Guest Work

Endless itching: how Anzacs treated lice in the trenches with poetry and their own brand of medicine

Guest Author Apr 26, 2021

Georgia McWhinney, Macquarie University We think we know a lot about Australian and New Zealand soldiers’ health in the first world war. Many books, novels and television programs speak of wounds and war doctors, documenting the work of both Anzac nations’ medical corps. Often these histories begin with front-line doctors — known as regimental medical officers — who first … Read More

Seedkeeping can connect people with their roots and preserve crops for future generations

Guest Author Apr 23, 2021

Natalie Jesionka, University of Toronto “All seeds are sacred, these seeds are connected to 10,000 years of human relationship to the land,” says Owen Taylor, co-founder of Philadelphia-based Truelove Seeds, who sells vegetable, herb and flower seeds that tell ancestral and regional stories. He adds, “seedkeeping refers to not just the saving of seeds, but also the keeping of … Read More

Demand for rare-earth metals is skyrocketing, so we’re creating a safer, cleaner way to recover them from old phones and laptops

Guest Author Apr 20, 2021

Cristina Pozo-Gonzalo, Deakin University Rare-earth metals are critical to the high-tech society we live in as an essential component of mobile phones, computers and many other everyday devices. But increasing demand and limited global supply means we must urgently find a way to recover these metals efficiently from discarded products. Rare-earth metals are currently mined or recovered via traditional e-waste … Read More

Heroes, villains … biology: 3 reasons comic books are great science teachers

Guest Author Apr 19, 2021

Caitlyn Forster, University of Sydney People may think of comics and science as worlds apart, but they have been cross-pollinating each other in more than ways than one. Many classic comic book characters are inspired by biology such as Spider-Man, Ant-Man and Poison Ivy. And they can act as educational tools to gain some fun facts about the natural world. Read More

Male fertility: how everyday chemicals are destroying sperm counts in humans and animals

Guest Author Apr 15, 2021

Alex Ford, University of Portsmouth and Gary Hutchison, Edinburgh Napier University Within just a few generations, human sperm counts may decline to levels below those considered adequate for fertility. That’s the alarming claim made in epidemiologist Shanna Swan’s new book, “Countdown”, which assembles a raft of evidence to show that the sperm count of western men has plunged by … Read More

ACC’s policy of not covering birth injuries is one more sign the system is overdue for reform

Guest Author Apr 13, 2021

Claire Breen, University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. Following a policy review, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), which covers accidental injuries, has restricted access to compensation for women who suffer perineal tears during birth. Read More

Viking DNA and the pitfalls of genetic ancestry tests

Guest Author Apr 12, 2021

Anna Källén, Stockholm University and Daniel Strand, Uppsala University A middle-aged white man raises his sword to the skies and roars to the gods. The results of his genetic ancestry test have just arrived in his suburban mailbox. His eyes fill with tears as he learns that he is “0.012% Viking”. These are the scenes from a video advertisement … Read More

Indigenous scholars struggle to be heard in the mainstream. Here’s how journal editors and reviewers can help

Guest Author Apr 12, 2021

Apisalome Movono, Massey University; Anna Carr; Emma Hughes, Massey University; Freya Higgins-Desbiolles, University of South Australia; Jeremy William Hapeta, Massey University; Regina Scheyvens, Massey University, and Rochelle Stewart-Withers, Massey University In the world of research and scholarship, being published in academic journals is crucial to both the advancement of knowledge and the careers of those involved. In particular, the peer … Read More

I now pronounce you denewed

Guest Author Apr 07, 2021

The EPA has commenced the 2021 “denewing” of new organisms. Their New Organisms team explain what this means, and ask you to put forward your proposals. The places we inhabit are shared with thousands of different kinds of organisms. They’re in the trees, flying in the sky, in our yoghurt, under our fingernails, and waiting at the door for … Read More

Chocolate’s secret ingredient is the fermenting microbes that make it taste so good

Guest Author Apr 05, 2021

Caitlin Clark, Colorado State University Whether baked as chips into a cookie, melted into a sweet warm drink or molded into the shape of a smiling bunny, chocolate is one of the world’s most universally consumed foods. Even the biggest chocolate lovers, though, might not recognize what this ancient food has in common with kimchi and kombucha: its flavors … Read More