In this issue

Issue 29


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Lead in petrol: where does it go?
More than 7000 tonnes of fine lead particles are consigned to the air over Australia each year. Most of it, 5600 tonnes, comes from the exhausts of petrol-engined vehicles.
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Wasps threaten Aboriginal rock art
A rich collection of Aboriginal rock art in the Kakadu region of the Northern Territory is being defaced. Overhanging rock shelters that Aboriginal artists favoured as galleries are proving equally attractive to wasps and termites seeking sheltered sites for their mud nests.
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New diet, new cancer risk
Poles eat plenty of potatoes; Peloponnese people put away piles of pulses. These observations may have the makings of an elocution exercise, but why should they interest Australian scientists?
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Tracking Melbourne’s smog by plane
A full-blown case of photochemical smog strikes Melbourne eight days a year, on average. On these days ozone, the principal constituent of photochemical smog, builds up to concentrations of more than 100 parts per billion at one or more of the Victorian Environment Protection Authority's monitoring stations.
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An ecologist looks at kangaroo myths
In central Australia, the red kangaroo represents far more than an important source of food. According to Aboriginal legends, the kangaroo was one of the spiritual ancestors who in the beginning created the landscape and its wildlife, and who are repeatedly reborn within people.
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Cultivating tiny sea plants
When a sudden bloom of algae affects a nearby coastal inlet, most of us wish there were some way of getting rid of it (swimming is meant to be an enjoyable experience). But Dr Dennis Regan of the CSIRO Division of Chemical Technology would like to know how to perpetuate the growth and harvest the algae.
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Tracking down the sense of smell
Unlike the senses of vision and hearing, the sense of smell is a bit of a mystery. We know that colour is related to the wavelength of light, and the pitch of a sound to its frequency. But any code that may exist relating the nature of a substance to its smell remains to be detected.
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Plaster products from a by-product
Plants that produce phosphoric acid from rock phosphate for fertilizer manufacture operate at Brisbane, Kwinana, Melbourne, and Newcastle, and together each year produce about 840 000 tonnes of chemical gypsum as a by-product. Most o f it is dumped.
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Biogas from fruit waste
About 750 000 tonnes of fruit and vegetable wastes are produced each year by Australian canneries and juice-processors. If you were manager of a cannery, what would you do with 20 000 tonnes (the yearly output of a typical cannery) of wet, ready to rot, peelings and offcuts?
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Letters to ECOS
Work in the field of wind power is now moving so quickly that it is already necessary to update some of the information presented in the article 'Wind power: better than we thought', published in ECOS No. 27, February 1981.
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River gums for saline soils
Slow salinization of prime agricultural land causes fruit trees, cereal crops, and pastures to be replaced by useless, stumpy, salt-tolerant shrubs and grasses. The development of such wastelands is a major problem in Australia, and in the world.
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