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A new measure of biodiversity
A new approach to measuring biodiversity has uncovered some biologically important but currently unprotected areas in Western Australia, while confirming the significance of the world heritage listed Wet Tropics rainforests in the country's north-east. Phylogenetic analysis gives a much more complex and complete picture of the diversity of the genus Acacia, which includes Australia's floral emblem. (2014-07-18)

Scientists enlist big data to guide conservation efforts
Genetic studies have given us detailed information about the evolutionary relationships embodied in the Tree of Life, while newly digitized museum collections contain a wealth of information about species distribution. To date, however, these big data collections have not been applied to conservation efforts. University of California, Berkeley's Brent Mishler and Australian colleagues have created a model taking both distribution and relationships into account to identify lineages that need preservation, in particular rare endemics. (2014-07-18)

Australia drying caused by greenhouse gases
NOAA scientists have developed a new high-resolution climate model that shows southwestern Australia's long-term decline in fall and winter rainfall is caused by increases in man-made greenhouse gas emissions and ozone depletion, according to research published today in Nature Geoscience. (2014-07-13)

Many fires in New South Wales, Australia
There were many fires burning in eastern New South Wales, Australia when NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead on July 11. (2014-07-11)

The bigger the better: Cigarette warning labels prompt quit attempts
Cigarette warning labels can influence a smoker to try to quit even when the smoker is trying to avoid seeing the labels, according to a survey of thousands of adult smokers in four countries published by the American Psychological Association. (2014-07-10)

Carbon monoxide predicts 'red and dead' future of gas guzzler galaxy
Astronomers have studied the carbon monoxide in a galaxy over 12 billion light years from Earth and discovered that it's running out of gas, quite literally, and headed for a 'red and dead' future. (2014-07-08)

Beautiful but a threat: Tropical fish invasion destroys kelp forests
The migration of tropical fish as a result of ocean warming poses a serious threat to the temperate areas they invade, because they overgraze on kelp forests and seagrass meadows, a new study concludes. The harmful impact is most evident in southern Japanese waters and the eastern Mediterranean, where there have been dramatic declines in kelps. There is also emerging evidence of damage in Australia and the US from the spread of tropical fish towards the poles. (2014-07-08)

Water bonus flows from climate change measures
The equivalent of one-third of Melbourne's water use could be saved each year through the implementation of efficiency measures that deal with climate change, according to a new study. (2014-07-04)

Consider water use in climate change policies, advise Australian researchers
There's more to trying to slow down climate change than just cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Technology, policies or plans that aim to do so should also take environmental factors such as water usage into account. A more integrated approach might make some options considerably more attractive than others, especially when implemented in arid countries such as Australia, advise Philip Wallis of Monash University in Australia and colleagues, in an article in Springer's journal Climatic Change. (2014-07-03)

Genetic study reveals vulnerability of northwest dolphins
A new study estimating population genetic structure of little-known dolphins inhabiting Western Australia's north coast highlights vulnerability. (2014-07-02)

Alcohol backing raises risk of athletes drinking more
The research, led by Monash University and the University of Manchester has found Alcohol sponsorship and hazardous drinking in UK athletes are linked. (2014-07-02)

Hazardous drinking in UK athletes linked with alcohol industry sponsorship
New research from the University of Manchester and Monash University shows a link between alcohol sponsorship and hazardous drinking in UK athletes. The study, published online today in the scientific journal Addiction, is the first to examine alcohol sponsorship of athletes in the UK, and comes at a time when there are calls in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa for greater restriction or bans of alcohol sponsorship and advertising in sport. (2014-07-02)

Locusts harness the sun to get their optimum diet
If you are a locust, the most nutritious plant to eat depends on the ambient temperature. Scientists at the University of Sydney, Australia, have discovered that locusts choose their food and then where they digest it according to how hot it is. (2014-07-01)

Hibernating frogs give clues to halting muscle wastage
Scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia, have identified key genes that help burrowing frogs avoid muscle wastage whilst they are dormant. These genetic insights could help prevent muscle atrophy in bedridden human patients, or even astronauts. (2014-06-30)

Victoria's volcano count rises
Geologists have discovered three previously unrecorded volcanoes in volcanically active southeast Australia. The new Monash University research, published in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, gives a detailed picture of an area of volcanic centers already known to geologists in the region. (2014-06-26)

Alcohol use increases over generation in study of moms, daughters in Australia
Drinking alcohol has increased over a generation in a study of mothers and daughters in Australia. (2014-06-25)

Make life jackets compulsory for all recreational boaters to save lives, urge experts
Life jackets should be compulsory for all recreational boaters, say experts, reporting on the differences in the death toll from boating incidents in Victoria, Australia, before and after legislation was introduced, in the journal Injury Prevention. (2014-06-23)

Sharpening a test for tracing food-borne illness to source
Research from the University of Melbourne, Australia, could make it easier for public health investigators to determine if a case of food poisoning is an isolated incident or part of a larger outbreak. The findings are published ahead of print in the Journal of Bacteriology. (2014-06-23)

Polycystic ovary syndrome tied to risk of type 2 diabetes, independent of BMI
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, and this risk appears to be independent of body mass index, a new study finds. The results were presented Saturday at ICE/ENDO 2014, the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago. (2014-06-21)

QUT to lead roll-out of $6.5 million e-mental health initiative
QUT will take a lead role in delivering a $6.5 million e-mental health initiative to train primary health practitioners in the use of e-mental health services, announced by the Federal Government in Canberra today. (2014-06-17)

Animal trapping records reveal strong wolf effect across North America
Scientists have used coyote and red fox fur trapping records across North America to document how the presence of wolves influences the balance of smaller predators further down the food chain. (2014-06-16)

New hi-tech approach to studying sedimentary basins
A radical new approach to analyzing sedimentary basins also harnesses technology in a completely novel way. An international research group, led by the University of Sydney, will use big data sets and exponentially increased computing power to model the interaction between processes on the earth's surface and deep below it in 'five dimensions'. (2014-06-12)

Racism in healthcare linked to poor mental health
Experiencing racism in health settings may have a stronger negative influence on the mental health of Aboriginal Australians than experiencing racism anywhere else, a survey led by the University of Melbourne has found. (2014-06-11)

Evolution and venomous snakes: Diet distinguishes look-alikes on 2 continents
On opposite sides of the globe over millions of years, the snakes of North America and Australia independently evolved similar body types that helped them move and capture prey more efficiently. (2014-06-10)

Chemo-radionuclide therapy halts neuroendocrine cancer
Advanced cancer of the neuroendocrine system can lead to dismal prognoses, but a novel therapy is packing a punch by uniting powerful radionuclide treatment and chemotherapy drugs, revealed researchers at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2014 Annual Meeting. (2014-06-09)

What's in the sheep genome? Wool see
After eight years of work, researchers have completed the first sequencing of the entire sheep genome. Scientists from CSIRO led an international research team to complete the sequencing, which could lead to more effective breeding strategies and new approaches to the management of sheep in Australia and around the world. (2014-06-05)

Tree hugging helps koalas keep their cool
Australia's koalas cope with extreme heat by resting against cooler tree trunks, new research has revealed. Researchers used a portable weather station and thermal imaging to uncover the koalas' cool plan. (2014-06-04)

Antipsychotic medication during pregnancy does affect babies, study shows
A seven-year study of women who take antipsychotic medication while pregnant, proves it can affect babies. The observational study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, reveals that whilst most women gave birth to healthy babies, the use of mood stabilizers or higher doses of antipsychotics during pregnancy increased the need for special care after birth with 43 percent of babies placed in a Special Care Nursery or a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, almost three times the national rate in Australia. (2014-06-02)

Australia's deadly eruptions the reason for the first mass extinction
A Curtin University researcher has shown that ancient volcanic eruptions in Australia 510 million years ago significantly affected the climate, causing the first known mass extinction in the history of complex life. Published in prestigious journal Geology, Curtin's Associate Professor Fred Jourdan, along with colleagues from several Australian and international institutions, used radioactive dating techniques to precisely measure the age of the eruptions of the Kalkarindji volcanic province. (2014-05-30)

The future of sweet cherry in Australia
Projected changes in global climates were the impetus for a study to determine the viability of sweet cherry varieties in Australia. Researchers established the chill requirement for two common sweet cherry varieties ('Kordia' and 'Sweetheart'). They determined that current cherry-producing regions in Australia will experience sufficient chill in the future to support the production of 'Sweetheart', while regions in Western Australia and Queensland will become marginal, or not suitable, for 'Kordia'. (2014-05-27)

Making research findings freely available is an essential aid to medical progress
In a PLOS Medicine guest editorial, Paul Glasziou, professor of evidence-based medicine at Bond University in Australia, explores how open access publications could help moderate and reduce the vast waste of global medical research. (2014-05-27)

More maternal mental health surveillance is needed, suggests new study
Maternal depression is more common at four years following childbirth than at any other time in the first 12 months after childbirth, and there needs to be a greater focus on maternal mental health, suggests a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. (2014-05-21)

In your genes: Family history reveals predisposition to multiple diseases
Researchers have identified nine simple questions that can be used to identify people who may be at increased risk of various cancers, heart disease and diabetes because of their family history of these conditions. (2014-05-21)

Mars mineral could be linked to microbes
Scientists have discovered that living organisms on Earth were capable of making a mineral that may also be found on Mars. (2014-05-19)

Eskitis links with European life science researchers
Australian and European scientists will gain greater access to the potential building blocks of therapeutic drugs through an MoU. (2014-05-16)

Glycomics Institute to assist Australian sugar industry
Using tools developed for discovering new drugs based on sugars for cancer and infectious diseases, and applying them to further develop technologies for the Australian sugar industry. (2014-05-13)

Ocean winds keep Antarctica cold, Australia dry
New Australian-led research has explained why Antarctica is not warming as much as other continents, and why southern Australia is recording more droughts. (2014-05-11)

SOCS4 prevents a cytokine storm and helps to clear influenza virus from the lung
Certain influenza strains are highly virulent -- they cause more serious disease and kill more people. Some of the damage is caused by the stronger immune response such strains elicit, especially in the lung. A study published on May 8 in PLOS Pathogens identifies SOCS4 as a key regulator of the immune response against influenza virus. (2014-05-08)

Astronomers harness the galaxy's biggest telescope
An international team of astronomers has made a measurement of a distant neutron star that is one million times more precise than the previous world's best. (2014-05-05)

A new syndrome caused by mutations in AHDC1
A team of researchers led by Baylor College of Medicine have identified the gene underlying a newly recognized genetic syndrome that has symptoms of sleep apnea, delayed speech and hyptonia, or generalized upper body weakness. (2014-05-01)

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