Anthea Batsakis

Anthea Batsakis is a freelance journalist in Melbourne, Australia.

Anthea Batsakis is a freelance journalist in Melbourne, Australia.

  • Century-old remedy an easier IVF alternative for many

    Flushing out ovaries with treated poppy seed oil may help as many as 40% of infertile women, writ...

    The Lipiodol treatment has been shown to help as many as 40% of infertile woman who would otherwise have had no alter...

    May 21, 2017
  • Monkeys have a brain circuit for analysing social interactions

    Gaze tracking and fMRI scanning shows rhesus macaques’ brains process social interactions between...

    A new dimension to our deep evolutionary connection with rhesus macaques – “old world” monkeys – was revealed after r...

    May 18, 2017
  • Nearby solar system much like ours

    New observations confirm that the Epsilon Eridani stellar system has a structure similar to our o...

    Illustration of the Epsilon Eridani system showing Epsilon Eridani b.NASA / SOFIA / Lynette CookA young solar system ...

    May 11, 2017
  • New giant dinosaur species the biggest find yet

    Oviraptor dubbed the ‘baby dragon’ leaves scientists agog. Anthea Batsakis reports.

    Artist’s impression of the nesting gigantic cassowary-like dinosaur Beibeilong in the act of incubating its eggs.Zhao...

    May 10, 2017
  • The life and loves of Albert Einstein

    A new TV show reveals the life behind the famous equations, writes Anthea Batsakis.

    Johnny Flynn and Samantha Colley as Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric.National GeographicAlbert Einstein – the genius ...

    May 5, 2017
  • Marathon mice show power of ‘exercise’ drug

    A drug that mimics the effect of endurance training could help athletes as well as those unable t...

    The new drug may help endurance athletes as well as people unable to exercise.Yellow Dog ProductionsHours of training...

    May 3, 2017
  • Aromatherapy may help horses and mice cope with stress and anxiety

    Does aromatherapy have any scientific merit? Two new studies suggest it might, writes Anthea Bats...

    Horses may find the smell of lavender relaxing.Annette Soumillard / GettyLight a candle steeped in lavender oil and y...

    April 28, 2017
  • How humans have dreamed of robots for centuries

    A new exhibition at London’s Science Museum shows off 500 years of humanoid machines, writes Anth...

    Humanoid robot, ‘Cygan’, was built in Italy in 1957 by Dr Piero Fiorito, a keen aero-modeller. He designed the robot...

    April 3, 2017
  • Handling method alters mouse trial results

    Picking up lab mice the wrong way can ruin experiments, reports Anthea Batsakis.

    Stressed mice make poor experimental subjects.Getty ImagesThe way scientists handle mice before an experiment influen...

    March 26, 2017
  • Scientists push for Australian space agency

    Australia needs its own space agency, say scientists in a paper aimed at government. Anthea Batsa...

    Australia needs its own space agency, researchers say.Tim Bird/Getty ImagesAustralian space researchers are urgently ...

    March 21, 2017
  • Animal testing law halts Ebola vax trial

    Ebola has wiped out one third of Africa’s great apes, but tough US regs are hampering efforts to ...

    Ebola takes a terrible toll on wild chimp populations, but tough laws governing testing are hampering the development...

    March 9, 2017
  • Robot studies shed fast light on insect evolution

    Engineers have found a better six-legged gait than nature has devised. Anthea Batsakis reports.

    Six-legged robots, modelled on the movement of insects, have long been favoured by robotics researchers seeking to de...

    February 22, 2017
  • Food poisoning bacteria infiltrate and help shrink tumours in mice

    Like a beacon, modified Salmonella draws the immune system's attention to cancerous cells. Anthea...

    A coloured transmission electron micrograph of a Salmonella typhimurium bacterium. Biologists engineered a weak strai...

    February 8, 2017
  • Sulfur choked sea life during end-Permian mass extinction: study

    Rocky outcrops in Canada and Japan hold clues to why most of the world’s ocean life died out 250 ...

    Fossilised moulted exoskeletons of euryptids, also known as sea scorpions. They died out during the end-Permian mass ...

    February 6, 2017
  • Knitted ‘muscles’ to get people moving again

    Bodysuits made of the material could keep elderly people living independently longer and help reh...

    A conceptual model of a textile exoskeleton with the textile actuator (black) on an elastic elbow sleeve (white).Thor...

    January 25, 2017
  • Why mosquitoes don’t die of malaria

    Finding out how could help develop new malaria drugs.

    The risk of malaria looms over nearly half the world’s population and kills hundreds of thousands of people each year...

    January 22, 2017
  • How breast cancer spreads before tumours can be detected

    Studies point to progesterone and the protein HER2 as culprits behind early disseminating cancer ...

    Coloured scanning electron micrograph of a migrating – or metastasising – breast cancer cell.Science Photo Library / ...

    December 14, 2016
  • How a tiny genetic typo helped grow our big brain

    After splitting from the chimpanzee lineage, a single letter of our genome switched to another – ...

    Chimpanzees and humans shared a common ancestor around six million years ago. But where their brain has remained almo...

    December 8, 2016
  • Runaway cooling piled weight on Pluto’s icy heart: study

    Splashes from an ice volcano may have triggered ice accumulation on a patch of the dwarf planet t...

    Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on 14 July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back towar...

    November 30, 2016
  • How did Pluto’s heavy heart pack on the weight?

    Two studies explain why Sputnik Planitia is heavier than its surrounds, with one looking below th...

    Sputnik Planitia (the left lobe of Pluto's 'heart') likely formed in the aftermath of comet collision. Sputnik Planit...

    November 16, 2016
  • Brain chip lets paralysed monkeys walk again

    Two primates were able to walk within days of spinal injury thanks to a wireless bridge between t...

    The brain-spine interface uses a brain implant like this one (seen here with a silicon model of a primate brain) to d...

    November 9, 2016
  • Bacteria turn nasty in space because they’re hungry

    Gene study uncovers why E. coli becomes more virulent, multiplies faster and is more resistant to...

    Commander Mark Kelly working with the E. coli experiment on the space station.NASAAs if astronauts on the space stati...

    November 2, 2016
  • When the heat is on, this robot sweats to cool down

    With more than 100 motors, the humanoid robot Kengoro could overheat quickly. Japanese researcher...

    Humans and the humanoid robot Kengoro in the video above have more in common than looks: we sweat to cool us down.Hum...

    October 30, 2016
  • Transplanted brain cells restore circuitry in adult mice

    The work is a boost for the field of neural transplantation, which seeks to repair brain injury a...

    Embryonic neurons (yellow) transplanted into the adult mouse brain connect with host neurons (blue), rebuilding neura...

    October 27, 2016
  • Parasitic worm secretions could treat asthma and allergies

    For those with an extra-excitable immune system, a handy treatment may be round the corner – no w...

    A scanning electron microscope image of Ancylostoma duodenale, a species of hookworm that infects humans. They ooze p...

    October 26, 2016
  • Warm water is eating away at Antarctic glaciers

    Some of the fastest melting glaciers on the planet are found in West Antarctica – and now we know...

    Glacial flow speeds mapped by NASA’s Earth Observatory. Between 2002 and 2009, Smith Glacier lost as much as 70 metre...

    October 25, 2016
  • Imagining numbers as shapes

    How do you picture the number 54? Do you see a 5 and a 4 – or perhaps a series of triangles?

    Imagine if you could see numbers – not by visualising digits or by counting, but as shapes?On the CBS program 60 Minu...

    October 25, 2016
  • Shimmering blue plant manipulates light with crystal quirks

    Opalescent, azure-tinted leaves aren't just for show – they selectively harvest light to give a s...

    Blue leaf iridescence, a striking form of structural colour originating from specialised chloroplasts.Matthew JacobsI...

    October 24, 2016
  • How does space tinker with your ticker?

    Human heart cells, beating away on the space station for a month, will provide insights into the ...

    This video from NASA shows a time-lapse of heart cells beating in the microgravity of the international space stating...

    October 23, 2016
  • Meet ‘Wade’ – a new Australian titanosaur species

    An accidental find led to the most complete skeleton of its kind unearthed from the continent. An...

    An artist's impression of Savannasaurus elliottorum based on the specimen found in Queensland and comparisons with ti...

    October 20, 2016
  • Why you shouldn’t store tomatoes in the fridge

    When chilled, genes dial down and the normally tasty fruit loses its flavoursome molecules. Anthe...

    Sure, keep them in the fridge – if you want bland, tasteless tomatoes.ferrantraite / Getty ImagesAre your tomatoes bl...

    October 17, 2016
  • What happens when you go under general anaesthetic?

    Counting backwards from 10, you feel yourself slip into darkness – only to wake seemingly an inst...

    “Going under” before a surgery is something for which we can thank modern medicine. Before anaesthesia entered theatr...

    October 16, 2016
  • Ancient bird voice box produced goose-like honks

    Fossilised remains of a 66-million-year-old bird, discovered on the Antarctic Peninsula, yield it...

    A reconstruction of the shoreline of Antarctica with a mid-sized raptor vocalising with a closed mouth and Vegavis ia...

    October 12, 2016
  • Two ancient dog-toothed species discovered in Brazil

    Sitting idle for years and gathering dust in museum collections, remains of these Late Triassic a...

    Cynodonts lived hundreds of millions of years ago – and two previously unknown species have been found in museum coll...

    October 5, 2016
  • Hurricane Matthew, viewed from the space station

    Cameras on the International Space Station capture the devastating storm's enormity.

    Hurricane Matthew is tearing through the Caribbean as the most violent storm in the region in almost a decade. With w...

    October 5, 2016
  • How to rejuvenate stale bread and crunchless crisps

    Chips lost their crispiness? Bread getting a bit crusty – and not in a good way? Here are some ti...

    It can be irritating when bread goes stale and chips lose their crunch if you leave them out too long. But instead of...

    September 28, 2016
  • What two million years of climate history tells us about the future

    Data from layers drilled from the ocean floor don't bode well for global warming down the track, ...

    An artist's impression of woolly rhinos in the Pleistocene. After this period, the ice age cycle grew from 41,000 yea...

    September 26, 2016
  • ExoMars robot’s journey from mothership to Mars surface

    Watch the view Schiaparelli will see as it descends on the red planet in October.

    Roscosmos and European Space Agency’s ExoMars module Schiaparelli will touch down on the pockmarked Martian surface n...

    September 22, 2016
  • Pills fizz and crumble in an explosion of colour

    Under a macro lens – and with a bit of time – common tablets turn water into a swirly multi-hued ...

    You've seen a dissolvable tablet fizz in water before you drink it, but watching pills dissolve is even easier to swa...

    September 20, 2016
  • Rockfall onslaughts intensified by land clearing

    New research shows prehistoric rockfalls didn't travel as far as contemporary ones – and humans a...

    Dislodged boulders and rocks cause plenty of damage ... but thanks to our deforesting ways, we've made the problem wo...

    September 19, 2016
  • Sniffing books and art can save them from spoiling

    Scientists borrowed alcohol breath-testing techniques to pick up dangerous molecules before more ...

    Do you love the musty smell of old books? How about the vinegary smell of degrading plastics? Cultural heritage scien...

    September 11, 2016
  • Device can tell if an apple’s ripe from its ‘glow’

    The unit, which weighs less than an apple, can tell if fruit is ripe while it's still on the tree...

    Biting into an unripe apple is generally a bit of a disappointment. A hand-held device aims to do away with such sour...

    September 8, 2016
  • Stuck in traffic? A simple solution to road congestion

    Stop-start driving creates 'phantom intersections'. There's an easy way to do away with them – bu...

    When we’re stuck in traffic, it feels like everybody else is at fault. But the video below, by CGP Grey, explains how...

    September 6, 2016
  • Hermit crab takes anemone guards when it moves house

    Without their stinging protectors, the crustaceans are vulnerable to attack from predators. So wh...

    They’re hermit by name, but not entirely by nature. Hermit crabs have a mutually beneficial relationship with anemone...

    September 1, 2016
  • When the weather warms up, pop on cooling clothes

    You might add layers when the thermostat drops, but could clothing actually help you cool off too...

    An electron microscope image of the cooling material. The tiny pores let sweat evaporate. Click to enlarge.Yi Cui Gro...

    September 1, 2016
  • What 3.7-billion-year-old fossils mean for life on Mars

    If the Greenland fossils are what they appear to be, the probability that life once existed on th...

    Study co-authors Allen Nutman and Vickie Bennett with a specimen of 3.7-billion-year-old stromatolite from Isua, Gree...

    September 1, 2016
  • Mass drug hand-out curbed Liberian malaria during Ebola outbreak

    The huge effort, involving more than a million medication packs in the Liberian capital city Monr...

    Liberian capital Monrovia was hit hard by Ebola in 2014. But malaria is also endemic to the country, and the two dise...

    September 1, 2016
  • Seals collect treasure trove of data on ocean currents

    Scientists enlisted some unusual assistants to help find out what is going on 5,000 metres beneat...

    Southern male elephant seals became research assistants when fitted with state-of-the-art miniaturised, satellite-lin...

    August 24, 2016
  • Bird parents sing to prepare unborn chicks for hot weather

    The song of an Australian zebra finch in high temperatures better equips a hatchling to deal with...

    Baby zebra finches anticipate the environment onto which they're born – thanks to their parents' warbles.Andy T D Ben...

    August 18, 2016
  • Space trailblazers can learn from Earth explorers’ mistakes

    Alice Gorman has expanded her archaeological turf into the outer reaches of Earth’s atmosphere – ...

    SuppliedThe far reaches of space exploration don’t usually gel with the annals of archaeology – but for Alice Gorman,...

    August 18, 2016
  • Why it’s not OK to pee in the pool

    Urea reacts with disinfectant to produce potentially dangerous byproducts.

    Peeing in the pool can be tempting, especially if the air is chilly and the toilet a bit of a trek away. But before y...

    August 18, 2016
  • You’re bathed in light from distant galaxies and black holes

    If the sun was suddenly switched off, Earth would still be peppered with a few extra-galactic pho...

    Photons hitting your skin do, for the most part, come from the sun. But a tiny proportion have extra-galactic origins...

    August 12, 2016
  • Tips to keep fish in your fridge smelling less fishy

    When it comes to fish, fresh is definitely best. But don't throw away a fillet that's a few days ...

    There’s nothing quite like that eye-watering smell from uncooked, forgotten fish left in the fridge. But before you s...

    August 10, 2016
  • Moon astronauts more likely to die from heart disease

    First study into astronaut mortality suggests those who flew into deep space have higher risk of ...

    Ronald Evans, who went to the moon as part of the Apollo 17 mission, died of a heart attack in 1990. New research sug...

    July 29, 2016
  • Our favourite species discoveries this year, so far

    Ants named after dragons and a whale that remains nameless ... Anthea Batsakis reports on six pla...

    Living with spikes on your back is typically a defensive move. But two newly discovered ant species need their spikes...

    July 28, 2016
  • Celebrating Viking: four decades of landers on Mars

    We've come a long way since the 1970s, with ever-more complex landers and rovers exploring the Re...

    The first successful Mars lander – part of the Viking 1 mission – touched down on the Red Planet 40 years ago.Viking ...

    July 19, 2016
  • Looking back on New Horizon’s Pluto fly-by

    We mark the anniversary of New Horizon's historic encounter with the dwarf planet with some of th...

    NASA/JHUAPL/SWRIPluto’s haze The blue halo around Pluto (above) is haze extending to altitudes of more than 200 kil...

    July 14, 2016
  • New coral camera zooms in on reefs’ secrets

    An underwater microscope that snaps clear images of coral building blocks has caught them 'kissin...

    Pocillopora damicornis coral snapped by the new microscope under fluorescent illumination in the lab.Andrew MullenA n...

    July 13, 2016
  • How artificial sweeteners can beef up your appetite

    When it senses sweetness of sugar but not the energy, the brain tries to compensate. Anthea Batsa...

    A growing body of research shows artificial sweeteners can make people eat more – and now we know why.GARO / PHANIEWa...

    July 12, 2016
  • Humans are still evolving: study

    We can control our surroundings, but it doesn't necessarily mean we're immune to natural selectio...

    A study found women who menstruated later tended to have more kids.Betsie Van der Meer / Getty ImagesHave we stopped ...

    July 11, 2016
  • Best brain-bending illusions of 2016

    The best illusion contest has been won, Anthea Batsakis examines four of the finalists.

    Colour me confusedIn this illusion, we’re shown grey bubbles of different sizes then four colourful bubbles of the sa...

    July 10, 2016
  • Deadly fungal spores stab holes in Zika mosquito larvae

    By attacking from inside and out, blastospores finish off their targets in 12 to 24 hours. Anthea...

    Mosquitoes spend the first part of their life in water. Biologists have shown a type of fungal spore sticks to and ki...

    July 7, 2016
  • Antarctic sea ice expansion driven by natural variability: study

    Climate scientists suggest natural, decades-long fluctuations are at play – but warn the trend ma...

    Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins jump off an iceberg and into the ocean in Antarctica. Sea ice is responsible for distri...

    July 5, 2016
  • Hit the gym to beef up your memory – but not immediately

    High-intensity exercise seems to help cement memories best a few hours after learning. Anthea Bat...

    Adam Orzechowski / Getty ImagesA well-timed workout can boost your long-term memory, a new study suggests.Researchers...

    June 17, 2016
  • Light pollution masks night sky for 83% of people

    The vast majority of people simply can't experience true night, thanks to an Earthly artificial g...

    A stunning view, but one few people get to see regularly: the Milky Way, seen here over Dinosaur National Monument in...

    June 12, 2016
  • Tarantula venom helps untangle irritable bowel syndrome

    Irritable bowel syndrome is the most common disorder diagnosed by gastroenterologists – and scien...

    There's no denying they're terrifying to some (OK, most). But tarantulas can tell us a lot about how our own bodies w...

    June 7, 2016

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