Australia's ONLY MONTHLY science magazine

JULY 2009


The New Moon Race
By Morris Jones
While China is progressing with a manned space program that could eventually send astronauts to the Moon, and India is also planning its own space capsule, the USA is struggling to define new directions for its space program.

By Sally Langford and Stuart Wyithe
Determining if an extrasolar planet is Earth-like may be as simple as finding the nearest beach.

Controlling Cane Toads Ecologically
By Rick Shine
Although physical removal of the cane toads that are plaguing northern Australia has failed to slow the invasion, some promising new approaches to toad control are emerging from research into the invaders’ basic biology.

Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour
By Alison Booth and Patrick Nolen
An experiment to determine whether risk aversion in schoolgirls is innate or learned has implications for the under-representation of women in high-paying jobs.

At the Heart of Floppy Babies
By Gianina Ravenscroft, Kristen Nowak and Nigel Laing
Researchers are looking to use a heart gene to treat a skeletal muscle disease of newborn children.

A Bacterial Cure for Viral Infection
By Lauren Hedges and Karyn Johnson
Infection with a bacteria protects insects from highly pathogenic viruses, opening the way to strategies to control viruses spread by insects to animals and plants.

Tropical Fish Follow Nemo South
By Peter Pockley
Tropical fish are successfully migrating to temperate waters, thus joining bleaching of coral reefs as harbingers of global warming.

Research Boost Bucks Financial Crisis
By Peter Pockley
This month, significant new money starts flowing to science after years of government stringency. However, comparisons with previous Budgets reveal these have only restored relative funding to levels of 16 years ago, and there is a curious case with CSIRO.


Diagnosing Death With Certainty
By Wendy Rogers
Australia requires a national standard for the accurate and timely diagnosis of death after circulatory arrest.

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Chief Scientist Focusing on Big Issues
Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Penny Sackett, is refocusing her twice-yearly roundtable with government leaders on “possible futures that could have a transformational effect on Australia”.

Your guide to the night sky this month.

Asteroid Find an Honour
The number of asteroids discovered in the inner solar system peaked in the 1990s, which makes the recent discovery by a Perth Honours student of an asteroid 4 km wide all the more remarkable.

Straw Houses Can Conquer Quakes
It’s rare for someone who dropped out half-way through a science degree – and never returned – to supervise final-year engineering students, but Peter Hickson’s path between these improbable events may lead to safe, affordable housing in earthquake zones.

Aussie Star Shines Brightly

From heading a munificent charity supporting medical research, Dame Bridget Ogilvie has become a champion of science and its value for society.

Pizza Tossing for Science
Scientists in Melbourne have studied the art and science of pizza tossing, and the results may have implications for the design of motors small enough to be injected into the human bloodstream to aid complex surgical operations.

I Try Not To Know What Just Ain’t So
There is a qualitative difference between science, non-science and nonsense.

Engineering Humanity
The Terminator movies raise the significant bioethical question of whether it is better to be a man or a machine.

X-tending the Frontiers of Medical Science
Australian researchers are hot on the trail of new clues that could help identify the cause of Parkinson’s disease in some patients.

Renowned astronomy educator David Reneke is now representing Australasian Science. His Astrospace News blog is updated regularly and his new e-book, Apollo 11: The Untold Story, outlines "Over 50 Things You Didn’t Know About The First Moon Landing".


Study Quantifies Success of Flu Controls

Benign Virus Protects Rabbits from Calicivirus

Food, Not Lack of Exercise, Causes Obesity

Western Diet Associated with Mental Issues

Hair-Raising Forensics

Fast, Cheap HIV Monitoring

New Cause for Blood Clots

“Hamburger Disease” Toxin Found

Firies Must Be Fighting Fit

Cats Not the Sole Spreaders of Toxoplasma

Walnuts Fight Diabetes

Fish Climb Ropes Like Rats

Healthy Role for Tomato Sauce

Stem Cell Hope for Corneal Blindness

Build Muscle Without Exercise

A Robotic Fish Called WANDA

Southern Glaciers out of Step

A Spicy Cure for Crohn’s Disease

Don’t Be Intimidated by The Crays

Australasian Science: Australia's only science monthly for the general public