Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue November 2012

The enjoyment of music differs across dementia types.
Cover Story: The Language of Emotions in Music
Patients who have been diagnosed with dementia are helping scientists determine which areas in the brain are necessary for identifying emotions in music.
We can tell not what are people thinking, but how people are thinking.
Feature: How the Marketers Stole My Brain
Emotions play a large part in our purchasing decisions, so marketers are using neurological methods to tailor advertising campaigns that influence our attitudes to brands.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / teshimine
Feature: Magnetic Medicine
Magnetic fields could soon be used to direct drugs made with nano-sized balls of iron that take chemotherapy directly to tumours, thereby completely removing the side-effects usually associated with treatment.
Feature: New Blood
Chemotherapy takes a huge toll on the immune system, but new research into blood stem cell proliferation could improve the recovery of patients.
The Davis Station wastewater outfall. Photo: J. Stark
Feature: Sewage in Antarctica: A Drop in a Frozen Ocean?
Human activities are impacting Anatarctica’s once-pristine environment, with evidence of antibiotic resistance genes and sewage-related contaminants entering its food chain.
Feature: Don’t Always Trust What You See
Recent behavioural tests reveal that patterns we can’t even discern can deceive us into seeing things differently from how they really are.
Feature: The Living World Below Us
Researchers are revealing the astonishing life in Australia’s underworld, leaving many intrigued about its role in the health of our groundwaters.
Australasian Sky: Total Solar Eclipse and November star chart
Your guide to the solar eclipse on 14 November, and your map of the night sky this month
conSCIENCE: The Ethics of Modelling Costs
Methodological tricks can deliver headline-grabbing numbers for a good cause, but at the risk of subverting public policy and compromising professional integrity.
The Bitter Pill: Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog
Modern pharmacology is among the most rigorous of sciences. After all, the health of millions depends on pharmacologists getting it right, but what has happened to those who dispense those products – the men and woman of modern pharmacy?
Cool Careers: Hunting for the Higgs Boson
Geoff Taylor has played a key role in the discovery of the Higgs boson.
Directions: Open Innovation: Work With Your Competitors
Clients, customers, buyers and competitors are innovation sources second only in importance to internal employees.
Eco Logic: The Reality of Biodiversity Offsets
Many of the expectations for biodiversity offsetting remain unsupported by evidence.
Eureka!: Robo-Roach Rescue
A microelectronic controller could soon make cockroaches useful in dangerous search-and-rescue and reconnaissance missions.
Expert Opinion: Long-Term Toxicity of GM Maize
French research published in Food and Chemical Toxicology suggests that rats fed a diet containing a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize died more frequently and earlier than control groups. The study also suggests that females developed mammary tumours more often than and before controls.
Expert Opinion: Gillard announces 3,200 gigalitres back to the Murray
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced a plan to return 3,200 gigalitres of water to the Murray-Darling Basin (an extra 450 billion litres) from 2019. The Gillard Government has pledged $1.7 billion over a decade from 2014.
Lowe Tech: Landcare Evolves, But Beancounters Haven’t
It makes more economic sense to trash the farm for short-term profit than to farm it sustainably.
Naked Skeptic: Organic Food: What’s In It For Me?
A metastudy analyses the health benefits of eating organic foods.
Out of this World: Magnetars and Exoplanets
News from the space and astronomy communities around the world.
Publish or Perish: New books
Your guide to new science books this month.
Quandary: Boosting Performance at the Paralympics
Up to one-third of Paralympians in London may have harmed themselves to boost blood flow.
Simon Says: Energy Twins
If two of the world’s biggest economies are any guide, the energy future will not be clean.
Up Close: Joint resolution: Interrogating muscle and bone for better surgical outcomes
Biomedical engineer Marcus Pandy and orthopaedic surgeon Peter Choong discuss how modern imaging technology is shedding light on human locomotion, particularly in knees and other joints. They also explain how this new found knowledge is used to improve surgical outcomes for patients.
Odd Spot: Bioethics for Halloween
Should zombies be euthanased?
Online Feature: Historical treasures in a modern pest: the Black Rat story
The genome of the Black Rat will provide a clearer picture of its role in spreading disease, and will help policymakers prepare for possible outbreaks in the future.
Online Feature: Astronomer Wins PM's Prize
Ken Freeman's research has made a galactic impact.
Online Feature: The physics of a gas-powered world
Eric May has been awarded the 2012 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.
Online Feature: Drawing ahead of cancer
Mark Shackleton has been awarded the Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year.
Online Feature: Caring for Giants of the Deep
The South Australian Museum's marine mammals team will study parts of a minke whale that has washed up at Ceduna on the state's west coast.