World View

World View

Be a part of Global Change!

✦ ✦ Unlabelled ✦ Seeing and not believing

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14 Oct 2011
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We've got a copy of Fulvio Melia's book 'Cracking the Einstein Code' to give away! Our favourite, most creative answer to the question below will win.

Question: Which is your favourite quote from Albert Einstein and why?

Email your answers to to win! Competition closes at 5:30pm on 19 October 2011. Terms and conditions here.


Nearly half of voters (44%) agree that the Nobel Prizes are slightly out of date with the times, and that current rules don't reflect the collaborative nature of modern research. However, 32% say the current system is good - that having too many winners will decrease public interest. A quarter of voters said they were undecided on whether the format should be reassessed. View the full results and add your comments.

NEW POLL: Despite studies suggesting vitamins are useless and even dangerous, will you still take them? Have your say.


Anderson localisation

'Stuck' quantum matter waves prove theory

New insight into how waves spread in different kinds of artificial materials could shed light on how disorder affects quantum materials such as superconductors.

Ocean deoxygenation caused massive extinction

Ocean oxygen loss caused Earth's largest extinction

A sudden and dramatic drop in oxygen levels in Earth's oceans caused the largest mass extinction ever, some 251 million years ago, a new study suggests.
Ezio Rizzardo and David Solomon

Smart plastic innovators net Prime Minister's Science Prize

Groundbreaking work in the field of custom polymer production has netted scientists David Solomon and Ezio Rizzardo one of Australia's most prestigious awards.
removing mole

New areas of DNA linked to skin cancer

Four new areas on human chromosomes that hold genes related to the risk of developing melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, have been identified.

OpenPCR machine

Plywood gene machine allows DIY sequencing

DNA is now do-it-yourself thanks to a new gene-copying machine that can be assembled at home using just a screwdriver and a pair of pliers.

Snakes sense airborne sex pheromones

Snakes sense airborne sex pheromones

Snake sex may be more complicated than we thought, as new research suggests snakes select a suitable mate by smelling airborne molecules released during copulation.

Looking to further your career? It’s not too late to discover your full potential with a Masters, Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate. Science programs available in: Analytics, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Food Science and Technology, Geospatial Information, Information Security and Assurance and Statistics/Operations Research. For a complete list of available programs click here or phone 03 9925 2260.


Chick embryo

Seeing and not believing

Two factors have combined this week to get me into bed and asleep at an uncharacteristically decent hour. The first is our home Internet, which has inexplicably stopped working for the past two weeks and I can't even talk about it because I miss it too much. The second is a new book, which I've been very quietly falling in love with but which lulls me to sleep many times faster than trawling through Reddit for great new memes ever will.

A few years ago, one of Britain's leading avian ecologists, Tim Birkhead, wrote an extensive history of ornithology, which is the kind of book that teaches you the things you never even realised you didn't know. Such as where did our basic understanding of the reproductive system of birds come from? We see evidence of it everywhere, but how many of us have actually considered how difficult it would have been for scholars living without the technology we have today to figure out exactly what goes on inside a fertilised egg? The story goes back more than two thousand years to the father of biological knowledge, Aristotle, and the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates.

While Hippocrates proposed that the egg yolk gave rise to the chick, which was nourished by the egg white, Aristotle proposed the opposite: that the white gave rise to the chick that was nourished by the yolk. Had either of them actually examined a number of embryos at different stages inside the egg, they would have realised their error.


Check out the new COSMOS gadgets! Netbook computer, $290; Underwater mp3 player, $39; Battery powered iPhone/iPad charger, $19; Mini video recorder, $29. Prices in AUD, includes GST. Prices do not include delivery. Delivery only within Australia. View these amazing products here.


Unknown beetle - the one that got away

Blank canvas

When 20 scientists descended on the arid Bon Bon Station Reserve to conduct the first biodiversity audit of this untouched wilderness, they found a treasure trove of native plants and animals.
Car crashes and speed

The road toll

While it may seem insignificant from the driver's seat, speeding just above the limit could have weighty implications on your likelihood of a collision.

Assessing the risks of nanotechnology

A cautious approach to nanotechnology

It may hold an abundance of promise, but developing countries forging ahead with nanotechnology need regulation and research into local risk patterns.


Farewell from Phill

Phill passes the intern2 torch to the next lucky candidate and heads off for an adventure in Thailand!

Sharing is caring

How do the staff at COSMOS get over the afternoon hump? Chocolate, of course - the solution to most motivational problems.

Chick embryo

Seeing and not believing

Why do even some of the most brilliant minds in history ignore the advice, "Believe what you see, rather than what you believe?"


Ahmed Regina

The road to better wheat

With an estimated 89% of Australians consuming wheat daily, Ahmed Regina is on a quest to develop a more nutritious, digestible kind of wheat.

Matt Sharman

The healthy brain diet

You don't hear about it often, but your diet can affect your risk of suffering from Alzheimer's disease, says Matt Sharman.


The World's Greatest Idea: The 50 Greatest Ideas That Have Changed Humanity

The World's Greatest Idea

From abstract concepts to realised innovations, the direction of our civilisation has swerved with these world-changing ideas.

COSMOS Postgraduate Survival Guide 2011
Expand your horizons with this comprehensive postgraduate careers guide. Be inspired by profiles of early career scientists, growth industries and international opportunities. Use our Postgraduate Information Sessions directory to start planning the next stage of your career. Look out for it in the August/September issue COSMOS. To order extra copies, email:


THE TRUTH ABOUT DRUGS Three things you should know about the genetically modified food that could soon hit supermarket shelves: and prepare to be surprised. We go behind the scenes of pioneering research and find out why GM foods polarise debate. Plus, with an expected world population of nine billion in 2050, how will we feed the planet? From synthetic meat to insects, we review some of the weird and innovative solutions. Stunning images, the origin of sex, where civilisation and farming began and the extreme speeds of the fastest objects in the universe are but a few of the tempting morsels for your mind in this issue. Bon appetit!
Order your copy now! Read the digital edition immediately, or have a print edition sent to you.


Do you think the science Nobel Prize rules need to be changed?
Yes, they currently don't reflect the collaborative nature of science today
No, too many winners will decrease public interest in the Nobels
Maybe, I'm undecided on the issue

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