Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Australasian Science Magazine Issue March/April 2018

Cover Story: Species Are Shrinking
An ingenious experiment has revealed the physiological reasons why many species are becoming smaller in response to global warming, overhunting and overfishing.
Feature: Children of the Ice Age
What did kids play with 20,000 years ago? New research suggests that figurines long thought to have been ritual icons may actually be children’s toys.
Feature: Going Gluten-Free: Only for Coeliac Disease?
Dietary trials have revealed that most people who associate gluten with intestinal discomfort do not have a reliable and reproducible response to gluten ingestion, and may even be harming their health by going on a gluten-free diet.
Feature: Herbicides Can Induce Antibiotic Resistance
The overuse of antibiotics has led to a dramatic rise in the number of untreatable infections. To make matters worse, other chemicals like weed-killers can reduce the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics.
Feature: The World’s Oldest and Most Accurate Trigonometry Table
By decoding an ancient stone tablet, researchers have realised that the Babylonians employed a form of trigonometry that is very different to our own.
Feature: The Social Lives of Sharks
Tracking technology reveals that Port Jackson sharks have buddies of similar age and gender, and can navigate across Bass Strait to the same breeding grounds.
Feature: The Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole: A Harbinger of Doom?
Contrary to popular belief, new work from an Australian-led study suggests that supermassive black holes may not be starving galaxies like the Milky Way to death.
Feature: A Walk Through the Valley of Cell Death
After three decades, David Vaux’s initial research into apoptosis has led to clinical trials of a potential treatment for leukaemia.
Feature: Future-Proofing Students
Ten partnerships are piloting an innovative program that provides high school students with an industry-supported pathway to a STEM-related qualification.
Feature: Drilling for Sub-Seafloor Life
Extreme sub-sea temperatures, noxious fumes and broken drilling rods made life difficult onboard a scientific expedition that set out to sample life deep beneath the sea.
Australasian Sky: This Month's Star Chart
Your map of the night sky this month.
conSCIENCE: Fighting Food Fraud to Protect Brand Australia
The global fake food trade rivals narcotics in scale. What can the Australian food industry do to safeguard its reputation for producing safe, high-quality food?
The Bitter Pill: Why No Man Should Take a PSA Blood Test for Early Stage Prostate Cancer Without Reading This
Men with early-stage abnormalities of the prostate who are monitored for any progression of the cancer live just as long as men who opted for complete removal of the prostate and now live with the immediate consequences.
Directions: Mineral Exploration Malaise Uncovered
The UNCOVER Initiative aims to revive Australia’s minerals exploration efforts.
Eco Logic: Planning for an Expanding Ice-Free Antarctica
Climate change will increase the amount of ice-free land in Antarctica by 25% this century.
Eco Logic: South Australia Doubles Down on Solar Energy
A South Australian election promise to install solar panels and batteries in 50,000 homes has placed the Prime Minister in an awkward position.
Expert Opinion: Ozone Levels Still Decreasing Away from Poles
While ozone levels in the upper atmosphere near the poles have been recovering, new research has found that the bottom part of the ozone layer at more populated latitudes is not recovering.
Fossil File: The Rise of Spiders and Roaches
Tiny fossils preserved in amber reveal when spiders evolved their ability to spin webs and cockroaches first spread across the globe.
Naked Skeptic: Foxes and Henhouses
Parliament is considering legislation that will give the complementary medicine industry more freedom to make deceptive claims.
Neuropsy: The Criminal Brain
Antisocial behaviour after brain injury is associated with lesions to a single neural network.
Out of this World: The Explosion that Rocked the Universe
The launch of a revolutionary Australian instrument will enable the fastest-ever survey of stars in our galaxy.
Quandary: The Man with the DNR Tattoo
Should doctors follow the instructions of a tattoo when facing end-of-life decisions?
Up Front: Science Meets Parliament (But No Minister)
It’s not enough to win the hearts of politicians when the government itself lacks a head for science.