Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Briefs

By Stephen Luntz

Hormones combine against obesity, antioxidants don’t aid conception, a drug prevents breast cancer relapse, and more.

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Parrots Alive

DNA analysis of five feathers collected in the Lake Eyre Basin have confirmed that the Australian night parrot is not extinct.

Pezoporus occidentalis is a different species from New Zealand’s famous kakapo, but shares both the popular name of night parrot and a critically endangered status. Indeed, WA Museum CEO Alec Coles said: “The night parrot is a bird many people believed to be extinct up until 1990, and the WA Museum is very pleased to have been asked to authenticate its existence”.

The feathers were found by bird enthusiast John Young, who said: “I’ve been tracking these birds for nearly 15 years and I’ve only ever seen them three times. Never before have I been able to get the evidence that would conclusively prove I’d actually found them.”

The site will not be revealed at the request of the property owner.

Hamstring Testing Device

Australia’s sports scientists are outperforming our cricket team, with Queensland University of Technology’s Faculty of Health producing a prototype machine with the potential to save athletes worldwide from hamstring strains.

“Hamstring muscle ‘tears’ are the most common sports injury in the world, with injured players typically missing 3–6 weeks competition and training,” said inventor Dr Tony Shield.

Current hamstring testing devices are expensive and slow, but...

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