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It’s a nice place for a house, but where will you put the strawberry farm? Chip_2904/Flickr

Will Sydney or Melbourne have more hungry people in 2036?

The Victorian Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, recently announced an urban expansion for Melbourne: 5,958 hectares of new suburbs and transport corridors. But he didn’t mention the implicit costs of changing…
Fresh minimally-processed foods are more expensive than energy-dense, nutrient-poor processed foods. Alexander Baxevanis

Regulation and legislation as tools in the battle against obesity

OBESE NATION: It’s time to admit it - Australia is becoming an obese nation. This series looks at how this has happened and more importantly, what we can do to stop the obesity epidemic. Today Kerin O'Dea…
Post-marketing studies are often used as ploys to get doctors in the habit of prescribing expensive new medicines. Flickr / Nestle

How Big Pharma opens the market to new expensive drugs

New medicines are often marketed on the basis of clinical trials of limited size and duration. So clinical studies of a medicine after it has reached the market (post-marketing studies) can be a useful…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called on miners to accept that the resources they mine belong to the people. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Mining could invest in a future that belongs to all of us – education

Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered one of her strongest messages to the mining sector last night, telling mining bosses at a Minerals Industry dinner in Canberra that they don’t own Australia’s minerals…
Sugar doesn’t play a greater or lesser role in obesity than fat and other carbohydrates. Esther Gibbons

Monday’s medical myth: sugar is the main culprit in obesity

The debate about the health implications of sugar consumption began back in 1972 when Professor John Judkin, from the University of London, published Pure, White and Deadly, which linked sugar intake to…
Exercising at a moderate intensity is enough to reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol. Flickr/dangerouslyfit

Forget boot camp, exercise doesn’t have to be painful

You don’t need to follow the “no pain, no gain” mantra to reap the health benefits of exercise, a new study shows. Military-style boot camps that deliver fast-paced, high-intensity training (and chastise…
Cast – Elizabeth Banks (L-R), Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson – and director Gary Ross at the premiere of The Hunger Games in Germany. EPA/BRITTA PEDERSEN

Serious themes for young adults sets The Hunger Games apart

The film adaptation of the first of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, The Hunger Games, will premiere nationally tomorrow. The books and film are set in a post-apocalyptic America, where teenagers are forced to…
We have to rethink the way we construct buildings, to make them easier to reuse after demolition. sssteve.one/Flickr

Beyond recycling: making waste obsolete

Given our rapid depletion of resources, especially raw materials, and Australia’s ever-increasing waste creation, it’s time to ask: what are the best ways to encourage resource recovery and recycling to…
How close have we come to zero-carbon homes? Stephen Berry

Getting practical with push for zero carbon homes

Australia is moving towards more energy efficient houses. But are we doing enough? We think Australia could be aiming for zero-carbon homes; the tricky bit will be working out how to get there for the…
The idea of Australia as a laidback nation of beach dwellers and BBQ aficionados no longer stacks up. Asbestos Bill/Flickr

Grappling with the time bomb of Australia’s work, rest and play

In a country where our households are giving more time to paid work, the issue of how we spend our time – and the amount we give to work and with what effect – is of growing significance. This is what…
We need to think about the benefits of locally grown food before signing off on suburban sprawl. avlxyz/Flickr

Paving our market gardens: choosing suburbs over food

In 1947 the Sydney Basin produced “three quarters of the State’s lettuces, half of the spinach, a third of the cabbages and a quarter of the beans; seventy percent of the State’s poultry farms were in…
The Tokai Challenger team after winning the 2011 World Solar Challenge. World Solar Challenge

The World Solar Challenge and the future of solar cars

On October 20 2011, the Tokai Challenger solar car drove quietly into Victoria Square in the centre of Adelaide, winning the 2011 World Solar Challenge. The car had crossed Australia from north to south…
Chimps, like humans, can relive painful memories and grieve for loved ones. tgraham

Almost human: why a laboratory is no place for great apes

Twenty years ago, Jared Diamond’s book “The Third Chimpanzee” highlighted a startling fact. If we adhere to the scientific rules for classifying species (taxonomy), humans should be classified as a third…
Trans fats are more harmful to your health than regular fats and should be avoided. Flickr/Half alive

Explainer: what are trans fats?

Trans fats – they’re in our chips, bakery goods, popcorn and cakes. We know we should avoid them, but what exactly are they, and why are they so bad for us? First, let’s take a step back and look at how…

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