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University of Adelaide

  1. Dragonflies’ Selective Attention Capabilities Nearly on Par With Humans, Hope for Man’s Future Dwindles Further

    We have a lot to fear about insects regardless of their diminutive size: They sting, bite, spray acid, and on occasion use us as walking incubators for their eggs. To our advantage, insects lack the complex thought processes that made us humans the dominant species... or so we initially thought. Dr. Steven Wiederman and Associate Professor David O'Carroll of the University of Adelaide's Centre for Neuroscience Research have discovered that dragonflies are capable of selective attention, a quality that until now was seen solely in primates. This ability is instrumental for when the dragonflies go hunting for things like mosquitoes, and will serve them well when they begin to hunt people.

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  2. New Research Suggests Prehistoric 150-Pound Wombat Somehow Lived in Trees

    Even in its ancient days, the continent of Australia was renowned for its bizarre menagerie of marsupial mammals that beggar description. The one major difference between now and then is that nearly all marsupials at the time were considerably larger and forced to reside on the ground. That said, fossil researchers from the University of New South Wales and the University of Adelaide recently declared that the wombat-like marsupial Nimbadon lavarackorum lived among the treetops in spite of its massive weight and size.

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  3. Good News, Junkies: Scientists Block Addictive Properties of Opioids, Keep Painkilling Factor Intact

    Anyone who has ever been in the hospital for a major injury knows one incontrovertible fact about morphine: It is pretty damn spectacular. Opioids have been in use as pain relievers for centuries, and we have yet to find anything that is anywhere near as effective at managing physical discomfort. Morphine was the best painkiller surgeons had on hand hundreds of years ago, and it's still among the best today. Its only drawback, really, is that it's too good. The pain releiving qualities of opioids are deeply intertwined with the qualities that make it one of the most addictive substances known to science. A collaboration between researchers at the University of Colorado and Australia's University of Adelaide may have hit the jackpot of pain relief, though. In a paper to be published later this week in the Journal of Neuroscience the team is reporting a breakthrough that lets opioids retain their pain-killing punch while dulling their addictive qualities.

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