Australia's ONLY MONTHLY science magazine

JAN/FEB 2010


The Birth of Our Solar System
(and Life as We Know It)
By Maria Lugaro
When the Sun was born, the radioactivity pervading the material around it may have helped to create conditions for life in the rocks that formed the planets. Understanding the origin of this radioactivity could tell us how likely it is that life could exist elsewhere in the Universe.

Black Holes: The Missing Link
By Sean Farrell
Evidence for the existence of small and very large black holes is quite convincing, and now there is strong evidence for one in the “medium” range.

The Light Fantastic
By Tim Wetherell
By controlling how individual wavelengths of light diffract, researchers are harnessing the power of white light lasers that open up the visible spectrum in optical chips.

The Myopia Epidemic
By Sheila Crewther, Melanie Murphy and David Crewther
The prevalence of myopia is increasing in children and adolescents, but pharmaceutical intervention is on the horizon.

Switches for the Gene Machine
By Geoff Faulkner
We share the same number of genes as simple roundworms. Newly discovered systems of gene control explain why.

Humpback Love Songs
By Joshua Smith
New insights into the context of when humpback whales sing and with whom suggest that a function of the song could be as a courtship display to females.

Food Security in a Changing World
By Ros Gleadow
Increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 will change the nutritional value of food for both people and livestock – and even lead to higher levels of toxic cyanide in some staple foods and pastures.

Quantum Memory
By Peter Bruza
New models of human cognition inspired by quantum theory could underpin information technologies that are better aligned with howwe recall information.

Message from a Refugee
By Linda Leung
One of the least recognised issues faced by refugees is access to technologies enabling them to keep in touch with their families.

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Curbing Population Growth
Limits Global Warming
By Roger Short
Few can have any doubt that halting population growth in developed and developing countries is the greatest challenge
now facing our world.


Ten pages of the latest science news from our shores.

It’s Ziggy’s Way or the Highway
CSIRO blows it on academic freedom.

Your guide to the night sky this month.

A Sticky Lunar Problem
A dusty problem for the Apollo astronauts has taken on new significance with US plans to return to the Moon by 2020.

Chemistry That’s Cooler Than Nature
Nature’s complex molecules provide a starting point for Andrea Robinson to produce chemicals that survive in the human body.

Fascinated by Fish and Sea
From boyhood through a full-time career in research, the study of fish and a love of the sea have fuelled the career of Frank Talbot, who has directed three of the world’s greatest museums of natural history.

Getting Risk Wrong
Flying is the safest form of travel so why are so many people afraid of it. And why do we need a prescription for a drug with no known toxic dose when we can buy potentially deadly drugs in supermarkets?

Left for Dead
The discovery that a man who had been in a coma for 23 years was still conscious has raised questions over the treatment of people who are in a permanent vegetative state.

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".

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