From Fish magazine, September 2019: When Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS) all but wiped out southern Tasmania’s Pacific Oyster (Crassostrea gigas) farms in February 2016, there was a very real fear the industry, nationwide, was facing long years in the wilderness. The devastating impact of POMS on New South Wales growers in 2010 – Australia’s … Continue reading POMS: where is the Pacific Oyster industry now?
From The Scientist, 1 May 2019: Australia’s government drug safety watchdog sounded the alarm about the oral antifungal agent terbinafine in 1996. The drug, sold under the brand name Lamisil by pharma giant Novartis, had come onto the market in 1993 for the treatment of fungal skin infections and thrush. But three years later, the … Continue reading Artificial intelligence shakes up drug discovery
From Fish magazine, June 2019: One of the more heated debates to stir the blood of Australian shark experts has been the question of the health of the nation’s Greynurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) populations. In 2003, experts from the east coast were calling for the species to be listed as critically endangered. But their colleagues … Continue reading Australia’s shark status update
From Fish magazine, March 2019: The term ‘carbon farming’ usually conjures images of land-based agricultural and forestry initiatives. But there’s a new kid on the carbon-farming block, and it occupies the rich ecological niches that hug Australia’s extensive coastline. As an island nation, Australia boasts one of the longest coastlines in the world: nearly 60,000 … Continue reading The push for blue carbon
From the Sydney Morning Herald, 1 June 2019: ‘‘Get lost’’ is an insult most commonly flung around a primary-school playground. But according to science journalist M. R. O’Connor’s latest book, Wayfinding, it could be the very thing that holds the secret to our species’ intelligence, and its survival. ‘‘At a time of social change and … Continue reading Navigating the world: why we all really need to get lost
From Nature, 29 May 2019: Western nations claim much of the glory when it comes to biotechnology, but scientists elsewhere are making substantial progress. Meet five amazing biotechnology scientists working in Jamaica, Nepal, Malaysia, South Africa and Thailand. Read more.
From Nature, 15 May 2019: Aside from a 20-second exposure to the outside world at birth, David Vetter spent his entire life cocooned in plastic. Afflicted by severe combined immunodeficiency or SCID, a hereditary disease that severely compromises or destroys the immune system, the ‘boy in the bubble’ was exquisitely vulnerable to infection. Eventually, a … Continue reading Stem-cell and genetic therapies make a healthy marriage
From MIT Technology Review, 25 April 2019: The Blue Mountains are burning. I stand in the doorway of our home and take a long look around: the handmade rugs, the jumble of artworks, the shelves crammed with books, the scattered toys. The house is a tinderbox: wooden walls, doors, balcony, window frames, all built into … Continue reading Inside Australia’s plan to survive bigger, badder bushfires
From Nature News, 15 March 2019: Nearly four hundred Australian scientists have signed a letter protesting against a steep rise in land clearing over the past decade. They have called on national and state governments to legislate to protect native vegetation. The letter describes Australia as a ‘global deforestation hotspot’, following the relaxation of laws … Continue reading Australian scientists call for tougher restrictions on land clearing
From the Sydney Morning Herald, 23 February 2019: What is life? Questions don’t come much bigger than that. It’s asked regularly by biologists, philosophers, lawyers, law-makers, astrobiologists and, occasionally, wide-eyed children. It’s not so often asked by physicists, which makes Paul Davies’ new book The Demon In The Machine that much more fascinating. Not only … Continue reading Book review: The Demon in the Machine