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It’s Evolution – But Not As We Know It

Cane toad

Perhaps some other process, not natural selection, is responsible for the evolved acceleration of the toad invasion.

By Rick Shine

The accelerating pace of the cane toad’s advance through tropical Australia has revealed a new mechanism of evolution.

Rick Shine is a Professor in Biology at the University of Sydney.

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By Stephen Luntz

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Invest in Science for a Stronger Australia

By Suzanne Cory

An economic crisis is looming because Australia is not investing in science for its future.

Professor Suzanne Cory is President of the Australian Academy of Science.

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By Stephen Luntz

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IT Savvy, But Stupid

Twitter screen

In the age of information it seems we would be better off with more wisdom and a little less information.

By Edward H. Spence

In an age of information abundance there is a deficit of wisdom.

Edward H. Spence is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Ethics at Charles Sturt University’s School of Communication and Creative Industries.

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Ice, an Asteroid Impact and the Rise of Complex Life

Iceberg

An iceberg carrying rock debris into the Antarctic Ocean near Casey Station. Photo: David Wakil

By Victor Gostin, David McKirdy and George Williams

An asteroid impact in southern Australia is redefining the conditions that preceded the explosion of multicellular life more than 500 million years ago.

Victor Gostin, David McKirdy and George Williams are with the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

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

Conducting Plastics for the Bionic Man

Bionic arm

Conducting polymers provide several advantages over standard metal electrodes, and in the future they are likely to be integral in the development of the next generation of implants.

By Rylie Green

Plastics that conduct electricity could bring the bionic man from science fiction to reality.

Rylie Green is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of NSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering.

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

The Orbital Junkyard

Space junk

New technology can warn whether a piece of junk poses a threat to a spacecraft, and if so in which direction the craft should move.

By Stephen Luntz

Satellites are under threat from about 500,000 pieces of space junk, but new Australian technology can now track the orbit of debris as small as 1 cm to within 1 metre.

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A Blind Eye to Love

The eyes convey a vast range of emotional cues.

The eyes convey a vast range of emotional cues that help us get along with, and understand, each other

By Bob Beale

Lack of interest in holding a mother’s gaze may be an early indicator of problems to come, such as serious crime, violence and drug-taking.

Bob Beale is Public Affairs Manager at the University of NSW Faculty of Science.

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

Hormones In Meat: Science or Spin?

Hormone-free meat

Hormone growth promotants are used in as many as half of the steers and heifers raised for meat destined for the Australian market.

By Kate Osborne

Is the decision by supermarket giant Coles to sell only meat that is free of growth promoters based on science or just a clever marketing ploy?

Kate Osborne is an ecologist and science writer.

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