitutes widely available.
Eco Logic: Reviewing Our National Environmental Law As If It Mattered
Australia’s overarching national environmental law is due for review. To make the most of this opportunity, the reviewers need to address five critical questions.
Expert Opinion: First Australian Cancer Lawsuit Over Herbicide “Roundup”
A Melbourne gardener has launched legal action in the first Australian case to link cancer with glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup. While glyphosate is considered “probably carcinogenic”, some experts dispute this conclusion.
Lowe Tech: Rare Stability for Science in Government
The return of the Coalition government has paused the merry-go-round of Science Ministers.
Naked Skeptic: A Conspiracy of Conspiracies
Republic of Lies is a primer on the state of conspiracy thinking.
Neuropsy: Be Mindful of the Gap
The lack of evidence for mindfulness as a therapeutic technique raises serious questions for health and education professionals.
Out of this World: Citizen Scientists Needed to Unlock Secrets of Universe
AstroQuest is enlisting citizen scientists to check the data detailing how distant galaxies grow and evolve.
Out of this World: Searching Alpha Centauri for Earth-Like Planets
Breakthrough Watch has announced “first light” on a newly built instrument idesigned to hunt for exoplanets in our neighbouring star system, Alpha Centauri.
Quandary: Values in Science Affect What Your Doctor Recommends
Should a GP recommend exercise to chronic pain patients when the evidence doesn't match patient experience?
Quandary: Can We (Ethically) Disinvest from Healthcare Interventions?
The withdrawal or reduction of a medication or surgical technique can make healthcare safer, cheaper and more effective. However, practical and ethical challenges mean that we can't solely rely on this to ensure a fair distribution of healthcare.
Up Front: Australia’s Place in a Modern Space Race
Australia’s space industry will have to pick sides in a new space race 50 years since astronauts first landed on the Moon.
Up Front: It's Time to Say Goodbye
Australasian Science is ceasing production after more than eight decades.