Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue November 2011

The universe in an hourglass
Cover Story: How Was the Universe Born?
Modern cosmology tells us that the universe as we know it arose 13.7 billion years ago in the fiery birth of the Big Bang, but our understanding of the laws of physics is incomplete and we are currently unable to answer the questions of where the universe actually came from. Cosmologists have many ideas, ranging from the reasonably strange to the extremely outlandish.
The hand bones of an adult female Au. sediba
Feature: Our Oldest Ancestor: Putting Meat on the Bones
Last year scientists thought they had found the “missing link” in the evolution of apes to humans. Now they have dated the fossils precisely between the last occurrence of Australopithecus and the first members of the genus Homo, and described anatomical features that suggest it is indeed a transitional species.
Sad boy
Feature: When the World Is Turned Upside-Down
When children are exposed to a traumatic event, most of them experience distress but eventually recover. Which factors predict persistent problems?
An Expedition 318 scientist observes an iceberg.
Feature: From Greenhouse to Icehouse
An ambitious drilling expedition off the coast of East Antarctica is looking for evidence linking declining carbon dioxide levels with the glaciation of subtropical Antarctica 34 million years ago.
HIV vaccine
Feature: Towards an HIV Vaccine
Potent antibodies force the HIV virus to mutate, opening up a new strategy for producing an effective HIV vaccine.
Acupuncture
Feature: Peer Review: Can We Rely On It?
Science depends on peer review. Is sloppy or hurried review a serious problem, and if so what can we do to fix it?
Australasian Sky: Stargazing in November
Your guide to the night skies
conSCIENCE: Learning by Drawing
Teachers need to encourage science students to develop their representational skills.
Cool Careers: How to Feed and Fuel the World
Dr Kirsten Heimann is using her intimate knowledge of algae to develop them as viable biofuels and animal feeds.
Directions: Strengthening the Weakest Link
Australia needs to develop better incentives for public–private sector collaboration.
Eco Logic: A World of Difference?
Conservation science, management and policy confront the same problems around the world. Claiming that Australia is different is not a valid excuse for not getting on with the job.
Eureka!: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Zombie
Quirky experiments and research findings
Expert Opinion: Aboriginal Genome Reveals New Insights into Early Humans
What does the genetic sequencing of an ancient Aboriginal man tell us about the ancestry of Aboriginal Australians?
Lowe Tech: Newspaper Biased Against Climate Change
An analysis of The Australian’s coverage of climate change reveals overwhelming bias towards denialists.
Naked Skeptic: Knowing Things That Just Ain’t So
Evolution has hard-wired us to make mistakes.
Out of this World: Space and astronomy news from around the world
A Plethora of Planets
Quandary: America’s Bioethics Shame
President Obama’s bioethics commission finds that US experiments in post-war Guatamala turned a blind eye to ethical concerns.
Simon Says: Equity for Eureka
The science journalism award is overdue for a refresh.
Online Feature: Rare Occurrence of Humans Harboring Two Flu Strains Simultaneously in Global Flu Hot-Spot
While dual infections in Cambodia did not produce new strain, study cites need for continuous tracking against risk of different influenza viruses combining to create a new pandemic.