Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938


Size Matters for Dung Beetles

By Stephen Luntz

Certain species of female dung beetles have evolved horns that are remarkably similar to those of male mammals, with a few more reminiscent of dinosaurs. The females use these to compete with each other, but when males fight for mates they also stand to gain a resource that is vital to their reproduction – dung.

A Lover of Animals, Living and Dead

By Peter Pockley

Michael Archer's life-long attachment to animals as research subjects and personal pets matches his passion for the records they have left in the unique fossil beds of the Australian outback.

Mountain Ash Can Resprout

By Stephen Luntz

Mountain ash shares with other eucalypt species the capacity to resprout after fires, but only if the blaze is relatively cool, according to new research.

Europa: Our Best Bet for Earth-Like Life

By David Reneke

If a 100-km deep ocean existed below the ice shell of Europa, the sixth of Jupiter's many moons, it would be 10 times deeper than any ocean on Earth and would contain twice as much water as Earth's oceans and rivers combined!

Aphid Genome Sequenced

By Stephen Luntz

The pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) is the latest species to have its genome published, thanks to an international collaboration including the University of Otago.

Real Conservation Targets

By Hugh Possingham

We have a lot to learn from Swedish conservation efforts.

Indigenous Migraine Treatment

By Stephen Luntz

Native lemongrass (Cymbopogon ambiguus) is used in indigenous medicine to relieve headaches. No clinical studies have been done to confirm its effectiveness, but in vitro research at Griffith University suggests that belief in its properties is credible.

Cosmetic Passes Test

By Stephen Luntz

The belief that smearing oatmeal on your face is good for the skin is more than an urban (or rural) myth, according to Ms Becky Macdonald of The Biopolymer Network, who has found proteins in oats that are likely to work well in moisturising the skin.

Road to Nowhere

By Ian Lowe

Innovation in New Zealand is following Australia's lead.

Gene Implicated in Kidney Stone Formation

By Stephen Luntz

Research on mice with a gene removed has unexpectedly shed light on the cause of kidney stones and liver failure.