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Vicars & Vagrants

image credit Juan Sagardia

The flightless takahe and flying swamphen or pukeko (P. porphyrio) are related, but molecular and fossil evidence indicates that the swamphen arrived in New Zealand about 300 years ago and probably from Australia – after the takahe evolved. Curiously, takahe plumage is more similar to the swamphen P. madagascariensis from Africa (pictured here; image credit Juan Sagardia) than the one from Australia, implying a shared ancestry that is also supported by molecular data.

By Steve Trewick

DNA studies of New Zealand’s birds are causing a rethink of the importance of colonisation events in the evolution of its endemic species.

Steve Trewick is Principal Investigator with the Phoenix Group at the Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University (www.massey.ac.nz~strewick).

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

I ❤ Lizard Venom

Dr Bryan Fry with a desert spotted monitor.

Dr Bryan Fry with a desert spotted monitor.

By Stephen Luntz

Toxins found in lizard venom can reduce blood pressure, opening the possibility of developing them as drugs to treat heart disease.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Something Kind of Awesome

An elevated view of four of CSIRO’s new ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-As

An elevated view of four of CSIRO’s new ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory, October 2010. Credit: Ant Schinckel, CSIRO

By Brian Boyle

This month Australia and New Zealand join forces to submit their bid to host one of the biggest science projects ever – the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

Brian Boyle is anzSKA Director.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Bloody Battle

Image © Commonwealth of Australia Department of Defence

Image © Commonwealth of Australia Department of Defence

By Geoffrey P. Dobson

Soldiers suffering catastrophic blood loss often die on the battlefield before they can be evacuated, but emerging science is targeting new ways to stabilise the heart and circulation to buy time and save lives.

Geoffrey P. Dobson is Personal Chair of the Heart Research Laboratory at James Cook University. He is the founding director of Hibernation Therapeutics Global Pty Ltd (www.adenocaine.com) and is the sole inventor on nine patents (issued and pending) relating to adenocaine. The research described here was recognised at the American Heart Association’s Resuscitation Science Symposium last year when he and MSc student Hayley Letson were awarded the best-of-the-best abstracts (trauma), and this year he was invited to present the resuscitation research at NATO’s Operations Medical Conference.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

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By Stephen Luntz

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The Big Twist

By Zheng-Xiang Li

Fossil magnetic needles in ancient Australian rocks have revealed that the continent underwent a 40° twist that split apart its most famous mineral provinces.

Zheng-Xiang Li is professor in geology and geophysics at the Institute for Geoscience Research, Curtin University.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Chiro for Kids?

Paediatric patients form a significant part of chiropractic care.

Paediatric patients form a significant proportion of chiropractic patients.

By Loretta Marron

Why is a university running a paediatric chiropractic clinic that targets the vulnerable parents of sick children?

Loretta Marron was named Australia’s Skeptic of the Year in 2007.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Baby Blues

Mother and foetus

Studies of environmental risk factors, and the specific timing of these insults, is beginning to provide a better understanding of why schizophrenia develops in some individuals and not others.

By Desiree Dickerson

A mother’s immune response to influenza and other infections during pregnancy increases the risk of schizophrenia in her unborn child.

Desiree Dickerson is a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

First Ladies of Science

Cathy Foley is President of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technolo

Cathy Foley is President of the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies.

By Bill Mackey

Australasian Science profiles 12 women who have made outstanding contributions to science and technology in Australia. What are the secrets to their success, and what barriers did they have to overcome?

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Gender Barriers In Science

Studies of women scientists show that many consider their workplace to have an u

Studies of women scientists show that many consider their workplace to have an unfriendly culture.

By Stephen Luntz

Australia is losing a huge proportion of potential scientists as women drop out of science at a disturbingly high rate.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.