Deborah Devis

Deborah Devis

Dr Deborah Devis is a science journalist at The Royal Institution of Australia.

  • Spyware unplugged

    New software attacks cast a light on cybersecurity.

    A major investigation conducted by news organisations has found that governments around the world may have been spied...

    July 23, 2021
  • Super-strength spider silk made by bacteria

    New bacteria engineered to produce fibre as tough as steel.

    If you’re scared of spiders but also need really strong silk, have no fear, because engineers at Washington Universit...

    July 21, 2021
  • DNA solves riddle of extinct Xerces butterfly

    Museum DNA confirms the extinction of the Xerces blue butterfly.

    Near-century-old butterfly DNA  has confirmed that the Xerces blue butterfly, famously wiped out by humans in the 194...

    July 21, 2021
  • Engineering a Virus

    What you need to know about gain of function research

    Gain-of-function research is a technique used in virology and genetics to alter the function of a virus, in order to ...

    July 20, 2021
  • Australia’s vaccination trends: by the numbers

    We’ve looked at the trends that have emerged in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

    As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia continues to dominate headlines, and experts tout vaccinations as the ke...

    July 20, 2021
  • A pig problem for climate change

    Wild pigs release as much carbon as one million cars.

    Credit: Scimex.Wild pigs are releasing nearly five million tonnes of trapped soil carbon dioxide annually – abou...

    July 20, 2021
  • Jet black: ‘little’ black holes emulate their supergiant siblings

    Jet activity in radio galaxy mirrors that of the far larger Messier 87 galaxy.

    Just like younger siblings, ‘little’ black holes do their best to act the same as big ones, according to a study publ...

    July 20, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Ugly bugs, farmbots, and friends to lovers – here’s what happened in science last week.

    Big cockroach evolutionAccording to the evolutionary tree of Australian burrowing cockroaches, published in Syste...

    July 19, 2021
  • Could spider venom save your life from heart attack?

    Protein from Funnel web spider venom shows promise for heart attack treatment in lab tests.

    In a preclinical trial on a beating human heart, researchers have found that a drug candidate developed from the veno...

    July 16, 2021
  • No ovaries required: viable eggs grown in a dish

    Ova created from mice stem cells, that become fully formed creatures – all in the lab.

    Scientists have successfully coaxed mouse stem cells to develop into functional eggs in a dish - that then grew into ...

    July 16, 2021
  • Oldest ever methane-cycling microfossils discovered

    The three billion-year-old fossils offer hints about life on Mars.

    Optical microscope image of the filamentous microfossils. Credit: B. CavalazziImage of the locality of the study ...

    July 15, 2021
  • Sorry canine lovers, dogs aren’t always altruistic

    Giving dogs food doesn’t mean they will help you get some yourself

    If you give a dog food, it isn’t necessarily going to return the favour, according to a new study, published in PLOS ...

    July 15, 2021
  • WHO issues new ethics recommendations for human genome editing

    Two new reports on recommended guidelines follow a global consultation.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has released two new companion reports that provide the first global recommendati...

    July 13, 2021
  • I’m under 40 – should I get the AstraZeneca vaccine?

    Australia now permits people under 40 to request an AstraZeneca COVID jab from a GP. Should they ...

    This article was originally posted on the 30th June and updated on the 13th July.Prime Minister Scott Morrison h...

    July 13, 2021
  • Plasma’s powers of 10 (phases)

    Picture this: magnetised plasma’s shapes now classified

    Physicists Hong Qin, left, and Yichen Fu with rendering of 10 phases of plasma from their Nature Communications paper...

    July 13, 2021
  • Teardrop star reveals hidden supernova doom

    In a rare occurrence, a white dwarf pulls a subdwarf towards its demise.

    Astronomers have spotted a teardrop star that suggests two dwarfs are spiralling towards supernova doom.The team,...

    July 13, 2021
  • Gene therapy turns children’s lives around

    A new technique to treat a rare disorder could potentially target neurodegenerative diseases like...

    Promising results have emerged from a gene therapy to “reprogram” cells to reverse the effects of a genetic disorder ...

    July 12, 2021
  • Virgin numbers: Branson makes it to space (maybe)

    Richard Branson has become the first billionaire to fly to space in his own plane.

    The passengers aboard the space flight. Credit: Virgin GalacticThe billionaires’ race to space has been won by Vi...

    July 12, 2021
  • Māori and Pacific people more likely be hospitalised from Covid-19 illness

    New statistical analysis points to health inequity.

    Māori and Pacific Islanders in Aotearoa New Zealand may be at a higher risk of hospitalisation due to COVID-19, accor...

    July 9, 2021
  • Improving vaccine allergy tests

    A step closer to pre-vaccine allergy testing without using vaccine.

    A team of South Australian researchers has been studying ways to improve tests for allergies to vaccine ingredients. ...

    July 6, 2021
  • What is gain of function research in genetics?

    Speculation about viral leaks in Wuhan brings research techniques into the spotlight.

    It’s the rumour that won’t go away – that SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally leaked from a high biosecurity lab in Wuhan, Ch...

    July 6, 2021
  • New birds outshine old birds in New Zealand

    Predation and deforestation are impacting deep endemic species more than newer avian arrivals.

    Older native Aotearoa New Zealand birds may be more threatened with decline than younger species, a new report publis...

    July 6, 2021
  • COVID-19 surge in Indonesia compounded by lack of resources

    Curfews and restrictions introduced to fight the spread of the virus.

    The surge in COVID-19 cases in Indonesia, due to the Delta strain of coronavirus, has been exacerbated by insufficien...

    July 5, 2021
  • How epigenetics encodes plant sperm

    UK study could have benefits for crop improvement.

    An anther. The sperm grows in the black area. CLSY3 (fused with a yellow fluorescent protein) is specifically express...

    July 2, 2021
  • Cherry-picked COVID-19 statistics

    We put the billionaire businessman’s vaccine warning pamphlet claims to the test.

    Businessman and former parliamentarian Clive Palmer has put his name to material discouraging people from getting a C...

    June 30, 2021
  • Cheers to hot barley

    A newly identified genetic mechanism helps barley grow more grains.

    Aussies love barley – after all, it makes beer – and an international team of researchers has good news for its produ...

    June 30, 2021
  • Artificial intelligence at the edge of chaos

    Nanowire network mirrors the human brain in performing best with certain levels of stimulation.

    Australian and Japanese scientists have discovered that an artificial network of nanowires may physically function at...

    June 29, 2021
  • China releases first sounds of Zhurong’s Mars mission

    Audio of the rover’s descent to Mars captured by its attached climate station.

    The Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) has released the first sounds and new video recorded by its Mars rov...

    June 28, 2021
  • Passing on the good beetle genes

    Male seed beetles help keep populations genetically healthy.

    Turns out, males do have a purpose – and yes, it is about sex.According to a new study, published in Evolution Le...

    June 28, 2021
  • Can I shed a virus after I get a vaccine?

    No – but sometimes misinformation is born from truth.

    Concerns about shedding coronavirus when out and about have been prevalent over the last year, but what about after r...

    June 28, 2021
  • COVID Booster: Bad birthday presents and good relationships

    Five things we learned about COVID-19 this week.

    The only birthday present I got this year was COVID-19Social gatherings have been linked to increased rates of CO...

    June 26, 2021
  • Meet the new relative: ‘Dragon Man’

    A 150,000-year-old skull provides a link to a new human species.

    Research into an impeccably preserved skull, known as the Harbin cranium, has suggested it might belong to a new huma...

    June 26, 2021
  • 20,000 years of coronaviruses (and counting)

    Coronaviruses have been hijacking human genes for millennia.

    Coronaviruses have contributed to three major disease outbreaks in the last two decades, but humans have been exposed...

    June 25, 2021
  • Building (glass) bridges

    And hopefully not breaking them down.

    When we consider glass, we often think of its fragility – so the idea of walking across glass bridges is, for many of...

    June 21, 2021
  • You may have missed…

    Cheerful crayfish, child-free by choice and Coelacanth centurions, this is what went on last week.

    Crayfish on antidepressants act weirdlyWhen crayfish are on antidepressants they become bolder and more outgoing ...

    June 21, 2021
  • A heart-stopping football match could stop the heart

    Hospital admissions due to heart attack spiked during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

    If you are getting stressed or angry when watching a tense football match, watch out – it could lead to heart attack....

    June 18, 2021
  • New species of ancient giant rhino

    26 million-year-old fossil reveals new species from northern China

    The giant rhino was one of the largest land animals to exist, but its evolutionary history in Asia has been a mystery...

    June 18, 2021
  • What’s the difference between a morning after pill and an abortion pill?

    They often get confused, but they are medically and legally different.

    A trial study involving contraceptive advice in pharmacies has been making the news in Australia recently. In the uni...

    June 17, 2021
  • Celebrating a decade of ancient human DNA

    Genomic sequencing has changed how we understand ancient cultures.

    Just over a decade ago, a ball of 4000-year-old human hair tangled up in a whalebone comb ignited the first ever reco...

    June 16, 2021
  • How are dangerous viruses contained in Australia?

    Viruses are nasty, but they still need to be studied. What biosecurity safety precautions are in ...

    Researching viruses can sometimes be dangerous, so there are many safety measures put in place to protect laboratory ...

    June 16, 2021
  • Introducing a new plant organ – the cantil

    The previously undiscovered cantil was named after the cantilever.

    We already know quite a bit about plant architecture, so it's somewhat surprising that a new natural organ was discov...

    June 16, 2021
  • You may have missed…

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

    The domestic history of goatsHow and where were goats domesticated? 10,000-year-old DNA might be able to tell us....

    June 14, 2021
  • Sensitive sea snakes are sexier

    A touching review of how sea snakes mate.

    In honour of World Ocean Day, here’s a nice little story about…sea snakes, sex and sensitive males.Male and fema...

    June 8, 2021
  • Rotifers survive being frozen for 24,000 years

    In cryptobiosis for millenia, this microscopic beast is ready to reproduce.

    Resurrected and hardier than a tardigrade, rotifers are the new bad boy from the (ice) block.A new paper, publish...

    June 8, 2021
  • El Salvador to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender

    What would a cryptocurrency as a legal tender look like?

    The president of Central American nation El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, today announced a proposal to make the cryptocurr...

    June 7, 2021
  • What is a gene drive?

    The NSW Government has funded a genetic biocontrol solution to the current mouse plague. What doe...

    As part of its $50 million mouse control package, announced in May, the NSW Government yesterday committed $1.8 milli...

    June 4, 2021
  • Breaking bad (and sometimes good)

    A new device is making the task of finding flaws in a thing – like every thing – a whole lot easier.

    Nothing counts except for your thirst, and you’re cracking open a cold can of cola to deal with the problem when… arr...

    June 4, 2021
  • Making a “Hydrobot” out of water and magnets

    Watch this water droplet navigate a maze!

    With a tiny magnet, researchers have designed a simple system to make a little drop of water move around.To creat...

    June 4, 2021
  • Ultra-sticky underwater glue

    The silk-derived glue was inspired by barnacles and mussels.

    Inspired by barnacles and mussels, researchers have designed an ultra-strong glue that works underwater.If you’ve...

    June 3, 2021
  • What is ransomware and how is it dealt with?

    Cybercrime has  affected hospitals, universities and even meatworks – and could affect you too.

    What is ransomware?Ransomware is a type of malicious software – AKA malware – that infects and takes control of a...

    June 3, 2021
  • Turning the tables on reef recovery

    Fast-growing eco-engineers can regenerate reefs two decades faster than other corals.

    Table corals are big, flat reef engineers that can regenerate coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef faster than any o...

    June 2, 2021
  • The new coronavirus variant names

    Variants of note will now be designated a Greek letter.

    The WHO announced has announced they will be using new variant names for the SARS-CoV-2 strains that are particularly...

    June 1, 2021
  • Duetting wrens sing with telepathic link

    Sound cues cause brain inhibition when it isn’t their turn to sing.

    The great duetters in history may have had more than just musical chemistry: for songbirds, there could even be a lin...

    June 1, 2021
  • This week on Mars

    Clouds, wobbles and first drives!

    In March, Curiosity sent back 21 individual images that show some very high-altitude clouds.The NASA team has sti...

    May 31, 2021
  • Beer waste as a pesticide?

    Organic beer-manure product boosts yield and protects from parasites.

    Some pesticides can be harmful to humans, but beer may be an organic solution to that problem, suggests a study publi...

    May 31, 2021
  • What happens in a virology lab?

    Virology labs help us learn all about viruses – but what goes on behind the pressurised doors?

    What is a virology lab?Virology is the study of viruses. Specific areas of study include looking at the genetics ...

    May 28, 2021
  • Eggs are alive with the sound of music

    Embryo development is altered by noises before hatching.

    Watch out what you say around eggs – they might be listening. A team of researchers, led by Mylene Mariette of Deakin...

    May 27, 2021
  • Indian variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 detected in Melbourne

    What does this mean and what should I do?

    Evidence of a SARS-CoV-2 strain was recently detected in Melbourne wastewater, leading to the detection of 26 locally...

    May 26, 2021
  • HPV vaccine success in gay and bisexual men

    Study shows a significant reduction after vaccination of young men.

    A significant reduction in four vaccine-preventable human papillomavirus (HPV) strains was seen after a vaccine progr...

    May 25, 2021
  • Tiny hairs move eggs down the fallopian tube

    Motile cilia help transport unfertilised eggs from the ovary.

    An old question about how the egg gets from the ovary to the uterus has been solved – it is all to do with little hai...

    May 25, 2021
  • How the clownfish earned its stripes

    White patterns develop thanks to hormones and anemone friends.

    How quickly clownfish get their white stripes depends on which anemones they live with, according to a new study publ...

    May 25, 2021
  • Gender roles influence economic expectations

    Women expect higher rates of inflation than men.

    Socialised gender norms may influence the economic expectations men and women have.A recent study published in PN...

    May 25, 2021
  • Alliance between plants and fungi led to living on land

    The symbiotic relationship allows them to share fats.

    Plants may have colonised land because of an alliance with fungi, according to a study published in Science.Plant...

    May 21, 2021
  • What do Australians find sexy?

    It depends – men and women want different things.

    Hey Australians, what do you find sexy? That is a question researchers asked in a study on sexual attraction preferen...

    May 20, 2021
  • Ancient Aboriginal memory technique improves recollection

    The ancient technique boosted recall three-fold.

    An ancient memory technique developed by Aboriginal Australians significantly helps medical students retain informati...

    May 19, 2021
  • Genetic link found between bipolar and schizophrenia

    Some genetic locations associated with bipolar disorder could be therapeutic targets.

    A study of bipolar disorder (BD) shows a genetic link to schizophrenia and major depression but also identifies some ...

    May 18, 2021
  • Dating the stars: most accurate red giant age yet

    Scientists identify stars leftover from cosmic collision.

    Researchers have successfully dated some of our galaxy’s oldest stars back to a cosmic collision, using data on their...

    May 18, 2021
  • AFL concussion rule didn’t help recovery time in 2020

    Despite the five-day rule, players returned to the field too early in 2020.

    The AFL’s five-day rule designed to promote player recovery following a concussion may not have been effective in 202...

    May 17, 2021
  • South Australia to embrace tasty Cypriot wine variety

    The xynisteri variety is drought resistant and enjoyed by consumers.

    You might soon be taking a new wine to your next Aussie barbecue: xynisteri.Researchers led by Alexander Copper h...

    May 17, 2021
  • You may have missed…

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

    Immaculate conception…in sharks?A baby bamboo shark born via artificial insemination. Credit: Jay Harvey, Aquariu...

    May 17, 2021
  • Fighting COVID-19 with an oxygen enema?

    Mammalian bum-breathers survive with posterior ventilation.

    Rarely is COVID-19 the butt of jokes, but new research on bum-breathing could point to a new avenue for oxygen ventil...

    May 15, 2021
  • Victorian rivers aren’t recovering from drought

    One third of water catchments are struggling.

    One-third of Victorian water catchments have not recovered eight years after severe drought, according to a new paper...

    May 14, 2021
  • South Australia accelerates COVID-19 vaccine development

    The UniSA-Sementis vaccine aims to target mutant variants.

    A South Australian immunologist has been awarded $3 million from the Federal Government to accelerate the development...

    May 13, 2021
  • Paralysed man ‘handwrites’ with brain chip

    Machine learning algorithm translated neural signals to write letters.

    For the first time, a man paralysed from the neck down has been able to ‘handwrite’ by using a special AI brain chip....

    May 13, 2021
  • Wireless brain implant to make friends?

    Tiny, wireless brain implant programs mice socialise when light shines on it.

    For the first time ever, scientists have used a wireless brain implant to make mice socialise with each other, accord...

    May 11, 2021
  • Bronze Age migrations changed the genomics and culture of ancient Italians

    Pontic-Caspian Steppe culture and genes found in Italian burial sites.

    Ancient DNA has told the story of how Bronze Age Italians interacted with people from Eastern Europe.Many ancient...

    May 11, 2021
  • The psychology of missing a penalty

    How can football players with near-perfect ball control miss a goal?

    The moments before a penalty kick are incredibly tense, and new research shows that brain activity might be the reaso...

    May 7, 2021
  • Chicken-sized dinosaur hunted at night

    The odd little dinosaur dubbed Shuvuuia had incredible hearing and vision.

    A little dinosaur called Shuvuuia may have hunted in the dark using night vision and super hearing.This chicken-s...

    May 7, 2021
  • Rise in self-reported concussions in US adolescents

    About a quarter of teens report at least one concussion.

    Approximately a quarter of adolescents in the US have experienced concussions, according to a new report.A team f...

    May 5, 2021
  • 5 quirky study areas of maths

    Our favourite ‘ologies’ for World Maths day.

    Mathematics is massive area of study – from statistics, to probability, to chaos. It’s a wide world, which means ther...

    May 5, 2021
  • Vaccine rollout to begin for Wookiees

    New universal vaccine will be delivered to Wookiees over 470 of age from May the 4th.

    The new Ergapa vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 has been approved for immediate emergency delivery on Kashyyyk. The rollout...

    May 4, 2021
  • Genome of resurrected plant is sequenced for the first time ever

    2000-year-old seeds of extinct Judean date palm shows Roman influence in Middle East.

    For the first time ever, scientists have sequenced the genome of a resurrected plant that went extinct 2000 years ago...

    May 4, 2021
  • Cleaning up military waste with GM grass

    Genetically modified grass removes toxic military waste, RDX.

    A genetically modified common grass can remove toxic military waste from soil, according to a paper published in Natu...

    May 4, 2021
  • You may have missed…

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

    It’s a boy!In new research from the Australian National University, swift parrot mothers are choosing to hatch th...

    May 3, 2021
  • Welcome to my world: the real right stuff

    Test pilot Aaron How troubleshoots and simplifies planes, making them safer for all.

    Any time a plane flies, silently assisting with the craft’s lift and trim is the huge group of people that made sure ...

    April 30, 2021
  • How mammals evolved big brains

    Brain proportions were driven by body size and cataclysmic events.

    Scientists have now pieced together a 150-million-year timeline to determine how mammals evolved big brains.An in...

    April 29, 2021
  • How to find a SARS-CoV-2 variant

    Genetic sequencing shows how variants arise.

    Detecting COVID-19 in a population is usually done in two ways: by testing antibodies or running a PCR test. But neit...

    April 29, 2021
  • Link between sperm development and testicular cancer

    NANOS2 gene promotes sex determination but could lead to tumours if absent.

    Testicular cancer could be linked to faulty sperm development leftover from defective cells as an embryo, according t...

    April 28, 2021
  • Slow the flow: Rehabilitating Australian rivers

    A gentle meander can keep water in Australian rivers.

    A lot of water sounds like a good thing, but for Australian rivers, it really depends on where it is and how fast it ...

    April 28, 2021
  • AstraZeneca and blood clots: by the numbers

    Statistically, how likely are you to get blood clots from AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine?

    Reports that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine causes blood clots has been dominating the news.In mid-March, sever...

    April 28, 2021
  • Measuring lead nucleus tells of neutron stars

    A neutron skin behaviour that affects atoms and stars.

    Physicists have just collected the most accurate measurement of the thickness of the neutron ‘skin’ of a lead (Pb) nu...

    April 28, 2021
  • What is PCR?

    The standard technique for detecting SARS-CoV-2 is incredibly useful in other places too.

    PCR was an acronym that dominated the news in 2020. What is the technique, how useful is it, and what does it tell us...

    April 27, 2021
  • How did T. rex break bones with its bite?

    3D modelling suggests it chomped like an alligator by anchoring its jaw in place.

    The Tyrannosaurus rex might be known for its ferocity and its mouth full of serrated teeth, but how did it actually b...

    April 27, 2021
  • You may have missed…

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

    What does a robot think?Talking to yourself isn’t just for humans – it’s for robots, too.Alexa, Google and Si...

    April 26, 2021
  • The right shoes help athletes run faster

    New shoe technology can drop marathon times by 2 minutes.

    The right shoes could help athletes reduces their race times.A team, led by Stéphane Bermon of World Athletics, M...

    April 22, 2021
  • How is India dealing with its second wave?

    Vaccination surges ahead, but the country faces shortages of doses, hospital beds and ventilators.

    Despite the vaccine rollout, India is grappling with a devastating second wave of COVID-19 cases. Recently, one-third...

    April 21, 2021
  • How fast was a T. rex?

    The king of dinosaurs may have walked as slow as a human.

    Walking speed of a T-rex. Credit: Rick Stikkelorum, Arthur Ulmann & Pasha van BijlertThe Tyrannosaurus rex may ha...

    April 21, 2021
  • Why do big nuts rise to the top of the bowl?

    Shape and orientation are key.

    If you put your hand into a bag of mixed nuts or cereal, you might notice that the big bits are at the top. Why does ...

    April 20, 2021
  • How sustainable are the Olympic Games?

    Not very, according to a new evaluation.

    The International Olympic Committee’s Sustainability Strategy claims to support the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Su...

    April 20, 2021
  • You may have missed…

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

    Ocean ghost currents undo gravityFlinders University researcher Jochen Kaempf has discovered how ghost currents a...

    April 19, 2021
  • Odd Jobs: Dr Dog Poo

    Emily Bryson is a “fecal decompologist” with a horticultural spin.

    If anybody knows how to get their hands dirty, it is Emily Bryson, PhD student at Central Queensland University.“...

    April 19, 2021
  • When to talk to children about racism

    Research suggests it’s parents, not kids, who don’t want to talk about it.

    A study by Monash University suggests kids want to talk about issues of race and racism in the classroom, but parents...

    April 16, 2021
  • Electronic mouth guards in AFL aid science

    Clubs that use the wearable technology aid sport science data collection.

    New wearable technology, such as electronic mouth guards, being trialled in AFL (Australian Football League) and othe...

    April 16, 2021
  • Neanderthal nuclear DNA unlocks ancient human history

    Nuclear DNA extracted from cave sediments for the first time.

    Scientists have extracted Neanderthal nuclear DNA from cave sediments for the first time, greatly improving the scope...

    April 16, 2021
  • Will the world run out of water?

    An upcoming Cosmos Briefing will examine one of the world’s pressing needs: securing future fresh...

    Water is our most precious resource; it underpins all aspects of life. Yet, still we hear that there’s not enough wat...

    April 15, 2021
  • Spotting cows from space

    Student researchers use satellite imaging to track cattle movements.

    When looking down upon the Earth through the eyes of a satellite, what would you choose to look at? For students at t...

    April 13, 2021
  • Cosmos Q&A: Concussion

    What causes concussion, and are we learning more about how to treat it?

    Concussion is sometimes still treated as a mystery in sport, but the field of concussion research began in 1928 – onl...

    April 13, 2021
  • Last supper for prehistoric pollinating beetle

    Fossil poo filled with pollen shows beetles visited flowers.

    Identifying who pollinated flowers in prehistoric times might be as simple as looking at fossilised beetle poo.A ...

    April 13, 2021
  • Butterflies must gamble on unpredictable futures

    Climate change and food scarcity force butterflies to take risks.

    Even butterflies need to make decisions about adapting to a changing and unpredictable future, research shows.A t...

    April 12, 2021
  • Chronic pain in women could be genetic

    Men and women have a different set of chronic pain genes.

    Women tend to be more greatly affected by chronic pain, which may be due to differences in the group of genes that in...

    April 9, 2021
  • Zlatý kůň: The oldest human genome

    The skull of Zlatý kůň might be the oldest to date and had large stretches of Neanderthal DNA.

    Scientists have identified potentially the oldest human genome from a 45,000-year-old skull.When humans and Neand...

    April 8, 2021
  • Brain organoids ready for real-time observation

    Cheap, multi-well device for brain development research.

    A group of researchers has grown small, self-organising blobs of brain tissue in multi-welled dishes to observe in re...

    April 7, 2021
  • Is your dog at risk of cancer?

    Genomics shows some breeds are more susceptible.

    Specific genes put some dog breeds at greater risk of cancer.According to a new study published in PLOS Genetics,...

    April 2, 2021
  • Less than 1/5 of African elephant habitat remains

    The habitat still exists, so why has their range shrunk?

    What habitat does an elephant choose? Not as much as it could.The amount of land African elephants could inhabit...

    April 2, 2021
  • How large is the economic effect of climate farming?

    The economic drawbacks equate to seven lost years.

    The economic effects of climate change are already evident in farming.Climate change has reduced global agricultu...

    April 2, 2021
  • Scientists make antimatter laser

    Anti-matter particles can be cooled to near absolute zero.

    Researchers from the CERN-based Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) collaboration have announced that a war ...

    April 1, 2021
  • Machine learning reads Arnhem Land rock art

    Computers compare minute style details.

    What can machine learning tell us about the rock art in Arnhem Land?South Australian researchers, led by Daryl We...

    March 31, 2021
  • Pesticides put two-thirds of agricultural land at risk

    Australia at high risk of pesticide pollution.

    Pollutants from agrochemicals and pesticides can disrupt the ecosystem and risk harming human health, despite greatly...

    March 30, 2021
  • Does teen cannabis use affect adult life?

    Yes for socioeconomic status, maybe not for mental health.

    It is often said that one of the detriments to using cannabis as a teen is long-lasting mental health problems, such ...

    March 30, 2021
  • Octopuses change colour based on sleep cycle

    Octopus’ technicoloured dream coat reflects sleep stages.

    When sleeping, octopuses change colour, and now a study, published in iScience, shows that the colours represent octo...

    March 26, 2021
  • Stolen plant gene shields insect from plant toxins

    Whiteflies took the gene from plants 35 million years ago.

    Usually, new genes arise in animals because of mutations, but occasionally they are ‘stolen’ from another organism....

    March 25, 2021
  • Gender inequality and violence against women: attitudes are linked

    Australian study finds low support for gender equality is linked to high support for opinions tha...

    Violence against women (VAW) is a common problem in Australia, with serious health, social and economic consequences....

    March 25, 2021
  • New way to diagnose concussion with saliva

    A non-invasive method uses RNA biomarkers to spot concussions.

    Concussion is a major injury incurred in sport, but diagnosis is tricky for amateur sports clubs that don’t have quic...

    March 25, 2021
  • Bee behaviour: what do bees do at home?

    Cannibalism, according to close-up videos that show bee behaviour.

    What goes on in the beehive? These videos, published in the journal PLOS ONE by Paul Siefert from Goethe-Universität,...

    March 20, 2021
  • The rise of COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea

    A new wave of COVID-19 cases in PNG requires an immediate response.

    Papua New Guinea has been somewhat sheltered from the COVID-19 pandemic, with relatively low numbers throughout 2020....

    March 18, 2021
  • Squeeze like a fungus

    Some fungi species squeeze between cells

    As icky as it sounds, some species of fungus can literally squeeze themselves between plant or animal cells and nestl...

    March 16, 2021
  • Greenland’s lost and found forest

    Misplaced core sample shows plant bounty, but it’s not good news.

    In a bizarre story of lost and found, scientists have unraveled Greenland's secret – It really might have been forest...

    March 16, 2021
  • When glaciers melt, carbon rises

    Melting glaciers contribute to a carbon feedback loop.

    In the face of rising temperatures, water from glaciers may be both a bane and a boon for rivers, as the melting cont...

    March 16, 2021
  • Patchwork placenta

    Genomically, a placenta is like a weirdly helpful mosaic tumour.

    The traditional view of the placenta is a miraculous, protective, life-giving growth sac. Surprisingly, in a paper pu...

    March 11, 2021
  • Birds thrive in the Murray-Darling

    Waterbirds thrive off donated water and traditional water management.

    It’s a Murray-Darling bird-breeding party in the Gayini (Nimmie-Caira) wetlands in south west New South Wales, as bir...

    March 11, 2021
  • Long-held theory of vertebrate evolution upended

    Fossils indicate lamprey larvae have evolved – probably not ancient.

    For a long time, it was thought that the lamprey – jawless fish of the superclass Cyclostomata – were remnants of a p...

    March 10, 2021
  • Grown bone

    Most life-like bone organoid to date.

    Put away your Skele-gro, because growing new bones might be the realm of science, not magic.Researchers at Eindho...

    March 9, 2021
  • Migraine masters

    Prestigious Brain Prize awarded to neuroscientists for identifying and blocking migraine peptide.

    Australian-born Peter Goadsby is one of four neuroscientists who have won this year’s prestigious international Brain...

    March 5, 2021
  • Waste not, want not

    In a world where many people go hungry, throwing away food isn’t so cool.

    We’ve known for a while that not all of the world’s food is eaten – but how much of it is wasted wasn’t entirely clea...

    March 5, 2021
  • Explainer: mutation and disease in the Folbigg case

    The major consequences of genetic mutation.

    The recent petition calling for Kathleen Folbigg’s release hinges on cutting edge science that has identified a small...

    March 4, 2021
  • Genetically modified mosquitoes for better health

    Research has found that disease-resistant mosquitoes could lower disease transmission.

    What is the risk of getting a disease from a genetically modified mozzie?Mosquitoes are responsible for spreading...

    March 4, 2021
  • Glow-in-the-dark sharks

    Biggest luminescent vertebrate found near NZ.

    What’s cooler than a shark? A glowing shark!Kiwi and Belgian researchers studying sharks off the coast of New Zea...

    March 2, 2021
  • The future of health care

    It’ll probably be personalised – with a lot of computing involved.

    Dr Deborah Devis discusses precision health care with Dr Mileidy Giraldo.According to Mileidy Giraldo, Lenovo’s G...

    March 2, 2021
  • New, recyclable bone cell

    Newly discovered bone cell named after Power Ranger

    A new bone cell discovery suggests that even cells make an effort to recycle.A team of researchers, led by Michel...

    February 26, 2021
  • Are theists more moral than atheists?

    Is morality just for believers? Probably not.

    A team of researchers led by Tomas Ståhl of the University of Illinois, USA, found that both atheist and theist moral...

    February 25, 2021
  • Carbon storage stars

    Mangrove forests get top sequestering marks.

    Mangrove forests could be the key to reducing carbon, according to a new study.Researchers studying mangrove for...

    February 25, 2021
  • High times at New Years

    Traces of designer drugs found in Australia wastewater.

    Australians may be partying harder than previously thought, according to our water.Researchers from the Universit...

    February 24, 2021
  • Cosmic neutrino blast

    Tidal disruption event gives birth to travelling neutrino.

    A little bit more is now known about the cosmos, thanks to research involving a neutrino space odyssey, a black hole ...

    February 23, 2021
  • Root problem in compact soil

    Plants growing in tough soil respond to hormones, not barriers.

    When soil is tough and compact enough to make using a shovel difficult, roots are going to have trouble too, but not ...

    February 22, 2021
  • Netflix and gill: TV for fish

    A UV fish TV reveals how fish see.

    If you are a fish and want to watch TV, this might be the invention for you.Researchers from the University of Qu...

    February 19, 2021
  • Twisty molecular elevator

    The shape of the glutamate transporter is revealed.

    How do brain cells talk to each other? With machines, of course.A team, led by Ichia Chen of the University of Sy...

    February 18, 2021
  • Koala teeth map history

    Adelaide’s past as told by koala teeth.

    If you want to know how Adelaide, South Australia, was settled by Europeans, you may need to look at rat and koala te...

    February 18, 2021
  • Good games

    Feeling sad? Play Animal Crossing to cheer up!

    Get your islands ready and prepare your plant army because, contrary to popular belief, video games really could brin...

    February 17, 2021
  • Cadmium overload

    Soil changes mean more toxins in food.

    Not everything in soil is good, and some trace elements – like cadmium – can be picked up by plants and transferred t...

    February 17, 2021
  • Why are reports of sexual assault delayed?

    Machine learning reveals trends in under-reporting of sexual assault.

    Reporting sexual assault is a very sensitive and nuanced matter, and identifying at-risk groups may illuminate areas ...

    February 16, 2021
  • Rewind: Where the women are

    Nine studies led by women from the past few months.

    Each 11 February is the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and to celebrate, today we’ve gathered ...

    February 11, 2021
  • Old fish, new genes

    The coelacanth got genes from horizontal transfer.

    Thought to be extinct for 65 million years, a surprise coelacanth (pronounced see-luh-kanth) was captured in 1938 and...

    February 11, 2021
  • Hearts stopped young

    Deaths from cardiac disease aren’t just an oldies’ problem.

    Sometimes, the heart just stops for no perceivable reason. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a prevalent hidden killer, ...

    February 10, 2021
  • Forget-me-not neurons

    Our brains are hardwired with visual working memory.

    How do you know where something is when you can no longer see it? Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of...

    February 9, 2021
  • Bad hormones

    Synthetic progesterone linked to brain tumours.

    Prolonged use of hormones may have long-term consequences for women.A team of researchers led by Alain Weill from...

    February 4, 2021
  • Spidey crane

    Tangle-web spiders use pulleys to subdue big prey.

    If spiders aren’t scary enough, tangle-web spiders can catch really, really big prey with their crane-like pulley-sys...

    February 3, 2021
  • Tau tangles brains

    Toxic leakage of an otherwise useful cell protein leads to Alzheimer’s.

    As if Alzheimer’s wasn’t vicious enough, researchers have found the wrong type of breakthrough – a brutal process whe...

    February 3, 2021
  • Snakes move like sine waves

    The physics of sidewinder snake movement.

    Physicists have long studied the unique movement of snakes, and now they have proof that there’s more to snakeskin th...

    February 3, 2021
  • Rex relative, dog-sized

    Cute discovery sheds light on life of baby tyrannosaurs.

    A terrifying tyrannosaur – a cousin of T. rex – may have started its life about the size of a border collie.Artis...

    January 29, 2021
  • Women’s hearts: not just a girly thing

    Experts in women’s health and wellbeing call for recognition of unique experience.

    Shock news for women around the globe: your cardiovascular symptoms are not vaguely the equivalent of men’s and ought...

    January 28, 2021
  • Safe Country

    A new paper shows that indigenous lands have a significant role to play in protecting endangered wildlife. The paper,...

    January 25, 2021
  • Catnip steers mozzies off moggies

    Catnip chemical attracts cats and appears to repel mosquitoes.

    Seen your cat rolling around in catnip (Nepeta cataria) or silver vine (Actinidia polygama)? Your furry friend might ...

    January 22, 2021
  • Silicone memory?

    Metamaterial can be reprogrammed with different properties.

    If you need a material that can literally be changed to suit you over time, look no further.Metamaterials – meani...

    January 21, 2021
  • Fold here for success

    DNA origami might be the answer for making superconducting nanomaterials.

    DNA is a clever molecule that folds easily, so it can be used to act as scaffolds for nanomaterials. This involves lo...

    January 20, 2021
  • Butterfly turn-off, flower turn-on

    Chemical scent plays a remarkably different role for insects and plants.

    Seems that some smelly butterflies don’t get a lot of action, thanks to an anti-aphrodisiac.A new study, led by K...

    January 20, 2021
  • Pipe dream

    Access to water a win in many ways for Zambian women.

    Those of us in the developed world tend to take our privileges for granted: it’s exactly what drove the Internet meme...

    January 19, 2021
  • Useless evolution

    Some evolutionary changes have no particular reason or benefit.

    It’s easy to focus on the big picture when one thinks of evolution: how organisms adapt and change over the march of ...

    January 18, 2021
  • School of fishy little robots

    Fish-like Bluebots use LED lights and cameras to swarm like the real thing.

    Why have a school of fish when you can have a school of robots?This is a question recently answered by a team of ...

    January 15, 2021
  • Animal magnetism is real

    Snakes repel venom via a magnet-like mechanism.

    Franz Mesmer might have been on to something when he described animal magnetism as an invisible force possessed by al...

    January 15, 2021
  • ASD and suicide risk

    Tailoring prevention for the neurodivergent.

    A nation-wide study of people aged 10 years and over diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Denmark has lin...

    January 14, 2021
  • Odd jobs: paleodermatologist

    Looking skin deep can provide new discoveries, at least in this vanguard field of research.

    All manner of unusual jobs exist in science, but perhaps one of the most remarkable is the expertise of Phil Bell, of...

    January 14, 2021
  • Down with the (antibiotic) resistance!

    Phages force problem bacteria to expose themselves to antibiotics.

    How do you stop a superbug from fighting an antibiotic? Try giving it another enemy.Acinetobacter baumannii is a ...

    January 13, 2021
  • Not-so-identical twins

    Monozygotic – “identical” – twins have small genome differences.

    Identical twins have long been touted as an incredible resource for genetics because they’re “genetically identical”....

    January 12, 2021
  • Eating out: care needed

    Risk of HPV-related throat cancer is higher with multiple oral-sex partners.

    Seems we need to take care when going down, because the frequency of oral sex might increase the risk of human papill...

    January 11, 2021
  • Land of the Long White Drought

    La Niña brings rain to Australia, drought to New Zealand.

    Lush, temperate rainforests, flowing rivers and abundant glaciers are just part of New Zealand’s (Aotearoa) charm. Bu...

    January 8, 2021
  • Infertility time-bomb

    Mother’s pre-pregnancy weight can affect son’s reproductive health.

    Infertility is a heartbreaking experience that carries a huge emotional toll, and the reasons for it remain elusive o...

    January 7, 2021
  • Prostate cancer breakthrough

    Researchers find possible prostate cancer blocker.

    As well as being common and commonly lethal, prostate cancers are also pretty cunning, with an ability to resist horm...

    January 6, 2021
  • The brain knows when we’re feeling lonely

    Neural signatures show how our imaginations respond.

    Loneliness isn’t just a feeling; it appears to deeply affect our brain networks. When nobody is around, our imaginati...

    December 18, 2020
  • Gene responsible for the variation of flowers

    Study pinpoints the cause of flower diversity.

    The huge variety of flowers we know has made them seem very complex, but there may be a relatively simple reason why ...

    December 12, 2020
  • Scientists brave enough to grow a spine

    Stem cells self-organise into trunk-like structures.

    Growing an embryo outside the body may not be that far away.German scientists report that they have successfully ...

    December 11, 2020
  • Human egg cells are imperfect too often

    Failure to recombine surprisingly common, study finds.

    The events that happen before life begins can go wrong surprisingly often.An important one is meiosis, where cell...

    December 11, 2020
  • Delving into domestic donkeys’ past

    Genome study reveals some clever breeding.

    Donkeys have been helping humans for millennia, but our knowledge of their origins has previously been limited to arc...

    December 9, 2020
  • Natural selection and the pressure to evolve

    There’s a lot to learn when a gene turns green.

    Some genes might not mind a bit of extra pressure when it comes to evolution.A Swiss team led by Andreas Wagner o...

    December 8, 2020
  • How on Earth did you get like that?

    Study explores the blending of complex animal patterns.

    A little mathematics has shown how animals get their extraordinary patterns.Previous studies have revealed how an...

    December 4, 2020
  • The protein that walks, folds and rests

    New images provide insights into muscle disorders.

    The myosin protein is well known for walking, but now it seems it also sleeps.3D visualisation of: top, the shutd...

    December 3, 2020
  • How to pick the best microalgae

    New system assesses potential for biofuel production.

    The fuel of the future may be produced by microalgae – but which microalgae?We know these microorganisms use sunl...

    December 2, 2020
  • Does that reef smell good?

    Chemicals in gases may be an indicator of coral health.

    Gassy corals make a happy reef, it seems, but these gases may be lost if the water gets too hot.Animals release g...

    December 1, 2020
  • Naming that plant just got easier

    Researchers streamline the list of known vascular species.

    A major difficulty in plant research is the sheer abundance of names. Most databases contain multiple or archaic ...

    November 27, 2020
  • Wheat and barley are incredibly diverse

    Scientists begin building an encyclopedia of their genes.

    The grains we use for bread and beer have thousands of years of history. Now, researchers are one step closer to unde...

    November 26, 2020
  • The evolution of an aggressive tumour

    Genomic study may help save the Tasmanian Devil.

    Australia’s iconic Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) is particularly prone to a cancer that spreads through biti...

    November 26, 2020
  • Where to look for bees of different types

    Hint: think temperate zones and more to the north.

    There’s a lot more to bees than you might think, because there’s a lot of them. Around 20,000 different species, in f...

    November 20, 2020
  • Genes help some coral cope with low oxygen

    Researchers study varied stress susceptibility on reefs.

    Low oxygen levels in the ocean prevent coral from respiring properly and could be as much of a threat to the world’s ...

    November 18, 2020
  • The shape of colour

    Patterns in the brain are specific to what you see.

    The age-old question of whether we all see colour the same may now have an answer.Researchers at the National Eye...

    November 17, 2020
  • A cheat sheet to help know your neurons

    Researchers develop new way to sort and classify them.

    Not all neurons are equal, so researcher are building a “cheat sheet” to clarify things.In the largest categorisa...

    November 13, 2020
  • Diversity is a key to survival for mammals

    Genome study identifies important positions in the DNA.

    Mammals most at risk of extinction have low genetic diversity in some regions of DNA, according to a new genomic anal...

    November 12, 2020
  • Bird genome project really takes off

    We now know a lot more about the avian tree of life.

    Bird lovers can now rejoice in exploring the genomes of nearly all bird families.About 40% of the newly sequenced...

    November 12, 2020
  • Some (coral) like it hot

    New CRISPR technique isolates heat tolerance gene.

    Warming oceans are bad news for coral, but an improved CRISPR-Cas9 technique has revealed a “heat shield” gene that c...

    November 11, 2020
  • Microbiota catalogue just got bigger

    Thousands of new species discovered using DNA.

    Scientists have deciphered 12,566 new species of microbiotas from DNA samples, expanding the diversity of bacteria an...

    November 10, 2020
  • How the gut protects the brain

    Defence antibodies learn from the intestine.

    The gut is well known for being the first line of defence against infection, but it seems it also protects our most i...

    November 5, 2020
  • Where humans go, dogs follow

    Genome sequencing reveals our shared history.

    “Man’s best friend” is the phrase most often wheeled out to describe dogs’ thousands of years as a human companion an...

    October 30, 2020
  • A great African gene migration

    New variants reveal patterns of human movement.

    Exploring a huge number of genes has helped uncover migration of early humans and the evolution of disease-resistant ...

    October 29, 2020
  • Brains plan for action, not limbs

    Same region controls reaching by hand or foot.

    The brain isn’t going out on a limb when choosing to grasp things.Instead, new research shows, there is an overar...

    October 28, 2020
  • ROBO1: Big brains, big math scores

    Genes could be the reason you’re a natural – or not.

    A gene called ROBO1 helps brain development, which can also lead to higher math scores, according to new German resea...

    October 23, 2020
  • Healthy bacteria thrive in gut before birth

    Microbiota help healthy foetuses grow.

    Micro-organisms in the gut microbiome begin growing in foetuses as early as five months, new research shows.In a ...

    October 20, 2020
  • Honeybee ID is a gut feeling

    They recognise each other thanks to similar microbiomes.

    Bee sisters are genetically closer than human sisters, so it’s easy to assume this is why they recognise each other. ...

    October 16, 2020
  • How tardigrades survive in India

    Study suggests they have a fluorescent UV shield.

    Tardigrades have always been known for their toughness, but now it seems they might be able to share a superpower....

    October 15, 2020

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