Cosmos

Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.

  • Cosmos: solving science stumpers for summer

    The summer of science to answer life’s most curious questions.

    Why is the sky blue? What actually is carbon capture and storage? Why does my vacuum cleaner make that noise? What’s ...

    November 25, 2021
  • RiAus Education: In class with … Professor Fiona Wood

    Surgeon and leading burns specialist Professor Fiona Wood delivers an exclusive In Class With… ev...

    Inventor of spray-on-skin and world-leading burns specialist, Professor Fiona Wood took on questions from school stud...

    November 25, 2021
  • Nature, food and kinship

    How has the unique Australian landscape shaped foodways, plant use and kinship systems among Abor...

    Bringing Aboriginal food and plant knowledge to a new audience Most people know that Australia is home to many uni...

    November 23, 2021
  • COVID Booster: Vaccine tax, sense of smell, and masking kindy teachers

    Five things we learned about COVID-19 this week.

    Maybe young kids can still see emotions through masks One of the concerns around masking teachers is that children...

    November 20, 2021
  • Soil carbon sequestration: how will it work?

    How much carbon can we farm back into the earth?

    Soil carbon sequestration seems like a win for everyone: it improves soil quality, removes CO2 from the atmosphere, a...

    November 18, 2021
  • John Long: The life of a fossil hunter

    Palaeontologist John Long speaks to Danielle Clode, author of a new kid’s book about his incredib...

    Australian palaeontologist Professor John Long has spent a lifetime expanding knowledge of ancient animals, especiall...

    November 11, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Electric vehicles

    How do we go from stuck in the mud to the fast lane?

    This briefing was originally posted on 19th August 2021. Given our physical size, and our windy and sunny location...

    November 9, 2021
  • 2021 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science presented

    Annual Prime Minister’s Prizes recognise dedication, innovation and the importance of STEM educat...

    The 2021 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science were presented last night at an online event by Prime Minister Scott Mor...

    November 4, 2021
  • What’s at stake at COP26? Your climate primer

    Your dossier on climate change, renewable energy, and emissions policy.

    This weekend, world leaders will meet in Glasgow to discuss the acute social, scientific and economic challenge we fa...

    October 27, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Is COP26 a game changer?

    What’s at stake at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference.

    Scientists say that 2021 is our last chance to stop the effects of climate change from fundamentally disrupting the w...

    October 26, 2021
  • Brain strain: neurological effects of COVID and vaccines compared

    Massive vaccine side-effects study confirms low risk of rare neurological conditions such as Guil...

    Concerns about the side-effects of COVID vaccinations have been amplified during the current pandemic by both the vas...

    October 26, 2021
  • 5 remarkable reptile facts herpetologists want you to know

    Scientists share their wackiest, weirdest and most interesting reptile facts.

    Today is Reptile Awareness Day! We reached out to our lizard-loving scientist friends to learn their favourite reptil...

    October 21, 2021
  • COVID Booster: Nasal vaccines, music and donation generosity

    Five things we learned about COVID-19 this week.

    TGA officially approves rapid antigen tests The Therapeutic Goods Administration has officially approved three rap...

    October 18, 2021
  • Trolling, abuse of scientists during the pandemic

    Scientists around the world have been targeted on social media and abused for speaking the truth ...

    Around one in five Australian scientists surveyed by the Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) say they’ve experie...

    October 14, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: the Semiconductor Shortage

    Should Australia shoot for computer chip sovereignty?

    Global semiconductor industry sales were $439.0 billion in 2020. China has called chip independence a top national pr...

    September 30, 2021
  • Seven pieces of scientific information on the Vickery coal mine expansion

    What does the science have to say about Vickery?

    The Vickery coal mine extension in New South Wales has received approval from the Environment Minister, Sussan Ley. ...

    September 17, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: The Decline of Truth

    Has science played a role?

    ‘Truth decay’ is a subject that’s been growing in visibility; the shift away from an accepted and agreed set of facts...

    September 1, 2021
  • Gallery: Seeing Things Differently

    Science and X-ray photography from young South Australians.

    Next week, hundreds of virtual and in-person events are going to happen across the country as part of National Scienc...

    August 12, 2021
  • Connected through space

    The Australian innovators getting us into orbit.

    As the Australian space industry reaches new heights, data collected in orbit will connect farmers, land managers, an...

    August 10, 2021
  • Cosmos Pi-ku 2021 competition

    It’s Pi Approximation Day already? Really? We need to do a little judge whippin’…

    Only occasionally does a journalist get to write a ‘gosh, sorry’ story and have a genuinely reasonable hope of gettin...

    July 22, 2021
  • The multilingual how, why and what of vaccination

    A new glossary aims to make vaccination terms easier to understand for Australians from non-Engli...

    There was good news on Monday if, like many of us reading news or information about vaccination, you sometimes strugg...

    July 22, 2021
  • Cosmos Q&A: Caring for Country

    Indigenous knowledge is vital to the health of our continent.

    Happy NAIDOC Week! This article was first published on 22 January, 2021. Australia is faced with multiple environm...

    July 5, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Extinct species returning, not-so-foolish fool’s gold, intergalactic highways, and more – here’s ...

    Collision course on an intergalactic highway Astronomers have created the clearest images ever of a galaxy cluster...

    July 5, 2021
  • COVID Booster: Ethics of incentives and kid-safe vaccines

    Five things we learned about COVID-19 this week.

    China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine safe for kids Phase 1/2 clinical trials of China’s CoronaVac vaccine found that t...

    July 3, 2021
  • Gravitational waves from black holes swallowing neutron stars

    We talk to Susan Scott about gravitational waves, black holes, and neutron stars.

    Earlier this week, scientists announced an exciting discovery made with made with gravitational waves: the first conf...

    July 2, 2021
  • Let’s rock: Happy International Asteroid Day!

    We’re ready to rock your world with out-of-this-world rocks.

    Dinosaurs might not share our enthusiasm, but here at Cosmos we thought we’d take the opportunity to celebrate Intern...

    June 30, 2021
  • Five gut stories for World Microbiome Day

    There’s an ecosystem inside you – and we’re learning more about it each day.

    Today, 27 June, marks World Microbiome Day. Microbes are deeply important for global environmental health, but they’r...

    June 27, 2021
  • The Science of Pearls

    All about oyster farming with Farmer of the Year, James Brown.

    The Australian Farmer of the Year award celebrates pioneers in farming who show innovation, resilience, and tenacity....

    June 25, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Retail Rules

    The revolution transforming how, what and why we buy.

    The way we shop has changed profoundly over the past few decades, and it will continue to do so, say two experts in t...

    June 17, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Accessing Antarctica

    Watch three experts discuss who should be allowed access to Antarctica and why.

    Remote and wild, Antarctica was once solely the domain of hardcore explorers. As the continent becomes more accessibl...

    June 11, 2021
  • World Ocean Day wrap: five ocean stories

    Let’s celebrate World Ocean Day with five recent pieces of research about the ocean.

    Happy World Ocean Day! To celebrate, Cosmos is looking back over what we have written about our oceans and seas in th...

    June 8, 2021
  • Mind readers

    What if Star Trek-style mind melding was more than a science fiction concept?

    by Paul Biegler Brain-to-brain interface is a challenge right on the limit of our understanding of neuroscience bu...

    June 7, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray stories from last week to brighten your Monday.

    New shark mass extinction discovered Scientists have uncovered a previously unknown mass die-off of sharks, 19 mil...

    June 7, 2021
  • World Environment Day wrap: ecosystem restoration

    Five stories to read on preserving and rejuvenating our ecosystems.

    The theme of World Environment Day this year is “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.” Ecosystem loss is catastrophic for th...

    June 5, 2021
  • Happy birthday, Gus Nossal

    The giant of Australian immunology celebrates his 90th birthday today.

    Sir Gustav Nossal (born 4 June 1931) is an internationally renowned immunologist. Nossal directed the Walter and Eliz...

    June 4, 2021
  • Last chance to enter Cosmos 2021 Pi-ku competition

    Entries close near the end of June: don’t miss out!

    March 14 is International Day of Mathematics – UNESCO declared it so at its 40th General Conference in 2019 – and als...

    June 3, 2021
  • Time travel and tipping points

    Truly coming to grips with the vastness of geologic timescales isn’t easy, but it could be key to...

    by Lauren Fuge I’m hiking down a tributary of Arkaroola Creek, right in the middle of Cryogenian Period. Above me ...

    June 3, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to cheer up your Monday.

    Ferrets against bird flu For our choice for an Ig Nobel Prize, we nominate a study published in PLOS ONE, where re...

    May 31, 2021
  • 22 scientists honoured by the AAS

    The 2021 Australian Academy of Science Fellows have been announced.

    The Australian Academy of Science has just announced their 2021 Fellows, recognising the outstanding contributions of...

    May 25, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to cheer up your Monday.

    We’re not friends anymore Coral can remove the little algal buddies that live inside their tissues so other, more ...

    May 24, 2021
  • This week on Mars

    China’s Zhurong rover prepares to get to work.

    This week has been a busy one on the Red Planet – last Saturday morning, Australian time, China became the third coun...

    May 23, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Intelligent Manufacturing

    How will AI change our manufacturing sector, and what skills will we need to stay competitive?

    Over the next decade, the Australian manufacturing industry will need to change its practices to continue making thin...

    May 21, 2021
  • Zhurong rover sends first pictures of Mars

    The Chinese Mars rover sends two images (and a video).

    The landing capsule moves away from the orbiter, a precursor to the first pictures Zhurong will send from the surface...

    May 20, 2021
  • Sweet science

    Cosmos 88 – Nathan Kilah reports.

    Novice beekeeper Nathan Kilah isn’t just in it for the honey. With a complex social structure governed entirely by ch...

    May 20, 2021
  • Spotted gum, complete

    A second species of eucalypt has had its complete genome revealed.

    A second complete eucalypt genome has been assembled and publicly released following a decade-long project involving ...

    May 12, 2021
  • 2021–22 federal budget

    Is there good news for science and technology in the Australian Government’s economic plans?

    The Australian Government treasurer Josh Frydenberg brought down his third budget tonight, and the news for the scien...

    May 11, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to cheer up your Monday.

    Humans can learn echolocation Get ready Batman, soon you might be able to echolocate like a bat! Researchers ha...

    May 10, 2021
  • Last week on Mars

    Helicopter Ingenuity’s fifth flight marked the start of its next phase as a scouting vehicle.

    The fifth flight of tiny Mars helicopter Ingenuity – the one that flew it above mission expectations – took place on ...

    May 9, 2021
  • COVID booster

    Five things science learned about COVID-19 last week.

    High school student shows barriers are better A US high school student has published a paper in PLOS ONE, suggesti...

    May 8, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Water Policy in Australia

    How do we protect our most precious resource?

    Water is the most vital resource on Earth and underpins all areas of survival. Over the next 10 years, we will need m...

    May 6, 2021
  • This week on Mars

    This week on Mars, Ingenuity took its third ever flight. It is already tricky to fly a helicopter on Mars, because it...

    May 3, 2021
  • COVID booster: Nanobodies

    Four things science learned about COVID-19 last week.

    Alpaca nanobodies block SARS-CoV-2 from entering cells Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Med...

    May 1, 2021
  • Apollo 11 pilot dead at 90

    Michael Collins, who orbited the Moon alone while crewmates made humankind’s first moonwalk, succ...

    Former NASA astronaut Michael Collins, pilot of Apollo 11’s command module Columbia, has died in Florida, US, at the ...

    April 29, 2021
  • Australia lags on climate change action

    US President Biden douses the fire of four years of national climate denialism.

    Overnight, 40 of the world’s leaders met to address climate change in an online summit hosted by the US. Under new Pr...

    April 23, 2021
  • COSMOS WEEKLY is now available!

    Friday just became the day with extra science oomph!

    It’s worth repeating: science has never been more important or interesting. Scientists are working to return us to a ...

    April 23, 2021
  • From the editors

    The new Cosmos Weekly: bringing you the science behind the news, and more science in general.

    Welcome to the first edition of our new e-publication, Cosmos Weekly – it’s undeniably exciting to launch new words i...

    April 23, 2021
  • Cosmos Q&A: Predicting the next pandemic

    Accurately assessing the risk from zoonotic viruses is harder than we think.

    As the world grapples with the devastating impact of COVID-19, many are wondering – when will the next pandemic hit, ...

    April 21, 2021
  • Getting to zero

    Former chief scientist Alan Finkel discusses how we’ll shift greenhouse gas emissions to zero.

    Dr Alan Finkel trained as a neuroscientist and engineer and forged a successful career as a technology entrepreneur. ...

    April 12, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to brighten your Monday.

    More than 5,000 tonnes of space dust hit Earth every year If you’ve ever seen a shooting star, you’ve encountered ...

    April 12, 2021
  • This week on Mars

    Helicopter Ingenuity safely deployed, but flight delayed.

    NASA announced yesterday that the first flight of its Ingenuity Mars helicopter will take place no earlier than 14 Ap...

    April 11, 2021
  • Covid Booster: herd immunity and nature nurture

    5 things we learned about COVID this week.

    Herd immunity is impossible without vaccination A review led by Australian researchers has found that no country h...

    April 10, 2021
  • Chief scientist talks about AI, machine learning

    A special Cosmos Briefing panel including Dr Cathy Foley tackles some of the big future-science i...

    During a visit to Adelaide last week, chief scientist of Australia Dr Cathy Foley very kindly agreed to join a taped ...

    April 7, 2021
  • Antibiotic properties of amber

    The fossilised resin contains antibiotic compounds.

    Chemicals in fossilised Baltic amber resin have antibiotic properties, and may be useful for treating antibiotic resi...

    April 5, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray stories from last week to brighten your Monday.

    New dinosaur named ‘the one who causes fear’ The discovery of a new dinosaur has been published in the Journal of ...

    April 5, 2021
  • Easter Wrap: A basket full of Easter Eggs

    All the egg stories you need this Easter.

    We went on an Easter egg hunt and found a whole lots of eggs. They might not strictly be Easter eggs, but they are de...

    April 5, 2021
  • Easter Wrap: A Chocolate (story) feast

    If you haven’t had enough already, here is more!

    Easter weekends are often filled with chocolate, and there is always more to go around. Here are some of our favourit...

    April 4, 2021
  • Easter Wrap: Head over for stories about Easter Island

    Rapa Nui in the spotlight.

    It is time to remember Easter… Island. Here are four stories about archaeology and Rapa Nui. Destruction of Easte...

    April 3, 2021
  • Easter Wrap: The Easter Bilby is here!

    Science stories about our Aussie Easter icon.

    You might be more used to getting a visit from the Easter bunny, but in Australia it’s the Easter bilby that stops by...

    April 2, 2021
  • Astronomers declare no further research required

    Astronomers around the globe reveal that we’ve learned everything we need to know about the unive...

    Scientists across the world have declared that no further research is required in the field of astronomy, saying that...

    April 1, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to cheer up your Monday.

    Prehistoric giant bird had tiny brain The largest flightless bird to ever have walked the Earth had a disproportio...

    March 29, 2021
  • COVID Booster

    Five things we learned about COVID last week.

    COVID-19 commemorated with postage stamps Around the world, countries make special postage stamps to recognise imp...

    March 27, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Supercomputing and Big Data

    Unravelling the analysis machines we turn to for answers.

    It’s hard to get your head around the size of datasets tackled by supercomputers, and the complexity of the problems ...

    March 25, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: The Circular Economy

    As Australia stands to make more money off recycling batteries, experts discuss the circular econ...

    What is the circular economy, and how can it be achieved? As experts discuss the topic, a new report shows that Austr...

    March 25, 2021
  • Folbigg 2019 inquiry: guilty finding upheld

    Compelling recent scientific evidence remains unexamined by law.

    The Australian Academy of Science late yesterday released a statement about the NSW Court of Appeal’s decision to dis...

    March 25, 2021
  • COVID Booster

    COVID’s kid factor; good news for second-wave ; bad news for slow walkers and second wave; US sho...

    Kids might (slightly) increase your chance of catching COVID-19 According to UK scientists, living with kids durin...

    March 20, 2021
  • Tear glands cry in a dish

    Human stem-cell derived organoids make tears.

    A team of researchers, led by Marie Bannier-Hélaouët of the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands, has developed orga...

    March 16, 2021
  • Lithium: Powering the Green Revolution

    The race for better battery power has caused a “white gold” rush on lithium.

    by Richard A Lovett As the climate warms, sea levels rise and droughts, heatwaves and bushfires multiply, the need...

    March 16, 2021
  • Cosmos Pi-ku 2021 competition

    Celebrate all that’s good about maths by making a poem of it.

    March 14 is International Day of Mathematics – UNESCO declared it so at its 40th General Conference in 2019 – and als...

    March 14, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Science v law

    Experts discuss whether scientific evidence is properly considered in our courts.

    Australia’s legal system should reconsider how seriously it regards scientific evidence, according to today’s Cosmos ...

    March 9, 2021
  • Introducing the All-New COSMOS WEEKLY …

    The ultimate Friday takeaway … now with extra science!

    You know and we know that science has never been more important or interesting. Scientists are working to return us t...

    March 8, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Science v law

    Is scientific evidence properly considered in our courts?

    The recent pardon petition by leading Australian scientists regarding the Kathleen Folbigg case – in which new scient...

    March 4, 2021
  • Folbigg case: timelines compared

    How the advancement of genomic sequencing informed the Folbigg story

    Genomic data was not available during the first trial of the Folbigg case. Now that technology has improved the effic...

    March 4, 2021
  • Newton in the pilot’s seat

    How to land a Mars rover when you’re many, many millions of kilometres away.

    It takes a lot of thought and a lot of work to land a rover on Mars. It’s not as if you’re on Earth, where you can ch...

    March 2, 2021
  • Mars news all good

    Data indicate all systems fine and helicopter Ingenuity working as expected.

    Less than a day after NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed, the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in...

    February 22, 2021
  • COVID Booster

    The five things science learned about COVID-19 last week.

    Neanderthal genes protect us from COVID-19 A group of genes that reduce by 20% a person’s risk of falling seriousl...

    February 20, 2021
  • Facebook farce

    International social media giant shuts down media content in Australia.

    At a time such as this when we need credible science information like never before, cosmosmagazine.com’s main social ...

    February 19, 2021
  • Throwback: When Perseverance launched

    Three missions, three countries, one destination.

    With the Mars rover Perseverance ready to touch down on the surface of Mars in less than 24 hours, here is a throwbac...

    February 18, 2021
  • Less guesswork for IVF

    Online tools assist with IVF clinic choice and predict chance of treatment success.

    A new website allows prospective parents to see the success rates of all 85 accredited IVF clinics across Australia, ...

    February 17, 2021
  • You might have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to cheer up your Monday.

    Body battery Engineers from the University of Colorado, Boulder, US, have created a wearable device that can draw ...

    February 15, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: The Future of Food

    Experts discuss maintaining food security in the future.

    Australia will need to focus on both gene technology and traditional agricultural techniques to secure our food produ...

    February 11, 2021
  • Cosmos Q&A: materials whirl

    From sticking plasters to wearable tech, functional materials are all around us.

    Engineer Madhu Bhaskaran co-leads the Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group at RMIT University, Melbou...

    February 11, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to cheer up your Monday.

    Sticky explanation Most of us have had the experience of the food we’re cooking sticking to a non-stick frying pan...

    February 8, 2021
  • COVID Booster: climate change and bungling politicians

    Five things science learned about COVID last week.

    Did climate change help SARS-CoV-2? A new study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment has prov...

    February 6, 2021
  • Spotlight on photosynthesis

    Sunny plant sustenance key to food security.

    With the world population estimated to reach 10 billion by 2050, food production is a major challenge in keeping the ...

    February 4, 2021
  • Cosmos Q&A: vaccines, antivirals and why you should get a jab

    A run down on Australia’s COVID vaccination program that will soon begin.

    Australia’s COVID vaccination program has been announced and will soon begin. While most people welcome COVID vaccine...

    February 3, 2021
  • Birds of a feather

    Photographer Søren Solkær used his COVID year to capture one of the most spectacular – but little...

    Søren Solkær makes his living photographing fashion and pop culture, but he has a secret love of common starlings – S...

    February 3, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to cheer up your Monday.

    Last week featured a wide range of stories that either made us smile or have a little giggle. We’ve rounded a few of ...

    February 1, 2021
  • Swinburne aims high

    Australian university joins space race with new technology and industry institute.

    Specialists at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology are already working on an interplanetary refuelling sta...

    January 29, 2021
  • The people have spoken

    Results of world’s biggest ever public opinion survey about climate change are released.

    The votes are in from a massive climate change survey that covered 50 countries with over half of the world’s populat...

    January 28, 2021
  • Cosmos Q&A: the new COVID-19 variants

    Should we be worried about the new COVID strains?

    Since reports earlier this month of new COVID-19 strains emerging in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, concerns have g...

    January 28, 2021
  • Marijuana: Toking takes toll

    Whether you start earlier or later, smoking marijuana is unlikely to be a winning move.

    More bad news for pot tokers: a study led by the University of Queensland (UQ) has found that regular marijuana use h...

    January 27, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Lithium

    Experts discuss lithium and renewable energy needs.

    As the demand for renewable-energy technologies skyrockets, we need to think about how to source their constituent ma...

    January 25, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to cheer up your Monday.

    Last week featured a wide range of animal stories that either made us smile or have a little giggle. We’ve rounded th...

    January 25, 2021
  • COVID Booster: loss of smell and social influence

    The four new things science learned about COVID-19 this week.

    Loss of smell is the best sign of COVID-19 More a confirmation: two international studies agree that the majority ...

    January 23, 2021
  • To orbit… and beyond?

    South Australia to be first Australian state to send a satellite into space.

    South Australian Premier Steven Marshall today announced a $6.5 million partnership with the growing South Australian...

    January 20, 2021
  • Star Knowledge of First Australians

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use their understanding of the night sky for a range...

    What comes to mind when you think of an “astronomer”? Perhaps a scientist peering through a telescope, discovering a ...

    January 20, 2021
  • Norse concern

    Norway reports deaths among elderly people who have received the Pfizer BioNTech COVID vaccine.

    On Sunday, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced that in recent days it had received reports “...

    January 18, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Stray science stories from last week to cheer up your Monday.

    Big, BIG night sky map An international research collaboration has just released a map of more than 690 million ce...

    January 18, 2021
  • Rewind: Six of the best from 2020

    Another look at great work and fascinating people from Australian science.

    Did you know the Royal Institution of Australia has other platforms? We'd like to introduce you to some of the conten...

    January 18, 2021
  • COVID Booster: Gut bugs and vaccines

    The five new things science learned about COVID-19 this week.

    1. Gut bugs could influence the severity of COVID COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness, but the gut may als...

    January 16, 2021
  • COVID-19 Booster: Asymptomatic carriers

    The five new things science learned about COVID-19 this week.

    1. Protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 could last up to eight months A new US study reveals nearly all COVID-19...

    January 8, 2021
  • Cosmos Briefing: Epidemiological Modelling

    Epidemiologists on modelling and our COVID response.

    Multiple models helped achieve the successful pandemic management strategies implemented in Australia at both state a...

    January 6, 2021
  • A dozen stories of note in 2020

    Science in and about a most difficult year.

    Campfires on the Sun New up-close images reveal some remarkable features. Scientists studying the first images ...

    December 21, 2020
  • And 12 others that we found intriguing

    Learn about art, arteries, space sounds and fake faces.

    Why seeing fake faces isn’t, well, weird Our brains are attuned to the basic patterns, study suggests. The phen...

    December 21, 2020
  • Flamboyance in the age of dinosaurs

    Dressed to impress, but also to intimidate.

    Scientists suggest this is the most elaborately dressed-to-impress dinosaur ever described. Credit: © Bob Nicholls...

    December 17, 2020
  • How to understand a pandemic

    Join us for a Cosmos Briefing on science that affects you.

    Update: The recording of this event can be watched here. Barely talked about in public before COVID-19 changed the...

    December 15, 2020
  • Handling COVID-19 as we move into 2021

    Scientists say vaccines alone won’t keep Australia safe.

    High levels of testing, efficient vaccine distribution and addressing mental health issues will be critical if Austra...

    December 15, 2020
  • Predicting what metal alloys are going to do

    Researchers seek a better way to get desired properties.

    Advanced metal alloys are in everything from cars to electronics, but creating new ones for specific uses isn’t alway...

    December 15, 2020
  • Bubbles on electrodes? Not a problem

    Research shows they can speed up chemical processes.

    Australian researchers say they have shown that the formation of bubbles on electrodes – usually thought to be a hind...

    December 12, 2020
  • Evolutionary link that helped pterosaurs fly

    Fossils suggest flightless relative was a middleman.

    It’s taking time – in no small part due to the difficulty in finding good evidence – but we’re slowly learning more a...

    December 10, 2020
  • Do fish dream?

    Research certainly suggests they’re self aware.

    By James Bradley A century ago the German biologist Jakob von Uexküll coined the term umwelt – literally “surround...

    December 9, 2020
  • Sometimes maths just doesn’t cut it

    Even computers struggle with packing things well.

    If you struggle to use space optimally when cutting out lots of shapes or packing a drawer, then feel free to give up...

    December 9, 2020
  • Scientists go fishing for fish DNA

    eDNA reveals species abundance as well as variety.

    It seems you can tell how many fish there are in the sea (or at least a part of it) from what they leave behind. I...

    December 8, 2020
  • Mental health messages between the beats

    Researchers pick up a trend in rap music lyrics.

    Popular rap songs are increasingly alluding to depression and suicide and mixing in metaphors about mental health str...

    December 8, 2020
  • The underground life of plants

    Study investigates why roots go where they go.

    The energy a plant devotes to its roots depends on its proximity to other plants, according to a new study. The ro...

    December 5, 2020
  • Can crystals tell us about volcanoes?

    Scientists learn more from Kilauea’s debris.

    Tiny crystals could provide new insights into past volcanic eruptions and help predict future ones, according to a ne...

    December 5, 2020
  • Perfect fluid? I like the sound of that

    Physicists measure some rare diffusion in the lab.

    Physicists in the US say they have been able to measure sound diffusion in a “perfect fluid” for the first time. T...

    December 4, 2020
  • Not just drifting by

    Risky crossing likely a migration choice.

    Whether ancient humans made sea crossings by choice or by chance is a common topic of debate among historians. In ...

    December 4, 2020
  • Venus figurines: Shaped for the times

    Researchers offer new theory on Venus figurines.

    The enigmatic Venus figurines, one of world's earliest known examples of art, are the subject of much conjecture. ...

    December 2, 2020
  • Was Earth once a bit more like Venus?

    Researchers create magma to model our old atmosphere.

    The degassing of early Earth’s magma ocean may have produced an atmosphere on Earth similar to that found on Venus to...

    November 28, 2020
  • Mitochondria linked to health in space

    Data of mice and men point in the same direction.

    As we plan to send more people into space for more time, there’s a growing imperative to understand what spacetime do...

    November 27, 2020
  • Producing hydrogen, not oxygen

    Scientists create tiny droplet-based microbial factories.

    The search for alternative energy sources is as wide-ranging as it is important. In a new chapter, scientists from th...

    November 26, 2020
  • Carbon dioxide still at record levels

    Impact of COVID lockdown not more than a blip.

    Levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere continue to rise despite the industrial slowdown brought on ...

    November 24, 2020
  • Solar device that takes pressure off doctors

    Engineers find a way to keep things really hot.

    This rather unassuming looking set-up on a research station roof in Mumbai, India, could play a part in improving med...

    November 21, 2020
  • Shadows in space?

    Hubble gets down and dusty with IC 5063.

    This Hubble Space Telescope image of the heart of the active galaxy IC 5063, 156 million light-years from Earth, reve...

    November 20, 2020
  • On the wings of an owl

    And maybe, one day, the wings of an aircraft.

    There’s a lot of learning going on about how owls fly – and what we can learn from that. Last month, as reported i...

    November 20, 2020
  • COVID news and trends @ 20 November

    A digest of science and reporting highlights.

    The numbers Globally, COVID daily case numbers have plateaued slightly in the past few days after reaching a recor...

    November 20, 2020
  • It’s blue, but it’s not actually a ring

    Scientists solve a 16-year-old cosmic mystery.

    The so-called Blue Ring Nebula, which has perplexed astronomers for a decade and a half, appears to be the youngest k...

    November 19, 2020
  • Making robots useful in the warehouse

    Researchers try adding a little deep learning.

    Working in a warehouse is tough for robots. Unlike on a production line, where the same motion is constantly repeated...

    November 19, 2020
  • More reasons to try to sleep right

    Studies examine risks of heart failure and asthma.

    Two new observational studies have highlighted some possible health advantages of regularly getting a good night’s (r...

    November 19, 2020
  • Microplastics are all around. Here’s how

    Moving is often a stick-then-go process.

    Microplastics are everywhere, but how they move through, and accumulate in, the environment is not completely clear. ...

    November 17, 2020
  • Keep cool like a camel

    The two-layer thing may work for technology too.

    US scientists have developed a bi-layer passive cooling technology they say is inspired by the way camels stay cool i...

    November 14, 2020
  • Colour and movement in the skies above

    A cosmic amethyst and the Perseus Cluster.

    You can’t beat space for great snapshots, and here we present not one but four new ones. Above is what could be ca...

    November 13, 2020
  • Atmospheric rivers help create sea ice holes

    Scientists measure the impact of warm, moist air.

    Long “atmospheric rivers” help create massive holes in Antarctic sea ice and may influence ocean conditions around th...

    November 13, 2020
  • Newton’s masterwork is still going strong

    Science detectives find new old copies of the Principia.

    How many first-edition copies of Isaac Newton's ground-breaking book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica are...

    November 12, 2020
  • Important discovery of a cold brown dwarf

    Astronomers achieve a first using radio observations.

    Astronomers have reported the first direct discovery of a cold brown dwarf from its radio wavelength emission.  It...

    November 11, 2020
  • Hold it softly like an elephant would

    Robotic gripper design takes its cues from nature.

    Engineers in Australia have gone back to nature in the quest to design a robotic gripper that can deal with tight spa...

    November 10, 2020
  • Can objects bruise like we do?

    Korean scientists continue quest to make it possible.

    Scientists are trying to develop things that bruise. The theory goes that if skin can tell us where it’s damaged by c...

    November 7, 2020
  • Shining a light on wine fraud

    New technique looks for fingerprints to prove origin.

    Australian wine scientists are testing the potential of molecular fingerprinting to quickly authenticate the provenan...

    November 7, 2020
  • COVID news and trends @ 06 November

    A digest of science and reporting highlights.

    The numbers To 1 November, each of the preceding seven weeks set a new record global weekly number of COVID-19 cas...

    November 6, 2020
  • Mum’s lifestyle linked to child’s heart risk

    Study looks at cycle of preventable disease.

    The children of women with heart-healthy lifestyles live nearly a decade longer without cardiovascular disease than t...

    November 6, 2020
  • All the known craters on Earth

    New atlas captures global view from on high.

    This is a physical map of the Serra da Cangalha impact structure in Brazil, produced using the TanDEM-X mission digit...

    November 5, 2020
  • Five eyes and quite a story to tell

    Fossil fills gap in the evolution of arthropods.

    The fossilised 520-million-year-old creature shown above had five eyes on stalks, but that’s only part of its attract...

    November 5, 2020
  • Volcanoes that just kept on giving

    Magma ‘conveyor belt’ fuelled eruptions in Indian Ocean.

    A volcanic province in the Indian Ocean was the most continuously active in the world, erupting for 30 million years,...

    November 5, 2020
  • Bats predict where prey is headed

    The most recent echo doesn’t tell them quite enough.

    Bats calculate where their prey is headed by building on-the-fly predictive models of target motion from echoes, US r...

    November 4, 2020
  • Neanderthal milk teeth reveal their secrets

    Study offers new evidence on weaning and growth.

    Neanderthal children grew and were weaned in much the same way as Homo sapiens, new research suggests. Virtual ren...

    November 4, 2020
  • These early mammals were social creatures

    Palaeontologists make an important find at Egg Mountain.

    Mammals appear to have been social creatures much earlier than previously thought, according to US palaeontologists. ...

    November 3, 2020
  • Tricks of nature, with and without light

    Australian bees can see, while the platypus glows.

    The fur of Australia’s unique platypus glows green under ultraviolet light, while at least two species of the country...

    November 3, 2020
  • Streetlights not the only bright lights

    View from space suggests there are multiple culprits.

    When satellites take pictures of Earth at night, how much of the light they see comes from streetlights? In the case ...

    October 31, 2020
  • Taste by touch is all in the suckers

    Researchers explore how octopus sensors work.

    An octopus can “taste by touch” thanks to the suction-cup-like suckers along each of its eight tentacles. But how ...

    October 30, 2020
  • Vampire bats choose to social distance

    When sick they keep more to themselves, study shows.

    Vampire bats, it seems, embrace what you could think of as social distancing. A new study published in the journal...

    October 29, 2020
  • Physics and chemistry in PM’s Prize limelight

    Australian awards recognise discovery, ideas and teaching.

    Four physicists and a chemist have taken out the top awards in this year’s Australian Prime Minister’s Prizes for Sci...

    October 28, 2020
  • Milky Way: Bulging with a galaxy’s data

    Astronomers get to the heart of the Milky Way.

    More than 250 million stars in the bulge at the heart of the Milky Way have been surveyed in near-ultraviolet, optica...

    October 28, 2020
  • Printed tongues take some licking

    Synthetic surface behaves like the real thing.

    British scientists have 3D-printed some rather sophisticated fake tongues – even if they don’t actually look like ton...

    October 28, 2020
  • Finding the sweet spot in a haunted house

    Researchers look for when scary becomes concerning.

    Scientists have confirmed what fright fans have long known: there is just the right amount of scary. Danish resear...

    October 28, 2020
  • Egyptians wanted their words to stick

    Study finds technical link to the Renaissance painters.

    In 15th century Europe, artists began adding lead to their paints to help them dry. Now scientists have discovered th...

    October 28, 2020
  • A catalyst for faster, cheaper biodiesel

    New system can work with low-grade feedstock.

    Australian and British researchers have developed a new, low-cost way to make biodiesel from used cooking oil and agr...

    October 27, 2020
  • Small spirals could have big impact

    Twistronics meets the world of non- Euclidean geometry.

    This microscopic, twisting spiral was "grown" by depositing sheets of 2D material over a substrate curved slightly by...

    October 24, 2020
  • Ageing chimps value old friends

    It’s a human trait we didn’t know they had.

    As humans age they tend to favour small groups of old friends, where interactions are positive and stress-free. It...

    October 23, 2020
  • Microscopy gets boost from z-splitter prism

    Researchers unveil a new and versatile technique.

    US researchers say they have developed a simple way to capture high-quality 3D images of live cells and organisms wit...

    October 23, 2020
  • What happens when you hit an asteroid

    OSIRIS-REx shows how to collect samples at a distance.

    NASA has just released this short video of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft’s brief but all important contact with the aster...

    October 22, 2020
  • Diabolical design is a puzzle

    Scientists discover secret of a near-indestructible beetle.

    It’s not uncommon for scientists to take cues from nature when it comes to self-protection. In recent months, Cosmos ...

    October 22, 2020
  • Plague spread quickly in Medieval Europe

    Documents reveal an increasing transmission rate.

    The speed of plague transmission in London increased four-fold between the Black Death of 1348 and the Great Plague o...

    October 21, 2020
  • Lyrics don’t matter in a good lullaby

    Study shows they work irrespective of the language.

    Babies love lullabies and they aren’t fussy about what language we sing them in, a new study suggests. When resear...

    October 20, 2020
  • Aluminium alloys that heal themselves

    Researcher address problems with fatigue failure.

    Aluminium alloys are widely used because they are light and non-magnetic and have great corrosion resistance. But the...

    October 17, 2020
  • A taste of James Webb’s potential

    Research shows it will overcome the blinding glare of quasars.

    How good will NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope be? Good enough to uncover things never before seen by humanity, ...

    October 17, 2020
  • SpaceWrap: Showtime for OSIRIS-REx

    Plus more about the Moon, Betelgeuse and GCs.

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is ready for business. When it descends toward the surface of Bennu next Tuesday, it wil...

    October 16, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Putting biodiversity in focus

    Scientists call for new agency to drive reform.

    The Australian Academy of Sciences (AAS) has called for an independent agency to be established to drive reform of bi...

    October 16, 2020
  • Let the Eurasian games begin

    Ball sports were played much earlier than thought.

    This area of northwest China may have been the venue for Eurasia’s oldest ball games. A team of Swiss, German and ...

    October 16, 2020
  • Cancer-killing T cells ‘swarm’ to tumours

    Chemical signals attract others to the fight.

    When immune system T cells find and recognise a target, they release chemicals to attract more which then swarm to he...

    October 15, 2020
  • We need better weather warnings

    WMO calls for switch to impact-based forecasting.

    More than 11,000 disasters have been attributed to weather, climate and water-related hazards over the past half cent...

    October 14, 2020
  • When mammals were like lounge lizards

    Tiny teeth reveal a more reptilian pace of life.

    The first mammals were rather reptilian in their ways, leading less active but much longer lives than now, a new stud...

    October 13, 2020
  • Physicists propose the top speed of sound

    Calculations build on two well-known physical constants.

    The fastest possible speed of sound is around 36 kilometres per second, according to a team of British and Russian ph...

    October 13, 2020
  • Evolution arms us with an extra artery

    Anatomical change could become the norm.

    The human body continues to evolve in intriguing ways. New research in Australia has confirmed that more and more adu...

    October 10, 2020
  • The banyan tree looks odd for a reason

    Genomic study reveals secrets of those aerial roots.

    The banyan tree (Ficus macrocarpa) is known for its rather odd appearance, thanks to the ability to sprout roots from...

    October 10, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Saving our fishes

    There’s much to learn about life in inland waterways.

    Australian freshwater fishes have a tough time of it. The thing they most need – water – is regularly in short supply...

    October 9, 2020
  • Seagrass success goes beyond the lagoons

    Scientists show what effort and focus can achieve.

    Sometimes doing good is worth the effort – and hopefully can provide a blueprint for others. A 20-year commitment ...

    October 9, 2020
  • CRISPR scientists take away a Nobel

    Chemistry prize won for revolutionary genetic scissors.

    The scientists who gave us the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors, French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier and US bioc...

    October 8, 2020
  • Brain waves: Why we often don’t see things

    Travelling brain waves may both help and hinder.

    Next time you can’t find the car keys sitting right in front of you, try blaming your “travelling brain waves”. Sc...

    October 8, 2020
  • Nobels start with a double triple

    Prizes for Physics and Physiology or Medicine shared.

    The start of Nobel Prize week in 2020 has been very much a shared experience. Last night, Australian time, the Roy...

    October 7, 2020
  • Diamonds not behaving like diamonds

    With a tweak they can do more than just insulate.

    Scientists may have found a way to make diamonds more like metal. That probably won’t excite jewellers, but it could ...

    October 7, 2020
  • Panoramic view of the northern sky

    TESS mosaic made possible by a year of work.

    NASA has released a new panorama of the northern sky, courtesy of its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). T...

    October 6, 2020
  • Latrines: A tale of two cesspits

    Why ancient intestinal health is important now.

    Scientists have reported what they say is the first attempt to use the methods of ancient bacterial detection, pionee...

    October 6, 2020
  • Sea turtle eggs aren’t always what they seem

    GPS-enabled decoys may help protect endangered species.

    Fake sea turtle eggs can help track down illegal traders without doing any harm to the real thing, a rather clever st...

    October 6, 2020
  • The value of cellular self-sacrifice

    An ancient organism’s ways similar to our own

    Scientists have uncovered how one of the oldest and simplest animals on Earth sacrifices its own cells for the benefi...

    October 6, 2020
  • Bots not a part of the vaccine chat

    Study suggests influence on information flow not great.

    The influence of bots on vaccine-related discussions on social media may be a lot smaller than we think and fear. ...

    October 6, 2020
  • Heading south? You’ve changed your tune

    Acoustic signatures linked to blue whale migration.

    Changes in whale song may predict planned migration, a new US study suggests. Researchers from Stanford University...

    October 3, 2020
  • SpaceWatch: Tales of matter and diamonds

    Quantity, luminosity, cause and consequence.

    The matter of the Universe? Astronomers in the US say they have precisely measured the total amount of matter in t...

    October 3, 2020
  • Artificial blood vessels with a little extra

    Researchers say they can be more than just scaffolds.

    Researchers in China and Switzerland have developed electronic blood vessels they say can be actively tuned to addres...

    October 2, 2020
  • Galaxies trapped in web of a giant black hole

    Structure may explain how it got so big so quickly.

    Astronomers have detected six galaxies lying around a supermassive black hole when the Universe was less than a billi...

    October 2, 2020
  • Can robot cars drive more like us?

    Researchers develop a model based on managing risk.

    Robot cars would be a bit less robotic if they drove a bit more like us, Dutch researchers suggest. And they may have...

    October 2, 2020
  • Unprecedented ice loss expected in Greenland

    Scientists model the impact over 12,000 years.

    Mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet is likely to be higher in this century than at any time in the past 12,000 yea...

    October 1, 2020
  • Mozzies thrive with a gene missing

    Unfortunately, another has evolved to do its job.

    This may seem hard to believe given their tenacity and constant presence, but mosquitoes lack a gene that is critical...

    October 1, 2020
  • Exoplanets that go to extremes

    CHEOPS sends back data on a hot gas giant.

    European astronomers are taking a close look at one of the hottest known exoplanets. Initial measurements made by the...

    September 30, 2020
  • I’d know those finger veins anywhere

    Researchers up the ante on biometric authentication.

    Forget fingerprints or facial features. Your veins could become the go-to for secure ID and authentication. "The 3...

    September 30, 2020
  • Penguins were here, but a while back

    Fresh signs of old remains a surprising find.

    While searching Antarctica’s rocky Cape Irizar, US biologist Steven Emslie stumbled upon ancient remains of penguins,...

    September 30, 2020
  • 3D printing with a bit of give and take

    Researchers find heat provides a great deal of control.

    Materials scientists in the US say they have learned how to make liquid crystal shape-shift. That may not immediat...

    September 26, 2020
  • The fine detail of a healthy heart

    Researchers create unique cellular and molecular map.

    Scientists have taken another step in the quest to create a “Google map of the human body” by putting together a deta...

    September 25, 2020
  • Fleming’s famous mould revisited

    Scientists sequence genome of the original Penicillium.

    British scientists have sequenced the genome of Alexander Fleming's famous penicillin mould for – surprisingly – the ...

    September 25, 2020
  • The rat pack gets the job done

    They work well together, even when communication is limited.

    Rats work well in teams, it seems. A new study suggests rodent groups outperform individuals in searching for a targe...

    September 25, 2020
  • Chromium steel first made in ancient Persia

    Old manuscripts help new technology find the evidence.

    Chromium steel, long considered a 20th century innovation, was in fact first made in Persia nearly a millennium earli...

    September 24, 2020
  • Images of the Milky Way sound like this

    Welcome to the world of sonification in space.

    Telescopes allow us to “see” space. Astronomers translate their digital data into images of a world that would otherw...

    September 23, 2020
  • Taking building tips from a glass sponge

    Mechanically robust lattice inspired by nature.

    This humble deep-sea glass sponge may inspire a new generation of construction. Credit: Matheus Fernandes/Harvard ...

    September 23, 2020
  • New photodetector is a shining light

    Ultra-thin prototype can see the full spectrum.

    Australian engineers appear to have raised the bar for photodetector technology, developing a device that is incredib...

    September 23, 2020
  • Add plasma to biomass to get better biogas

    Researchers try a new way to break down the tricky bits.

    Producing biogas from the bacterial breakdown of biomass seems a relatively simple idea: just let the bacteria do the...

    September 23, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: How far with genome editing?

    Maybe we should let the people decide.

    An international group of 25 researchers last week called for national and global “citizen assemblies” to be created ...

    September 22, 2020
  • New insights into flu risk during pregnancy

    Research suggests infection heightens immune response.

    Researchers in Australia and Ireland may have discovered why influenza affects pregnant women so severely, sometimes ...

    September 22, 2020
  • SpaceWatch: lights, moon ice, old rocks

    New views of Enceladus, Ryugu and Comet 67P

    Comet 67P is shining bright The irregularly shaped Comet 67P. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM Data from the Europea...

    September 22, 2020
  • The fisheye lens goes flat and wide

    Panoramas possible with a single piece of glass.

    Fisheye lenses let photographers take panoramic views in a single shot but, because they are made from multiple piece...

    September 22, 2020
  • NatureWatch: Tales of growth and survival

    Big sharks, big eaters, big lizards and a new butterfly.

    To get big, grow slow A decade-long study of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) has determined that the biggest fish i...

    September 19, 2020
  • A crisp new portrait of Jupiter’s storms

    And that’s Europa lurking, stage left.

    This newly released image of Jupiter, taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on 25 August, was captured when the plan...

    September 18, 2020
  • Human-wildlife conflict an ‘unequal contest’

    It’s time for a new definition and a new approach.

    By Tim Jarvis It’s 84 years since the last known Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), died at ...

    September 18, 2020
  • A stellar finding about shapes in space

    Unique observations reveal colour and diversity.

    Astronomers have proposed a new explanation for the varied shapes of planetary nebulae, based on a unique set of obse...

    September 18, 2020
  • How our brains make educated guesses

    Cells work together to combine memories, study shows.

    British scientists say they have identified how cells in the brain work together to combine memories of separate expe...

    September 18, 2020
  • New clues to the origin of domestic horses

    Ancient DNA suggests it didn’t happen in Anatolia.

    Domestic horses likely did not originate in Anatolia as previously suspected, according to a new study of ancient rem...

    September 18, 2020
  • White dwarf’s surprise companion

    Astronomers discover an exoplanet near a dead star.

    A giant intact exoplanet has been found orbiting close to a white dwarf star for the first time. The discovery sug...

    September 17, 2020
  • Predicting the life and death of batteries

    Researchers believe an algorithm could ease our pain.

    Estimating battery life is one of the great modern dilemmas, and the older the item, the harder it gets. But resea...

    September 16, 2020
  • Topsoil needs a little more consideration

    Study reveals impact of farming on soil lifespan.

    Scientists have provided what they say is the first worldwide snapshot of how soil erosion may be affecting the longe...

    September 16, 2020
  • Is the Mozart Effect a real thing?

    New analysis suggests we should at least keep exploring.

    The idea that listening to Mozart can help people with epilepsy has been around since the early 1990s. It has been...

    September 16, 2020
  • Why peas in a pod are like they are

    Genetics ensure appropriate distancing, study suggests.

    The expression “like peas in a pod” usually refers to looking alike, but there’s actually more to the story. Open ...

    September 15, 2020
  • Literacy may have been widespread in Judea

    Algorithms and observations reveal secrets of texts.

    Literacy may have been much more widespread than thought in the ancient Kingdom of Judea, according to Israeli and US...

    September 12, 2020
  • A barcode of Earth’s climatic past

    66 million years of change uncovered from ocean sediments.

    Climate scientists have compiled the first continuous, high-fidelity record of variations in Earth's climate extendin...

    September 11, 2020
  • Assessing the risks of dying from COVID-19

    Two studies put numbers around the British experience.

    Two papers just published in the medical journal The BMJ provide new insights into the risk of dying from COVID-19. ...

    September 11, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Cracking a Rembrandt mystery

    An old portrait has shone a light on dendrochronology.

    The Ashmolean museum in Oxford recently announced that a portrait by Rembrandt, long thought to be a fake created aft...

    September 10, 2020
  • Massive haloes explain a massive gas stream

    Astronomers get to grips with the great Magellanic mystery.

    The Magellanic Stream is hard to ignore. The enormous stream of gas stripped from the two dwarf Magellanic galaxies t...

    September 10, 2020
  • NatureWatch: Tales of scents and movement

    Smart moths, fast dogs and mesmerising snails.

    Restoring chemical communication Scientists have studied the impact of high ozone air pollution on the chemical co...

    September 9, 2020
  • Genome sequencing may help cancer detection

    Statistical model assesses risk to the oesophagus.

    British researchers have developed a statistical model that uses genomic data to predict the risk of developing cance...

    September 9, 2020
  • Research that gets to the point

    Mathematicians consider how stone forests form.

    Stone forests are as mysterious as they are majestic.  It is not certain exactly what forces created the rock formati...

    September 9, 2020
  • New thoughts on how sharks evolved

    Mongolian fossil has a surprisingly bony skull.

    This 410-million-year-old fossil with a bony skull uncovered in Mongolia may force a rethink of how sharks evolved. ...

    September 8, 2020
  • Children’s brains hear language differently

    Research suggests this also helps them recover from neural injury.

    Young children use both brain hemispheres to understand language, neuroscientists say, which may explain why they app...

    September 8, 2020
  • Reef ‘glue’ threatened by ocean acidification

    Fossil record shows that vital crusts are getting weaker.

    The scaffolds that help hold tropical reefs together are at risk from acidification due to increased carbon dioxide i...

    September 5, 2020
  • Political ads on TV may be ineffective

    Specific targets usually aren’t persuaded, study suggests.

    New research from the US (appropriately) suggests individual political ads on TV have only a minor impact on determin...

    September 5, 2020
  • Could plants help us find dead bodies?

    Scientists are designing experiments to find out.

    This is still quite a way from reality, but the whole idea is too intriguing to ignore. A collaborative team of fo...

    September 5, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Driving an insect-led recovery

    There’s a whole lot to love about bugs.

    A lot of people never get past an aversion to insects, and for the sake of humanity, it would be better if they did. ...

    September 4, 2020
  • A planet-forming disc torn apart

    Two studies reveal misaligned rings around triple-star system.

    Astronomers say they have identified the first direct evidence that groups of stars can tear apart their planet-formi...

    September 4, 2020
  • Can entanglement make communication safer?

    Researchers improve quantum networks without nodes.

    Scientists say they are a step closer to developing a secure internet after unveiling a prototype of what they believ...

    September 4, 2020
  • Black holes merge to create something huge

    The most massive ever observed with gravitational waves.

    Astronomers from the international LIGO and Virgo Scientific Collaboration have reported their biggest catch yet – a ...

    September 3, 2020
  • When sea anemones behave like plants

    If they overeat, they put on tentacles.

    The number of tentacles, or arms, that a sea anemone has depends on how much food it has eaten, researchers have disc...

    September 3, 2020
  • Bones were keepers in Bronze Age Britain

    Study discovers tradition of curating human remains.

    British researchers have uncovered a Bronze Age tradition of retaining and curating human remains as relics over seve...

    September 2, 2020
  • Mastodons moved as the climate changed

    Genomes suggest they roamed widely across North America.

    Mastodons migrated vast distances across North America in response to dramatic climate change during the ice ages of ...

    September 2, 2020
  • Can a black hole fire up a cold heart?

    Astronomers find hot gas in the Phoenix Galaxy Cluster.

    Radio astronomers have detected jets of hot gas blasted out by a black hole 5.9 billion light-years away in the const...

    September 2, 2020
  • The spread and impact of marine structures

    Study quantifies human development in the oceans.

    More than 32,000 square kilometres of the world’s marine environment has been modified by human construction and this...

    September 1, 2020
  • Solar cells are getting seriously light

    Novel design uses inkjet printing and clever ink.

    Researchers continue to break new ground with advances in solar cell technology that uses organic polymer material ra...

    September 1, 2020
  • Our nearest neighbour has quite a halo

    Scientists take a good look around the Andromeda galaxy.

    The immense gas halo around our nearest neighbouring galaxy is already bumping into our own, scientists suggest. U...

    August 29, 2020
  • A body swap could mess with your mind

    Study suggests it alters sense of self and even memory.

    If you woke up in someone else’s body, would you feel like you or them? Swedish researchers recently explored just su...

    August 28, 2020
  • Steps to ensure that a vaccine is safe

    Clinical trials must be passed to prove efficacy and safety.

    By Paul Griffin, University of Queensland The worldwide race is on to find a COVID-19 vaccine. According to the Wo...

    August 27, 2020
  • Natural radiation can mess with qubits

    Study reveals new hurdle for practical quantum computing.

    Natural radiation can limit the performance of superconducting quantum bits and thus potentially the operation of qua...

    August 27, 2020
  • Cichlids set the pace in east Africa’s lakes

    Discovering the secrets of the fastest evolving species.

    Species formation typically happens slowly through new mutations over millions of years, but there are exceptions. ...

    August 27, 2020
  • Antarctic ice shelves at risk of fracturing

    Study says their disintegration could lead to sea-level rise.

    The ice shelves ringing Antarctica are vulnerable if rising temperatures drive melt water into the numerous fractures...

    August 27, 2020
  • Comet action caught in close up

    Images reveal striking details of recent visitor’s rotation.

    Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) is the current darling of the skies and it’s been putting on quite a show. When it sped thr...

    August 26, 2020
  • Flies also see what we wrongly see

    Study investigates why optical illusions fool us.

    It turns out that flies are fooled by optical illusions as easily as humans are, which may help explain why we both a...

    August 26, 2020
  • Living at high altitude linked to stunting

    Even children in ideal environments are affected.

    Living at higher altitude is associated with greater rates of stunting, even for children living in what are deemed t...

    August 26, 2020
  • Green light for new coupling tool

    Trigger turns photochemical reaction on and off.

    Australian researchers have reported the development of a new molecular coupling tool combining green light and pH tr...

    August 26, 2020
  • Flexibility helps immune system target viruses

    Study findings provide new insights for vaccine design.

    Australian researchers say they have uncovered a strategy the immune system uses to generate effective antibodies, wh...

    August 25, 2020
  • A bird’s life in the changing tropics

    Studies examine climate change impact and response.

    Two new studies in the journal Nature Climate Change highlight the delicate balance birds face in trying to survive g...

    August 25, 2020
  • To be safe in a crowd, be like a locust

    Engineers inspired to design new collision-avoidance device.

    US engineers are trying to develop a low-power collision detector for robots, drones and even self-driving cars that ...

    August 25, 2020
  • Leaves long left alone have story to tell

    Rare fossils may indicate patterns of future greening.

    Scientists studying leaves from a 23-million-year-old New Zealand forest have linked high levels of atmospheric carbo...

    August 22, 2020
  • SpaceWatch: News of gas and asteroids

    Things that are fast, close, active and dense.

    Magnetised “rivers" feed star birth Stars form when clouds of gas and dust collapse under gravity, but how does th...

    August 21, 2020
  • Scans tell three tales of ancient Egypt

    Mummified animals revealed in high-tech detail.

    Three mummified animals have been digitally unwrapped and dissected in unprecedented detail, providing, the researche...

    August 21, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Taking the exercise path

    A little intensive effort can achieve a lot.

    Were there any surprises in the findings? Researchers this week released what they say this is the first study to ...

    August 20, 2020
  • How COVID-19 can affect our sense of smell

    Study finds key enzyme in only one area of the nose.

    US researchers think they have discovered why people with coronavirus sometimes lose their sense of smell, even when ...

    August 20, 2020
  • Machine learning finds quake origin signatures

    Historical seismic data may help understand future timing.

    Combing through historical seismic data with a machine learning model, US researchers have unearthed distinct statist...

    August 20, 2020
  • Brown dwarfs that are doubly cool

    Discoveries help bridge an important knowledge gap.

    Astronomers and citizen scientists have together discovered 95 of the coolest known brown dwarfs – objects more massi...

    August 20, 2020
  • A glowing report about auroral beads

    Scientists learn more about the ‘lava lamps’ of space.

    Scientists have uncovered the mysteries behind the formation of auroral beads and the role they play in our near-spac...

    August 18, 2020
  • Exploring the mechanics of antibiotic resistance

    Researchers discover how bacteria share genes.

    Australian researchers say they discovered how bacteria share antibiotic-resistance genes. Superbugs caught transf...

    August 18, 2020
  • What happens when a Moon lander lands?

    Scientists model how far and fast the exhaust spreads.

    As humans again dream of getting to the Moon, scientists are increasingly conscious of issues around the logistics an...

    August 18, 2020
  • Glass work that proved inspirational

    Science shares with art, and both are winners.

    Glass blower Karen Cunningham’s art has inspired a clever bit of science. An Australian team has developed a new k...

    August 14, 2020
  • Solar cells succeed in space

    Short trip flags potential of new hybrid design.

    To test if something will work in space, there’s no better option than to send it into space. That’s what German r...

    August 14, 2020
  • For young children, the choice is exploration

    Study suggests they’ll even give up guaranteed rewards.

    Young children are motivated to explore, even if it means giving up guaranteed rewards, a new US study suggests. R...

    August 14, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Eye and AI on the sky

    Thoughts on what technology does to astronomy.

    As Cosmos reported this week, new technology continues to change the already hi-tech world of space watching, with th...

    August 13, 2020
  • Alcohol beats the coffee ring effect

    That could mean better printing for electronics, researchers say.

    The “coffee ring effect” is one of the most puzzling phenomena in fluid mechanics. A quick Google search will unearth...

    August 13, 2020
  • Primate larynx something to talk about

    It’s bigger than in other mammals, and evolving quickly.

    The larynx is significantly larger relative to body size in primates than in other mammals and also has greater varia...

    August 13, 2020
  • Malaria discovery could have broader impact

    Researchers testing potential to treat other diseases.

    New research into malaria suggests targeting enzymes from the human host rather than the pathogen itself could offer ...

    August 12, 2020
  • Multifocal lenses may slow myopia

    Researchers try a new approach on young children.

    Multifocal contact lenses usually worn by people over 40 could slow the progression of myopia in children as young as...

    August 12, 2020
  • A reflection from near the Moon

    Scientists testing some Apollo-era equipment.

    It’s not quite “ET phone home”, but NASA has finally got a signal from space that it’s been waiting for. Dozens of...

    August 11, 2020
  • Sun, smarts and clean drinking water

    Researchers explore potential of metal-organic frameworks.

    Scientists led by Australia’s Monash University have reported another breakthrough in their efforts to develop more e...

    August 11, 2020
  • Life in the sediment is very low energy

    It even raises questions about what constitutes life.

    Micro-organisms buried in ocean sediment can survive on less energy than has ever been shown to support any form of l...

    August 11, 2020
  • A new approach to working blue

    These fruits are full of fat and want birds to know.

    Blue fruits are rare because the required pigment compounds are relatively uncommon in nature. Viburnum tinus does it...

    August 8, 2020
  • Tea from a different kind of silver

    Sometimes you can put metal in the microwave.

    Tea aficionados will tell you that you should never heat the water in a microwave, because the resulting brew just do...

    August 8, 2020
  • Chemists say solids don’t get brighter than this

    Maintaining fluorescence means smiles all around.

    These are 3D printed gyroids made from SMILES (small-molecule ionic isolation lattices), a new class of materials tha...

    August 7, 2020
  • Ancient artisans made a projectile point

    Independent invention across continents revealed.

    Neolithic toolmakers in southern Arabia created intricate stone weapons designed both to be useful and to showcase th...

    August 7, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Why we must value parasites

    Researchers propose a global conservation plan.

    Parasites don’t get great PR or a lot of consideration when we're talking conservation. An international team hopes t...

    August 6, 2020
  • Mushballs, ammonia and storms on Jupiter

    Juno data reveals more about planet’s weather.

    Violent thunderstorms in Jupiter’s atmosphere may form “mushballs” – ammonia-rich hail –that play a key role in the p...

    August 6, 2020
  • Study assesses Victoria’s COVID-19 response

    Reproduction ratio down and thousands of infections ‘averted’.

    COVID-19 control measures in the Australian state of Victoria reduced the reproduction ratio of the virus from 1.75 t...

    August 5, 2020
  • Dingo size linked to culling campaigns

    Study suggests significant growth in baiting areas.

    Culling dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) – Australia’s native canines – through baiting has been common for decades, and i...

    August 5, 2020
  • SpaceWatch: spiral arms and space junk

    News of space exploration, astrophysics and astronomy.

    Mars is space flavour of the month, with three spacecraft on their way and suggestions of a possible icy past, but th...

    August 5, 2020
  • Why biocrust is useful in the desert

    Study highlights the value of tiny plants and organisms.

    Miniscule plants and microscopic organisms growing on desert soils reduce water erosion by an average of 68% worldwid...

    August 4, 2020
  • NZ glacier melt linked to climate change

    Extreme event attribution used to calculate human influence.

    It is “very likely” that the increased melting of 10 glaciers in New Zealand’s South Island is caused by human greenh...

    August 4, 2020
  • Is this how human sperm really move?

    New research challenges centuries-old assumption.

    We know what human sperm do, but it seems we may be wrong about one aspect of how they do it. Research by fertilit...

    August 1, 2020
  • Fool’s gold: Who’s the fool now?

    Magnetic new role possible for a maligned material.

    Fool’s gold could actually be valuable, but only if you do something that no-one (fool or otherwise) has done before....

    August 1, 2020
  • American monarchs in Mexico

    In peak season it can get pretty crowded.

    This is what it looks like when millions of Americans head south for the winter. Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippu...

    July 31, 2020
  • Attacking e-waste with ‘material microsurgery’

    Innovative small-scale approach has big potential.

    Australian researchers have reported early success with an innovative idea for recycling old electronic devices or e-...

    July 31, 2020
  • Learning more about how spacecraft land

    Scientists make good use of ‘messy turbulent flows’.

    The focus this week has been on the launch of the spacecraft carrying the Perseverance rover to Mars (see mission sta...

    July 31, 2020
  • Entrepreneur tackling a cause of blindness

    Innovators acknowledged in ATSE awards.

    A visionary idea to re-purpose a veterinary medicine to treat and help eliminate river blindness has been acknowledge...

    July 30, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Cooling the upper atmosphere

    Exploring the other side of greenhouse gases.

    The same greenhouse gases that are warming Earth’s surface are cooling the upper atmosphere (the mesosphere) 90 kilom...

    July 30, 2020
  • A strange and ancient globular cluster

    Scientists find remnants of the ‘last of its kind’.

    Astronomers have discovered a “shredded globular cluster” – the remnants of a collection of stars torn apart by the M...

    July 30, 2020
  • More pieces to the parenting puzzle

    What do children gain from games and music?

    Here’s a double shot of information to guide, or maybe complicate, your parenting decisions. New studies suggest t...

    July 30, 2020
  • Self-heal like a squid

    A new material inspired by natural protein.

    US and German researchers have developed a self-healing material inspired by squid ring teeth protein. Yes, you read ...

    July 30, 2020
  • Travel with maps and Perseverance

    Astrogeologists check the lay of the (Martian) land.

    A long trip needs a good map. Just to be safe, the US Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Centre has created two...

    July 29, 2020
  • Volcanoes aren’t always what they seem

    A different kind of magma may lurk below.

    Volcanoes are potentially dangerous, but this can be tempered by their consistency. Many produce similar eruptions ov...

    July 29, 2020
  • Birdwatching is better with AI and CNN

    Researchers find a new way to pick one from the other.

    We may have to add advanced birdwatching to the list of things computers can do that we can’t. Researchers say the...

    July 28, 2020
  • When no barrier can be a barrier

    Moral hypothesis and young children put to the test.

    A COVID-19 world of restricted movement is an interesting time to test what’s known as the moral barrier hypothesis, ...

    July 28, 2020
  • Aerosols have been around for a while

    Southern Ocean offers a glimpse of preindustrial times.

    Preindustrial concentrations of atmospheric aerosols were higher than assumed in most modern climate models, a new st...

    July 28, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Threat to our soils

    Scientists highlight damaging impact of bushfires.

    The Australian Academy of Science this week called for greater attention to be paid to the significant damage bushfir...

    July 25, 2020
  • Summer on Saturn and an icy pole

    Hubble and Juno send us more arresting images.

    Sometimes all you need for a great photo is an interesting subject. Here we present two such examples. Above is a ...

    July 25, 2020
  • Tracing the origin of oddball meteorites

    It’s complex, multi-layered and quite magnetic.

    The earliest objects in the Solar System may have been more complex than scientists have assumed. New research sug...

    July 24, 2020
  • Birds don’t sleep well in the city

    Study measures neurological responses to light pollution.

    We continue to learn more about the damaging impact of light pollution. Most recently, an Australian study – the f...

    July 24, 2020
  • A flash of inspiration

    Rare event may explain how white dwarfs explode.

    Astrophysicists have spotted a spectacular flash of ultraviolet light accompanying a white dwarf explosion. The bl...

    July 24, 2020
  • Crocodiles bound for America

    New research suggests they went via Africa.

    How crocodiles first reached the Americas has long been a matter of debate. Now Italian researchers are suggesting th...

    July 24, 2020
  • NatureWatch: fun bees and mountain mouse

    Tales that are quirky, cute, clever and concerning.

    Each week delivers a mix of discoveries from the natural world. Here’s a snapshot of some recent research. Now tha...

    July 23, 2020
  • Evidence for early arrival of humans in America

    Two teams analyse artefacts from Mexican cave.

    Humans may have reached the Americas 30,000 years ago – some 15,000 years earlier than previously thought – according...

    July 23, 2020
  • Giant exoplanets and a huge magnetic field

    Two new images from space inform and intrigue.

    Here are two more images from space that have astronomers pretty excited. Above is a radio/optical composite image...

    July 23, 2020
  • Rethinking likely impact of more CO2

    International analysis narrows range of climate’s sensitivity.

    The global impact of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is likely to be at the upper end of the sc...

    July 23, 2020
  • The ultimate map of the Universe

    Two decades of work fills an 11-billion-year gap.

    Astrophysicists have created the largest and most complete 3D map of the Universe. It includes measurements of mor...

    July 22, 2020
  • Hair cell loss may explain hearing loss

    Study suggests its preventable, not inevitable.

    It seems your parents were right. Too much loud music isn’t good for you. US scientists say they have shown that age-...

    July 22, 2020
  • Proteus: Is that the best you’ve got, angle grinder?

    Engineers create a material they say can’t be cut.

    Engineers claim to have created the first manufactured material that can’t be cut because it turns the force of a cut...

    July 21, 2020
  • The smaller side of Arctic life

    They’re not Polar bears, but they are important.

    Two Russian scientists have set out to document what they say are among the most undervalued creatures in the Arctic....

    July 21, 2020
  • COVID-19: The lessons learned to date

    Peter Doherty concludes his analysis of the first months.

    Part 3 of 3. Read Part 1 and Part 2. Back in 2012 I was invited to do a short Q&A book on pandemics for an Oxford...

    July 20, 2020
  • Using genomes to predict coral bleaching

    Reef study finds unique genetic signatures.

    Genetic sequencing can reveal evolutionary differences in reef-building corals that may help identify strains that ad...

    July 20, 2020
  • Cosmos Q&A: Quest for a vaccine

    How an Australian team progressed to human trials.

    Researchers at the University of Queensland this week began the first human trials of their COVID-19 vaccine. You can...

    July 18, 2020
  • Study suggests physical distancing is effective

    Researchers look at data from 149 countries.

    Data from 149 countries suggests the incidence of COVID-19 has decreased by an average of 13% in association with phy...

    July 17, 2020
  • Global methane emissions hit record high

    More than half linked to human activities, study suggests.

    Global emissions of methane have reached the highest levels on record, according to a new study. A visualisation o...

    July 16, 2020
  • Five years since New Horizons saw Pluto

    Here are 10 things NASA says we’ve learned from that.

    It’s exactly five years since NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft gave us a close-up view of Pluto, after a 10-year, 4.8-b...

    July 15, 2020
  • Build it like an earwig wing

    Insect-inspired fans offer wide-ranging applications.

    When you marvel over inspirational things in nature, the earwig (Proreus simulans) doesn’t tend to come to mind. A gr...

    July 14, 2020
  • Novel way to get lungs ready for transplants

    Scientists restore rejects through cross-circulation to a pig.

    Damaged human lungs could be made suitable for use in transplants through cross-circulation to a pig, new research su...

    July 14, 2020
  • Exploring potential of solar-flow batteries

    Merging two technologies may provide efficient solar storage.

    Scientists continue to advance the potential to use solar-flow batteries to provide electricity in remote areas. A...

    July 14, 2020
  • COVID-19: The lessons learned to date

    Peter Doherty continues his analysis of the first months.

    Part 2 of 3. Read Part 1. Humanity has been on a very steep learning curve since, reacting to a 31 December 2019 r...

    July 13, 2020
  • The lingering impact of bushfires

    Study sheds light on how they affect urban microclimate.

    Australian scientists are examining how serious bushfires, such as those that devastated large areas of the country l...

    July 12, 2020
  • Baboon tolerance is an individual thing

    Habituation doesn’t mean they drop their guard.

    Wild baboons accustomed to human observers still do not consider them a neutral presence, according to a new study. ...

    July 12, 2020
  • Using wood to purify water

    Chinese team takes steam generation up a notch.

    Chinese scientists have developed a wood-based steam generator which, with the help of bacterial-produced nanomateria...

    July 12, 2020
  • Yet more evidence these are good for you

    Studies link fruit, vegetables and grains to lower diabetes risk.

    You just can’t ignore the fact that fruit, vegetables and grains are good for you. The latest reminder comes from ...

    July 10, 2020
  • Ultra-fine X-rays tested on cancer cells

    Australian team explores the use of MRT.

    Australian scientists have trialled in rats a new radiation therapy technique that uses ultra-fine X-rays to target b...

    July 10, 2020
  • Shining bright without light

    Researchers working to make chemiluminescence viable.

    In the world of microscopy, fluorescence is king, but chemiluminescence is snapping at its heels. The ability to a...

    July 9, 2020
  • Doing spiders out of a job

    Researchers use bacteria to produce silk.

    Spider silk has a lot going for it. It’s strong, very light, biodegradable and biocompatible, and has the potential t...

    July 9, 2020
  • More pieces to the Polynesian puzzle

    Studies support influence of Native Americans.

    Native Americans had a genetic and cultural influence on Polynesia more than five centuries before the arrival of Eur...

    July 9, 2020
  • How bats know which echo to believe

    Research suggests it’s all about the lower frequencies.

    A bat’s ability to clearly distinguish one echo from another has long inspired those trying to develop radar and sona...

    July 8, 2020
  • Heatwave trends accelerate worldwide

    Study shows clear regional differences, however.

    Nearly every part of the world has seen a significant increase in the frequency and duration of heatwaves over the pa...

    July 8, 2020
  • New views on the origins of carbon

    White dwarfs found to have more mass than expected.

    Every carbon atom in the Universe was created by stars, through the fusion of three helium nuclei, but which types of...

    July 8, 2020
  • A new tiny relative of dinosaurs, pterosaurs

    From little things sometimes very big things grow.

    Scientists say the fossil of a small reptile related to dinosaurs and pterosaurs suggests some of the largest animals...

    July 7, 2020
  • Warming waters could disrupt fish spawning

    Study reveals crucial differences in heat tolerance.

    Climate change could force many of the world’s fish species to leave their traditional spawning areas and even affect...

    July 4, 2020
  • E-waste is surging but recycling isn’t

    Report reveals the size of a global problem.

    Electronic waste – discarded products with a battery or plug – is the world’s fastest growing waste stream, according...

    July 3, 2020
  • Moon may be much more metallic

    NASA radar suggests there are sub-surface riches.

    The Moon might be more metallic than researchers thought. And that comes from no less a source than NASA. The scie...

    July 3, 2020
  • Metal lodes may be hidden deep

    Geologists identify structural lines with real potential.

    Scientists have discovered structural lines around 170 kilometres below the Earth’s surface they say appear to signal...

    July 2, 2020
  • A chance to see a planet’s interior

    Astronomers find surviving core of a gas giant.

    Astronomers have discovered the surviving core of a gas giant orbiting a distant star, offering, they say, an unprece...

    July 2, 2020
  • Arctic battling climate change and beavers

    It’s easier to get around, so they are.

    Beavers are running amok in the Arctic, taking advantage of climate change and likely exacerbating its impact. Stu...

    July 1, 2020
  • Homemade masks can work, physics suggests

    But don’t expect a bandana to do the job.

    Physics suggests that homemade masks are useful in a pandemic, as long as they’re the right sort and fitted right. ...

    July 1, 2020
  • The dark captured in wonderful ways

    Here are the five winning photographs.

    The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has announced the results of its first – but planned annual – Capture th...

    June 30, 2020
  • Gold mining restricts Amazon forest recovery

    Study measures impact of a growth industry.

    Gold mining significantly limits the regrowth of Amazon forests and thus their ability to accumulate carbon, accordin...

    June 30, 2020
  • Pōniuāʻena makes its mark far from Hawaii

    It’s the second-most distant quasar ever detected.

    The discovery of the second-most distant – and thus second oldest – quasar ever detected may force a rethink of how b...

    June 30, 2020
  • COVID-19’s problem of confounding variables

    Peter Doherty looks at issues around seasonal change.

    As Shakespeare’s Richard III has it: ‘Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer…’ But is the summer e...

    June 29, 2020
  • It happened in just zeptoseconds

    Physicists calculate the speed of nuclear reactions.

    Australian and US physicists say they have calculated the speed of the most complex nuclear reactions and found that ...

    June 27, 2020
  • SOHO keeps on doing the business

    It’s watching the Sun and finding comets. Lots of comets.

    SOHO – the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory – doesn’t have quite the profile of the likes of Hubble and Spitzer, bu...

    June 27, 2020
  • Sled dogs represent a distinct genetic lineage

    Modern breeds had common ancestor, study shows.

    Modern sled dogs share ancient Siberian roots and represent a distinct genetic lineage that likely emerged as the fin...

    June 26, 2020
  • Cancelling noise and being green

    Physicists and biologists model photosynthesis.

    Successful photosynthesis is in part about cancelling out noise, according to a unique new model created by a team of...

    June 26, 2020
  • Penguins find an upside to less sea ice

    Swimming takes much less effort than walking.

    Global warming is undeniably bad for the world’s wildlife, but it may bring a surprising short-term advantage for Adé...

    June 25, 2020
  • Artificial night sky causes feeding confusion

    Research highlights threat to coastal species.

    On Sunday, Australian citizen scientists used the longest night of the year in the Southern Hemisphere to get togethe...

    June 23, 2020
  • Clock synchronisation at serious speed

    New technique may enable all-optical networks.

    British engineers say they have developed a technique that synchronises the clocks of computers in under a billionth ...

    June 23, 2020
  • Measles may be much older than we assumed

    Researchers reconstruct genome from preserved lung.

    Measles may have emerged as early as the sixth century BCE, according to a new study of some old samples. That is ...

    June 20, 2020
  • How coral pick the right dinoflagellates

    Researchers explore a delicate marine partnership.

    The architecture of coral reefs is built on the symbiotic relationship between the coral and various species of singl...

    June 20, 2020
  • Counting the real cost of marine debris

    Report reveals Asia-Pacific’s multi-billion-dollar hit.

    Marine debris will have cost countries in the Asia-Pacific region AU$313 billion by 2050, according to a new report,...

    June 19, 2020
  • Quasar jets thousands of light-years long

    Scientists take a good look at Centaurus A.

    The very-high-energy gamma ray emission from quasars are not concentrated in the region close to their central black ...

    June 18, 2020
  • Could nanosponges soak up SARS-CoV-2?

    Chemists try new approach that targets host cells.

    As we noted yesterday, with specific reference to physics, scientists from a range of disciplines are front and centr...

    June 18, 2020
  • Common proteins and different genes

    Studies examine what makes things what they are.

    Earth's species have more in common than previously believed, but tomatoes are really quite different. That’s the ...

    June 18, 2020
  • Where robotics meets quantum computing

    Researchers adapt techniques to overcome noise.

    Australian physicists say they have adapted techniques from autonomous vehicles and robotics to efficiently assess th...

    June 17, 2020
  • Why you should close the toilet lid

    Study shows flushing creates clouds that can carry viruses.

    Physics has been surprisingly prominent in the flurry of scientific activity to understand COVID-19 and its real and ...

    June 17, 2020
  • Possible COVID-19 treatment welcomed

    Oxford reports success with dexamethasone.

    Australian researchers have welcomed news of a possible breakthrough in the search for a treatment for COVID-19, but ...

    June 17, 2020
  • Some corals flourish, even in the dark

    Study suggests depth doesn’t stop them growing.

    Deep sea corals may not be as inhibited by a lack of light as scientists had assumed. New research led by the Univ...

    June 16, 2020
  • This shark often goes deep for a feed

    Great white’s choice of diet surprises scientists.

    The dorsal fin above water causes the average Australian’s heart to flutter, but the great white shark (Carcharodon c...

    June 16, 2020
  • Wealth affects how we age in lots of ways

    Study assesses impact across broad range of functions.

    Social circumstances may have pervasive effects on core aging processes, new British research suggests. It found t...

    June 16, 2020
  • New clues to early human innovation

    Sri Lankan cave finds switch our focus to the tropics.

    Archaeologists have found some rare treasures in a 48,000-year-old cache of bone tools and artefacts excavated from a...

    June 15, 2020
  • Old crocs might have walked this way

    Scientists reinterpret rare and ancient footprints.

    Ancient relatives of modern-day crocodiles might have walked on two legs, researchers say. They now believe footpr...

    June 12, 2020
  • Human embryo model created from stem cells

    Scientists explore a key stage of development.

    British and Dutch scientists have developed a model to study early human development that uses human embryonic stem c...

    June 12, 2020
  • Some clues to why Peter Pan discs exist

    British astronomers reveal the ‘Neverland parameters’.

    Peter Pan discs that seemingly “never grow up” have intrigued us since citizen scientists first made us aware of thei...

    June 12, 2020
  • How to mop up excess carbon dioxide

    Australians claim record with a super sponge.

    Australian researchers say they have raised the bar for carbon dioxide capture and storage with a technology that res...

    June 11, 2020
  • From trash to treasure

    Miniature figurine rewrites Asian art history.

    Scientists have unveiled what they say is the earliest known example of East Asian 3D art after quite literally rescu...

    June 11, 2020
  • Rockfalls leave their mark on the Moon

    Two million images reveal thousands of incidents.

    Swiss and German researchers have created the first map of rockfalls on the Moon. After analysing more than two mi...

    June 10, 2020
  • Roman city revealed without any digging

    New technology challenges a few assumptions.

    British and Belgian archaeologists have comprehensively mapped an ancient Roman city without turning a single sod of ...

    June 10, 2020
  • Dust may be a guide to exoplanet habitability

    Modelling suggests it can slow water loss.

    Atmospheric mineral dust may increase the potential habitability of exoplanets, British scientists suggest. Writin...

    June 10, 2020
  • How much colour do we really see?

    Study suggests it’s only what’s right in front of us.

    Colour awareness has long been a puzzle for researchers in neuroscience and psychology, who debate how much colour ob...

    June 10, 2020
  • Inside the head of an ankylosaur

    3D model reveals a small but versatile brain.

    Russian palaeontologists have studied the structure of the brain and blood vessels in the skull of the ankylosaur Bis...

    June 9, 2020
  • A possible new way to deliver clean water

    Ultrathin nanosheets filter out lead and mercury.

    Australian and Chinese researchers have created an ultrathin sieve membrane from 2D nanosheets they say can filter po...

    June 9, 2020
  • A new wave way to grow biomaterials

    Controlling biofilms opens a world of opportunities.

    Australian physicists have developed a way to use waves to manipulate the growth of bacteria biofilms – one of the mo...

    June 6, 2020
  • Human waves populated the Caribbean islands

    And dealing with real waves wasn’t a problem.

    Pirates or no pirates, the islands of the Caribbean were settled and resettled by at least three successive waves of ...

    June 6, 2020
  • Making water-repellent surfaces toughen up

    New approach equips them for the real world.

    Superhydrophobic surfaces are smart, but not that tough. They repel water brilliantly but are easy to cut, scratch...

    June 6, 2020
  • Watch the art of Roman Hill on film

    Fluid dynamics in action can be a visual feast.

    Roman Hill’s canvas is eight square millimetres of glass and his media are commonly available: oil, water, ink, paint...

    June 5, 2020
  • Cancer acts like bacteria to resist drugs

    Study shows cells accumulate genetic variations.

    Cancer cells can turn on error-prone DNA copy pathways to adapt to cancer treatment in much the same way as bacteria ...

    June 5, 2020
  • Watch closely – molecules in motion

    Japanese researchers taking filming up a notch.

    Japanese chemists say they have captured video of single molecules in motion at 1600 frames per second – 100 times fa...

    June 5, 2020
  • AI and Gaia help identify 2000 young stars

    Scientists hope to find clues to galaxy’s origins.

    European scientists say an artificial intelligence system analysing data from the Gaia space telescope has identified...

    June 5, 2020
  • For female gorillas, size doesn’t matter

    Study shows status is the key to reproductive success.

    Social status, not size, determines reproductive success for female mountain gorillas, new research shows. Body si...

    June 4, 2020
  • Scientists identify the ‘cleanest’ air on Earth

    Area above the Southern Ocean unscarred by human activity.

    The Southern Ocean is the place to breathe deep, it seems. Atmospheric scientists say they have identified a region s...

    June 4, 2020
  • The changing face of cholesterol problems

    Levels are dropping in the West but rising in Asia.

    High blood cholesterol has increased in lower- and middle-income countries and declined in high-income countries sinc...

    June 4, 2020
  • News from the field: project updates

    Butterflies (Issue 85) Butterflies Australia manager Chris Sanderson reports that the project is continuing, “and ...

    June 4, 2020
  • Interactive screens from simple principles

    Lee Constable looks at how smartphones became smart.

    This is an excerpt from a feature article in the latest edition of Cosmos magazine. The most commonly used touchsc...

    June 3, 2020
  • The theory of how black holes grow

    New model aims to predict accretion or merger.

    Astrophysicists in the US have developed a theoretical model for black holes to predict if growth by gas accretion or...

    June 3, 2020
  • DNA and the Dead Sea Scrolls

    Modern technology used to explore ancient manuscripts.

    Scientists are learning more about the Dead Sea Scrolls not by examining the texts but by looking at what they were w...

    June 3, 2020
  • Rare and early evidence of a kleptoparasite

    Chinese fossils reveal secrets from the Cambrian.

    Palaeontologists say they have uncovered the oldest known record of a parasite/host relationship. While analysing ...

    June 3, 2020
  • Hot stars plagued by giant magnetic spots

    They’re like sunspots but not, new data suggest.

    Astronomers have found what they describe as “a plague of magnetic spots” on the surface of extremely hot stars hidde...

    June 2, 2020
  • When naughty fish get the food

    Disorder in the shoal may reap rewards for some.

    An element of unruly adventure helps some fish in the quest for a feed, new research suggests, which may explain why ...

    June 2, 2020
  • Insulin may benefit from working at a snail’s pace

    Research flags new direction for diabetes treatments.

    New diabetes treatments may be based around making human insulin that acts more quickly by being more snail-like. ...

    June 2, 2020
  • Cannabis identified at Judahite shrine

    Researchers link it to ancient cult practices.

    Israeli researchers say they have identified traces of cannabis and frankincense at an ancient shrine, suggesting bot...

    May 30, 2020
  • Antarctic ice sheets capable of hasty retreat

    Researchers look back to the end of the last Ice Age.

    The ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic coastline were retreating at up to 50 metres a day at the end of the last I...

    May 30, 2020
  • Sea snakes have to change to keep seeing

    They’ve been evolving for 15 million years, study shows.

    Sea snakes have been evolving ever since they entered the marine environment 15 million years ago to survive in chang...

    May 30, 2020
  • Cyclones can damage even distant reefs

    Models underestimate their impact, study suggests.

    Here’s some sobering news with the Atlantic hurricane season just days away. New research shows that strong cyclones,...

    May 29, 2020
  • Western Asia connected before rise of cities

    Genomic analysis reveals early human movement.

    High levels of human movement in parts of Western Asia – which includes the modern-day Middle East – led to a more ge...

    May 29, 2020
  • Human tumours harbour unique bacteria

    Study shows they are found even in ‘sterile’ tissue.

    Different human tumour types harbour their own unique bacterial communities, according to a new and comprehensive mic...

    May 29, 2020
  • Researchers link vaping to risk of oral disease

    And the damaging effects aren’t linked to nicotine.

    US researchers say just a few months of vaping puts healthy people on the brink of oral disease. The bacteria in t...

    May 28, 2020
  • Small works of art on a large canvas

    Researchers explore how rare stencils were created.

    Australian researchers are exploring the backstory to the most detailed examples ever found of a rare form of rock ar...

    May 28, 2020
  • Viewing the neurons of the heart in 3D

    New virtual model may be a model for others.

    Researchers in the US have reported the development of a virtual 3D heart that digitally showcases the unique network...

    May 27, 2020
  • The good things that live in your nose

    It’s not just the gut that benefits from the right bacteria.

    There are bacteria that choose to live in your nose, and that’s actually a good thing. Belgian studies suggest tha...

    May 27, 2020
  • Close encounters likely spawned stellar births

    Astronomers reconsider the impact of Sagittarius.

    New stars are likely to have been born in the Milky Way as a result of recurrent encounters with the Sagittarius dwar...

    May 26, 2020
  • Inherited genetics may drive cancer’s spread

    Study with melanomas first to reveal a link.

    US researchers say they have shown for the first time that our genes can promote metastasis, the process by which can...

    May 26, 2020
  • Pictures you’d only take with a drone

    Here’s a safe way to monitor explosive volcanoes.

    Above is a standard, though admittedly rather impressive, view of the Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala. At right is a...

    May 26, 2020
  • Researchers claim an internet speed record

    Fastest from one optical chip, thanks to a micro-comb.

    Australian researchers say they have successfully tested and recorded the world's fastest internet speed from a singl...

    May 25, 2020
  • Viper uses zig and zag to bamboozle predators

    One pattern has three uses, research finds.

    The European viper (genus Vipera) is designed to deceive, it seems. New research from Finland suggests that the ch...

    May 25, 2020
  • Why Italians aren’t all the same

    Genome study shows differences are longstanding.

    Any Italian will tell you that the north and south are poles apart, and it appears those differences may have begun a...

    May 25, 2020
  • There may be a gene linked to thinness

    International team looks at the other side of weight gain.

    Scientists have identified a gene they believe may be linked to thinness – and potentially to resisting weight gain. ...

    May 22, 2020
  • Microwave signal stability gets a boost

    Researchers report a 100-fold improvement.

    US researchers say they have taken a giant step towards more accurate time dissemination, improved navigation and mor...

    May 22, 2020
  • When bleaching means colour

    It’s a sign coral is fighting back, researchers suggest.

    Why do some corals exhibit dazzling colours rather than actually turning white when they suffer what we refer to as c...

    May 22, 2020
  • Do you see how I see?

    New artificial eye design mimics the real thing.

    Researchers in Hong Kong have developed a proof-of-concept artificial eye with a similar structure to a human one. An...

    May 22, 2020
  • A new old link between Siberia and America

    Researchers find answers in prehistoric genomes.

    Researchers have revealed the oldest and deepest connection yet found between the peoples of Siberia and the Americas...

    May 20, 2020
  • When you cough, how far can it go?

    Physics suggests we should be ‘distancing’ further.

    Airborne transmission of viruses is not well understood, but a good baseline for study is a deeper understanding of h...

    May 20, 2020
  • Astronomers see signs of planet birth

    On VLT’s new images, the twist marks the spot.

    Astronomers have reported what could be the first direct evidence of a baby planet coming into existence. Around t...

    May 20, 2020
  • Probing silicates at deep-Earth conditions

    Scientists working to decipher an evolutionary tale.

    Scientists have developed a way to study liquid silicates at the extreme conditions found in the Earth’s core-mantle ...

    May 20, 2020
  • A ‘decoder’ to gauge exoplanet climate

    Colours may be clues to where we might live.

    Astronomers from Cornell University in the US have developed what they call an environmental colour “decoder” to teas...

    May 20, 2020
  • Bacteria seek safety before attacking teeth

    Researchers get in close to study their structure.

    The bacteria that cause tooth decay protect themselves by hiding in a multilayered community of other bacteria and po...

    May 19, 2020
  • Study identifies gene variant linked to height

    It’s common in Peru, but absent from European genomes.

    Researchers in the US say they have identified the single largest genetic contributor to height known to date. The...

    May 15, 2020
  • Mapping online distrust in health expertise

    Researchers point to a worrying imbalance.

    Facebook communities that distrust establishment health advice are more effective than government agencies and other ...

    May 14, 2020
  • Bending the bridge between galaxy clusters

    Telescopes capture the distant action in Abell 2384.

    Astronomers have found a bridge of gas extending over three million light-years from two galaxy clusters in the syste...

    May 13, 2020
  • The tracks of my tetrapod

    Researchers identify fossils after 80 years.

    Fossils discovered nearly 80 years ago in what is now suburban Sydney have been identified as traces of a four-legged...

    May 13, 2020
  • Brines on Mars not habitable, study says

    They are common, but not ‘special’.

    Liquid brines on Mars may be more common and longer lasting than previously thought, but their properties and tempera...

    May 12, 2020
  • This X is more like two boomerangs

    MeerKAT explains a distant galaxy.

    Many galaxies have enormous twin jets of radio waves extending into intergalactic space. Normally these go in opposit...

    May 11, 2020
  • Tree diversity not just in rainforests

    Other unique lineages need protecting.

    Rainforests get the headlines, but other forests also are home to thousands of unique and important tree species, new...

    May 11, 2020
  • Lucky imaging creates quite an image

    Here’s Jupiter in all its infrared glory.

    Researchers using the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii and a technique known as “lucky imaging" have collected some o...

    May 11, 2020
  • Ancient Andes, analysed

    New genomic portrait of pre-Columbian civilisations.

    An international team has conducted what it says is the first in-depth, wide-scale study of the genomic history of an...

    May 8, 2020
  • A mouse’s brain, mapped out

    It’s hi-tech, but still a manual process.

    After three years of data gathering and drawing, the third iteration of the Allen Mouse Brain Common Coordinate Frame...

    May 8, 2020
  • Astronomers find closest black hole to Earth

    Triple system sometimes visible to the naked eye.

    Astronomers have discovered a black hole just 1000 light-years from Earth – closer to our Solar System than any found...

    May 7, 2020
  • Understanding moisture and rainfall

    Scientists probe the data to try to decode the skies.

    The role that atmospheric water vapour plays in weather is complex and not clearly understood.  However, US resear...

    May 7, 2020
  • Scientists report lunar carbon emissions

    And that raises questions about the Moon’s past.

    Japanese scientists have reported observing carbon ions persistently emitting from the lunar surface. Given that t...

    May 7, 2020
  • A squid attack that went awry

    Rare fossil captures an ancient confrontation.

    These seemingly benign images may in fact show the oldest known example of a squid-like creature attacking its prey –...

    May 7, 2020
  • 2D materials with a twist

    Doing it a scale could release their potential.

    Welcome to the world of twistronics – electronics with a twist. There is increasing interest in the potential of t...

    May 4, 2020
  • 15 platters that matter

    Rare images of planet-forming discs.

    Astronomers have captured 15 new images of the inner rims of planet-forming discs hundreds of light-years away that s...

    May 1, 2020
  • Hubble captures ATLAS disintegrating

    It’s the sharpest view yet of what might have been.

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope isn’t resting on its laurels. While space watchers were preparing its 30th birthd...

    April 30, 2020
  • Lionfish quite at home in the Mediterranean

    Invasive species has spread quickly.

    The rise and rise of the lionfish (Pterois miles) is a timely reminder that threats to the world’s marine environment...

    April 29, 2020
  • Immune cells found in breast ducts

    Imaging shows they keep tissue healthy.

    Australian researchers have discovered a new type of immune cell they say helps keep breast tissue healthy by regulat...

    April 29, 2020
  • Diamonds may shine in energy storage

    Australian researchers propose a new approach.

    Australian researchers have proposed the design of a new carbon nanostructure made from bundles of diamond nanothread...

    April 27, 2020
  • Wiring quantum computers

    Researchers propose new ‘simple build’.

    Physicists from Japan and Australia have proposed a novel two-dimensional design for a quantum computer that can be c...

    April 24, 2020
  • Fossil frogs offer insights into early Antarctica

    Researchers find first traces of amphibians.

    The discovery of the earliest known modern amphibians in Antarctica provides further evidence of a warm and temperate...

    April 23, 2020
  • Do hungry galaxies eat their neighbours?

    Modelling suggests that’s how big ones get bigger.

    Exactly how massive galaxies attain their size is poorly understood, not least because it happens over billions of ye...

    April 22, 2020
  • Now that’s a gem of a process

    Electrostatic charge makes particles self-assemble.

    Chemists say they have caused common microparticles to spontaneously organise into highly ordered crystalline materia...

    April 22, 2020
  • New microscope sets new standards

    Researchers detect interactions between molecules.

    Australian scientists have reported achieving new levels of resolution in single-molecule microscopy, allowing them t...

    April 22, 2020
  • ALVIN finds some interesting microbes

    They gather at hot vents and eats ethane.

    A German-led research team has discovered a microbe that eats ethane, the second most common component of natural gas...

    April 22, 2020
  • Biologists test the waters off Japan

    Study looks at impact of carbon dioxide on marine habitats.

    New international research has highlighted the risk rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and subsequent ...

    April 21, 2020
  • The ultimate in power windows

    Researchers incorporate solar cells in glass.

    Australian researchers say they’ve developed new perovskite solar cells that could effectively and efficiently transf...

    April 21, 2020
  • A bit of disruption, simulated

    Milky Way may fling stars into its outer halo, astronomers say.

    This simulated galaxy image, representing a structure spanning more than 200,000 light-years, shows the prominent plu...

    April 21, 2020
  • A medieval mystery solved

    Scientists now understand things old and blue.

    This is the fruit of the medicinal herb Chrozophora tinctorial and a lot of effort has been made to understand its ma...

    April 20, 2020
  • Marine robot multitasking

    Study looks at potential to serve industry and science.

    Underwater robots are regularly used by the oil and gas industry to inspect and maintain offshore structures.  But...

    April 17, 2020
  • Thar she blows – up in space

    Most energetic outflow from a distant quasar detected.

    Astronomers say they have detected the most energetic wind ever measured from any quasar.  It is travelling at nea...

    April 16, 2020
  • Turning skin cells into light-sensing eye cells

    Study offers new path to modelling eye disease.

    US researchers say they have discovered a technique for directly reprogramming skin cells into light-sensing rod phot...

    April 16, 2020
  • The warming of Australian estuaries

    Rate of change has economic and environmental implications.

    Estuaries on the southeast coast of Australia are warming at twice the rate of oceans and the atmosphere, according t...

    April 15, 2020
  • Just a few more snaps of Earth

    BepiColombo drops in on its way to Mercury.

    The BepiColombo space mission celebrated Easter with the first of nine flybys that are an integral part of its trip t...

    April 15, 2020
  • Ironing out the bumps in perovskite’s potential

    Detecting imperfections that reduce performance.

    A literal “trick of the light” can detect imperfections in perovskite solar cells, Australian scientists say, boostin...

    April 13, 2020
  • COVID frontline: South Korea and England

    Cosmos is collecting stories about how the world is coping.

    From Tasia Abbatecola, Seoul, South Korea South Korea: first case reported 20 January Cases 10,331; deaths 192 ...

    April 10, 2020
  • 3D-printed coral better than the real thing

    Study suggests it provides more fertile ground for algae growth.

    Scientists have 3D printed coral-inspired structures they say are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic...

    April 10, 2020
  • Fibre fragment strikes a chord

    Research suggests Neanderthals knew a thing or two.

    This may look like just a bit of old rope and, OK yes, it is a bit of old rope. But it’s an important bit. Researc...

    April 10, 2020
  • Amazonia domesticated plants early

    International team gathers evidence from ‘forest islands’.

    Southwest Amazonia has been confirmed as one of the earliest centres of plant domestication in the world. From the...

    April 9, 2020
  • A close look at a black hole’s jet

    Data from the Event Horizon Telescope keeps on giving.

    Creating the first direct image of a black hole is a hard act to follow, but it seems there are more goodies to be ha...

    April 9, 2020
  • An idea about Saturn’s atmosphere

    NASA suggests auroras turn up the heat.

    How and why the upper layers of the atmospheres of Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune are hot has been one of the my...

    April 8, 2020
  • The potential of ‘sewage-enhanced’ slag

    It may make for stronger concrete.

    It may not be much to look at, but this image could illustrate a potential win-win if Australian researchers are on t...

    April 8, 2020
  • Double helium-core white dwarf detected

    It’s the first gravitational wave source of its kind.

    US astronomers have announced the detection of J2322+0509, a detached binary white dwarf composed of two helium-core ...

    April 7, 2020
  • Persevering with preparations

    New wheels added to the next Mars rover.

    NASA missions continue to make progress, COVID-19 notwithstanding. Yesterday we showed you the primary mirror on t...

    April 7, 2020
  • James Webb’s mirror, in all its glory

    Deployment tests continue, but COVID-19 is forcing change.

    This is how the primary mirror on the much-awaited James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will look when fully deployed. ...

    April 6, 2020
  • Getting a picture of where carbon was

    Researchers look back to Earth’s early years.

    This may look like something that belongs on an art gallery wall, but it is in fact related to a lab experiment desig...

    April 3, 2020
  • There was rainforest near the South Pole

    90-million-year-old evidence of much warmer times.

    German and British scientists have found unexpected fossil traces of a temperate rainforest near the South Pole from ...

    April 2, 2020
  • COVID frontline: Portland and Seattle

    Cosmos is collecting stories about how the world is coping.

    From Richard A Lovett, Portland Oregon First case reported 28 February Cases 690; deaths 18 (At 19:30 local ...

    April 2, 2020
  • Getting to grips with superconductivity

    Energy gap modulations in a cuprate superconductor.

    The explanation of this schematic diagram may do your head in if you’re not a physicist, but the work is well worth n...

    April 2, 2020
  • Australia’s response to COVID-19 modelled

    Moving from preparedness to targeted response.

    By Jodie McVernon and James McCaw Mathematical models of infectious disease are representations of the way infecti...

    April 1, 2020
  • SunRISE to learn more about the Sun

    NASA selects mission to study causes of solar particle storms.

    NASA has selected the mission that will study how the Sun generates and releases giant space weather storms – known a...

    April 1, 2020
  • Borneo’s worrying divide

    Mapping reveals the impact of changing forest structure.

    Aerial mapping of Malaysian Borneo has revealed worsening carbon losses along forest edges, according to a new US stu...

    April 1, 2020
  • Ancient water reservoirs inside Mars

    Meteorites tell story of Red Planet’s early history.

    Mars’s mantle may contain multiple distinct reservoirs of mineral-bound water preserved from the planet’s early histo...

    March 31, 2020
  • Watching rice grow from up high

    Radio sensors provide a very different view.

    Rice paddies can be picturesque, but rarely this colourful. This view of rice-growing areas of the Mekong Delta in...

    March 31, 2020
  • COVID frontline: Switzerland

    Cosmos is collecting stories about how the world is coping.

    Part of a series of stories being collected by Cosmos around how various parts of the world are coping with COVID. ...

    March 30, 2020
  • Another round of microbes versus plastic

    Study suggests potential to degrade polyurethane.

    Scientists continue in the quest to conscript microbes in the battle against burgeoning plastic waste. Cosmos has ...

    March 30, 2020
  • Lovely while it lasts

    Scientists concerned at how quickly this glacier is retreating.

    This NASA image shows ripples in the surface of Denman Glacier in East Antarctica throwing shadows against the ice.  ...

    March 30, 2020
  • Another twist in the dark matter story

    Electromagnetic signals don’t deliver the evidence.

    US researchers say we can rule out dark matter being responsible for mysterious electromagnetic signals previously ob...

    March 27, 2020
  • Meet Dineobellator from New Mexico

    New carnivorous dinosaur yields evolutionary insights.

    A new species of dromaeosaurid – a family of generally small to medium-sized feathered carnivores that lived during t...

    March 27, 2020
  • A spring in your step?

    In theory, it could make you run an awful lot faster.

    A spring-powered device attached to human legs could, in theory at least, boost sprinting speed by more than 50% with...

    March 26, 2020
  • How’s the heat in Phoenix?

    New model helps to explain the seasonal variations in cities.

    British, Swiss and US scientists have devised a new model that explains how the undesirable effects of urban heat isl...

    March 26, 2020
  • Cells access data from genetic cotton reels

    Geneticists address one of the riddles of DNA.

    Australian geneticists have unravelled part of the mystery about how nature can usefully access genetic information i...

    March 25, 2020
  • Bacterial communities on your tongue

    Imaging reveals what’s where and who’s doing what.

    Bacteria on your tongue aren’t just hanging around. US researchers have discovered that they actually have a complex,...

    March 25, 2020
  • COVID-19 frontline: Singapore

    Cosmos is collecting stories about how the world is coping.

    First case reported 23 January Cases 308; Deaths 2 (At 12:00 local time on Sunday 22 March) I guess that I’...

    March 25, 2020
  • Bennu in unprecedented detail

    It’s the highest resolution image ever of a planetary body.

    This global map of the asteroid Bennu is a mosaic of 2155 PolyCam images stitched together and corrected. They wer...

    March 24, 2020
  • Quasar tsunamis rip through space

    The phenomenon carries more energy than a gamma-ray burst.

    This artist's concept of a distant galaxy with an active quasar at its centre shows the large amount of energy genera...

    March 23, 2020
  • Linking scents to memories

    Smell could be a valuable tool in memory-related mood disorders.

    This image isn’t one of paint, it’s of pyramidal cells in a mouse prelimbic cortex (shown in blue) that were active d...

    March 19, 2020
  • An ancient mantis-man

    Researchers uncover part man, part mantis petroglyph in Iran.

    A unique rock carving found in the Teymareh rock art site (Khomein county) in Central Iran has been described as part...

    March 18, 2020
  • The long-term effects of sexual competition

    Love rivals risk having offspring with more harmful mutations.

    Peering into the private lives of beetles has revealed that males who face tougher competition for females risk havin...

    March 17, 2020
  • The Martian weather cake

    Every layer tells a story of climate change.

    The Martian ice cap is like a cake; every layer tells a story. In this case, the story is one of climate change on Ma...

    March 16, 2020
  • Turtle ant soldiers use their heads

    They’re big enough to act as protective doors.

    Turtle ant soldiers (Cephalotes) are tree-dwelling insects with strangely oversized heads, which they use to block th...

    March 13, 2020
  • Slime mould sheds light on cosmic web

    Algorithmic simulations use it to map binding dark matter.

    Researchers have been creative in trying to trace the elusive cosmic web, the large-scale backbone of the cosmos. ...

    March 12, 2020
  • The long and winding arms

    Barred spiral galaxies present astronomical challenges.

    The barred spiral galaxy NGC 3887, seen here as viewed by the Wide Field Camera 3 aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Te...

    March 11, 2020
  • A new way to spy on wildlife

    New technology could improve conservation efforts.

    This image of a mountain monkey was captured by a combination of standard camera trapping and new “arboreal camera tr...

    March 9, 2020
  • Mary Anning: A hunt without a kill 

    Mary Anning showed there’s no barrier to age in science.

    The particular specimen pictured above is of a juvenile of Ichthyosaurus anningae, named after none other than Mary A...

    March 8, 2020
  • Mystery of benzene’s structure finally revealed

    Opening the doors for a vast array of applications.

    One of the fundamental mysteries of chemistry has been solved by Australian scientists – and the result may have impl...

    March 5, 2020
  • Testing one, two, three

    Behind the scenes glimpse of Orion ahead of its Moon voyage.

    Radio frequency testing has begun on the first Orion spacecraft that will fly around the Moon as part of the Artemis ...

    March 5, 2020
  • Alive and healthier than ever

    Coral reefs resist global bleaching event.

    This image of colourful and unbleached corals isn’t a before picture – it’s a recent image of corals on Turks and Cai...

    March 4, 2020
  • A spiral with a past

    Hubble spots a galaxy discovered centuries ago.

    This image of the archetypal spiral galaxy, known as NGC 691, was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. N...

    March 3, 2020
  • Who creates the world? Engineers

    Engineers need to represent the people they build for.

    We don’t often stop to think how amazing it is that clean water flows from our taps, a toilet flushing magically take...

    March 3, 2020
  • The evolution of a faraway star system

    Scientists seize the rare chance to watch it unfold.

    A young planet located 150 light-years away has given astrophysicists the rare chance to study a planetary system in ...

    March 2, 2020
  • Turbulent times in the aquarium

    Researchers unravel how fluids transform from order to disorder.

    While turbulence is everywhere – from planes to white water rafting and whirlpools in the bathtub – it’s one of the l...

    March 2, 2020
  • Exoplanet with the right conditions for life?

    Astronomers add a little more to the story of K2-18b.

    British astronomers say they have found that a well-known exoplanet more than twice the size of Earth is potentially ...

    March 1, 2020
  • If lower limbs aren’t used, get rid of them

    Researchers describe earliest example of ‘secondary loss’.

    Scientists say they have discovered the earliest known example of an animal evolving to lose body parts it no longer ...

    March 1, 2020
  • Biggest bang since the Big Bang

    So big, in fact, that at first scientists didn’t believe it.

    Scientists studying a distant galaxy cluster say they have discovered the biggest explosion seen in the Universe sinc...

    February 27, 2020
  • Deaf moths versus predator bats

    Scales help negate ultrasonic calls, researchers find.

    Some species of deaf moths have evolved a clever defensive strategy to reduce the risk of being eaten by bats, a Brit...

    February 27, 2020
  • A celestial hourglass on show

    Gemini captures CVMP1 in all its glory.

    This latest image from the international Gemini Observatory showcases the planetary nebula CVMP 1. Located around 65...

    February 26, 2020
  • Using perovskite to help shape light

    It’s a cost-effective option in Faraday rotators.

    Researchers in Australia say they have found a way to manipulate laser light at a fraction of the cost of current tec...

    February 25, 2020
  • Yes, fossilised plant gum is a thing

    110-million-year-old find changes a few assumptions.

    British scientists say what you’re looking at here is the first fossil plant gum on record.  The amber-like material...

    February 25, 2020
  • Watching magnets in 3D

    A complex world of waves and tornadoes.

    British and Swiss scientists have developed a 3D imaging technique that allows them to observe complex behaviours in ...

    February 24, 2020
  • Beyond the Sombrero’s brim

    Hubble data suggests a turbulent past.

    New data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope suggests the smooth, settled “brim” of the distant but distinctive Sombre...

    February 23, 2020
  • Arctic warming not impacting the jet stream

    In fact, it seems it’s the other way around.

    Despite suggestions to the contrary, rapid Arctic warming has not led to a "wavier" jet stream around Earth’s mid-lat...

    February 20, 2020
  • The algae are sweet, but still they share

    Bacteria have different tastes so avoid competition.

    This satellite image taken near the island of Heligoland in the German Bight, southern North Sea, shows bacteria (gre...

    February 20, 2020
  • An update on the Jupiter water mystery

    Juno provides more information than Galileo could.

    Water makes up about 0.25% of the molecules in the atmosphere at Jupiter’s equator, almost three times that of the Su...

    February 19, 2020
  • Neurovascular coupling: Brain and arteries, working together

    The supply blood to areas of heightened neural activity.

    The brain is a demanding beast. It consumes about a fifth of the body’s energy but cannot store any, so it needs cons...

    February 19, 2020
  • Researchers make solar efficiency breakthrough

    Fast conversion makes technology more viable.

    Australian researchers have set a new world record for the conversion of solar energy to electricity using quantum do...

    February 18, 2020
  • Neanderthal skull: A story ancient and modern

    Skull may settle longstanding debate.

    This Neanderthal skull, though flattened by thousands of years of sediment and rock fall, caused a flurry of exciteme...

    February 18, 2020
  • Watching on as Betelgeuse dims

    But don’t hold your breath waiting for an explosion.

    Astronomers have captured new images of the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constel...

    February 17, 2020
  • Where finding fish is easy

    Research reveals the diversity of a region known as Rupununi.

    Researchers have found more than 450 species of fish in a pocket of northern South America just half the size of Belg...

    February 17, 2020
  • Sexual partners and cancer risk

    Study finds women more likely to suffer long-standing illness.

    New research links a history of 10 or more lifetime sexual partners to a heightened risk of being diagnosed with canc...

    February 16, 2020
  • A feed like this is getting harder to get

    When frogs die off, snake diversity plummets.

    In the past two decades scientists have seen 90 amphibian species go extinct and more than 500 others be badly affect...

    February 16, 2020
  • Reversing the reproductive clock

    Finding offers hope to women struggling to conceive.

    Australian researchers have lifted fertility rates in older female mice with small doses of a metabolic compound that...

    February 13, 2020
  • An iconic image updated

    NASA releases new version of the Pale Blue Dot.

    One of the most iconic images from the Voyager mission was taken 30 years ago today (14 February 1990). To celebrate...

    February 13, 2020
  • A giant turtle with surprises

    The carapace wasn’t just big, it sometimes had horns.

    If you ever wanted proof that ancient giant turtles really were giant, this is it. Venezuelan palaeontologist Rodolf...

    February 12, 2020
  • Solar System controls the carbon cycle

    And it has done throughout Earth’s history.

    An international scientific team says it can shed fresh light on the complicated interplay of factors affecting globa...

    February 11, 2020
  • Ground level ozone link to death risk increase

    New study highlights problem of daily exposure.

    Daily exposure to ground level ozone is associated with an increased risk of death, according to analysis of data fro...

    February 11, 2020
  • Look out Sun, here I come

    Solar Orbiter heads off seeking data.

    Solar Orbiter is on the way to the Sun, and at this stage all is well. A day after the spacecraft was launched from ...

    February 11, 2020
  • AI may alter how doctors treat depression

    Computer predicts patient outcomes based on EEG.

    US researchers say a computer can accurately predict whether an antidepressant will work based on a patient's brain a...

    February 10, 2020
  • Big potential in mini-gut organoid

    Researchers explore treatment for an unpleasant condition.

    This is a mini-gut organoid generated in a laboratory from human stem cells. It has helped US researchers simulate l...

    February 10, 2020
  • Taking the fight to frostbite

    Here’s an inside view of what treatment can do.

    This is the kind of image you want to see – or, perhaps more accurately, your doctor to see – if you are suffering fr...

    February 9, 2020
  • Evolution of an unusual monster galaxy

    XMM-2599 lived fast and died young in the very early Universe.

    Astronomers have discovered an unusual monster galaxy that existed about 12 billion years ago. Using the WM Keck Obs...

    February 6, 2020
  • A beating heart rules Pluto

    Researchers reveal more about the mysterious Tombaugh Regio.

    A “beating heart” of frozen nitrogen controls Pluto’s winds and may give rise to features on its surface, according t...

    February 5, 2020
  • A strange but stellar fight

    ALMA captures a death process terminated prematurely.

    Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have spotted a peculiar gas cloud that resu...

    February 5, 2020
  • When colloidal particles attract

    Scientists develop a gel that’s not sticky.

    This is an image of non-sticky gel taken using advanced 3D light microscopy techniques – and “non-sticky” is the clev...

    February 4, 2020
  • Greenland Ice Sheet melting top and bottom

    Warm water finding its way underneath, research shows.

    Late last year studies revealed that the Greenland Ice Sheet is melting much faster than previously thought, and that...

    February 3, 2020
  • A tour of the night sky

    Even without a telescope, there’s plenty to see.

    Another night, another brilliant view of the sky above northern Chile – specifically above the four Unit Telescopes o...

    February 3, 2020
  • Physicists do something very cool

    Nanoparticles at ground state open new possibilities.

    Physicists have cooled a nanoparticle to the lowest temperature quantum mechanics allows by reducing its motion to th...

    February 2, 2020
  • A novel quantum couple

    Magnetic field moves electrons into concentric circles.

    US and Japanese researchers have created and imaged a novel pair of quantum dots – tiny islands of confined electric ...

    January 30, 2020
  • Hey, squid brain

    MRI scans provide clues to a crafty camouflage technique.

    Australian scientists are one step closer to understanding the camouflage ability of squid, thanks to MRI-based mappi...

    January 29, 2020
  • ‘Vampire’ star feeding frenzy found

    New project makes good use of data from an old telescope.

    Astronomers led by the Australian National University (ANU) have found a “vampire” star in the midst of a feeding fre...

    January 28, 2020
  • Illustrating a book of bits

    Students compile encyclopaedia of genes.

    This is not just a pretty picture: the microscopic image of fruit fly eyes, wings and lymph glands is shedding new li...

    January 28, 2020
  • Look up, albatross at work

    Giant birds recruited in fight against illegal fishing.

    One in three boats fishing in international waters is probably doing so illegally – and we know that thanks to a flee...

    January 27, 2020
  • When sensors get together

    Matrix takes us further down the path towards electronic skin.

    Advances in flexible sensors and organic electronics are moving us closer to the idea of creating electronic skin, bu...

    January 26, 2020
  • Exploring the inner complexity of Enceladus

    Subsurface ocean composition hints at habitable conditions.

    US researchers say a new geochemical model reveals that carbon dioxide from Saturn’s moon Enceladus may be controlled...

    January 23, 2020
  • New camera has more than just speed

    It can capture transparent objects and even shockwaves.

    Lihong Wang is not one to rest on his laurels. Barely a year after developing the world's fastest camera (capable of ...

    January 22, 2020
  • Traditional record of a modern problem

    Japanese fish rubbings tell about threatened species.

    Welcome to the world of alternative biodiversity records. Since the last Edo period, around the middle of the 19th c...

    January 21, 2020
  • A new class of cool blues

    Developers say they are also cheaper and safer.

    Cobalt Blue (CoAl2O4) is enduringly popular because, we are told, of its colour intensity, ease of synthesis and vers...

    January 21, 2020
  • Lighting up the desert

    Two sources make for a sublime view.

    No, a flying saucer has not just landed in Chile’s Atacama Desert. This is the Residencia, the home for the astronom...

    January 20, 2020
  • Yes indeed, that’s cement setting

    Using optical properties to try to create a greener process.

    It’s been quite a week for cement stories in Cosmos. First, we reported on attempts to create a living concrete by co...

    January 19, 2020
  • Hot end to our hottest decade

    WMO confirms what we probably all knew.

    2019 was the second warmest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organisation’s consolidated analysi...

    January 16, 2020
  • So that’s what comes out in the wash

    Decisions in the laundry can keep microfibres out of the ocean.

    Scientists have used science to determine how best to use our washing machines. It’s not just about helping clothes ...

    January 16, 2020
  • Introducing a new Aussie dinosaur

    Potential presence of a second megaraptorid species in the area.

    Australian scientists have announced the discovery of the fragmentary remains of a new species of theropod dinosaur i...

    January 15, 2020
  • Connecting dots in the sky

    Scientists match up maps of matter and light.

    Astrophysicists say they are a step closer to understanding the origin of a faint glow of gamma rays covering the nig...

    January 14, 2020
  • Why cancer treatments cause bone loss

    Researchers link it to a stress reponse.

    US researchers say they have found a driver of bone loss related to cancer treatment. Working with mice, they have s...

    January 13, 2020
  • MeerKAT’s view of deep space

    Telescope capture galaxies never before observed in radio light.

    Each dot is this image is a distant galaxy. The brightest are galaxies powered by supermassive black holes and shine ...

    January 13, 2020
  • Should you worry about your tongue getting fat?

    Quite possibly, if you want a good night’s sleep.

    Obesity is known to be the primary risk factor for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), and a new US study suggests the ma...

    January 12, 2020
  • It’s structure that creates this colour

    Scientists discover what makes hummingbirds so bright.

    Hummingbirds are among the brightest birds in the world, and now scientists know why. A new study in the journal Evo...

    January 12, 2020
  • Clever farming in changing times

    The secrets to maintaining meat and dairy production.

    When he was working as a veterinarian with sheep, goats and dairy cattle in India in the heat of summer, Dr Surinder ...

    January 12, 2020
  • The story of a brain with staying power

    A 2600-year-old mystery may have been solved.

    The mystery of how a 2600-year-old brain was preserved may have been at least partly solved. Normally, the brain sta...

    January 9, 2020
  • An in-depth look at cuttlefish hunting

    The tricky part was getting them to wear glasses.

    Yes, this is a cuttlefish wearing 3D glasses. The reason is that it was one of a group of cephalopods invited to a s...

    January 8, 2020
  • Fukushima wildlife caught on camera

    Many species thriving amid nuclear contamination.

    Scientists have provided what they say is the first evidence that wildlife is abundant in Japan’s Fukushima Evacuatio...

    January 7, 2020
  • Red brittle star ‘sees’ without eyes

    Scientists describe a clever new mechanism for vision.

    The red brittle star captured scientific attention three decades ago thanks to its dramatic change in colour between ...

    January 6, 2020
  • Breakfast at the Cosmic Dawn

    Gas halos fed supermassive black holes, astronomers say.

    Astronomers using the European Space Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) report observing reservoirs of cool gas...

    December 20, 2019
  • How big is your camera bag?

    Large and clever technology keeps an eye on the world’s reefs.

    Australian researchers are using this impressive bit of camera equipment to capture 360-degree underwater images of h...

    December 19, 2019
  • Self-cleaning surface repels bugs: researchers

    Microscopic wrinkles exclude all external molecules.

    Canadian researchers say they have developed a self-cleaning surface that can repel all forms of bacteria in pretty w...

    December 17, 2019
  • Lola found in ancient chewing gum

    Genetics researchers sequence DNA from birch pitch.

    This is an artistic reconstruction of “Lola” who, Danish researchers believe, lived around 5700 years ago. They obtai...

    December 17, 2019
  • Vaping increases risk of lung disease, study finds

    When combined with tobacco use, it’s even worse.

    E-cigarettes significantly increase the risk of developing chronic lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysem...

    December 16, 2019
  • HAWK-I peers through the dust

    New image of Milky Way finds evidence of a burst of star formation.

    The European Space Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) has capture the central part of the Milky Way with specta...

    December 16, 2019
  • Borisov makes a flying visit

    Hubble captures speedy comet heading back into interstellar space.

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has made two new observations of Comet 2I/Borisov – only the second interstellar ...

    December 15, 2019
  • What it’s like beneath Antarctica’s ice sheet

    New high-precision map reveals all the bumps and hollows.

    Glaciologists have released the most accurate portrait yet of the contours of the land beneath Antarctica's ice sheet...

    December 12, 2019
  • Hidden in plain sight

    ALMA spots most distant dusty galaxy.

    Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) have spotted the light of a massive galaxy ...

    December 12, 2019
  • There’s a new squid in town

    But it doesn’t look like most other squids.

    Japanese and Australian scientists have identified this new species of bobtail squid in the waters around Japan’s Oki...

    December 11, 2019
  • The vital role of whale grandmas

    Post-menopause, they help young ones survive, study shows.

    Female killer whales usually stop reproducing in their 30s or 40s, but like humans they can live for many decades fol...

    December 10, 2019
  • Welcome to supernova central

    NGC 5468 has seen some action over the years.

    Supernovae are born when stars explode, and we know that galaxy NGC 5468 has hosted a number of such events in the pa...

    December 9, 2019
  • Unleash the quantum vacuum squeezer

    New instrument extends LIGO’s already significant reach.

    The US-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) used to pick up whispers of gravitational wav...

    December 8, 2019
  • New clues to the Milky Way’s age

    Star-quake vibrations suggest ‘thick disc’ is 10 billion years old.

    The Milky Way’s “thick disc” is about 10 billion years old, according to an international team of scientists.They use...

    December 5, 2019
  • Metalenses in focus

    Engineers work at the nanoscale to make them bigger.

    US engineers say they have created the first mass-producible, all-glass, centimetre-scale metalens in the visible spe...

    December 5, 2019
  • Australia, stripped back

    New algorithm offers a more accurate picture of the Earth’s top layer.

    Modern technology shows Australia at its least vegetated, which researchers hope will provide clues for better managi...

    December 4, 2019
  • A decade of ‘exceptional global heat’

    WMO says we’ve had another year of high-impact weather.

    The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says 2019 is on course to be the second or third warmest year on record, ...

    December 3, 2019
  • You don’t see what I see

    New software provides a different view of life’s colours.

    The image above shows a field of bluebells from the perspective of a bee (left) and human (right). It was created us...

    December 3, 2019
  • David Harvey wins AustMS Medal

    UNSW mathematician recognised by national society.

    Associate Professor David Harvey demonstrating the old-school method of multiplication which is impractical when mult...

    December 3, 2019
  • Colour catches cancer spreading

    Glow-in-the-dark cells show mutations driving malignancy.

    US researchers have cleverly tracked cancer mutations by causing stem cells to glow. This allowed the team from Duke ...

    December 2, 2019
  • Eavesdropping on remote wildlife

    An acoustic observatory will aid in mapping and monitoring Australian animals.

    Hundreds of solar-powered sensors are being installed across remote parts of Australia to record a unique soundscape ...

    December 1, 2019
  • That sounds a bit fishy

    ‘Acoustic enhancement’ may help with reef restoration.

    Young fish can be attracted to degraded coral reefs by the sounds of healthy reefs, new research suggests. Australia...

    December 1, 2019
  • Australian biologists win CSL Florey medal

    Their work was vital in the fight against cancer.

    David Vaux and Andreas Strasser from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research have been awarded the bi...

    November 29, 2019
  • New theory for why black holes and neutron stars shine bright

    Research points to interaction between chaotic motion and reconnection of magnetic fields.

    Scientists have long speculated about the origin of the electromagnetic radiation emitted from celestial regions that...

    November 28, 2019
  • Caveasphaera: It looks like an animal, but…

    Caveasphaera adds to a complex story.

    Caveasphaera, a multicellular organism found in 609-million-year-old rocks in South China's Guizhou Province, defies ...

    November 28, 2019
  • Can stellar black holes get any bigger? Seems that’s a yes

    Astronomers find one with a mass 70 times the Sun.

    Astronomers have discovered that some black holes may be born more than twice as big as previously thought.Using the ...

    November 27, 2019
  • Keeping an eye on the ionosphere

    Incoherent scatter radar takes measurements above Antarctica.

    The ionosphere – that area of the atmosphere about 100 to 1000 kilometres above Earth's surface – is blasted by solar...

    November 27, 2019
  • Action in amber

    Fossil reveals 16-million-year-old hitchhikers.

    How did tiny crawling soil dwellers get around during the early Miocene? If this snapshot in amber from the Dominican...

    November 26, 2019
  • A star performer against Dengue

    DNA may help track and eventually kill the virus.

    By folding snippets of DNA into the shape of a five-pointed star using structural DNA nanotechnology, US and Chinese ...

    November 25, 2019
  • Old bones get pigeons back in the air

    Veterinary researchers create natural pins for wing repair.

    The veterinary clinic at Iran’s Shiraz University treats both wild and companion birds with fractured wings or legs. ...

    November 24, 2019
  • Just a young Wolfe

    New dating techniques cut this crater’s age.

    Australia’s Wolfe Creek Crater, one of the world’s largest meteorite craters, is much younger than previously thought...

    November 24, 2019
  • A new view of our Milky Way

    Outback telescope captures low-frequency radio emission.

    The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope in outback Western Australia captured this spectacular new view of the ...

    November 21, 2019
  • SCINEMA announces new award categories

    Australia’s largest science film festival is calling for entries.

    SCINEMA International Science Film Festival has officially opened entries for 2020, and this year there’s a host of n...

    November 21, 2019
  • The brightest light in the Universe

    Telescopes pick up the afterglow of a violent explosion.

    A violent explosion in a galaxy seven billion light-years away has broken the record for the brightest source of high...

    November 20, 2019
  • The other use for feathers

    Research reveals they make pretty useful armour.

    A bird’s feathers play an important role in mating, flight and insulation, but new research suggests they also help p...

    November 20, 2019
  • A weakened black hole allows its galaxy to awaken

    New data provides compelling evidence of a unique phenomenon.

    A combined x-ray, optical and radio image reveals the mechanism allowing rapid star formation at the core of the Phoe...

    November 19, 2019
  • Not such a pretty picture

    The plastics problem for marine life off Indonesia.

    Reef manta rays could ingest as many as 63 pieces of plastic per hour while feeding in the waters off Indonesia’s Nus...

    November 19, 2019
  • Another glorious galaxy

    But NGC 772 is officially peculiar.

    Spiralling arms, a glowing centre, bright specks of star formation and dark ripples of cosmic dust – it must be a gal...

    November 18, 2019
  • When galaxies rotate, size matters

    Sky survey provides clues to how things change over time.

    A simulation showing galaxies gradually accreting along a cosmic filament. CREDIT: Greg PoolEThe direction in which a...

    November 17, 2019
  • This old bird did shake its tail feathers

    Japanese fossil find suggests complex evolution.

    Japanese researchers have described what they say is the first species of bird from the Early Cretaceous period (arou...

    November 17, 2019
  • Making glass flex, not fracture

    It must be dense and flawless, study suggests.

    Glass is strong, despite being brittle. Imagine its potential if it wasn’t.That’s not totally out of the question, ac...

    November 14, 2019
  • Hyper-fast star ejected by supermassive black hole

    Astronomers see first demonstration of the ‘Hills mechanism’.

    Astronomers have discovered a star travelling at more than six million kilometres an hour through the Milky Way after...

    November 13, 2019
  • Vaping linked to teen’s lung inflammation

    Doctors suspect trigger was immune response to chemical.

    British doctors have sounded a new warning about e-cigarettes after treating a 16-year-old male for life-threatening ...

    November 12, 2019
  • Another tale set in amber

    Ancient beetle provides evidence of pollination.

    Let’s face it, anything in amber looks pretty cool. The bonus is that they often have an important story to tell.In t...

    November 12, 2019
  • Cities messing with spring’s signals

    Urbanisation delays plant growth in warm regions, study finds.

    Urbanisation shifts nature’s seasonal cues in nuanced ways, with cities in cold climates triggering earlier spring pl...

    November 11, 2019
  • Deer departed is back again

    Scientists and locals ensure a win for conservation.

    A species of tiny deer not seen by scientists for 30 years has been found – and photographed – in Vietnam. Writing i...

    November 11, 2019
  • A dozen space doppelgangers

    Hubble captures a unique view of the Sunburst Arc.

    This image, captured using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows an astronomical object whose image is multiplie...

    November 10, 2019
  • Melting arctic sea ice linked to virus in marine mammals

    Loss of ice opens pathways for disease transmission, study shows.

    Scientists have linked the decline in Arctic sea ice to the emergence of a deadly virus that could threaten marine ma...

    November 7, 2019
  • Delicate flower makes a surprise appearance

    Rumours of its extinction were greatly exaggerated.

    This is Psoralea cataracta, and it hasn’t been seen since 1804. In fact, it is only known because of the single spec...

    November 7, 2019
  • The majesty of the southern sky

    TESS provides a unique panorama.

    This mosaic of the southern sky was assembled from 208 images taken by NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (...

    November 6, 2019
  • Not your usual African safari

    Researchers learn there’s lots to learn from faeces.

    OK, yes, this is a pile of poop. But a valuable one. Ecologists led by Tyler Kartzinel from Brown University in the ...

    November 5, 2019
  • Voyager 2 has reached interstellar space

    Researchers detect a tell-tale jump in plasma density.

    Scientists have confirmed that Voyager 2 has entered the interstellar medium (ISM), the region of space outside the b...

    November 4, 2019
  • Jet stream on Jupiter

    Citizen scientist makes Juno’s image even more arresting.

    Citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt created this enhanced-colour image using data from NASA's Juno spacecraft.It shows...

    November 4, 2019
  • No, not a starry, starry night

    This image was taken inside a cell, not high in the sky.

    A previously unknown component of our cells delivers proteins “like a bike courier in heavy traffic”, according to sc...

    November 3, 2019
  • Scientists warn about the dangers of measles

    Two studies highlight the potential long-term impact.

    Measles is more harmful than previously suspected, scientists say. Two separate studies of 77 unvaccinated Dutch chi...

    October 31, 2019
  • Smooth moves at the M-Block party

    These robots know who else is in the crowd.

    These are “M-Blocks”, self-transforming robot blocks that can jump, spin, flip and even identify each other using a t...

    October 31, 2019
  • Smooth moves at the M-Block party

    These robots know who else is in the crowd.

    These are “M-Blocks”, self-transforming robot blocks that can jump, spin, flip and even identify each other using a t...

    October 31, 2019
  • Charge a car in just 10 minutes?

    It’s possible say the engineers behind a new lithium battery.

    US mechanical engineers say they have developed a lithium ion battery that can be charged sufficiently in 10 minutes ...

    October 30, 2019
  • A virus for good, not evil

    HPV may protect the skin from some cancers.

    A class of viruses commonly found on human skin – low-risk human papillomaviruses (HPV) – may play a role in protecti...

    October 30, 2019
  • Can cannabinoids help with mental health?

    New study finds ‘insufficient evidence’.

    The use of cannabinoids to treat mental health conditions cannot be justified based on current evidence, according to...

    October 29, 2019
  • Hubble telescope: Look into my eyes

    Something big is staring back at Hubble.

    Astronomers see many things when they stare into deep space with the Hubble telescope, but this is not – despite appe...

    October 29, 2019
  • Smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System?

    Astronomers have taken a close look at Hygiea’s credentials.

    Astronomers have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet, which would make it the sma...

    October 28, 2019
  • Tracking tau may help fight Alzheimer’s

    Rapid spread does not mean immediate impact.

    The accumulation of tau proteins in the brain is linked to neurological disorders. It is known to spread quickly betw...

    October 28, 2019
  • Ready and Abell

    Big telescopes observe something big taking shape.

    Astronomers using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes have put together a detailed map of...

    October 27, 2019
  • When bad plastic turns good

    Catalytic method allows for ‘upcycling’, researchers suggest.

    US researchers say they have developed a catalytic method to turn single-use plastic into high-quality liquid product...

    October 24, 2019
  • Snakes alive – and rather abundant

    ‘Fantastic Grandmothers’ take citizen science underwater.

    Looking for unique retirement plans? How does snorkelling with venomous sea snakes sound? That’s exactly what seven ...

    October 23, 2019
  • Tiny turtle takes top prize

    See all the entries in the Nikon Small World Competition.

    This stunning image of a fluorescent turtle embryo has won top spot in the 45th Annual Nikon Small World Competition....

    October 22, 2019
  • Meet the loudest bird in the world

    In the Amazon, the amps are turned up to 11.

    The male white bellbird (Procnias albus), which lives atop mountains in the Amazon region of northern Brazil, is – fo...

    October 21, 2019
  • Photo bombers in space

    Asteroid pops up in astronomer’s galaxy shot.

    Anyone who has taken a long-range image knows that sometimes things get in the way of the perfect shot. The same thin...

    October 20, 2019
  • More than a pretty picture

    Scientists hope snaps from ISS will help tackle light pollution.

    Snapped by the crew onboard the International Space Station, this image shows Spain and Portugal at night. The city ...

    October 17, 2019
  • Nobels 2019

    With the last name announced, we review this year’s winners.

    The full cohort of 2019 Nobel Prize winners have now been announced, with this year’s science prize winners attractin...

    October 16, 2019
  • Lighting up the centre of our galaxy

    It’s a busy place, where millions of moving stars hang out.

    The centre of the Milky Way is normally veiled by clouds of interstellar dust and gas, hiding it from the prying eyes...

    October 16, 2019
  • Tracking fat parcels

    Researchers may have discovered how to trace fat metabolism.

    This image shows the tracking of fat droplets in liver cells of mice. Fat is vital for the structure and function of ...

    October 15, 2019
  • From chaos, sticky order

    Creating a substance that will stick to just about anything.

    This material might be the future of soft, nanomaterials.  Researchers from the North Carolina State University, in ...

    October 14, 2019
  • New large wasp species discovered in Uganda

    The finding expands knowledge of the tropical Rhyssinae wasps.

    On a mission to explore the diversity of tropical parasitoid wasps, scientists from the University of Turku in Finlan...

    October 13, 2019
  • LHS-3844b: A glimpse of a newly discovered exoplanet

    With no atmosphere, it isn’t habitable for life.

    The exoplanet LHS-3844b illustrated here is located 48.6 light-years from Earth and orbits an M dwarf star – the most...

    October 10, 2019
  • Mini pig-like fossils captured in amber

    Animal reveals a unique lineage from 30 million years ago.

    Fossils preserved in amber have revealed a new family, genus and species of microinvertebrate dating back 30 million ...

    October 9, 2019
  • Illuminating breast tissue

    A new technique could give an insight into breast cancer.

    Using state-of-the-art technology, researchers from the Salk Institute, California, have taken a glimpse of cells in ...

    October 8, 2019
  • A peek into the lung of a mouse

    Imaging of immune cells after exposure to asthma triggers.

    In search of mechanisms that induce allergic asthma, an escalating health problem, researchers unexpectedly found a c...

    October 7, 2019
  • Milky Way exploded three million years ago

    The discovery dramatically alters our understanding of our galaxy.

    A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way j...

    October 6, 2019
  • Space is watching

    Hubble captures a fading star, the Engraved Hourglass Nebula.

    This image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the Engraved Hourglass Nebula – also known as MyCn 18 – wit...

    October 3, 2019
  • Soaking up Earth views from space

    Astronaut Nick Hague enjoys his final moments on a space mission.

    The best pics that most of us will ever snap from above are from airplane windows. NASA astronaut Nick Hague, however...

    October 2, 2019
  • See a spacecraft ascending from above

    It’s a breathtaking perspective.

    This image shows the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft ascending into space after its launch from central Asian country Kazakhst...

    October 1, 2019
  • I’ll see you at the Amazon

    The place where rivers meet.

    This image shows where the Rio Negro and the Solimões River join up to form the Amazon River. The Rio Negro is the A...

    September 30, 2019
  • Promising intermediary black hole candidate

    Part of the quest to find supermassive black hole origins.

    Astronomers think NGC1313-1, the luminous X-ray source of galaxy NGC1313 shown above, could be a promising candidate ...

    September 29, 2019
  • Bats eavesdrop on their prey

    It’s one of many cunning tactics they use on the hunt.

    Like Tom and Jerry's endless shenanigans, prey go to any lengths to avoid being eaten while predators continue to evo...

    September 26, 2019
  • Stunning but ruthless

    This wasp lays its eggs in several different hosts.

    The breathtaking beauty of the crypt-keeper wasp (Euderus set) belies its parasitic tendencies to lay eggs in at leas...

    September 25, 2019
  • Living cancer cell captured in real time

    Researchers improve super-resolving microscopy.

    This image of a living bone cancer cell was taken with a super-resolving structured illumination microscope. The cell...

    September 24, 2019
  • Mars up close and personal

    Spacecraft images reveal ancient rock formations.

    This image, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, shows rock and sand sediments in the planet’s Daniel...

    September 23, 2019
  • Galaxy caught ejecting gas

    Telescopes capture stellar feedback in action.

    New observations of the galaxy NGC 3351, also known as Messier 95, have shown stellar feedback in action. This is th...

    September 22, 2019
  • Hitchhiking in a cell

    Molecular movement may hold a key to understanding ALS.

    Microscopic RNA molecules sometimes travel up to a metre to get from the nucleus of a nerve cell to its tip, where th...

    September 19, 2019
  • Looking – and staying – sharp

    Researchers explore what goes on inside Aristotle’s lantern.

    The masticatory apparatus of a sea urchin – commonly known as Aristotle’s lantern – includes five teeth, each held by...

    September 18, 2019
  • Cancer cells turn to cannibalism

    It helps them survive chemotherapy, study suggests.

    Some cancer cells survive chemotherapy by eating their neighbouring tumour cells, according to new research. Writing ...

    September 17, 2019
  • Comet captured in colour

    Gemini scrambles to grab a photo opportunity.

    The first-ever comet from beyond our Solar System has been successfully imaged in multiple colours.  The recently di...

    September 16, 2019
  • These nanoparticles are gems

    They shift shape and become highly active catalytically.

    US chemists report developing a new way to make catalysts from metal nanoparticles – and even recycle spent catalysts...

    September 15, 2019
  • Poo scoop snares an Ig Nobel

    Australians share the glory for outstanding work in physics.

    Researchers Scott Carver, Ashley Edwards and Alynn Martin from the University of Tasmania in Australia, have shared o...

    September 13, 2019
  • There’s no place like home

    Some butterflies stick to their burbs.

    Birthplace exerts a lifelong influence on butterflies as well as humans, new research suggests. In a paper published...

    September 12, 2019
  • Tiny predator has a big story to tell

    Oldest chelicerate found in the Burgess Shale.

    Palaeontologists working on Canada’s world-renowned Burgess Shale have revealed a new species called Mollisonia pleno...

    September 11, 2019
  • Pterosaur identified, 30 years on

    Cryodrakon boreas was a new genus and species.

    The remains of a giant flying reptile found in Alberta, Canada, three decades ago have been identified as a new genus...

    September 10, 2019
  • New view of a nematode

    Scientists have created a molecular atlas of C. elegans.

    US researchers have reported the first detailed molecular characterisation of how every cell changes during animal em...

    September 8, 2019
  • Colours come, colours go

    NASA satellite spots a mystery that’s gone in a flash.

    The pops of bright blue and green in this image of the Fireworks galaxy NGC 6946 show the locations of extremely brig...

    September 5, 2019
  • I love to go a wandering…

    Fossils reveal earliest signs of mobility, researchers suggest.

    Is this one of the first trails ever made by an animal on the surface of the Earth?Quite possibly, says the team of p...

    September 4, 2019
  • Eye on the hurricane

    ISS looks down on nature at its wildest.

    NASA astronaut Christina Koch snapped this image of Hurricane Dorian as the International Space Station (ISS) flew ov...

    September 3, 2019
  • Dormant but still dangerous

    Some breast cancer cells are forced into ‘sleeper’ mode.

    Breast cancer medicines may force some cancer cells into “sleeper mode”, allowing them to potentially come back to li...

    September 2, 2019
  • JWST is whole at last

    Another milestone reached for new space science observatory.

    Engineers have connected the two halves of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope for the first time at Northrop Grumman’s...

    September 1, 2019
  • Beautiful view of failed experiment

    Things get tough if your proboscis doesn’t cut it.

    Many things look cool in amber, but this picture strikes us as particularly – well, striking. Unfortunately, it capt...

    August 29, 2019
  • A space masterpiece remembered

    NASA thinks it’s time to celebrate Spitzer and its best work.

    NASA has released something of a greatest hits package for its Spitzer Space Telescope.That’s possibly a little prema...

    August 28, 2019
  • Keeping an eye on the eye

    Map provides insights into the retina’s genetic code

    Here’s a look, of sorts, inside the human retina. Each dot represents one cell, and there are around 20,000 of them. ...

    August 27, 2019
  • Going to Mars? See Australia first

    Scientists hone their research skills on ancient fossils.

    Scientists supporting both NASA's upcoming Mars 2020 mission and the European-Russian ExoMars mission have just spent...

    August 26, 2019
  • Anniversary of an image

    It’s 30 years since Voyager 2 got close to Neptune.

    The Moon landing was the biggie, but there are other space anniversaries worth noting this year. It’s exactly 30 yea...

    August 25, 2019
  • It’s not quite Mars, but it will do

    Atacama microbes may hold clues to life.

    Chile’s Atacama Desert is renowned for its Mars-like environment, so Spanish scientists used it to try to determine h...

    August 22, 2019
  • When secondary is important

    JWST’s unfolding mechanism goes through its paces.

    Technicians and engineers have just tested a key part of the telescope unfolding mechanism for the James Webb Space T...

    August 20, 2019
  • When sleep is the imperative

    Study finds some migrating birds put it ahead of security.

    This garden warbler (Sylvia borin) looks sharp and well rested in this photo. The question is what risks it might hav...

    August 19, 2019
  • Holding up well after all these years

    Bones keep their DNA down a tropical sinkhole.

    US scientists have reported recovering the first genetic data from an extinct bird in the Caribbean, thanks to some r...

    August 18, 2019
  • A CRISPR ‘revolution’

    Swiss team says its process can modify 25 sites at once.

    CRISPR-Cas is pretty popular with those wanting a relatively quick and easy way to delete, replace or modify single g...

    August 15, 2019
  • A new view of old eyes

    Fossilisation process may have altered structures.

    This 54-million-year-old crane-fly (family Tipulidae) is impressive as a fossil and interesting for what it tells sci...

    August 14, 2019
  • Hubble captures galaxies interacting

    Eventually the luminescent two will become one.

    This galactic duo is known as UGC 2369. According to the European Space Agency, the galaxies are interacting, meanin...

    August 13, 2019
  • Cosmos article wins journalist another award

    Reflecting her commitment to promote food security.

    Regular Cosmos contributor Natalie Parletta has won the prestigious Food Security Journalism Award presented by Austr...

    August 13, 2019
  • Watching pancreatic cancer spread

    Researchers discover the cells remodel their environment.

    An international team led by Australia’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research has discovered how aggressive pancreati...

    August 12, 2019
  • That looks a bit like Velcro

    Tiny scales help this midge jump without legs.

    The three-millimetre larva of the goldenrod gall midge can “jump” 20 to 30 body lengths in a tenth of a second despit...

    August 11, 2019
  • A celestial seagull in full flight

    And with a good telescope, you can capture all the details.

    This is known as the Seagull Nebula, for obvious reasons, and thanks to the detail captured here by ESO’s VLT Survey ...

    August 8, 2019
  • Meet Hercules, the biggest parrot ever

    The list of giant New Zealand birds just got longer.

    This is an artist’s reconstruction of Heracles inexpectatus – aka Hercules – the 19-million-year old remains of which...

    August 7, 2019