Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue June 2014

Interleukin-2 therapy will achieve a complete response when it is administered d
Cover Story: Window of Opportunity
By targeting cancer treatments to specific phases of the immune cycle, researchers believe they can dramatically improve the chances of complete remission.
Feature: The Breast Exposed
Why is the breast so prone to cancer?
Michio Kaku
Feature: Big Bang Theory
String theory inventor Michio Kaku talks to Australasian Science about the recent discovery of gravitational waves, the search for parallel universes and a unified theory of everything.
Feature: How Certain Can You Be?
A team of physicists has challenged the limits of Heisenberg’s famous uncertainty principle by measuring quantum particles with unprecedented accuracy.
Feature: A Burning Issue
The use of fire to manage Australia’s vast northern savannas is being doused by government bureaucracy, resistance by pastoralists, loss of indigenous knowledge and mistrust of science.
An artist’s impression of the Giant Magellan Telescope. Image: GMTO
Feature: Giants of Astronomy
“The Hubble” is winding down, but several large land-based and one space-based telescope are poised to be its successors.
Australasian Sky: Star Chart, June 2014
Your map of the night sky for June 2014.
conSCIENCE: Science Diplomacy, Italian Style
Scientists should be working with diplomats in matters of foreign policy to resolve present-day global problems.
The Bitter Pill: Homeopathy Fails the Test – Again
The National Health and Medical Research Council has found that homeopathy is no better than a placebo. It is one of many such findings around the world, but will it change anything?
Directions: We Need to Keep Women in Focus as Change Agents
Not because we should, but because we must – for innovation’s sake.
Eco Logic: Being SMART with NRM Performance Goals
Natural resource management targets in Victoria and NSW are not specific, measurable or time-bound – and that’s not very smart.
Eureka!: Angry at Your Spouse? When Did You Last Eat?
Lower levels of blood sugar make us more likely to lash out, and the people we lash out at are often those we hold closest to our hearts.
Expert Opinion: Effectiveness of Flu Drug Questioned
A Cochrane review of the effectiveness and side-effects of the drug Tamiflu raises critical questions around the future of government stockpiling of such drugs for use in an influenza pandemic.
The Fit: Belief Beyond Evidence, Evidence Beyond Belief
Will the childhood obesity epidemic condemn young people to a shorter lifespan than their parents?
Fossil File: The Rise of Arthropods
Spectacular arthropod fossils have shed light on their early anatomy, and might one day help resolve the mystery of their distant origins.
Lowe Tech: Back to the Future
Light rail systems are finding favour more than half a century since Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide scrapped their tram networks.
Naked Skeptic: Right to Read Denied by Deniers
A research paper about the people who are drawn to conspiracy theories has been permanently retracted due to the threat of litigation by climate change deniers rather than a flaw in the science.
Neuropsy: Knowing When to Fold ‘Em
The discovery that some brain injuries may eliminate the gambler’s fallacy could lead to pharmaceutical treatments for problem gambling.
Out of this World: Possible “Exomoon” Found
Astronomers find a possible “exomoon” and a dead galaxy orbiting the Milky Way.
Quandary: The Bioethics of the Search for MH370
The search for the missing Malaysian aircraft raises an ethical dilemma over the bias we place on “identifiable” lives over “statistical” lives.
Simon Says: Knowingly Diving into the Unknown
Advancing autonomous vessel technologies are revolutionising underwater search – and warfare.
Up Close: Brain of the beholder: The neuroscience of beauty
Doyen of the field of neuroesthetics Prof Semir Zeki explains the neuronal behaviour that underlies perceptions of ‘beauty’.
Online Feature: CSIRO risks backing the wrong horse as it reacts to budget cuts
What happens to CSIRO when the federal government decides to strip away A$111 million over four years from its A$733 million annual contribution to the organisation’s budget? We are beginning to find out.
Online Feature: WA's court verdict on GM crops is a dose of common sense
The WA Supreme Court has dismissed an organic farmer’s claims for damages from his neighbour’s genetically-modified canola crop.
Online Feature: New genes involved in food preferences will revolutionise diets and improve health
New understanding of the genes involved in taste perception and food preferences could lead to personalised nutrition plans effective not just in weight loss but in avoiding diseases.
Online Feature: Born this way? An evolutionary view of 'gay genes'
New research supports this claim that particular genes influence sexuality.
Online Feature: Brain Versus Brawn: Evolution of the Bubble-Headed Weakling
Differences in metabolism explain why humans evolved brains while apes evolved brawn.