Ariella Heffernan-Marks

Ariella Heffernan-Marks in a Melbourne-based science writer.

Ariella Heffernan-Marks in a Melbourne-based science writer.

  • Why do volcanoes erupt?

    Many things at play in triggering volcanic eruptions.

    There is a lot more to volcanic eruptions than meets the eye – they are complex, diverse and caused by a multitude of...

    September 26, 2017
  • Immune cells may prevent stem cell growth in spinal cord repair

    A new study has found an important piece of spinal repair puzzle, writes Ariella Heffernan-Marks.

    A human stem cell replicating itself.Hal X. Nguyen and Aileen J. AndersonThat scab that forms after you cut yourself ...

    August 28, 2017
  • New drug target raises hopes for Alzheimer’s and ALS treatment

    A new study shows that inhibiting a key enzyme may stop neurodegenerative diseases in their tracks.

    Finding a successful treatment for Alzheimer’s disease has for decades seemed like an impossible feat, but a new disc...

    August 16, 2017
  • Study dates origin of plant photosynthesis to 2.1 billion years ago

    Without photosynthesising plants, life as we know it would be impossible. A new study says it all...

    Peer into a plant cell and you’ll find the engine at its heart is a stowaway. In size, shape, and the genes it carrie...

    August 15, 2017
  • How to see the August 2017 solar eclipse

    A guide to watching the total eclipse of the Sun on August 21 2017.

    The last total solar eclipse visible from the United States occurred 38 years ago in 1979. The next is due to occur o...

    August 8, 2017
  • Eating less may help you learn (if you’re a roundworm)

    A new study of C. elegans roundworms finds that dietary restriction enhances the production of ne...

    Dietary restriction (DR) – restricting some or all nutrients in the diet, without causing malnutrition – is known to ...

    August 3, 2017
  • How to see the 2017 Delta Aquariid meteor shower

    Your guide to catching a glimpse of the Delta Aquariid meteors, peaking across the southern hemis...

    What is a meteor shower? A meteor shower occurs when a cloud of debris from a comet or asteroid enters Earth’s atmosp...

    July 25, 2017
  • A butterfly with wings as clear as glass

    The transparent wings of Greta oto hold microscopic secrets.

    The transparent wings of Greta oto, the glass-winged butterfly.David TillerDespite its name the glass-winged butterfl...

    July 24, 2017
  • How to see the 2017 Perseid meteor shower

    Your guide to catching a glimpse of the Perseid meteors, coming to skies across the northern hemi...

    What is a meteor shower?A meteor shower occurs when a cloud of debris from a comet or asteroid enters Earth’s atmosph...

    July 19, 2017
  • Self-wrinkling mini-mazes may foil hackers

    Researchers have developed a technique for randomly generating miniature mazes that could serve a...

    Three different maze configurations produced by wrinkling.Bae et al.Mazes have always been used to entertain, but new...

    July 3, 2017
  • How ultrasound might get drugs across the blood-brain barrier

    A new technology uses ultrasound and tiny bubbles to open the blood-brain barrier.

    Cavitation microstreaming generated by a microbubble and marked by fluorescent beads. Miles M. Aron, courtesy of BUBB...

    July 3, 2017
  • Light-sensitive brain protein helps you wake up in the morning

    Scientists have discovered a brain chemical that responds to light and darkness to regulate sleep...

    Why does light make you wake up? Brain chemicals.Tuomas MarttilaHumans have always woken up at sunrise, and gone to s...

    June 26, 2017
  • Immune system response points way to beating cancer

    An innate response that results in cells destroying themselves could provide a less toxic alterna...

    A scanning electron micrograph of a cancer cell in the process of dividing.Steve Gschmeissner / GettyAfter so many de...

    June 22, 2017
  • In utero skin grafts use stem cells to treat neural tube defects

    A new treatment may be at hand for life-threatening neural tube defects.

    Three-dimensional cultured skin derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells.Kazuhiro KajiwaraLab generated skin...

    June 6, 2017
  • KELT-9b is the hottest exoplanet ever found

    The bizarre gas giant is hotter than many stars and may have a comet-like tail, writes Ariella He...

    An illustration of KELT-9b in orbit around its host star KELT-9.NASA/JPL-CaltechScientists have discovered a planet t...

    June 6, 2017
  • New dysfunctional gene identified with rare kidney disease

    Researchers demonstrate that a newly found mutation leads to improper cell function, writes Ariel...

    A cross-section of a cystic kidney showing cysts in red.Maria Rondon Galeano, The University of QueenslandAutosomal r...

    May 23, 2017
  • Earth’s epic flashes can help rate exoplanet habitability

    NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory captures light reflected off ice crystals high in the atmos...

    NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) has captured 866 bursts of reflected light appearing on the Earth’s su...

    May 22, 2017

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