Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue Sep/Oct 2017

Cover Story: How You Can Weigh Black Holes
The largest invisible monsters in our universe are hidden at the centres of galaxies, and we can predict how massive they are by the shape of spiral arms in their host galaxies. Here’s how you can take part in a global “citizen science” census of black holes.
Feature: Can Sea Turtles Cope with Climate Change?
Rising temperatures due to climate change are skewing gender ratios among turtles and increasing the mortality rate of hatchlings. Can they adapt?
Feature: Why Haven’t We Cured Addiction Yet?
Millions of people are struggling with addictions to smoking, drinking and drugs, but the search for new medications to help them quit remains elusive. Here’s why.
Feature: Why There’s No Gain Without Pain
Most people know all too well the feeling of muscle soreness after unaccustomed exercise, but now the cell physiology of the recovery process has been explained.
Feature: Confronting the Fear of Blushing
Fear of blushing is complex, but help is closer at hand now that the origin of this fear is becoming clear.
Feature: Malaria Drugs Offer New Herbicide Targets
A relic chloroplast in the malaria parasite opens the prospect of developing a new generation of herbicides from anti-malaria drugs.
Feature: High Power
Micro-hydro power units could soon provide “SWAP’n’GO” batteries to villagers in remote regions in the Himalayas.
Feature: The World’s Most Interesting Genome
Sequencing of the genome of a pure-bred dingo pup rescued from the side of a remote desert track will enable scientists to examine one of Charles Darwin’s few remaining untested theories.
Feature: Are We Still Domesticating the Wolf?
Modern wolves are being drawn to human sources of food, with serious implications for their evolution and conservation, as well as for ecosystems and humans communities in general.
Feature: Alternative Measures of Research Impact
New “altmetrics” tools are enabling universities and the private sector to identify emerging talent much earlier than traditional measures of academic publications and citations.
Australasian Sky: This Month's Star Chart
Your map of the night sky this month.
conSCIENCE: It’s Time We Had a Conversation About Net Neutrality
Net neutrality is more than an issue about consumer internet access and speeds. It also has implications for freedom of speech, competition and innovation.
The Bitter Pill: TGA Endorses Pseudoscience for Complementary Meds
We are about to be exposed to hundreds of approved “remedies” that are ineffective at best and potentially dangerous.
Eco Logic: Dogs on Leashes, Birds on Beaches
A bit of maths can help managers minimise the impact of dogs on migratory shorebirds.
Expert Opinion: Human Embryos Edited
Scientists have used CRISPR to edit human embryos, removing a mutation linked to a heritable heart condition.
Fossil File: Gliding Jurassic Mammals, Huge Dinosaurs and Ice Age Birds
Gliding Jurassic Mammals, Huge Dinosaurs and Ice Age Birds
Lowe Tech: Recycling Efforts Wasted
Householders might decide it’s not worth the trouble sorting their waste.
Naked Skeptic: Vaxxed Spreads Like a Plague
The anti-vaccination movement has employed dishonest tactics to ensure the public screening of Vaxxed in Australia.
Neuropsy: Watching the Detective
Studies of neural activity in viewers of Sherlock reveal how we connect story elements.
Out of this World: Giant Comets Could Endanger Life on Earth
Giant comets could endanger life on Earth, and there is new evidence of water in the Moon’s interior.
Quandary: Ethics for an Edited Embryo
Editing of a gene in a human embryo may have ticked some regulatory boxes but this does not address some huge ethical issues.
Up Close: Silent killer: Coming to grips with an emerging epidemic of viral hepatitis
Infectious diseases expert and epidemiologist Dr Ben Cowie explains why viral hepatitis is fast becoming a hidden epidemic with significant public health consequences. Most people with chronic hepatitis types B and C aren't even aware they have the diseases as they show no obvious symptoms or signs, yet they risk severe illness or liver damage. So how is the global health community targeting hepatitis, and how to grow awareness in a largely unsuspecting public?
Up Front: Publish, Patent, Be Social or Perish
A researcher’s impact extends beyond measures of publications and citations to patents, peer review and social media influence.