Mark Bruer

Mark Bruer

Mark Bruer is a freelance journalist based in Adelaide, Australia. He is a former Features Editor of The Age newspaper in Melbourne, and Online Editor of The Australian and news.com.au in Sydney.

Mark Bruer is a freelance journalist based in Adelaide, Australia. He is a former Features Editor of The Age newspaper in Melbourne, and Online Editor of The Australian and news.com.au in Sydney.

  • Cannabis may encourage false memories

    Just one toke, and reliability hits a pothole.

    Cannabis not only induces forgetfulness, it also opens the door for false memories, according to new research. And th...

    February 10, 2020
  • Sand dunes play a team game

    They communicate, which is why they don’t collide.

    Sand dunes are able to “communicate” with each other to avoid colliding, according to new research. It may not be co...

    February 4, 2020
  • Want to beautify your street? Ask a computer

    AI approach could help planners give urban areas a facelift.

    British computer scientists have developed a system using artificial intelligence to show – with pictures – how to ma...

    January 15, 2020
  • Who’s your daddy?

    Genetic detectives work out the odds that he’s not who you think.

    Sexual infidelity may be as old as marriage, but it is not an equal opportunity pursuit. For once, it seems the poor ...

    November 14, 2019
  • The West won out when cousins stopped kissing

    An obsession with incest cleared a path for independent thought.

    When the Church banned cousins marrying in the Middle Ages it may have led to some very unexpected results, from risi...

    November 7, 2019
  • Carbon pumping: in for the krill

    The ocean’s real heavyweight is a vital but poorly understood creature.

    About 380 million tonnes of Antarctic krill calls the Southern Ocean home and play a vital role in carbon storage and...

    October 20, 2019
  • Research shows size matters

    We now have the data to prove it. Mark Bruer reports.

    Ecologists may need to rethink their understanding of why living organisms – from beetles to blue whales – grow the s...

    October 8, 2019
  • A better way to play the blame game

    Highlighting hypocrisy reduces anti-Muslim sentiment: study.

    Researchers have found an effective weapon for fighting anti-Muslim sentiment: our innate dislike of hypocrisy. It s...

    October 7, 2019
  • Have microlith, will travel

    Early survival toolkit for mobile humans.

    Small stone tools – probably arrow and spear tips – found in a cave in Sri Lanka are rewriting the story of how human...

    October 2, 2019
  • Tsunami dumped tropical disease on North American coastline

    Scientists solve a riddle and sound a warning. Mark Bruer reports.

    When a deadly tropical infection appeared on the chilly west coast of North America in 1999, its origin was a mystery...

    October 1, 2019
  • Earliest life found in ancient Aussie rocks

    The Pilbara’s stromatolites finally give up their secret.

    Australian scientists have unearthed traces of the oldest life form ever found in 3.5 billion-year-old rocks in Weste...

    September 29, 2019
  • Humans competed with carnivores for cave space

    And the carnivores usually won.

    Would you want to share your home with a 100-kilogram carnivorous hyena? Probably not. Neither, it seems, did the Den...

    September 26, 2019
  • Want invisible ink? Just put water in your inkjet

    But you’ll need this special paper to make it work.

    Agent 86 from Get Smart would have a field day with this new paper developed by Chinese researchers. A cheap and recy...

    September 25, 2019
  • Heat-resistant coral could help rescue reefs

    But it needs to survive climate change first. Mark Bruer reports.

    Stress-tolerant coral from Australia’s tropical northwest may provide a lifeline to reefs further south as climate ch...

    September 17, 2019
  • Finding the ocean’s missing plastic

    But it’s not good news.

    Millions of tonnes of plastic is trapped along the world’s coastlines and will eventually find its way into the ocean...

    September 12, 2019
  • More words don’t convey more information

    Packing more words into a minute doesn’t achieve much.

    Some languages are rapid-fire and others more languid – but there is no difference in the speed at which information ...

    September 4, 2019
  • AI reveals the hidden layers of great art

    Researchers use neural network to get the whole picture.

    Scientists say they have “spectacularly” improved the clarity of X-ray images of what lies beneath old paintings, hel...

    September 1, 2019
  • Linguistic diversity begins with our palates

    It’s not just our culture that shapes how we speak.

    The different accents of the world may have their origins in the shapes of our mouths, according to new research. An...

    August 19, 2019
  • Superbugs could lead to next-gen plastics

    What makes them hard to kill may also make them useful.

    Antiseptic-resistant bacteria may hold the key to producing greener plastics such as petroleum-free nylon, researcher...

    August 13, 2019
  • Solving crime with blood and maths

    Pattern analysis technique will help crime scene investigators.

    US researchers have developed a new way to interpret spattered bloodstains, potentially enabling police to reconstruc...

    August 7, 2019
  • ‘Mind-reading’ may help those who cannot speak

    Decoding brain signals can make conversation possible.

    Scientists are a step closer to helping people who cannot speak to communicate by thought alone. For the first time,...

    July 30, 2019
  • Odds stacked against privacy, study shows

    Giving personal data anonymously doesn’t mean you can’t be identified – in all probability. Mark ...

    Removing personal details from data to make it anonymous will not stop individuals being identified and compromising ...

    July 23, 2019
  • Unhatched chicks warn each other of danger

    Inside their shells, they are picking up bad vibrations. Mark Bruer reports.

    Eggs of a yellow-legged gull, possibly swapping vibrations.Santiago Urquijo / Getty ImagesBaby birds still in their s...

    July 22, 2019
  • Ecotourism may threaten predators and boost rodents

    The mice come out to play when humans send the big cats running for cover. Mark Bruer reports.

    Pumas significantly reduced activity and kept their distance from the sound of human voices during the study.Paul Hou...

    July 17, 2019
  • Cleaning up oil spills with mussel power

    Researchers are finding widespread applications for novel chemistry. Mark Bruer reports.

    The chemicals that enable mussels to cling to rocks and boat hulls may soon provide a solution for cleaning up oil sp...

    July 10, 2019
  • Creepy robots are all in your head

    Scientists have identified how the brain assesses robots – and possibly people – as potential soc...

    Researchers have mapped out the way our brain decides whether a robot is likeable or looks too human – and therefore ...

    July 1, 2019
  • Bacteria help robot to get a grip

    A robot with a handful of E.coli can do things other robots can’t. Mark Bruer reports.

    Fluorescent proteins expressed by bacteria on the bacteria-operated robotic gripper.Justus et al., Sci. Robot. 4, eaa...

    June 26, 2019
  • Microfibres polluting the Great Barrier Reef

    Researchers are trying to track down the source of microplastics contaminating a World Heritage A...

    Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is heavily contaminated with microplastics and fibres from clothing and furnishings, r...

    June 21, 2019
  • Killer shrimps wreak havoc through terror

    A new study of an invading European crustacean invasion shows how fear alone can wreck an ecosyst...

    The fear of invasive “killer shrimps” can stop native organisms fulfilling their vital role in river ecosystems, new ...

    June 9, 2019
  • Breaking: robot makes breakfast

    Researchers have programmed a robot to crack an egg. It’s more important than it sounds. Mark Bru...

    Researchers have taught a robot to make breakfast using coordinated two-handed movements previously beyond robotic ab...

    May 29, 2019
  • Hunting by humans takes huge toll in pristine forests

    Research records massive drops in species numbers, raising destabilisation fears. Mark Bruer repo...

    Overhunting is reducing populations of large mammals by up to 40% in the world’s last intact tropical forests, accord...

    May 14, 2019
  • Urban trees grow fast and die young

    US study raises questions over the long-term benefits of current city greening schemes. Mark Brue...

    Trees in urban streets grow more quickly but die faster than those in rural forests, resulting in a net loss of carbo...

    May 8, 2019
  • Hippos crucial to silicon cycle in African river food webs

    Study warns population decreases could damage a critical link between plant and algal growth. Mar...

    Africa’s rivers and lakes need hippo poo to thrive, and declining hippo numbers threaten food chains and human health...

    May 1, 2019
  • Eurasian migration steppe by steppe

    Indigenous genomes from nine countries show ancestral interactions were moderated by mountains an...

    Geographical features represent a strong barrier to human gene flow across inner Eurasia, genetic research has reveal...

    April 29, 2019

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