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Bigger or Better?

iStockphoto

Would you rather be 30% wealthier retaining the liveability of your area or 38% wealthier with much more crowding?

By Ian Lowe

A number of commentators and interest groups extol the need to increase Australia’s population, but how well do their arguments stand up to scrutiny?

Ian Lowe is Emeritus Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Griffith University and president of the Australian Conservation Foundation. His new book, Bigger or Better? Australia’s Population Debate, is published by University of Queensland Press.

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Patently Mad About Patents

Credit: iStockphoto

Credit: iStockphoto

By Ian Maxwell

Recent changes in the US patent system have been promoted as a boon to the US economy, but are the benefits of these changes universal?

Ian Maxwell is a venture capitalist and Adjunct Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at RMIT who started out his career as a physical polymer chemist. This article was first published in Chemistry in Australia.

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Demystifying a Sea Monster

Credit: David Wachenfeld, Triggerfish Images

A freshwater sawfish rests on the bottom. Credit: David Wachenfeld, Triggerfish Images

By Barbara Wueringer

The use of the sawfish’s saw has been widely speculated upon, but a recent study has finally revealed its dual purpose.

Barbara Wueringer is now an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at James Cook University’s School of Marine and Tropical Biology. The study was conducted at both the University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia.

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Conservation Needs More Bite

Credit: Angus McNab

Recent science suggests that the dingo holds the key to protecting mainland Australia's unique biodiversity. Credit: Angus McNab

By Euan Ritchie

What role can devils and dingoes play in curbing Australia’s rate of species extinctions?

Euan Ritchie lectures in ecology at Deakin University.

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Green Symphonies

Plants may be just as noisy as other organisms.

Plants may be just as noisy as other organisms.

By Monica Gagliano

New research reveals plants emitting and responding to sounds.

Monica Gagliano is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Evolutionary Biology at the University of Western Australia.

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Bird Brains? Pigeons Move Up the Pecking Order

When the pigeon pecks the image correctly a border is displayed and a short tone

This pigeon, named Einstein, correctly pecks the lower number (8) of the pair 8 vs 9. When the pigeon pecks the image correctly a border is displayed and a short tone sounds.

By Damian Scarf

Research into the intellectual abilities of pigeons reveals that the brains of birds, while very different to our own brains, are capable of much more than they’re given credit for.

Damian Scarf is a Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

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NBN to Crunch SKA

The data volume flowing from the SKA can’t possibly be stored and kept long-term

The data volume flowing from the SKA can’t possibly be stored and kept long-term. Credit: CSIRO

By Dennis Godfrey

The National Broadband Network will help scientists access the huge amounts of data generated by the Square Kilometre Array.

Dennis Godfrey is a Senior Communication Adviser within the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

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On the Crest of a Gravity Wave

Credit:Henning Dalhoff / Science Photo Library

Credit:Henning Dalhoff / Science Photo Library

By Stephen Luntz

Gravitational wave detectors may soon provide a new way of viewing the universe, but Australia has passed up the chance to have one located here – for now at least.

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New books

By Stephen Luntz

Your guide to new science books this month.

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Fertility on Ice

By Michael Cook

Cryopreservation and eventual transplantation of ovarian tissue may delay menopause, but what are the consequences?

Michael Cook is editor of the online bioethics newsletter BioEdge.

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