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THE WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER FROM AUSTRALIA'S #1 SCIENCE MAGAZINE
NEWS
FEATURES
OPINION
BLOGS
REVIEWS
17 Nov 2011
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THIS WEEK'S COMPETITION

We've got a hardcover copy of Martin Meredith's book, Born in Africa to give away! Our favourite answer to the question below will win:

Question: What do you think is the most intriguing extinct hominid species, and why?

Email your answers to online@cosmosmagazine.com to win! Competition closes at 5:30pm on 24 November 2011. Terms and conditions here.


POLL RESULT


While almost half of you take the U.S. government's statement at face value, believing they're telling the truth about a lack of extra-terrestrial contact, 23% of you think that they must be hiding something. Almost a third of you (30%) just can't let go of the idea that E.T. is out there, somewhere. View the full results and add your comments.

NEW POLL: Will we find life in the underground oceans of Jupiter's moon, Europa? Have your say.


TOP NEWS

Europa lakes

Europa's chaotic surface hides great lakes

Astronomers have explained how chaotic regions of ice form above subsurface lakes on Jupiter’s enigmatic moon, Europa.

Bombus terrestris

Social bees use faecal diet to fight parasites

A certain socially transmitted gut bacteria that plays an essential role in bee health and resistance to parasites has been identified, according to a new study.
nano four-wheeler

Smallest electric car in the world revealed

A single molecule has been used to create the world's smallest electric car. The 'four-wheel drive' car is just 1 nanometre in length and uses molecular motors to move across a metal surface.
eastern bettong

Rare bettongs return to Australian mainland

A rare native Australian mammal has returned to the mainland, after an absence of over 80 years, researchers have reported.

Intellectual property

Open source science? University frees patents

In a bid to translate more of its research into practical, real-world solutions, the University of New South Wales in Sydney will offer intellectual property to the private sector at no cost.
goatfish

Stressed fish love a good massage

A species of tropical reef fish that regularly visits smaller 'cleaner fish' seeks stress release in a similar way to humans, researchers have found - they love a good massage.


Fast Facts For Road Myths
On Thursday 24 November, RiAus partners with MAC to present Fast facts for road myths. In ‘myth-busting’ style our panel of road safety scientists will examine the common public perceptions around low level speeding and explain why the myths are not just wrong, but also potentially fatal. To be held at the Science Exchange from 6pm, this fascinating event will also be livestreamed on the RiAus website here.

IN FOCUS


Matilda

An enigma wrapped in a baby blanket

THIS WEEK, OUR friend Vanessa from the Australian Museum in Sydney visited the COSMOS office with her newly adopted four-week-old orphaned Grey-headed flying fox, Matilda, in tow.

Matilda makes the sweetest little chirps; the skin on her wings is so delicate it feels like cling-wrap; she smells vaguely like fermented fruit (even before she's eaten any in her life); and her eyes are like deep, dark pools of loveliness.

Matilda lost her mother to some power lines and Vanessa has adopted the pup as part of a rehabilitation project. Once Matilda is old enough, she'll be released into a 'bat crèche' where she'll learn to be independent and live with a colony, before being released back into the wild.

And according to Vanessa, getting a bat to completely forget who you are once it reaches its teenage years is a whole lot easier than getting an adopted possum to do the same. Much like human teenagers, young bats will very suddenly want nothing to do with their parents, which makes their reintroduction into the wild so successful. Most rehabilitated possums never lose their tameness, which is why so many are killed by domestic and feral cats once released.

READ MORE>>


Touching the Moon lightly
Curtin University’s professor Kok Lay Teo and his Department of Mathematics and Statistics colleague Jingyang Zhou say they have developed a practical guidance law to land a lunar module upright and very close to zero velocity. The findings are revealed in Optimal Guidance for Lunar Module Soft Landing. Click here to download the pdf.


THIS WEEK'S FEATURES


light speed

Breaking light speed

A physicist at the front line takes us through the fall-out when an international team of physicists announced certain particles had broken light speed.

Name  your poison

Name your poison

From our brains to our prospects of longevity, just what do recreational drugs do to the body? Shifting from the intricacies of a 'high' in the brain to the effects of withdrawal, addiction and long-term use (and abuse), here is the latest medical research on some of society's biggest vices. Read part 2 here.
Music and sex

Music and sex

Music is largely a primeval tool to gain the favour of mates, argues evolutionary biologist Rob Brooks.

THIS WEEK'S BLOGS


clownfish

Fanatical about fish

Georgia shares her ever-deepening fascination with weird sea creatures, highlighting one of the many creative sides of being an intern which is the ability to tailor your writing projects to what fascinates you.
headlines

More than just a catchy headline

Journalists need to stay at the forefront of trends and culture to generate catchy headlines and feed you want you want, says Mara.
Matilda

An enigma wrapped in a baby blanket

How did bats evolve to be the only true flying mammals? Unfortunately COSMOS' favourite baby flying fox cannot say.

THIS WEEK'S PROFILES


Paul Tregoning

Reading the Earth

If you want to know whether or not Antarctica is really melting and if ocean levels are rising, Paul Tregoning has the answers.

kevin pfleger in the lab

Better drugs, fewer side effects

Kevin Pfleger spends his days disentangling the complicated web of signaling systems in our bodies to develop better, safer drugs with a cutting-edge technology, GPCR-HIT.

THIS WEEK'S REVIEWS


Sleights of Mind

Sleights of Mind

There's more to the sleight of the hand than just razzle dazzle, magic can reveal a lot about the human brain and our very consciousness.

Why we believe in God(s): a concise guide to the science of faith

Why we believe in God(s): a concise guide to the science of faith

Psychiatrist J. Anderson Thomson Jr is on a mission to counteract religious fundamentalism with psychology.


CURRENT ISSUE IN STORE NOW!

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 this issue. Bon appetit! Order your copy now! Read the digital edition immediately, or have a print edition sent to you.

Poll

Do you believe the U.S. government when it says it has never had any contact with alien life?
Yes, if aliens existed it would be well documented in the public arena.
47%
No, it's a government cover-up.
23%
Maybe, my inner conspiracy theorist wants to believe "We're not alone!"
30%

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