The Best of Australian Science: October 2014

It’s the end of October, 2014 and it our time to review the top highlights for this month.

These would be our choice for the previous period.

Efficiency and Benefits of Massage Therapy by Maya Edberg

The advancements in medicine have provided numerous cures and treatments for diseases that were terminal just a hundred years ago. And while there is a pill that can solve many problems, there isn’t one that can give you what a simple old-fashioned massage can – a total relaxation. But, there is more to it.

Microbiota and us – we feed our bacteria even when we are sick! by Lia Zambetti

There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. For millennia, we humans never made a distinction: bacteria were associated with diseases and death, no exception. It was known that we are carrying along a large assortment of microbes in our gut, but this was considered to be an evolutionary accident or a coincidence rather than a lucky occurrence for us. Recently, in the last 10-15 years, the scientists’ view on the bacteria living in our gut has changed drastically. Now we know that they are good for us in ways that we are just beginning to understand. What is already clear is that, without the bugs in our gut, we would be way worse off than we are.

A Futuristic Review of Cyber Defence by Milica Djekic

Cyber age has begun in the previous century and includes everything related to the web, computers and mobile technologies. As cyberspace has been developing, some security concerns have appeared. The future of computing technologies is clear – we are going quantum. But, how would be the future of cyber defence? Let’s say, we will get all those ultra fast, quantum-based computers in the coming decades, but how would we make them be a secure place for us? There is a lot of theories, but we will present you only some of them. So, let’s start our overview.

Are synthetics overcoming the natural materials? by Maya Edberg

In 1935, Percy L. Julian (1899-1975) synthesized physostigmine, the compound that was only available in its natural source, the Calabar bean, now used in the treatment of glaucoma. This pioneering research opened a door to widespread usage of chemical materials; however, it also started a “synthetic versus natural” debate on whether and how synthetics substitute natural materials, as well as on their qualities and properties.

That’s basically our selection for this month. Please stay tuned, new stories are coming soon.