In this issue

Issue 31


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Landsat looks at the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest and most complex aggregation of living coral. Some 400 species of coral, over thousands of years, have given rise to 2000 kilometres of reefs, from the coastal waters of Papua New Guinea to just south of the Tropic of Capricorn.
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Plotting insect flight paths
How fast do insects disperse? Can we predict which way they'll go? When will they take off, and how far will they get?
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Confronting the changing flu virus
There can be little doubt that the influenza virus is the most successful virus on this planet. It has been causing misery and death for all mankind, at least since the beginning of recorded history and probably for much longer. To date, all attempts to control it have failed, and it has been aptly described as 'the last great plague'.
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Flora of Australia
The introductory volume of a new 'Flora of Australia' has been published. The book, planned to be the forerunner of some 50 volumes describing all plant groups more complex than bacteria, was launched at the XIIIth International Botanical Congress in Sydney last August.
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Children combat heart disease
Can we do anything to reduce the incidence of heart attacks? Australia suffers one of the highest rates in the world. Men here run seven times the risk faced by men in Japan, and the death rate among Australian women is almost as high as that among the men.
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A tidier way to clean up water
The underground water supplying a growing proportion of Perth's needs is typically dirty, smelly, and foul-tasting. But when it emerges from the treatment plant it is indistinguishable from the clean water drawn from the river reservoirs in the hills.
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Reducing fuel consumption in greenhouses
Since the Arab oil embargo in the early 1970s, the practicalities of using solar energy as a substitute for our limited fossil fuels have been hotly debated. Scientists generally agree, however, that solar energy does have considerable potential for space-and water-heating.
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Injections for rising damp
Rising damp is one of the main problems people renovating old houses come up against, and it is far from unknown in new houses.
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Flora film
A new 60-minute film, 'A Curious and Diverse Flora', portrays the colour, diversity, and biological peculiarities of Australia's native plants.
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Letters to ECOS
I refer to the article 'Lead in petrol – where does it go?' by An drew Bell (ECOS No. 29). I should like to congratulate the author on his balanced approach to the subject within the constraints of the references he has used. The Smythe et al study has been widely criticised on the basis of both its test results and its psychometric testing and, although Needleman is one of the better studies, its claimed correlations do not stand up to close statistical scrutiny.
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Animal radio
Near one of the ski resorts in Kosciusko National Park, two wombats regularly come 'on air'. Each carries a couple of radio transmitters — one on a shoulder harness and the other implanted in the abdomen.
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