The Conversation

The Conversation

The Conversation is an independent, not-for-profit media outlet that uses content sourced from the academic and research community.

  • How do animals see in the dark?

    How is visual performance in dim light possible?

    How do animals see in the dark? On a moonless night light levels can be more than 100m times dimmer than in bright da...

    December 1, 2021
  • The ocean is our greatest climate regulator

    It must be a stronger part of climate policy and action.

    The German linguist Heinrich Zimmer once described the ocean as “limitless and immortal … the beginning and end of al...

    November 27, 2021
  • How do police forensic scientists investigate a case?

    A clandestine gravesite recovery expert explains.

    By Brendan Chapman, Murdoch University Recent high-profile missing persons cases, including that of William Tyrrel...

    November 20, 2021
  • Antarctic bacteria live on air and use hydrogen as fuel

    Scientists have found that hundreds of bacterial species in the frozen soils in East Antarctica u...

    By Pok Man Leung, Monash University; Chris Greening, Monash University, and Steven Chown, Monash University Humans...

    November 16, 2021
  • How do we know how old the Earth is?

    Great question from a young reader.

    How old is the Earth - and, as Leo (age 5, Geelong West) asks, How do scientists work out how old the Earth is? We...

    November 12, 2021
  • ‘Try harder. Try harder’: Today, COP26 negotiators will fight to save life on Earth

    The next decade will reveal if they succeeded.

    By Tim Flannery, The University of Melbourne At COP26 in Glasgow, the announcements came so fast there was barely ...

    November 12, 2021
  • As the world surges ahead on electric vehicle policy, the Morrison government’s new strategy leaves Australia idling in the garage

    How does the new strategy add up?

    Jake Whitehead, The University of Queensland; Jessica Whitehead, The University of Queensland, and Kai Li Lim, The Un...

    November 9, 2021
  • Land, culture, livelihood

    What Indigenous people stand to lose from climate ‘solutions’

    By Robert Hales, Rowan Foley, Tim Cadman and Toni Hay In the first major deal of the Glasgow climate summit, more ...

    November 6, 2021
  • Your unvaccinated friend is roughly 20 times more likely to give you COVID

    What exactly is the risk of catching COVID from someone who’s unvaccinated?

    By Christopher Baker, The University of Melbourne and Andrew Robinson, The University of Melbourne As lockdowns ea...

    October 30, 2021
  • Good news about screen time and kids’ health?

    Does this new study mean we can all stop worrying?

    By Brendon Hyndman, Charles Sturt University A newly published study in the journal PLoS ONE suggests spending tim...

    October 23, 2021
  • What is COP26 and why does the fate of Earth depend on it?

    Does Australia’s prosperity depend on this climate summit?

    By Wesley Morgan, Griffith University In just over two weeks, more than 100 world leaders will gather in the Scott...

    October 18, 2021
  • Deciphering the Philosophers’ Stone: how we cracked a 400-year-old alchemical cipher

    How do you crack a centuries-old cipher?

    Richard Bean, The University of Queensland; Megan Piorko, Georgia State University, and Sarah Lang, University of Gra...

    October 16, 2021
  • Scientists rewrite lunar geological history

    Researchers shaved a billion years off the age of the youngest known Moon rocks.

    Volcanic rocks collected from the Moon last year are about two billion years old — a billion years younger than the s...

    October 9, 2021
  • Indigenous knowledge and the persistence of the ‘wilderness’ myth

    Indigenous and local people are now excluded from many areas that require care.

    By Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Lisa Palmer, Rebecca Hamilton, and Wolfram Dressler. According to the Oxford English di...

    October 5, 2021
  • How making a film exploring Indigenous stories of the night sky enriched my perspective as a scientist

    Connecting to culture can change the way we view science.

    By Steven Tingay Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what it all means? You are not alone. Billi...

    October 2, 2021
  • Are vampires real?

    Believe it or not, the abilities of vampires really do exist in the natural world. Read on for de...

    Seriously, do vampires exist? Are vampires real? When asked to describe a vampire, most people think of a tall, pale...

    September 27, 2021
  • Coronavirus jumped from animals to humans multiple times

    Zoonotic viruses aren’t uncommon and challenge the lab-leak hypothesis.

    By Hamish McCallum The origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, has been hotly deba...

    September 25, 2021
  • Why does my internet connection feel slow and jumpy, even when my internet speed is high?

    The problem is not speed, but other factors such as latency and loss, which are unrelated to speed.

    By Vijay Sivaraman Of the 8.2 million homes and businesses active on Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) ...

    September 17, 2021
  • What is quantum entanglement?

    Quantum entanglement – a term unfamiliar to most and misunderstood by many. Are there ways to mak...

    Quantum computers, quantum cryptography and quantum (insert name here) are often in the news these days. Articles abo...

    September 17, 2021
  • Vaccine passports are coming to Australia

    How will they work and what will you need them for?

    By Katie Attwell, The University of Western Australia Even before any COVID-19 vaccines were invented, vaccine pas...

    September 10, 2021
  • 3D printing is helping paralympians gain an edge

    From bespoke seats to titanium arms, how does the widespread availability of 3D printers help to ...

    By James Novak, The University of Queensland and Andrew Novak, University of Technology Sydney Major sporting even...

    September 4, 2021
  • Human progress is no excuse to destroy nature

    A push to make ‘ecocide’ a global crime must recognise this fundamental truth.

    By Anthony Burke, UNSW and Danielle Celermajer, University of Sydney Scientists recently confirmed the Amazon ...

    September 1, 2021
  • Excel autocorrect errors still plague genetic research

    Autocorrect creates concerns over scientific rigour.

    By Mark Ziemann, Deakin University and Mandhri Abeysooriya, Deakin University Autocorrection, or predictive text, ...

    August 27, 2021
  • Why it will soon be too late to find out where COVID-19 originated

    Time is running out to identify the source of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak 20 months ago

    By Dominic Dwyer SARS-CoV-2 has caused the greatest pandemic of the past 100 years. Understanding its origins is c...

    August 26, 2021
  • Ordinary people, extraordinary change

    Addressing the climate emergency through ‘quiet activism’.

    By Wendy Steele, RMIT University; Diana MacCallum, Curtin University; Donna Houston, Macquarie University; Jason Byrn...

    August 24, 2021
  • Why is BHP offloading oil and gas assets?

    It shows the global market has turned on fossil fuels.

    By John Quiggin, The University of Queensland The announcement by BHP, the world’s second-largest mining company, ...

    August 19, 2021
  • Climate science can make a difference in Australian court cases

    How the IPCC report will factor into climate ligation.

    By Laura Schuijers, The University of Melbourne On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) re...

    August 13, 2021
  • Apocalyptic films have lulled us into a false sense of security about climate change

    Drawing comparisons to films can play an important role in helping us to comprehend and make sens...

    By Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Silvia Angeli, University of Westminster The Intergovernmental Panel...

    August 11, 2021
  • Dancing ghosts

    A new, deeper scan of the sky throws up surprises for astronomers.

    By Ray Norris, Western Sydney University Scanning through data fresh off the telescope, we saw two ghosts dancing ...

    August 5, 2021
  • Is the truth out there?

    How the Harvard-based Galileo Project will search the skies for alien technology.

    By Ray Norris, Western Sydney University Can we find alien technology? That is the ambitious goal of the Galileo P...

    July 30, 2021
  • Clever cockatoos have learned to open kerb-side bins — and it has global significance

    Move over, bin chickens: bin cockies are here, and scientists say they’re confirming the cultural...

    John Martin, University of Sydney; Barbara Klump, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, and Lucy Aplin, University...

    July 23, 2021
  • Victoria’s 5-day lockdown may not quash Delta

    Here’s what our modelling predicts.

    By Lei Zhang, Christopher Fairley, Guihua Zhuang, and Zhuoru Zou. Victoria has entered a five-day lockdown to con...

    July 17, 2021
  • Branson vs Bezos: as the billionaires get ready to blast into space, who’s got the better plan?

    It’s a billionaire’s space race.

    Chris James, The University of Queensland Over the next fortnight, Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galac...

    July 10, 2021
  • ‘Although we didn’t produce these problems, we suffer them’

    Three ways you can help in NAIDOC’s call to Heal Country.

    By Bhiamie Williamson, Australian National University NAIDOC week has just begun and, after several tumultuous yea...

    July 6, 2021
  • How well do COVID vaccines work in the real world?

    We’re now seeing the difference between clinical trials and practice.

    David Henry, Bond University and Paul Glasziou, Bond University Many Australians will be weighing up whether to be...

    July 3, 2021
  • This adorable mouse was considered extinct for over 100 years — until we found it hiding in plain sight

    It turns out Gould’s mouse isn’t extinct.

    Emily Roycroft, Australian National University Australia has the world’s worst track record for wiping out mammals...

    June 29, 2021
  • A new mystery human species has been discovered in Israel

    It may be a missing piece in the puzzle of human evolution.

    By Michelle Langley An international group of archaeologists have discovered a missing piece in the story of human...

    June 25, 2021
  • Approaching zero

    Super-chilled mirrors edge towards the borders of gravity and quantum physics.

    By David Ernest McClelland, Robert Ward and Terry McRae The LIGO gravitational wave observatory in the United Stat...

    June 19, 2021
  • Police debacle with SafeWA COVID tracking app

    Police attempted to obtain information from a COVID tracking app – is this legal?

    By Tama Leaver. QR code contact-tracing apps are a crucial part of our defence against COVID-19. But their value d...

    June 17, 2021
  • Why it took 20 years to ‘finish’ the human genome

    And why there’s still more to do.

    By Melissa Southey, Monash University and Tu Nguyen-Dumont, Monash University The release of the draft human genom...

    June 12, 2021
  • How an app to decrypt criminal messages was born

    The Australian Federal Police and the FBI came up with it ‘over a few beers’.

    By David Tuffley Australian and US law enforcement officials on Tuesday announced they’d sprung a trap three years...

    June 9, 2021
  • What’s the Delta COVID variant found in Melbourne?

    Is it more infectious and does it spread more in kids? A virologist explains.

    By Kirsty Short Victoria’s current COVID outbreak took another turn last week when a new variant was discovered by...

    June 8, 2021
  • Australia’s closed border is costing the economy $36.5 million a day

    Andreas Chai, Griffith University; George Verikios, Griffith University, and Tom Nik Verhelst, Griffith University ...

    June 5, 2021
  • The guitar industry’s hidden environmental problem — and the people trying to fix it

    Researchers spent six years on the road tracing guitar-making materials across five continents.

    By Chris Gibson, University of Wollongong and Andrew Warren, University of Wollongong Musicians are often concerne...

    May 29, 2021
  • Climate change will cost a young Australian up to $245,000 over their lifetime, court case reveals

    A Federal Court case has revealed new figures on the financial costs of climate change to young A...

    By Liam Phelan, University of Newcastle and Jacquie Svenson, University of Newcastle The Federal Court today dismi...

    May 28, 2021
  • Fly infertility shows we’re underestimating how badly climate change harms animals

    New research finds that warming temperatures affect reproduction – with big implications for biod...

    By Belinda van Heerwaarden, The University of Melbourne and Ary Hoffmann, The University of Melbourne Evidence of ...

    May 25, 2021
  • Busted: 5 myths about 30km/h speed limits in Australia

    Speed limits as low as 30km/h are becoming more common – here are some misconceptions about them.

    Matthew Mclaughlin, University of Newcastle; Ben Beck, Monash University; Julie Brown, George Institute for Global He...

    May 23, 2021
  • ‘Boys and their toys’: how overt masculinity dominates Australia’s relationship with water

    Overly masculine environments affect the way decisions are made.

    By Anna Kosovac. In Australia over recent months, the fury of women has been hard to ignore. The anger, much of it...

    May 15, 2021
  • Money for telescopes and vaccines is great, but the budget’s lack of basic science funding risks leaving Australia behind

    More needs to be allocated to fundamental science research.

    By John Shine, Garvan Institute The story of the past year has been the pandemic: from the first outbreaks in earl...

    May 14, 2021
  • Sports concussions affect men and women differently

    Female athletes need more attention in brain research.

    By Shreya Mcleod and James F. Donnelly. News emerged last week that AFLW player Jacinda Barclay, who died last ye...

    May 7, 2021
  • Apple’s new “app tracking transparency” has angered Facebook.

    How does it work, what’s all the fuss about, and should you use it?

    By Paul Haskell-Dowland and Nikolai Hampton. Apple users across the globe are adopting the latest operating system...

    May 2, 2021
  • The First Australians grew to a population of millions

    The number is much more than previous estimates.

    By Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Flinders University; Alan N Williams, UNSW; Frédérik Saltré, Flinders University; Kasih Norm...

    May 1, 2021
  • Standard IVF is fine for most people. So why are so many offered an expensive sperm injection they don’t need?

    New research shows ICSI isn’t helpful in lots of cases.

    By Robert Norman and Ben W. Mol, Monash University An expensive IVF technique, routinely offered in fertility clin...

    April 24, 2021
  • A US ban on kangaroo leather is a missed farming opportunity

    A ban could be an animal welfare disaster.

    By George Wilson, Australian National University, and John Read The US Congress is considering a proposed law to b...

    April 20, 2021
  • Attack of the alien invaders

    Pest plants and animals leave a frightening $1.7 trillion bill.

    By Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Flinders University; Boris Leroy, Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (MNHN); Camille Berne...

    April 19, 2021
  • New warp drive research dashes faster-than-light travel dreams

    But reveals stranger possibilities.

    By Sam Baron, Australian Catholic University In 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a radical technology th...

    April 17, 2021
  • Less than half of Australian adults know how to identify misinformation online

    A nationally representative survey shows that Australian adults need more help with understanding...

    By Tanya Notley, Western Sydney University; Michael Dezuanni, Queensland University of Technology; Simon Chambers, We...

    April 14, 2021
  • First continents formed with a dash of mantle water

    New research cracks the mystery of how the first continents formed.

    By Chris Kirkland, Curtin University; Hugh Smithies, Curtin University, and Tim Johnson, Curtin University Earth i...

    April 5, 2021
  • How to hunt fossils responsibly

    5 tips from a professional palaeontologist.

    By Kailah Thorn, EdCC Earth Science Museum Curator, University of Western Australia Many of us, at some point or a...

    March 27, 2021
  • Yes, Australia is a land of flooding rains. But climate change could be making it worse

    As Australia floods, a climate scientist warns that recent events are symptomatic of the worsenin...

    By Joelle Gergis, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, Australian National University. Over the past three years, I...

    March 24, 2021
  • Aboriginal star names recognised

    The stories behind Aboriginal star names recognised by the International Astronomical Union.

    Milky Way star map by Bill Yidumduma Harney, Senior Wardaman Edler. Bill Yidumduma Harney, CC BY By Duane Hamacher...

    March 16, 2021
  • Mining threatens the Pilbara cultural landscape

    Guidance from First Nations peoples is essential.

    By Sarah Holcombe, The University of Queensland and Bronwyn Fredericks, The University of Queensland. Just as the ...

    February 25, 2021
  • Banning news links just days before Australia’s COVID vaccine rollout?

    Facebook, that’s just dangerous.

    By Maryke Steffens, University of Sydney Facebook’s decision to ban media organisations from posting links to news...

    February 19, 2021
  • Blind shrimps, translucent snails

    11 mysterious new species found in potential fracking sites.

    By Jenny Davis, Charles Darwin University; Daryl Nielsen, CSIRO; Gavin Rees, CSIRO, and Stefanie Oberprieler, Charles...

    February 17, 2021
  • Mutations, variants and strains

    What’s the difference? A guide to COVID terminology.

    By Lara Herrero, Griffith University and Eugene Madzokere, Griffith University Living through a global pandemic ov...

    February 16, 2021
  • New probes on Mars

    Here’s what we know so far from trips to the red planet.

    By Tanya Hill, Museums Victoria Three new spacecraft are due to arrive at Mars this month, ending their seven-mont...

    February 11, 2021
  • Missing matter

    5 twinkling galaxies help astronomers uncover baryonic mystery.

    By Yuanming Wang, University of Sydney and Tara Murphy, University of Sydney We’ve all looked up at night and admi...

    February 8, 2021
  • What’s still to know about mRNA COVID vaccines?

    4 things researchers want to find out.

    By Archa Fox, University of Western Australia and Harry Al-Wassiti, Monash University The first mRNA vaccines appr...

    February 6, 2021
  • Durophagy was in full swing half a billion years ago

    The first shell-crushing predators ground up their prey between their legs.

    By Russell Dean Christopher Bicknell, James D. Holmes and John Paterson from the University of New England Shell-c...

    January 28, 2021
  • A machine to scrub CO₂ from the air

    But will it halt climate change?

    By Deanna D'Alessandro, University of Sydney On Wednesday last week, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the at...

    January 27, 2021
  • 75% of Australia’s marine protected areas have ‘partial’ protection

    Not all marine protected areas are created equal. Here’s why that’s a problem.

    By John Turnbull, Emma Johnston, Graeme Clark from UNSW, Carly Cook from Monash University and Kelsey Roberts from St...

    January 21, 2021
  • Oldest cave painting of animals found in Indonesia

    Painting of Sulawesi warty pig dates back at least 45,500 years.

    The dating of an exceptionally old cave painting of animals that was found recently on the Indonesian island of Sulaw...

    January 15, 2021
  • Zooming in on the world of invertebrates

    An environmental scientist shares photos from the field.

    By Nick Porch from Deakin University Which animals are quintessentially Australian? Koalas and kangaroos, emus, ti...

    January 9, 2021
  • Look up for meteor showers in 2021

    Your guide to the best showers this year.

    By Jonti Horner for the University of Southern Queensland and Tanya Hill from Museums Victoria The best meteor sh...

    January 6, 2021
  • From small dry things bushfires grow

    It’s vital to understand the flammability of litter beds.

    By Jamie Burton, Alexander Filkov and Jane Cawson, University of Melbourne The 2020-21 fire season is well underwa...

    December 17, 2020
  • Sustainable cities after COVID-19

    Are Barcelona-stye green zones the answer?

    By Anupam Nanda, University of Manchester  The lockdowns and restrictions introduced to control the spread of COVI...

    December 17, 2020
  • Why the gender gap in top-level chess?

    Queens are powerful, but it’s downhill after that.

    By David Smerdon, University of Queensland Unlike the wildly popular Netflix chess-themed series The Queen’s Gambi...

    December 16, 2020
  • Coronavirus mutates but is actually stable

    Current crop of vaccines shouldn’t be affected.

    By Rebecca Rockett, Alicia Arnott and Fabienne Brilot-Turville, University of Sydney “Coronavirus” has already est...

    December 11, 2020
  • What’s happening with China’s vaccines?

    Things move quickly in exceptional times.

    By Adam Taylor, Griffith University Chinese authorities have already approved multiple COVID vaccines for emergenc...

    December 10, 2020
  • Cybercrime can be a tough game

    Success requires a business practice playbook.

    By Roberto Musotto, Edith Cowan University, and David Wall, University of Leeds New research is questioning the po...

    December 8, 2020
  • Vaccine alone not a passport to travel

    Epidemiologist’s cautionary view of the new normal.

    By Adrian Esterman, University of South Australia The United Kingdom yesterday became the first country to approve...

    December 4, 2020
  • Not great news for the Great Barrier Reef

    Global authority lists its health as critical.

    By Jon Day and Scott Heron, James Cook University The Great Barrier Reef is now in “critical” condition and the he...

    December 3, 2020
  • What are reinfection and viral shedding?

    Virologists explain the important differences.

    By Lara Herrero and Eugene Madzokere, Griffith University  Over recent weeks and months, we’ve heard of several CO...

    December 1, 2020
  • The life and times of a forensic linguist

    What they do, and what it takes to do it.

    By Georgina Heydon, RMIT University If you’re an avid viewer of crime shows, you’ve probably come across cases in ...

    November 26, 2020
  • We need to promote the right kind of fire

    Changing patterns threaten species with extinction.

    By Luke Kelly and Katherine Giljohann, University of Melbourne, Annabel Smith, University of Queensland, and Michael ...

    November 26, 2020
  • Eureka! A new crop of science winners

    R&D, leadership, engagement and school science honoured.

    By Noor Gillani, The Conversation From potential new diabetes therapies, to an environmentally friendly sewage tre...

    November 25, 2020
  • How to read reports of COVID vaccine trials

    An epidemiologist’s guide to the important bits.

    By Adrian Esterman, University of South Australia  It’s been a busy week or so for news about COVID vaccines. Firs...

    November 20, 2020
  • At first it may just be a ‘good enough’ vaccine

    The question, of course, is how good it needs to be.

    By Paul Komesaroff, Monash University, Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney, and Ross Upshur, University of Toronto  ...

    November 18, 2020
  • Do we have multiple successful vaccines?

    Moderna reports efficacy of 95%, but questions remain.

    By Magdalena Plebanski, RMIT University, and Vasso Apostolopoulos, Victoria University American biotech firm Moder...

    November 17, 2020
  • Sea sponge with quite a story to tell

    Unravelling a very old mystery of evolution.

    By Emily S Wong, UNSW, Australia Many human traits, such as height and disease susceptibility, depend on genes tha...

    November 16, 2020
  • NZ fossils reveal a new southern seal

    And that’s changed thinking about a rare marine mammal.

    By James Patrick Rule and Justin Adams, Monash University, Erich Fitzgerald, Museums Victoria, and Felix Georg Marx, ...

    November 13, 2020
  • Cautious optimism in the vaccine hunt

    90% efficacy is striking but we need more data.

    By Harry Al-Wassiti and Colin Pouton, Monash University, and Kylie Quinn, RMIT University German biotech company B...

    November 10, 2020
  • The types of electoral misinformation

    Here are five things you actually need to watch for.

    By Kate Starbird and Jevin West, University of Washington, and Renee DiResta, Stanford University When there's no ...

    November 6, 2020
  • Earliest example of a rapid-fire tongue

    This tiny amphibian had an incredible weapon.

    By Joseph Bevitt, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation The Yaksha perettii specimen is preserved...

    November 6, 2020
  • Hippocrates and willow bark?

    What you know about history of aspirin is probably wrong.

    By Philippa Martyr, University of Western Australia Aspirin is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. Its...

    October 27, 2020
  • Emerging from second wave of coronavirus

    Assessing challenges and successes around the world.

    By Michael Toole, Burnet Institute, Australia Of the 215 nations and territories that have reported COVID-19 cases...

    October 26, 2020
  • How do we know stats can be trusted?

    Talking to the humans behind the numbers.

    In April, as the coronavirus pandemic was gathering force around the world, reporters asked Brendan Murphy, then Aust...

    October 23, 2020
  • How AI can affect our choices and decisions

    We seem more comfortable telling all to robots.

    Have you ever used Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri or Amazon Alexa to make decisions for you? Perhaps you asked it wha...

    October 21, 2020
  • Quantum: Could Schrödinger’s cat exist in real life?

    New research may soon provide an answer.

    Have you ever been in more than one place at the same time? If you’re much bigger than an atom, the answer will be no...

    October 15, 2020
  • The pros and cons of challenge studies

    Infecting volunteers with coronavirus would have risks.

    Researchers are considering using “human challenge studies” to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine research and development. ...

    October 13, 2020
  • Do algorithms erode our ability to think?

    Maybe, researchers say, but we influence them as well.

    Have you ever watched a video or movie because YouTube or Netflix recommended it to you? Or added a friend on Faceboo...

    October 12, 2020
  • Why we should worry about nitrous oxide

    Emissions have great warming potential.

    Nitrous oxide from agriculture and other sources is accumulating in the atmosphere so quickly it puts Earth on track ...

    October 9, 2020
  • How can a COVID test be a ‘weak positive’?

    Epidemiologists explain why things aren’t black and white.

    By Sheena G Sullivan and Jennifer MacLachlan When we get a test result for a disease like COVID-19, we naturally e...

    October 8, 2020
  • Microplastics problem worse than thought

    Scientists estimate there are 14 million tonnes on seafloor.

    By Britta Denise Hardesty, Chris Wilcox and Justine Barrett, CSIRO Nowhere, it seems, is immune from plastic pollu...

    October 7, 2020
  • Shedding new light on how males develop

    Researchers find a missing gene fragment

    By Peter Koopman, University of Queensland It’s one of the most important genes in biology: “Sry”, the gene that m...

    October 3, 2020
  • The vaccine may come without a needle

    There are advantages other than reduced pain and stress.

    By Vasso Apostolopoulos, Maja Husaric and Maximilian de Courten, Victoria University  Vaccines are traditionally a...

    October 1, 2020
  • How planetary forces shape Earth’s surface

    Geophysicists explain rocky icebergs and deep anchors.

    Have you ever wondered why the Earth’s surface is separated into two distinct worlds – the oceans and large tracts of...

    September 30, 2020
  • There’s no single gene for left-handedness

    At least 41 regions of DNA are involved.

    By David Evans, University of Queensland, and Sarah Medland, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute   Most peop...

    September 30, 2020
  • Lingering toxic legacy of bushfires

    Study shows they release pollutants trapped by forests.

    By Cynthia Faye Isley and Mark Patrick Taylor, Macquarie University We know forests absorb carbon dioxide, but, li...

    September 29, 2020
  • New genus of daisies found by accident

    Routine analysis leads to an unexpected result.

    By Alexander Schmidt-Lebuhn and Ben Gooden, CSIRO When it comes to new botanical discoveries, one might imagine it...

    September 25, 2020
  • Assessing the various vaccine technologies

    They take different approaches to preparing your immune system.

    By Suresh Mahalingam and Adam Taylor, Griffith University The World Health Organisation lists about 180 COVID-19 v...

    September 23, 2020
  • Discovery of a new mass extinction

    This one triggered the dawn of the dinosaurs.

    By Michael J Benton, University of Bristol Huge volcanic eruptions 233 million years ago pumped carbon dioxide, me...

    September 17, 2020
  • A new genetic tool to help classify coral

    To conserve our reefs you first have to understand them.

    By Tom Bridge, Andrew Baird and Peter Cowman (James Cook University) and Andrea Quattrini (Smithsonian Institution) ...

    September 16, 2020
  • How to read COVID-19 statistics correctly

    Five common errors that fuel confusion and misinformation.

    If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on ...

    September 14, 2020
  • The immune response to COVID-19 vaccines

    Here are five reasons why we’re not all the same.

    By Paul Gill and Menno van Zelm, Monash University The Oxford vaccine trial at the centre of safety concerns this ...

    September 10, 2020
  • Predators, prey and moonlight singing

    How phases of the Moon affect native wildlife.

    By Euan Ritchie (Deakin University), Courtney Marneweck (Clemson University) and Grant Linley (Charles Sturt Universi...

    September 10, 2020
  • A world of face masks and facial recognition

    They’re both becoming common, but can they co-exist?

    It’s surprising how quickly public opinion can change. Winding the clocks back 12 months, many of us would have looke...

    September 8, 2020
  • So, how do you weigh a dinosaur?

    Turns out there are two ways and they’re both right.

    The most emblematic feature of dinosaurs is their body size. Some dinosaurs reached enormous sizes during the Mesozoi...

    September 3, 2020
  • Digging your own digital grave

    How you should manage the data you leave behind.

    Throughout our lifetimes we consume, collate, curate, host and produce a staggering quantity of data – some by our ow...

    September 1, 2020
  • Can the Moon be a person?

    Lunar mining might require a change of thinking.

    By Alice Gorman, Flinders University Everyone is planning to return to the Moon. At least 10 missions by half a do...

    August 28, 2020
  • A man got COVID-19 twice, but don’t panic

    We must be careful to not misinterpret it.

    By Vasso Apostolopoulos and Maja Husaric (Victoria University) and Magdalena Plebanski (RMIT University) A Hong Ko...

    August 26, 2020
  • Asteroid approaching, but don’t panic

    It will either burn up or miss us completely.

    By Jonti Horner, University of Southern Queensland Social media around the world lit up over the weekend, discussi...

    August 25, 2020
  • Raising questions about physical reality

    Unveiling a new paradox in quantum mechanics.

    If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Perhaps not, some say. And if so...

    August 24, 2020
  • Ancient faces, familiar feelings

    Expressions may be recognisable across time and cultures.

    Credit: Mauricio Marat, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia Human faces are arguably the most important ...

    August 21, 2020
  • Aristotle and the chatbot

    Ancient rules of logic could make AI more human.

    By David Ireland and Dana Bradford, CSIRO  Many attempts to develop artificial intelligence are powered by powerfu...

    August 20, 2020
  • Coronavirus appears to thrive in dry air

    Australian study adds weight to hypothesis.

    By Michael Ward, University of Sydney We know some influenzas are seasonal, and the common cold is more common in ...

    August 18, 2020
  • The trends in COVID-19 misinformation

    Researchers find a common set of narratives.

    By Jason Weismueller, Paul Harrigan (University of Western Australia), Jacob Shapiro and Jan Oledan (Princeton Univer...

    August 17, 2020
  • Citizen science vital in bushfire recovery

    Participation and enthusiasm bring tangible results.

    By Chief Scientist Alan Finkel and CSIRO's Erin Roger Following the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20, many people...

    August 14, 2020
  • A new way to analyse old things

    Researchers unveil updated method of carbon dating.

    By Chris Turney, Alan Hogg, Paula J Reimer and Tim Heaton Geological and archaeological records offer important in...

    August 13, 2020
  • Can ageing really be ‘treated’ or ‘cured’?

    An evolutionary biologist explores and explains.

    By Zachariah Wylde, University of New South Wales  As time passes, our fertility declines and our bodies start to ...

    August 12, 2020
  • Are there male and female brains?

    Computers suggest yes, but it may just be head size.

    By Cordelia Fine, University of Melbourne, and Carla Sanchis Segura, Universitat Jaume I How useful are the well-k...

    August 11, 2020
  • Tracking the birth of a supercontinent

    Scientists find some old and intriguing clues.

    By Huaiyu Yuan, Macquarie University Far beneath the city of Dongshen in northern China, we have discovered what m...

    August 7, 2020
  • Dogs trained to sniff out coronavirus

    International effort showing positive results.

    By Susan Hazel and Anne-Lise Chaber, University of Adelaide What does a pandemic smell like? If dogs could talk, t...

    August 5, 2020
  • Cars rule as pandemic changes travel trends

    Data shows walking is doing better than public transport.

    As with other parts of the global economy, COVID-19 has led to rapid changes in transport trends. The chart below sho...

    August 5, 2020
  • What will geologists make of COVID-19?

    Academics ponder the view from the future.

    By Rachael Holmes, Alice Fugagnoli and Jan Zalasiewicz, University of Leicester, UK COVID-19 is a major global sho...

    July 29, 2020
  • Will COVID-19 change our cities?

    Perhaps not as much as we think, researchers suggest.

    By Christian A Nygaard, Iris Levin and Sharon Parkinson, Swinburne University of Technology What will be the norma...

    July 24, 2020
  • Genomic fingerprints meet coronavirus

    What is it, how does it work, and how can it help?

    By Rebecca Rockett, University of Sydney. If you had told me in January that “genomics” would become a buzzword in...

    July 21, 2020
  • Earthquake scientists make most of lockdown

    It’s easier to hear things when things are quiet.

    By Meghan S. Miller and Louis Moresi, Australian National University Our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have d...

    July 18, 2020
  • Numbers show carbon pricing works

    Largest-ever study backs up the economic theory.

    By Paul Burke and Frank Jotzo, ANU, and Rohan Best, Macquarie University Putting a price on carbon should reduce e...

    July 14, 2020
  • Which species win in a warmer climate?

    Research suggests it depends where they evolved.

    By Luciano Beheregaray, Jonathan Sandoval Castillo and Katie Gates, Flinders University As the global climate shif...

    July 10, 2020
  • Is COVID-19 spread through the air?

    Scientists say there’s mounting evidence it can be.

    By Hassan Vally, La Trobe University As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, one question...

    July 8, 2020
  • Looking for lithium? Look to the stars

    They start producing it in their old age.

    By Simon Campbell, Monash University and Yerra Bharat Kumar, Chinese Academy of Sciences Lithium is used in everyt...

    July 8, 2020
  • Be alert but not alarmed

    New H1N1 swine flu found in China.

    By Ian M Mackay, University of Queensland Researchers have found a new strain of flu virus with “pandemic potentia...

    July 2, 2020
  • Four unusual things about coronavirus

    What we’ve learned about what we’re dealing with.

    By Sanjaya Senanayake, Australian National University It is now almost six months since the world became aware of ...

    July 1, 2020
  • South Pole warming faster than we feared

    Research reveals its true sensitivity to climate change.

    Climate scientists long thought Antarctica’s interior may not be very sensitive to warming, but our research shows a ...

    June 30, 2020
  • The future of space may be female

    Alice Gorman considers the other space race.

    Only 566 people have ever travelled to space. Sixty-five of them, or about 11.5%, were women. NASA recently procla...

    June 16, 2020
  • Who owns the bones?

    Exploring the issues around human fossils.

    All humans alive today can claim a common ancestral link to some hominin. Hominins include modern humans, extinct hum...

    June 11, 2020
  • Saving pangolins by letting them roam free

    New effort to bring endangered species back from the brink.

    Pangolins are one of the most illegally trafficked animals on the planet and are suspected to be linked to the curren...

    June 9, 2020
  • The fascinating history of clinical trials

    Tales of Ginseng, TB, rhubarb and coronavirus.

    Clinical trials are under way around the world, including in Australia, testing COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. ...

    June 5, 2020
  • Pandemic boosts big tech transformation

    Changes are now moving at warp speed, expert suggests.

    The coronavirus pandemic has sped up changes that were already happening across society, from remote learning and wor...

    June 1, 2020
  • Media mythbusting can grow false beliefs

    Cognitive bias can overcome even the best of us.

    As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the world, politicians, medical experts and epidemiologists have taught us about f...

    May 26, 2020
  • Sport’s back. How do players reduce risks?

    We have to look at sweat and spit in completely new ways.

    As we emerge from lockdown, so does our sport. And many sporting bodies are grappling with the best way to do this wh...

    May 25, 2020
  • Just how well do bees count?

    Quantity discrimination can be a vital skill.

    If you were a honeybee, how would you choose where to find flowers? Imagine your first flight out of the hive searchi...

    May 20, 2020
  • How hot will it get this century?

    Latest climate models don’t offer good news.

    Climate scientists use mathematical models to project the Earth’s future under a warming world, but a group of the la...

    May 19, 2020
  • Why astronomy matters in times of crisis

    The thoughts of Australia’s first Astronomer-at-Large.

    In an international emergency like the present one, you might expect the science of the stars to be the last thing on...

    May 18, 2020
  • Why not all twins are identical

    Academics explain an evolutionary puzzle.

    When a mother gives birth to twins, the offspring are not always identical or even the same gender. Known as fraterna...

    May 13, 2020
  • The healing power of data

    The true legacy of Florence Nightingale

    When you’re in a medical emergency, you don’t typically think of calling a statistician. However, the COVID-19 outbre...

    May 12, 2020
  • Why are there so few antivirals?

    It’s all a question of cell biology, academics explain.

    As the end of the second world war neared, mass production of the newly developed antibiotic penicillin enabled life-...

    May 12, 2020
  • What games can teach us during COVID-19

    They might be more than just a boredom cure.

    Most of us don’t take games too seriously. They are a way to unwind, or these days to maybe escape from the world of ...

    May 8, 2020
  • Seafood to die for

    These fish use their spines to fight off seals.

    For most of us, that’s a question about money. But what if the cost were actual pain, injury and death? For some seal...

    May 6, 2020
  • Sentinel surveillance and COVID-19

    Health researchers explain its role.

    By international standards, Australia has had considerable success in containing the COVID-19 outbreak. As the number...

    May 5, 2020
  • Measuring different responses to COVID-19

    Analysis looks at six countries and six curves.

    To understand the spread of COVID-19, the pandemic is more usefully viewed as a series of distinct local epidemics. T...

    May 1, 2020
  • Nature on a screen can improve your mood

    If you can’t go outside, do the next best thing.

    Are you feeling anxious or irritated during the coronavirus lockdown? Do you constantly want to get up and move? Mayb...

    April 30, 2020
  • Why do more men die from coronavirus?

    Geneticist Jenny Graves addresses the issues.

    All over the world – in China, Italy, the United States and Australia – many more men than women are dying from COVID...

    April 22, 2020
  • What is herd immunity?

    The important issues affecting vaccination uptake.

    The term herd immunity comes from the observation of how a herd of buffalo forms a circle, with the strong on the out...

    April 18, 2020
  • Simulated Mars, real food waste

    Researcher learns about lunch and leftovers on the Red Planet.

    As a food waste researcher, I’m interested in how humans prepare food, eat and manage leftovers. This interest is not...

    April 16, 2020
  • How to understand coronavirus data

    There are lots of numbers, but what are they saying?

    Wrapping your head around the scale of a global pandemic is not easy, and the volume of stats and data can be bewilde...

    April 10, 2020
  • Why we should be eating microalgae

    For a start, it’s got lots of protein and it’s good for the planet.

    As the climate warms, the land we use for growing energy-intensive crops such as wheat and corn is becoming less prod...

    April 8, 2020
  • Anatomy of a heatwave

    How Antarctica recorded a day over 20 degrees Celsius.

    While the world rightfully focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic, the planet is still warming. This summer’s Antarctic wea...

    April 7, 2020
  • Developments in a vaccine for coronavirus

    First reduce the amount of virus during typical infection.

    SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is changing how we live. With a rapid increase in cases, we are now isola...

    April 6, 2020
  • How coral bleaching affects reef fish

    Some fascinating but disturbing discoveries have been made.

    The Great Barrier Reef is suffering its third mass bleaching event in five years. It follows the record-breaking mass...

    April 1, 2020
  • Structural biology: Like a key to a lock

    It’s important to see the molecular machinery.

    In the race to develop a treatment for COVID-19, the disease threatening millions of lives around the world, structur...

    March 30, 2020
  • Fungi networks boost bushfire recovery

    They can efficiently influence all aspects of plant ecology.

    The unprecedented bushfires that struck the east coast of Australia this summer killed an estimated one billion anima...

    March 25, 2020
  • Why some countries have few COVID-19 cases

    Several possibilities, hopefully not low testing rates.

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Wuhan, China in December 2019, we have seen the virus spread to over 160 countri...

    March 23, 2020
  • Singapore’s coronavirus tactics

    They include cartoons, liberal testing and strict quarantines.

    Singapore’s coronavirus response has been held up by many around the world as a model. As of this week, the country h...

    March 20, 2020
  • How social distancing flattens the curve

    A mathematician explains the mechanics.

    People travelling into Australia will now have to self-isolate for 14 days – one of a range of measures announced at ...

    March 19, 2020
  • Revealed: the mystery of missing ocean plastic

    Scientists have puzzled over it for decades.

    You’ve probably heard that our oceans have become a plastic soup. But in fact, of all the plastic that enters Earth’s...

    March 16, 2020
  • Last five years confirmed as warmest on record

    WMO publishes a definitive climate report card.

    The World Meteorological Organisation published a definitive climate report card showing concentrations of greenhouse...

    March 12, 2020
  • Why most deadly viruses arise in Africa or Asia

    The reasons may surprise you, and it’s expected to get worse.

    The coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, is a frightening reminder of the imminent global threat posed by emerging...

    March 8, 2020
  • COVID-19: Behaviour and herd immunity

    We can learn from the Spanish flu pandemic.

    Amid the carnage of the First World War, a flu epidemic took hold in the front-line trenches and subsequently spread ...

    March 2, 2020
  • Are we tackling bacteria the wrong way?

    New discovery could change the future of treatment.

    Since their discovery in 1928, antibiotics have become a common way of treating infections caused by bacteria, fungi ...

    February 25, 2020
  • Australian food from 65,000 years ago

    Charred remains offer clues to diet, technology and culture.

    Australia’s first people ate a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts and other plant foods, many of which would ha...

    February 18, 2020
  • Airborne: Can COVID-19 spread through the air?

    There’s no evidence – but it’s still possible.

    A recent announcement by a Chinese health official suggested the new coronavirus might spread more easily than we tho...

    February 16, 2020
  • Atom-scale materials are the next tech frontier

    Getting ready for when silicon nanomaterials run their course.

    Every age in the history of human civilisation has a signature material, from the Stone Age, to the Bronze and Iron A...

    February 13, 2020
  • How viruses adapt from animals to humans

    It may provide a clue to stopping coronavirus.

    As the novel coronavirus death toll mounts, it is natural to worry. How far will this virus travel through humanity, ...

    February 10, 2020
  • Expedition reveals the violent birth of Zealandia

    Earth’s hidden continent was shaped by two tectonic events.

    Three years ago, the identification of Zealandia as a continent made global headlines. Now, newly published results f...

    February 9, 2020
  • How coronavirus causes severe illness

    There are four known ways, and some can occur at the same time.

    We usually think of viral respiratory infections, like the common cold, as mild nuisances that pass in a few days. Bu...

    February 4, 2020
  • Grey seals clap to communicate

    Australian-led research makes a surprising underwater discovery.

    Have you ever clapped your hands to get someone’s attention? The resulting “crack!” sound is hard to ignore, rising a...

    February 3, 2020
  • What is a super spreader?

    An infectious disease expert explains.

    As the emerging Wuhan coronavirus outbreak dominates the daily news, you might be wondering just how the pathogen is ...

    February 2, 2020
  • Bushfires release mercury stored in plants

    The risk and impact are greatest in contaminated areas.

    Climate change and bushfire may exacerbate recent mercury pollution and increase exposure to the poisonous neurotoxin...

    January 30, 2020
  • How contagious is the Wuhan coronavirus?

    We don’t know, but we have some clues.

    Cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have increased dramatically over the past week, prompting concerns about how contagiou...

    January 29, 2020
  • Bacteriophages to cure bacterial infection

    Fighting antibiotic resistance needs some new strategies.

    The world is in the midst of a global “superbug” crisis. Antibiotic resistance has been found in numerous common bact...

    January 26, 2020
  • Should we thin our forests?

    It’s complex and controversial, but shouldn’t be ruled out.

    Calls from industry and unions for increased thinning in forests to reduce bushfire risks have been met with concern ...

    January 20, 2020
  • Apps to predict your life expectancy

    The question is whether you actually want to know.

    When will I die? This question has endured across cultures and civilisations. It has given rise to a plethora of reli...

    January 19, 2020
  • Bushfires push closer to extinction

    Six Australian experts analyse the impact of the nation’s fires.

    Images of desperate, singed koalas in blackened landscapes have come to symbolise the damage to nature this bushfire ...

    January 9, 2020
  • When their world burns, what do predators do?

    The long-term bushfire implications for ecosystems.

    2019 might well be remembered as the year the world caught fire. Some 2.9 million hectares of eastern Australia have ...

    January 6, 2020
  • Finding a career that really is for you

    AI may soon analyse your tweets to match you to a job.

    Imagine yourself graduating from high school, with the world before you. But now you must decide what career you wan...

    December 20, 2019
  • What to make of the X17 factor

    A particle new to physics might solve the dark matter mystery.

    A team of scientists in Hungary recently published a paper that hints at the existence of a previously unknown subato...

    December 12, 2019
  • How stress speeds up the ageing process

    The world of DNA, chromosomes and telomeres.

    The ageing process is an inevitability for all living organisms, and although we still don’t know exactly why our bod...

    December 8, 2019
  • Virtual reality won’t make cows happier…

    …but it might help us see them differently.

    By Sarah Webber from the University of Melbourne and Marcus Carter from the University of Sydney, AustraliaEarlier th...

    December 2, 2019
  • Do small animals suffer if you lose big ones?

    Extinction of ice age giants likely drove surviving species apart.

    As the world grapples with an extinction crisis, our large mammals are among the most endangered. These threatened sp...

    November 24, 2019
  • Are we in a ‘mass extinction’ now?

    Based on the benchmark set by the Big Five, yes.

    For more than 3.5 billion years, living organisms have thrived, multiplied and diversified to occupy every ecosystem ...

    November 17, 2019
  • Pause a pregnancy? Some animals can

    But how they do it is still a mystery.

    Putting your pregnancy on pause until the time is right to give birth sounds like something out of a sci-fi novel, bu...

    November 4, 2019
  • Would you notice if your calculator was lying?

    The research says probably not.

    These days, it’s hard to know whom to trust online, and how to discern genuine content from fakery. Some degree of t...

    November 3, 2019
  • Exciting Quantum computing milestone

    But quantum computers are still a dream.

    A quantum computer may have solved a problem in minutes that would take the fastest conventional supercomputer more t...

    October 1, 2019
  • When magnetic north and true north align

    It’s a rare event.

    At some point in recent weeks, a once-in-a-lifetime event happened for people at Greenwich in the United Kingdom. Mag...

    September 22, 2019
  • Super corals can handle acid, heat and suffocation

    Understanding the how and why of coral survival.

    Climate change is rapidly changing the oceans, driving coral reefs around the world to breaking point. Widely publici...

    September 8, 2019
  • Cycling: How fast can a human cycle?

    300 kilometres an hour seems easily within reach.

    British cyclist Neil Campbell recently set a new record for cycling in the men’s “fastest in a slipstream”, clocking ...

    September 1, 2019
  • Acid oceans are shrinking plankton

    New Australian research reveals how that’s fuelling climate change.

    Increasingly acidic oceans are putting algae at risk, threatening the foundation of the entire marine food web. Our ...

    August 29, 2019
  • Can we be immortal digitally?

    The idea of ‘Virternity’ may be in the future.

    Immortality has been a topic of discussion since the legend of the Holy Grail. Some people have gone as far as cryog...

    August 26, 2019
  • A Hippocratic Oath for data science?

    A little more data literacy might be enough.

    Hippocratic Oath: I swear by the Hypatia, by Lovelace, by Turing, by Fisher (and/or Bayes), and by all the statistici...

    August 25, 2019
  • Internet juggernauts hard to handle

    The reality of regulating Facebook, Google, Amazon et al.

    Back in the 1990s – a lifetime ago in internet terms – the Spanish sociologist Manuel Castells published several book...

    August 18, 2019
  • What will it take for us to trust algorithms?

    A part of life, but that sometimes makes us uncomfortable.

    An algorithm is just following rules designed either directly or indirectly by a human. Credit: Shutterstock/Billion ...

    August 4, 2019
  • How to stroke a cat

    The social shift in human-cat relations.

    Many of us will have experienced that super friendly cat who seems to love being stroked one minute, only to bite or ...

    July 26, 2019
  • An electronic chip that makes ‘memories’

    Optogenetics can help mimic the brain.

    What better way to build smarter computer chips than to mimic nature’s most perfect computer – the human brain? Bein...

    July 21, 2019
  • It’s not easy giving a robot a sense of touch

    There are clues in the biological world, however.

    We have robots that can walk, see, talk and hear, and manipulate objects in their robotic hands. There’s even a robot...

    July 19, 2019
  • VR could make you a better person

    Researchers look at how we engage with a synthetic world.

    If you’ve ever participated in a virtual reality (VR) experience, you might have found yourself navigating the virtua...

    July 5, 2019
  • A pregnancy test for endangered marsupials

    New research suggests we may have to change our thinking.

    Many women realise they are pregnant before they’ve even done the test – perhaps feeling a touch of nausea, or tender...

    June 30, 2019
  • Closing in on a fast radio burst

    A ‘new killer app’ helped with an important breakthrough.

    By Keith Bannister and Shivani Bhandari, CSIRO Astronomers have spent the past dozen years hunting for fast radio bu...

    June 28, 2019
  • In the wake of Chernobyl, plants thrive

    Why is plant life so resilient to radiation and nuclear disaster?

    Chernobyl has become a byword for catastrophe. The 1986 nuclear disaster, recently brought back into the public eye b...

    June 25, 2019
  • Heisenberg: uncertainty principle wrong?

    It depends on how you look at it.

    The word uncertainty is used a lot in quantum mechanics. One school of thought is that this means there’s something o...

    June 18, 2019
  • Cases for not removing plastic packaging

    Plastic packaging can be beneficial at reducing waste.

    There has been a surge in awareness of the damage that plastic pollution does to our planet in recent years. It has s...

    June 12, 2019
  • Spintronics moves from two to three dimensions

    Advances herald a breakthrough in computing technology.

    Spintronics might not be the sort of word that comes up in everyday discussions, but it has been revolutionising comp...

    June 10, 2019
  • Why humans were destined to walk Earth

    The paths available to evolving organisms are far from limitless.

    What would happen if the hands of time were turned back to an arbitrary point in our evolutionary history and we rest...

    June 7, 2019
  • Floating cities: the future or a washed-up idea?

    Water-borne living could be a way to deal with climate change.

    Brydon Timothy Wang, Queensland University of Technology Humans have a long history of living on water. Our water ho...

    June 4, 2019
  • Libyan desert glass mystery solved

    Scattered glass fragments have long puzzled researchers.

    In the remote desert of western Egypt, near the Libyan border, lie clues to an ancient cosmic cataclysm. Libyan deser...

    May 23, 2019
  • If humanity had to move Earth, could we?

    Shifting the planet into a different orbit is possible, in theory.

    In the Chinese science fiction film The Wandering Earth, recently released on Netflix, humanity attempts to change th...

    May 19, 2019
  • Appendectomy lifts risk of Parkinson’s

    Critics question the study results – and their statistical import.

    Recent scary press reports suggest that having your appendix out could triple your risk of getting Parkinson’s diseas...

    May 15, 2019
  • Fracking can cause earthquakes

    The risks have been under-estimated.

    Earthquakes threaten to be a show-stopper for fracking. In the Netherlands, the largest gas field in Europe will be s...

    May 13, 2019
  • Chernobyl an important wildlife refuge

    Wildlife in all areas of the radioactive exclusion zone.

    Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Ukraine) with the new safe confinement building over the number 4 reactor unit. May 20...

    May 10, 2019
  • Why is the moon where it is?

    The moon is slowly moving away from the Earth.

    Nearly 50 years since man first walked on the moon, the human race is once more pushing forward with attempts to land...

    May 3, 2019
  • The idea of alien life now seems inevitable

    The thought that ET may exist is not as far-fetched as it used to be.

    Extraterrestrial or alien life, that familiar science-fiction trope, that kitschy fantasy, that CGI nightmare, has be...

    April 30, 2019
  • Why alien life seems inevitable

    The thought that ET may exist is not as far-fetched as it used to be.

    Extraterrestrial life, that familiar science-fiction trope, that kitschy fantasy, that CGI nightmare, has become a ma...

    April 29, 2019
  • The new digital divide

    Smart people are questioning the influence of AI in their lives.

    Every aspect of life can be guided by artificial intelligence algorithms – from choosing what route to take for your ...

    April 25, 2019
  • English is a weird language

    Linguists have found English to be among the strangest.

    Is English “weird”? Many of us might feel this is true when we’re trying to explain the complex spelling rules of the...

    April 21, 2019
  • Where does all the ocean garbage go?

    Southern Indian Ocean has the most plastic waste.

    Great areas of our rubbish are known to form in parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. But no such “garbage patch”...

    April 18, 2019
  • Killer robots already exist

    Anxiety about autonomous weapons is rational.

    Humans will always make the final decision on whether armed robots can shoot, according to a statement by the US Depa...

    April 1, 2019
  • The Matrix 20 years on

    The Matrix has more to say about philosophy than science.

    Incredible as it may seem, the end of March marks 20 years since the release of the first film in the Matrix franchis...

    March 29, 2019
  • New light on matter-antimatter mystery

    Research has unveiled a new source of particle asymmetry.

    Why do we exist? This is arguably the most profound question there is and one that may seem completely outside the sc...

    March 26, 2019
  • Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is shrinking

    A massive storm is slowly changing.

    The Great Red Spot, a storm larger than the Earth and powerful enough to tear apart smaller storms that get drawn int...

    March 24, 2019
  • How did reading and writing evolve?

    The beginnings of writing may lie in humanity’s far distant past.

    Our brains evolved in a world without reading. Credit:Semnic/Shutterstock The part of the brain that processes visual...

    March 11, 2019
  • In winter, Britain experienced wildfires.

    Was climate change to blame?

    As temperatures at Kew Gardens soared past 21℃, February 26 2019 became the UK’s warmest winter day on record. That s...

    March 8, 2019
  • Your voice assistant isn’t actually working for

    Humanity must adjust before machines fully take over.

    Of all the fictional virtual assistants we know from pop culture, few stand up to the original and perhaps most famou...

    February 27, 2019
  • The woman who linked caterpillars to butterflies

    Maria Sibylla Merian was one of the most important entomologists in history.

    Most school kids can describe in detail the life cycle of butterflies: eggs hatch into caterpillars, caterpillars tur...

    February 26, 2019
  • What we risk if we allow a gene-edited baby

    Concerns extend beyond health and medical grounds.

    A second woman is said to be pregnant with a gene-edited baby in China, according to reports this year. It follows re...

    February 22, 2019
  • Dark matter may not actually exist

    After it was first postulated, dark matter remains elusive.

    Scientists have been searching for “dark matter” – an unknown and invisible substance thought to make up the vast maj...

    February 6, 2019
  • Genetically modified babies won’t be common

    There’s a lot more to think about than just technology.

    Despite reports that two genetically modified babies have been born in China I don’t think you’ll be seeing designer ...

    January 23, 2019
  • The world is running out of phosphorus.

    350 years after its discovery it’s in short supply.

    It’s time to buy a lot of candles. And if we light them with matches, it will only be possible because of the anniver...

    January 13, 2019
  • A very different periodic table

    2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table.

    The periodic table stares down from the walls of just about every chemistry lab. The credit for its creation general...

    January 7, 2019
  • Stop it, or you’ll go blind!

    In the Victorian era, the belief was many things affected sight.

    From concerns over blue light to digital strain and dryness, headlines today often worry how smartphones and computer...

    December 10, 2018
  • Researchers exploit cancers’ unique DNA signature

    A unique structure could revolutionise detection.

    Researchers have developed a test that could be used to diagnose all cancers. It is based on a unique DNA signature t...

    December 7, 2018
  • Ancestors reached Africa earlier than thought

    A site in Algeria contains tools that may be 2.4 million years old.

    East Africa is famously the birthplace of humankind and the location where our ancient hominin ancestors first invent...

    December 5, 2018
  • What happens to the brain in zero gravity?

    What happens to the brain in zero gravity?

    NASA has made a commitment to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. This is an ambitious goal when you think that a typic...

    November 22, 2018
  • Great Pyramid discovery

    Discovery of huge ramp at the Great Pyramid of Giza.

    What began as an expedition to record the inscriptions of ancient Egyptian quarry workers produced a remarkable disco...

    November 21, 2018
  • Extreme male brain theory of autism

    Examining two long-standing psychological theories.

    Two long-standing psychological theories – the empathising-systemising theory of sex differences and the extreme male...

    November 18, 2018
  • Naming names, and why it’s important

    Taxonomy isn’t glamorous, but it is critical.

    Museums are cathedrals of science, but they are under threat worldwide as part of a malaise of undervaluing museum co...

    November 16, 2018
  • Did solar eruptions detonate a minefield in the Vietnam War?

    A declassified US Navy document records the apparently spontaneous explosion of as many as 30 mar...

    An extraordinary account of the impact space weather had on military operations in Vietnam in 1972 was found buried i...

    November 9, 2018
  • How to teach AI to speak Welsh

    AI language programs need big databases, so will they ever be able to communicate in lesser-used ...

    Pioneering smart home technologies and voice assistants don’t, as a rule, speak Welsh – although the Welsh government...

    November 6, 2018
  • Can you cut your cancer risk by eating organic?

    Correlation between eating organic and lower rates of cancer.

    A new study out this week has shoppers wondering whether it’s worth paying more for pesticide-free organic food. You...

    November 2, 2018
  • Energy transitions are nothing new but the one underway is unprecedented and urgent

    The window may be closing on the opportunity to limit the damage caused by fossil fuels. Pennsylv...

    The combustion of oil, gas and coal have made possible a much higher standard of living for humans through radical in...

    October 28, 2018
  • Signs of mergers may help us prove supermassive black holes exist

    Black holes with masses billions of times that of the sun have long been theorised. Now, research...

    Observations of nature tend to throw up unexpected results and new mysteries – whether you’re investigating the rain ...

    October 27, 2018
  • Evidence herpes virus is a cause of Alzheimer’s

    Review of over 150 studies suggests herpes may be a cause.

    More than 30m people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia. Unfortunately, the...

    October 26, 2018
  • Proteins wear clothes – and understanding their fashion choices could help us treat cancer

    Humans produce 20,418 proteins, and convert them into one million variations. It’s important to u...

    We humans are top of the evolutionary tree, the most complex organisms that have ever lived on Earth in five billion ...

    October 21, 2018
  • Why R2D2 could be your child’s teacher sooner than you think

    The evidence suggests robots would be great teachers, say Kristyn Sommer and Marie Bodén from Aus...

    C3PO, R2D2 and Wall-E: three distinctly memorable robots that captured our hearts as they rolled and beeped across th...

    October 19, 2018
  • First Man: a new vision of the Apollo 11 mission to set foot on the Moon

    Director Damien Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling portray a a fallible and complex Neil Armstrong, ...

    The Apollo 11 lunar landing was the first time humans stepped on another celestial body, and the events leading up to...

    October 12, 2018
  • Smarter living for farmers

    Ways to cut losses from predation do more harm than good.

    Farmers have struggled for millennia to protect their livestock from wolves, lions, bears, and other large carnivores...

    October 7, 2018
  • Why Indonesia’s tsunamis are so deadly

    A combination of plate tectonics, coastline and settlement patterns contribute to Indonesia’s vul...

    The magnitude 7.5 earthquake, and subsequent tsunami, that struck Indonesia days ago has resulted in at least 1,200 d...

    October 5, 2018
  • Nobel for “harnessing the power of evolution”

    The creation of tools to make powerful new proteins.

    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 has been awarded to three researchers for their work on “harnessing the power of ev...

    October 4, 2018
  • Unexpected find from a neutron star forces a rethink on radio jets

    Astronomers found something not predicted by current theory when they took a closer look at the e...

    Just a little to the left of the leftmost part of the “W” in the constellation Cassiopeia lies a binary system of a n...

    September 30, 2018
  • Should the Nobel Prizes be cancelled?

    The world’s most prestigious awards lost their gloss?

    If you ever meet someone who claims to have nearly won the Nobel Prize in mathematics, walk away: You’re dealing with...

    September 25, 2018
  • What makes you a man or a woman

    Key genes active early in life transform embryo.

    There are many cultural and social factors involved in making a baby into a man or a woman. But biologically speaking...

    September 21, 2018
  • Harnessing another kind of wind power

    We’ve all done it, but is it wise?

    Ever been in a situation where passing wind is going to be hugely embarrassing and you’ve had to hold in a fart? Let’...

    September 16, 2018
  • Large Hadron Collider celebrates 10 years

    World’s largest particle accelerator around for a decade.

    Ten years! Ten years since the start of operations for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), one of the most complex machi...

    September 14, 2018
  • The synthetic biology revolution is now – here’s what that means

    It is shaping up to be the dominant technology of the twenty-first century, but what is it, and h...

    We live in an era where biotechnology, information technology, manufacturing and automation all come together to form...

    September 9, 2018
  • Can ants actually predict rain?

    Is there any evidence to support the idea?

    It’s often said that ants can predict impending rain and respond by changing their behaviour. Some people say that if...

    September 7, 2018
  • What causes asthma?

    The number of asthma cases is increasing.

    Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs where the airways become so obstructed the sufferer struggles t...

    August 31, 2018
  • Australian science at the 2018 Eureka Prizes

    Some of the best honoured in the country’s annual science awards.

    From helping bees to a renewable energy future, Australian science was in the spotlight at the 2018 Australian Museum...

    August 30, 2018
  • We’re going to get a better gravitational wave detector!

    On this first anniversary of the neutron star merger, the gravitational wave detectors are offlin...

    It’s been a year since ripples in space-time from a colliding pair of dead stars tickled the gravitational wave detec...

    August 23, 2018
  • How bling makes us human

    Why do we spend so much on decorating ourselves?

    An engagement ring sends the message ‘I'm going to be married’. Credit: Shutterstock Sparkly jewellery, expensive sh...

    August 23, 2018
  • Is Asgardia truly the world’s first “space kingdom”?

    A satellite in low-earth orbit is being touted as the first off-planet nation-state. That’s a dub...

    In June, a fledgling nation elected its first parliament. With more than 250,000 citizens, the new country’s populati...

    August 19, 2018
  • The Meg! When the giant prehistoric shark bites, the science bites back

    There’s a new blockbuster movie around, featuring a huge extinct shark eating people. Apart from ...

    The Meg is the blockbuster shark monster movie we didn’t realise we needed in our lives. With a cast led by Jason Sta...

    August 17, 2018
  • Jupiter’s magnetic fields may stop its wind bands from going deep into the gas giant

    Jupiter’s bands are one of its most striking features – and can be seen from Earth – but they onl...

    One of the most striking features of Jupiter – a gaseous giant with no solid surface – is the coloured bands that enc...

    August 13, 2018
  • Bees and wasps can recognise faces

    All despite having less than a million brain cells.

    Recognising faces is essential for how we interact in complex societies, and is often thought to be an ability that r...

    August 13, 2018
  • The mysterious plant within a plant

    Pilostyles erupt from the stems of its host.

    In 1946, forestry officer Charles Hamilton found something unusual on a shrubby native pea plant growing in Mundaring...

    August 13, 2018
  • Giants: why we needed them

    There is an important reason why giants feature in mythologies.

    Think of any sizeable water gap. It might be that between you and the island many kilometres off the coast, a place l...

    August 10, 2018
  • When did Aboriginals’ first arrive in Australia?

    Indigenous people have a long and deep connection to country.

    Many Aboriginal Australians would say with conviction that they have always been here. Their ancestors and traditiona...

    August 9, 2018
  • Do ‘rescue remedies’ ease stress?

    Are Bach’s therapeutics any better than a nice cup of tea?

    Bach flower remedies, which you may know as “rescue remedy”, were created in the 1930s by the English physician Edwar...

    August 5, 2018
  • Compostable plastics may not be better

    Evidence of benefits of disposable plastics unclear.

    As companies move to get rid of single-use plastic bags and bans on microbeads are coming into force, new biodegradab...

    August 3, 2018
  • Call to let rhinos run free in Australia

    Introducing herds of rhinos may be key to their survival.

    Rhinos in Australia might seem like an insane proposition – after all, we’ve had historically bad luck with introduce...

    July 23, 2018
  • Is glucosamine good for joints?

    Is one of the most popular treatments a waste of money?

    Pharmaceutical companies have been promoting glucosamine supplements as a treatment for osteoarthritis for many years...

    July 22, 2018
  • Rethinking the origins of Homo sapiens

    A profound shift underway in the science of human origins.

    You might say it’s the ultimate prize of science, to discover when, where and why humans evolved. For a long time, th...

    July 15, 2018
  • Why we should take UFO sightings seriously

    Physicist and former NASA researcher Kevin Knuth argues that blanket skepticism about extraterres...

    Are we alone? Unfortunately, neither of the answers feel satisfactory. To be alone in this vast universe is a lonely ...

    July 10, 2018
  • Do herbal cold remedies work?

    Many swear by herbal remedies but the evidence is thin.

    When we have a cold, which is caused by a number of different viruses, we know we should stay warm, drink plenty of f...

    July 5, 2018
  • Gaming or gambling: study shows almost half of loot boxes in video games constitute gambling

    A study investigating the psychological effects of loot boxes in video games shows that such mech...

    The Australian Senate today passed a motion to investigate whether purchasable random rewards in video games (known c...

    July 3, 2018
  • Australia’s research reputation at crossroads

    Changes to code of research conduct endanger its reputation.

    In 2018, Australia still does not have appropriate measures in place to maintain research integrity. And recent chang...

    July 1, 2018
  • Hunting for Loch Ness monster DNA

    A different way to investigate reports of the monster.

    Reported sightings of the Loch Ness monster go back to the Dark Ages, but now our Super Natural History team is using...

    July 1, 2018
  • Here’s a doctor’s recommended meal plan

    Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult, or bland.

    Knowing what makes up a healthy diet can be really confusing. New fads and fast fixes appear weekly. At the same time...

    June 29, 2018
  • Eye disorders influence famous painters

    Can some paintings in history be ascribed to impaired vision?

    Vision is an important tool when creating a painted artwork. Vision is used to survey a scene, guide the artist’s mov...

    June 22, 2018
  • The science of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

    Blockbuster franchise movie magic or dino dung?

    What happens when you combine genetically engineered dinosaurs, greedy capitalists, and an erupting volcano? A lot of...

    June 15, 2018
  • The world’s top 10 battles for environmental justice

    The Environmental Justice Atlas is an international collaboration that tracks land and energy con...

    Environmental justice activism is to this age what the workers’ movement was for the industrial age - one of the most...

    June 12, 2018
  • Lessons from ants and fungi for better transport

    Managing traffic isn’t just a human problem.

    As more and more people move to cities, the experience of being stuck in impenetrable gridlock becomes an increasingl...

    June 8, 2018
  • Why nanotechnology is more than just a buzzword

    The term may be overused and overhyped, but that doesn’t mean the science isn’t real. Upulie Divi...

    What does the word “nanotechnology” conjure up for you? I’ve spent the best part of a week talking about the term “n...

    June 3, 2018
  • That thing your dog does …

    It’s easy to misinterpret a dog’s personality.

    It is difficult to refer to what dogs, as a collective, like and dislike and how they behave. Just as humans do, dogs...

    June 1, 2018
  • What can turtle poo tell us about reef health?

    Turtles and dugongs play essential roles.

    Just like birds and mammals carrying seeds through a rainforest, green sea turtles and dugong spread the seeds of sea...

    May 25, 2018
  • AI can book a restaurant or a hair appointment, but don’t expect a full conversation

    Google’s latest talking digital assistant sounds remarkably lifelike, and that raises important q...

    Google recently unveiled its latest talking AI, called Duplex. Duplex sounds like a real person, complete with pauses...

    May 20, 2018
  • How is frontotemporal dementia different?

    Not all types of dementia start with memory loss.

    When most people hear about dementia, they picture older people with memory loss. But not all types of dementia start...

    May 18, 2018
  • Your phone is listening to things you can’t even hear

    Inaudible sounds are being used to transmit data from our devices. While not new technology, thes...

    My lounge room is bugged. My phone is broadcasting an ultrasonic signal to my blu-ray player via an acoustic side cha...

    May 11, 2018
  • Budget shows scientists make their case heard

    After years of being sidelined in Australian political debate.

    Budget 2018 confirms that the case for funding science is being heard in Canberra. Science and research are integrat...

    May 10, 2018
  • Ocean creatures mucus to catch their food

    These ocean invertebrate grazers are actually picky eaters.

    All animals must eat to survive. If you’ve heard the term “grazer” before, it may bring to mind familiar farm animals...

    May 8, 2018
  • Flat Earthers, Facebook and Foucault

    Harry T Dyer attended a Flat Earther convention. Here’s what he learned.

    Speakers recently flew in from around (or perhaps, across?) the earth for a three-day event held in Birmingham: the U...

    May 6, 2018
  • Science and narratives of Indigenous Australia

    New techniques are helping build more accurate stories.

    Scientific and Indigenous knowledge systems have often been in conflict. In my view, too much is made of these confli...

    May 4, 2018
  • The chemistry of indulgence

    The drive for pleasure is linked to addiction and depression.

    It’s not just our taste buds thanking us when we give ourselves a sweet treat. Credit: Rakicevic Nenad/Unsplash Every...

    April 27, 2018
  • Experiment shows Einstein’s quantum “spooky action” approaches the human scale

    The era of massive quantum machines has arrived, and is here to stay, says University of New Sout...

    Quantum physics is often defined as the physics of the very small – think atoms, electrons and photons. But we have...

    April 26, 2018
  • Sorry Mr Spock: science and emotion are not only compatible, they’re inseparable

    The idea that reason and emotion are mutually opposed is wrong, and counterproductive, argue the ...

    Here’s a view of science you might recognise as common, or at least see promoted: Science is a purely objective pur...

    April 25, 2018
  • How bleaching altered the Great Barrier Reef

    A 30% loss of corals in 2016, a further 20% loss in 2017.

    In 2016 the Great Barrier Reef suffered unprecedented mass coral bleaching – part of a global bleaching event that dw...

    April 22, 2018
  • Scientific evidence rarely detached from rhetoric

    Even today, the truth of scientific evidence depends on it being presented in a convincing way.

    The quest for scientific evidence can trace its roots back to the classic masters of rhetoric. AboutLife/Shutterstock...

    April 20, 2018
  • Blending science with science fiction

    The key to understanding the late physicist’s work.

    Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died recently at the age of 76. He was a man who had a significant influence o...

    April 8, 2018
  • Solar and wind will replace fossil fuels

    The economics and politics of renewables are unstoppable.

    Solar photovoltaic and wind power are rapidly getting cheaper and more abundant – so much so that they are on track t...

    April 6, 2018
  • What is lupus and how is stress implicated?

    Auto-immune disease is linked to traumatic life events.

    Lupus is the body’s immune system attacking itself. from www.shutterstock.com Thanks to Selena Gomez and Dr House, mo...

    April 4, 2018
  • 5 things parents can do to encourage STEM

    Promoting STEM skills while our children are young.

    Educators and researchers agree early literacy experiences are important for children’s cognitive and language develo...

    March 25, 2018
  • What happens to our skin as we age?

    Not all skin is equal and it becomes visible as we age.

    This article is part of The Conversation's series about skin: why we have it, what it does and what can go wrong. Rea...

    March 23, 2018
  • Young blood: magic or medicine

    Can transfusions from young people extend your lifespan?

    IN DEPTH: In this longer essay, David Irving and Alison Gould explore our cultural obsession with young blood and whe...

    March 16, 2018
  • Why can you hear gravitational waves?

    Do gravitational waves really make sounds like chirps or the call of the Australian whip bird? Da...

    Whenever there’s an announcement of a new discovery of gravitational waves there is usually an accompanying sound, su...

    March 14, 2018
  • Your phone buzzing won’t stop mosquitoes

    Tuning into their musical whines could help design new traps.

    Forget a peaceful night’s sleep. The whine of a lone mosquito circling your bedroom can be incredibly frustrating. Th...

    March 11, 2018
  • Leopards may help lower stray dog bites

    Research says the could reduce stray dog numbers.

    A fleeting glimpse of the black spots and gold fur of a leopard is not an uncommon sight at Sanjay Gandhi National Pa...

    March 9, 2018
  • Unravelling the origins of domestic horses

    It should be easy, but study after study find twists in the tale.

    There’s still a lot we don’t know about how, and where, horses were first domesticated. Experts long thought that all...

    February 25, 2018
  • A brief history of Martian exploration – as the InSight Lander prepares to launch

    In May this year, NASA will launch the latest mission to Mars. Why does the Red Planet fascinate ...

    Roughly every two years Mars and Earth wander a bit closer to each other, making the leap between these two planets a...

    February 22, 2018
  • Kids’ learning and health is shaped by genes

    Parents contribute genes that influence child development.

    It’s a hoary old debate: how much do our genes define how we grow and learn, and how much is due to the environment? ...

    February 16, 2018
  • Ancient footprints reveal life as a child

    How children spent their time 700,000 years ago.

    Western society has a rather specific view of what a good childhood should be like; protecting, sheltering and legisl...

    February 13, 2018
  • The ‘Mandela Effect’

    Proof of time travel, false memories or a parallel universe?

    Have you ever been convinced that something is a particular way only to discover you’ve remembered it all wrong? If s...

    February 13, 2018
  • Making skis strong enough for Olympians

    Highly engineered composite materials let skis ride smoothly.

    Olympians expect top-notch performance from their minds and bodies, but they get crucial advantages from the very bes...

    February 13, 2018
  • Understanding killer heat

    As Australia experiences a summer heatwave, many people may be at risk of death. David Shearman, ...

    Our climate is becoming hotter. This is our reality. Extreme heat is already responsible for hundreds of deaths every...

    February 9, 2018
  • This is why you won’t be able to swat that fly

    Flies are much maligned and goddamned hard to hit.

    Summer in Australia is defined by sport, but the most-played sport isn’t cricket or tennis – it’s fly swatting. Have ...

    February 7, 2018
  • What are school sores and how do you get rid of them?

    School sores usually clear up within a few weeks, without any scarring.

    Impetigo, or “school sores”, is a contagious infection of the very top layer of skin. It’s most common in children ag...

    February 4, 2018
  • Climate scientists explore hidden ocean beneath Antarctica’s largest ice shelf

    An international team has melted a hole through Antarctica’s largest ice shelf to explore the hid...

    Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf is the world’s largest floating slab of ice: it’s about the size of Spain, and nearly a k...

    January 30, 2018
  • Are the health claims of kombucha true?

    The jury is still out on whether it’s any healthier than tea.

    The drink kombucha was previously only popular in hipster cafes, but is now vying for space on the supermarket shelve...

    January 28, 2018
  • New blood test can detect different cancers

    Early diagnosis remains the key to reducing cancer deaths.

    A liquid biopsy is far less invasive than a standard biopsy, where a needle is put into a solid tumour to confirm a c...

    January 19, 2018
  • Which medicines don’t go well with flying?

    Passengers can be at risk with certain medications.

    Some medications increase our risk of blood clots. And so does flying. from www.shutterstock.com Every day, more tha...

    January 19, 2018
  • Your day-to-day reality will soon be augmented

    The difference between material and virtual will be blurred.

    The world’s largest annual consumer technology show — CES 2018 in Las Vegas — ended on Friday and some of the most ex...

    January 13, 2018
  • You too can be an astrophysicist with your new telescope

    So you got a new telescope for Christmas. While it’s fun for some sightseeing in the night sky yo...

    A telescope can reveal the beauty of the universe, such as the Moon’s craters, Saturn’s rings, and the glowing gas of...

    January 5, 2018
  • Neuroscience in pictures: the best images of the year

    A collection of the year’s best images from neuroscience.

    Neuroscientists require images to understand what’s happening in the brain. Credit: Chase Sherwell/QBI, Author provid...

    December 21, 2017
  • Google’s artificial intelligence finds two new exoplanets missed by human eyes

    Google’s artificial intelligence has been taught to look for planets around other stars. It’s alr...

    Two new exoplanets have been discovered thanks to NASA’s collaboration with Google’s artificial intelligence (AI). On...

    December 18, 2017
  • Australia’s future female scientists need support

    Calling all parents to support their daughters in STEM careers.

    Women are underrepresented and underpaid in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The majority of...

    December 17, 2017
  • Early humans in jungles of Borneo

    Daily dairies share the team digging in ancient cemeteries.

    I recently led a team excavating at one of the most iconic archaeological locations in Southeast Asia, Niah Caves in ...

    December 15, 2017
  • Will AI become conscious?

    Depends on what technology is (or will be) capable of.

    Forget about today’s modest incremental advances in artificial intelligence, such as the increasing abilities of cars...

    December 12, 2017
  • What happens in the brain when it makes a decision

    A new initiative is tackling this fundamental mystery of neuroscience in an unusual way.

    Decisions span a vast range of complexity. There are really simple ones: Do I want an apple or a piece of cake with m...

    December 10, 2017
  • Flying chariots and exotic birds: how 17th century dreamers planned to reach the moon

    We’ve only travelled into space in the last century, but humanity’s desire to reach the moon is f...

    People have been dreaming about space travel for hundreds of years, long before the arrival of the spectacular techno...

    December 9, 2017
  • How many undiscovered creatures are in the ocean?

    The sea remains the least explored habitat on our blue planet.

    “The oceans cover 70% of the surface of our planet, and yet they are still the least explored,” says Sir David Attenb...

    December 8, 2017
  • Each volcano has unique warning signs that eruption is imminent

    How do scientists predict volcanic eruptions? To do so with accuracy, they need to know the indiv...

    Mount Agung in Bali has been thrusting ash thousands of feet into the sky for almost two weeks. Lava is burbling at t...

    December 6, 2017
  • Metal asteroid Psyche is all set for an early visit from NASA

    A new trajectory means the mission to uncover core facts about the asteroid belt will happen soon...

    Three times further away from the sun than the Earth lies an enormous lump of metal. Around 252km in diameter, the me...

    December 6, 2017
  • Pterosaur eggs reveal early life of reptiles

    Scientists gain a rare insight into extinct flying reptiles.

    A hoard of fossilised pterosaur eggs discovered in China is helping scientists gain a rare insight into the extinct f...

    December 3, 2017
  • Three new reports add clarity to Australia’s space sector, a ‘crowded and valuable high ground’

    Space is becoming cheaper, more attractive to investors and increasingly important in our data-ri...

    Australia seems on the brink of embracing space in a coordinated manner, but how should we do it?This week, the Austr...

    December 1, 2017
  • Is apple cider vinegar really a wonder food?

    Will apple cider vinegar really help you lose weight and fight disease?

    It makes a tasty dressing, but the health claims are overblown. Credit: Madeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock Folk medicin...

    November 26, 2017
  • The geological state of the nation

    The world’s oldest known material is from Western Australia, but for much of Australia’s geologic...

    We think of Australia as a solid landmass. But it’s actually more like a jigsaw puzzle that has been put together ove...

    November 25, 2017
  • Scientist who paved the way for the discovery of DNA’s structure

    Remembering J. M. Creeth, 70 years after he discovered hydrogen bonds in DNA.

    When James Michael Creeth finished adding acid to the sample of DNA taken from a calf’s thymus gland, he wasn’t just ...

    November 24, 2017
  • Five reasons India, China and other nations plan to travel to the Moon

    No human has been to the moon since 1972. But India, China and Russia would like to change that, ...

    No human has been to the Moon since 1972 and only 12 people have ever done it – all of them American men.But that lis...

    November 23, 2017
  • Roid rage: the rock that gatecrashed the solar system

    The discovery of a cigar-shaped asteroid from outer space could help unveil secrets of extrasolar...

    It came from outer space … and went back there two weeks later, having astonished and excited astronomers and planeta...

    November 22, 2017
  • We’ve found an exo-planet with an extraordinarily eccentric orbit

    A newly discovered world could expand our understanding of planet formation.

    The discovery of a planet with a highly elliptical orbit around an ancient star could help us understand more about h...

    November 17, 2017
  • It’s mostly mothers who pass on mitochondria

    A new theory says it’s due to the first sexual conflict.

    Is this how we got the sperm and the egg? Credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki/Shutterstock Evolutionary interests of males an...

    November 7, 2017
  • How animation brings extinct species to life

    Reanimate creatures that have been dead for millions of years.

    Who can forget Steven Spielberg’s first Jurassic Park movie in 1993? How eagerly did we anticipate that bellowing T-R...

    November 6, 2017
  • Thousands of genes act differently in men and women

    The X and Y chromosomes exert a more profound influence at the genetic level than we knew.

    In skin, muscle, fat and more tissues, genes behave differently in men and women. Credit: from www.shutterstock.com ...

    November 3, 2017
  • What’s behind the belly button?

    The umbilical cord is cut, and now the belly button. But what happens inside?

    The belly button is a constant reminder of how we came into the world. Credit: www.shutterstock.com Our belly button ...

    October 28, 2017
  • Super cute home robots are coming, but think twice before you trust them

    The cuteness of domestic robots may make us lower our guard and forget questions of privacy and s...

    Cherie Lacey (left) and Catherine Caudwell interacting with a Furby, one of the first cute home robots. VUW,...

    October 8, 2017
  • Study of the world’s most elusive particles

    The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

    Credit: Shutterstock In an abandoned gold mine close to Deadwood, South Dakota, construction has started on what is...

    September 26, 2017
  • Expect the unexpected from the big-data boom in radio astronomy

    The huge amounts of data produced by a new generation of radio telescopes will change the way we ...

    Antennas of the Australian SKA Pathfinder (ASKAP) at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Austral...

    September 18, 2017
  • How humans spread germs all over the globe

    Transporting bacteria around the globe with unexpected effects.

    Humans are transporting trillions of bacteria around the world via tourism, food and shipping, without stopping to th...

    September 18, 2017
  • Eclipsing the occult in early America: Benjamin Franklin and his almanacs

    Franklin’s lifelong quest was spreading scientific knowledge to regular people.

    Mason Chamberlin, CC BY By the time he was 20 years old, colonial American Benjamin Franklin had already s...

    September 13, 2017
  • Introducing ‘dark DNA’

    The phenomenon that could change how we think about evolution.

    Credit: Shutterstock DNA sequencing technology is helping scientists unravel questions that humans have been asking...

    September 13, 2017
  • 3D view helps us to understand how galaxies formed and evolved

    Huge numbers of observations combined with computational modelling are finally giving astronomers...

    So many galaxies viewed by the Hubble Space Telescope: but what’s their real shape in 3D? NASA, ESA, and J. L...

    September 11, 2017
  • Why robots won’t replace us

    Although on the rise, humans still have the competitive edge.

    By now, you’ve probably been warned that a robot is coming for your job. But rather than repeat the warning, I’ve dec...

    September 8, 2017
  • Toughest math problems much harder than chess

    Road to solving a long-standing mathematical conundrum.

    Peter Nightingale (left) and Ian Gent with two of the eight queens needed for the ‘8-queen’ problem. Credit: Stuart N...

    September 6, 2017
  • The science of being ‘nice’

    Components of agreeableness don’t always go hand in hand.

    The word “nice” has an unusual history in the English language. Originally a term for “foolish”, its meaning over th...

    September 5, 2017
  • The unexpected world of nonvisual photoreception

    There’s no reason light detection has to be limited to the eyes.

    Color-changing cells in an Atlantic squid’s skin contain light-sensitive pigments. Credit: Alexandra Kingston, CC BY-...

    September 5, 2017
  • Creatures roamed Crete 6 million years ago

    Footprint discovery challenge human ancestor belief.

    Foot for thought. The human foot is distinctive. Our five toes lack claws, we normally present the sole of our foot...

    September 4, 2017
  • What teeth can reveal about our ancestors

    Nothing can beat well-preserved teeth of our ancestors.

    Old tools and bones can reveal a lot about our ancestors. But when it comes to what was going on inside their bodies ...

    August 31, 2017
  • The concept of schizophrenia is coming to an end – here’s why

    Schizophrenia has been harried for decades by psychology, it now appears to have been fatally wou...

    Tatiana Shepeleva/Shutterstock The concept of schizophrenia is dying. Harried for decades by psychology, i...

    August 31, 2017
  • New study finding fat isn’t as bad as carbs misses the point

    Study highlights that we should focus on what foods people are eating.

    What’s more important to examine is whether the fat and carbs come from fruits and vegetables or doughnuts and candy....

    August 30, 2017
  • How to store data on magnets the size of a single atom

    The cutting edge of data storage research is working at the level of individual atoms and molecul...

    Magnetism is useful in many ways, and the magnetic memory effect appears even at the atomic level. Popular Sc...

    August 29, 2017
  • From the crime scene to the courtroom: the journey of a DNA sample

    The O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995 introduced DNA forensics to the public. Things have changed...

    The O.J. Simpson murder trial in 1995 introduced DNA forensics to the public. The case collapsed, partly because the ...

    August 29, 2017
  • The world’s first trigonometry

    The Babylonians had understanding of geometry first.

    The ancient Babylonians – who lived from about 4,000BCE in what is now Iraq – had a long forgotten understanding of r...

    August 28, 2017
  • How quantum mechanics can change computing

    Quantum computers are the next big thing. A scientist explains why.

    Looking inside a quantum computer. IBM Research, CC BY-ND In early July, Google announced that it...

    August 25, 2017
  • The source of up to half of the Earth’s internal heat is completely unknown – here’s how to hunt for it

    Much of the planet’s heat comes from deep inside, but no-one is sure exactly why. Neutrinos may h...

    pixabay It may not be obvious while lying in the sun on a hot summer’s day, but a considerable amount of h...

    August 21, 2017
  • What causes depression? What we know, don’t know and suspect

    There’s no precise boundary between “depressed mood” states and “clinical depression”.

    When thinking about what causes depression it’s important to remember some depression is a normal mood state. Credit:...

    August 17, 2017
  • Voyager Golden Records 40 years later: Real audience was always here on Earth

    The true purpose of these messages to alien life was to inspire a certain self-image for humanity.

    What message would you send to outer space? NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY Forty years ago, NASA launched...

    August 17, 2017
  • Story of mathematicians of World War I

    Story of heroic mathematicians who took to the skies.

    Credit: Edward Teshmaker Busk. Keith Lucas was killed instantly when his BE2 biplane collided with that of a collea...

    August 15, 2017
  • Could asteroids bombard the Earth to cause a mass extinction in ten million years?

    Asteroids have hit Earth throughout its history, but there’s no way to know when the next big one...

    Elenarts/Shutterstock Scientists have spent decades debating whether asteroids and comets hit the Earth at...

    August 14, 2017
  • 5 questions answered about the solar eclipse

    An astronomer answers common questions about a solar eclipse.

    Editor’s note: A total solar eclipse will be visible across the U.S. on Monday, August 21. Shannon Schmoll, director ...

    August 10, 2017
  • Beyond graphene: scientists are creating an atomic ‘Lego set’ of 2D wonder materials

    The unique properties of single layers of atoms create potentially infinite possibilities for new...

    Isolated MoS₂ monolayer. Andrew Beckinsale, Author provided The strongest material known to mankin...

    August 9, 2017
  • The first ever flower looked like a magnolia

    Scientists have figured out what the original flower ancestor looked like.

    Credit: Hervé Sauquet & Jürg Schönenberger Although most species of plants on Earth have flowers, the evolutionary ...

    August 7, 2017
  • From flying warehouses to robot toilets – five technologies that could shape the future

    New technologies are evolving all the time, but which ones will really shape the future?

    Shutterstock Flying warehouses, robot receptionists, smart toilets… do such innovations sound like science...

    August 6, 2017
  • Maths puzzle will help plan your next party

    How graph theory can help you plan a guest list.

    Mapping connections at your next shindig. Credit: unclibraries_commons Let’s say you’re planning your next party and ...

    August 4, 2017
  • Strict rules around contamination hamper exploration for life beyond Earth

    Is our search for alien life being held back by our desire to protect it?

    Artist’s impression of Cassini ending its life as a fireball in Saturn’s atmosphere. "NASA/JPL-Caltech ...

    August 3, 2017
  • The search for mythical monsters can help with conservation

    Can the search for the Loch Ness monster offer anything?

    Credit: aleks1949 / shutterstock After fears the Loch Ness Monster had “disappeared” last winter, a new sighting in...

    August 2, 2017
  • Logically, how is it possible to use more resources than Earth can replenish?

    Since the 1970s, humans have used more resources than the planet can regenerate

    According to the WWF, we’re living off 1.6 Earths’ worth of resources. Kevin Gill/Flickr, CC BY-SA Since the 1970s, ...

    August 1, 2017
  • Editing human embryos with CRISPR

    Genetic modification of embryos raise questions about ethics.

    The announcement by researchers in Portland, Oregon that they’ve successfully modified the genetic material of a huma...

    July 31, 2017
  • Lost dinosaur dig in the Australian outback

    Austrosaurus mckillopi, the site of its bones was lost for 80 years.

    Dr Tim Holland (seated right) assisting volunteers in the excavation of the ribs of Austrosaurus mckillopi in 2015. C...

    July 27, 2017
  • How the brain’s hypothalamus controls ageing

    Ageing in mice can be controlled by manipulating stem cells.

    Neural stem cells that have been transplanted into a mouse brain, here developing into neurons. Credit: Yirui Sun, We...

    July 27, 2017
  • Who’s afraid of the giant African land snail?

    This snail is mostly seen as an invasive species, but is it really so bad?

    Giant African land snails can grow up to 15cm long. Credit: Author provided The giant African land snail is a poster ...

    July 26, 2017
  • The Great Galactic Recession

    In the early universe, galaxies couldn’t produce stars fast enough to keep up with all the hydrog...

    The density of gas in and around a simulated galaxy just over a billion years after the Big Bang. New gas is arriving...

    July 25, 2017
  • Why do we have blood?

    Why know blood is vital for life, but do we know why?

    We know blood is vital for life, do we know why? Illuminations: Blood Equality by Jordan Eagles (USA) Image credit: D...

    July 24, 2017
  • How scientists invent new colours

    Natural wonders inspire the search for new sources of colour.

    Butterfly wings, like those of the monarch butterfly, have inspired scientists to create “structural colours”. Credit...

    July 20, 2017
  • Feeling euphoric on a low-carb diet?

    The effect on your brain is similar to an illicit drug.

    Credit: from www.shutterstock.com Some people on very low-carb diets say they feel euphoric, have clear minds and los...

    July 19, 2017
  • Homo naledi had a unique diet

    The teeth of this ancient hominin had to cope with hard foods.

    There was a lot of excitement when scientists reported the discovery of an entirely new hominin species, Homo naledi,...

    July 19, 2017
  • Twelve myths about e-cigarettes

    Do the claims of e-cigarette advocates stack up?

    Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recently rejected an application to liberalise the scheduling of n...

    July 19, 2017
  • How giant atoms catch gravitational waves

    Atoms give off flashes of light when hit by gravitational wave.

    There was a lot of excitement last year when the LIGO collaboration detected gravitational waves, which are ripples i...

    July 18, 2017
  • How close are we to a real Star Trek-style medical tricorder?

    The dream of a non-invasive device that can deliver medical diagnostics may be closer than you th...

    Bobbie Johnson/Flickr, CC BY-SA Does science inspire fiction or does it work the other way around? In the ...

    July 16, 2017
  • How the science of snake bite treatments has changed

    What’s the current treatment and how have treatments changed over time?

    Summer is traditionally Australia’s snake bite season, when both snakes and people become more active. The human deat...

    July 14, 2017
  • What the trillion-tonne Larsen C iceberg means

    The calving of a massive iceberg in Antarctica is not a sign of climate doom, but it may weaken t...

    One of the largest icebergs ever recorded has just broken away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Over the pa...

    July 13, 2017
  • Future translation is part human, part machine

    Computer translation may never replace a human translator.

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="754"] Credit: Shutterstock[/caption] Imagine a world where everyone can perfe...

    July 11, 2017
  • What is cancer radiotherapy?

    Proton beam therapy is radiation therapy that uses heavier particles.

    Radiotherapy treats cancer by directing beams of high energy x-rays at the tumour. Credit: From shutterstock.com In t...

    July 10, 2017
  • What if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases right now?

    The effects of the carbon already in the atmosphere won’t be felt for decades.

    Earth’s climate is changing rapidly. We know this from billions of observations, documented in thousands of journal p...

    July 9, 2017
  • Can we ditch dark energy?

    A new understanding of Einstein’s century-old theory.

    A renewed suggestion that dark energy may not be real — dispensing with 70% of the stuff in the universe — has reigni...

    July 7, 2017
  • The science of Spider-Man

    Spider-Man: Homecoming spins a web of fact and fantasy.

    “Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can” Spider-Man: Homecoming is the second modern reboot of the Spider...

    July 6, 2017
  • When a language has no words for numbers?

    Cultural traditions that infuse our lives with numbers.

    Numbers do not exist in all cultures. There are numberless hunter-gatherers embedded deep in Amazonia, living along b...

    July 6, 2017
  • Searching for the mythical or mysterious

    Chasing mythical or mysterious animals grabs media headlines and spurs debates.

    In 2012 scientists succeeded in filming for the first time ever a giant squid in its natural habitat. Credit: EPA/NHK...

    July 2, 2017
  • What is ‘precipitable water’, and why does it matter?

    Higher precipitable water values mean that more water is available for potential rainfall.

    As the planet warms, rainfall and weather patterns will change. As temperatures rise, the amount of water in the atmo...

    June 28, 2017
  • Hidden feather patterns tell the story of birds

    Like the annual growth rings of trees, birds’ feathers lay down growth bars during their moult.

    Shown as bright orange and pink highlights under X-ray fluorescent light, birds incorporate metals like zinc and brom...

    June 26, 2017
  • Why can’t cats resist thinking inside the box?

    Cats prefer to huddle in smaller, more clearly delineated areas.

    Next best thing to a hidey-hole box? Credit: Maggie Villiger, CC BY-ND Twitter’s been on fire with people amazed by c...

    June 23, 2017
  • 5 medical procedures that are no longer used

    A number of historic “cures” more akin to a method of torture.

    Surgeries and treatments come and go. A new BMJ guideline, for example, makes “strong recommendations” against the us...

    June 21, 2017
  • The seven most extreme planets ever discovered

    The rush of exoplanet discoveries in recent years has changed our ideas about what a planet can be.

    KELT-9B is the hottest known planet. NASA/JPL-Caltech Scientists recently discovered the hottest p...

    June 15, 2017
  • A bruise from a collision with a parallel universe?

    A cold spot might be evidence of collision with a parallel universe.

    A change in the density of galaxies can’t explain a cold spot in the sky. Credit: NASA and the European Space Agency....

    June 14, 2017
  • Naracoorte, where half a million years of biodiversity and climate history are trapped in caves

    The Naracoorte caves have captured more than just animal fossils, clues to the past environment a...

    Enormous sediment cones in a cave at Naracoorte. Two people in overalls show the scale of the area. Steven Bourne, Au...

    June 13, 2017
  • Using Einstein’s theory to weigh a star

    Einstein predicted distant stars could be weighed using gravity.

    Gravity of a white dwarf star warps space and bends the light of a distant star behind it. Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. ...

    June 11, 2017
  • Golden Gate Bridge if built today

    How would engineers build the Golden Gate Bridge today?

    What could be better? Credit: Uladzik Kryhin via Shutterstock.com. Ever since the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffi...

    June 11, 2017
  • Ten ways that astronauts are helping you stay healthy

    Astronauts on the International Space Station are growing crystals that could help develop new dr...

    STS Steve Robinson on Canadarm. NASA Astronauts on the International Space Station are growing cry...

    June 8, 2017
  • Severed limbs and wooden feet: how the ancients invented prosthetics

    Amputations and prostheses date back to ancient times, and saw advances that were heralded as no ...

    We are living through an incredibly exciting period for prosthetics. A pioneering brain computer interface that will ...

    June 6, 2017
  • Melting ice and satellites: how to measure the Earth’s ‘wiggle’

    Current methods of measuring location may not be up to scratch. Changes on Earth’s surface, inclu...

    Scientists use satellite sensing to find the Earth’s centre of mass. NASA, CC BY-SAIn a driverless future, it...

    June 5, 2017
  • Phosphorus is vital for life on Earth

    Scientists are warning that we are running low.

    Phosphorus is an essential element which is contained in many cellular compounds, such as DNA and the energy carrier ...

    June 2, 2017
  • Global stocktake shows the 43 greenhouse gases driving global warming

    The most comprehensive collection of atmospheric greenhouse gas measurements yet published confir...

    A wide range of industrial processes have released greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. WIN-Initiative / Getty The ...

    May 31, 2017
  • Water, water, everywhere in our Solar system but what does that mean for life?

    Here on Earth, where you have water, energy and nutrients, you have life. So does the presence of...

    This illustration shows Cassini diving through geyser plumes on Saturn’s the ocean world moon of Enceladus. ...

    May 30, 2017
  • Five amazing ultrasound inventions set to change the world (and not a pregnancy scan in sight)

    The vibrations ultrasound creates can kill bacteria, weld plastics and even help to mature brandi...

    Ultrasonic “tractor beam” Asier Marzo, Bruce Drinkwater, Sriram Subramanian Ultrasound can do a wh...

    May 29, 2017
  • Scientists are helping poachers drive rare species to extinction

    By locating and describing rare and endangered species, scientists lead poachers to them.

    The beautiful Chinese cave gecko, or Goniurosaurus luii, is highly prized by poachers. Credit: Carola Jucknies If you...

    May 29, 2017
  • Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

    The moon is at the center of efforts not only to explore space, but to create a permanent, indepe...

    Between the Earth and the moon: An artist’s rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration. Sung Wha Kang ...

    May 25, 2017
  • Thinking big gives predators the competitive edge

    Top predators are vital in suppressing the abundance of competitors.

    Dingoes could be the key to controlling red foxes and other invasive predators, but only if we encourage them in larg...

    May 23, 2017
  • A giant lava lamp inside the Earth might be flipping the planet’s magnetic field

    Regions on top of the Earth’s core could behave like giant lava lamps, with blobs of rock periodi...

    Shutterstock If you could travel back in time 41,000 years to the last ice age, your compass would point s...

    May 23, 2017
  • The future of flying cars: science fact or science fiction?

    Uber is trying to put driverless cars on our roads and they are not alone in their movements towa...

    Will flying cars ever really take off? Shutterstock/Pavel Chagochkin Uber has shaken up the taxi i...

    May 18, 2017
  • Tuatara: Not a lizard nor a dinosaur

    Tuatara is the sole survivor of a once-widespread reptile group.

    The unique tuatara, photographed on Stephens Island, Takapourewa. Credit: Paddy Ryan, Author provided Have you ever h...

    May 17, 2017
  • Remembering Bill Tutte

    Another brilliant codebreaker from World War II.

    Bill Tutte, the brilliant codebreaker. Newmarket Journal One of the greatest mathematicians and codebreakers of the 2...

    May 15, 2017
  • Evidence of ancient life in hot springs

    Fossils may change our ideas about life on Mars.

    Fossil evidence of early life has been found in old hot spring deposits in the Pilbara, Western Australia, that date ...

    May 10, 2017
  • Japanese space agency’s mission aims to uncover how moons of Mars formed

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to uncover both the mystery of Mars’ moons’ c...

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced a mission to visit the two moons of Mars and return a roc...

    May 8, 2017
  • Octopuses can defy their genetic instructions

    They edit the messages sent from their DNA.

    Credit: Shutterstock Are octopuses so clever because they ignore their genetic programming? Research has shown that...

    May 4, 2017
  • The maths tool we probably use every day

    Our world view and actions are often driven by a simple theorem.

    Will he or won’t he hit the bullseye? Using Bayes’ Theorem, your prediction will be based on how the current match is...

    May 3, 2017
  • Mystery of the Hobbit’s origins solved?

    The heart of one of the nastiest squabbles in anthropology.

    It’s been the scientific equivalent of a never ending soap opera. The pygmy human species Homo floresiensis (aka ‘the...

    April 26, 2017
  • Natural sites are under threat

    Rapidly destroyed in the pursuit of short-term economic goals.

    Would we knock down the pyramids or flatten the Acropolis to make way for housing estates, roads or farms? You would ...

    April 25, 2017
  • 7 tips when attending March for Science

    Scientists around the world take a public stand and be counted.

    On April 22 scientists around the world are downing microscopes, pipettes and lasers and declaring it’s time take a p...

    April 20, 2017
  • New powerful telescopes allow direct imaging of nascent galaxies 12 billion light years away

    How does a galaxy like our own Milky Way form? Until now there’s been a lot of inferring involved...

    Artist’s impression of a quasar shining through a galaxy’s ‘super halo’ of hydrogen gas. A. Angelich (NRAO/AU...

    April 17, 2017
  • After 75 years, Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics need updating

    Given how much robotics has changed and will continue to grow in the future, we need to ask how A...

    Shutterstock When science fiction author Isaac Asimov devised his Three Laws of Robotics he was thinking a...

    April 14, 2017
  • Tackling the kraken

    Unique dolphin strategy delivers dangerous octopus for dinner.

    For wild predators, catching, killing and eating prey can sometimes be a risky business. We can see this on the Afric...

    April 10, 2017
  • Paradoxes of probability & statistical strangeness

    A few common statistical fallacies and paradoxes.

    Statistics and probability can sometimes yield mind bending results. Credit: Shutterstock Statistics is a useful tool...

    April 6, 2017
  • Determining the sex of a baby

    From diet to blood pressure, it’s not just chromosomes.

    The concept of being able to predict the sex of a baby during early pregnancy or even influence it by eating or doing...

    April 5, 2017
  • ‘Seeing’ music or ‘tasting’ numbers?

    Here’s what we can learn from people with synaesthesia…

    Imagine what the world would be like if numbers had specific spatial locations, music had shapes, or colours made sou...

    April 3, 2017
  • How to escape a maze – according to maths

    There are techniques for escaping from mazes.

    Mazes are in vogue at the moment, from NBO’s Westworld, to the return of the British cult TV series, The Crystal Maze...

    March 19, 2017
  • Why the Earth’s magnetic poles could be about to swap places – and how it would affect us

    Our planet’s history includes at least several hundred global magnetic reversals, where north and...

    The Earth’s magnetic field surrounds our planet like an invisible force field – protecting life from harmful solar ra...

    March 13, 2017
  • What’s happening in our bodies as we age?

    There are many theories as to why our body ages.

    This article is part of our series on older people’s health. It looks at the changes and processes that occur in our ...

    March 13, 2017
  • What is the Doomsday Clock and why should we keep track of the time?

    The Doomsday Clock was recently shifted from three minutes to midnight to a new setting of two an...

    It made headlines recently when the Doomsday Clock was shifted from three minutes to midnight to a new setting of two...

    March 5, 2017
  • What causes whale mass strandings?

    Why do these creatures enter an inhospitable land environment?

    Around 600 pilot whales recently became stranded on a New Zealand beach, around 400 of which died before volunteers c...

    February 26, 2017
  • Earthquakes triggered by humans a growing risk

    Industrial activity found to be potentially seismogenic came as a surprise to many scientists.

    People knew we could induce earthquakes before we knew what they were. As soon as people started to dig minerals out ...

    February 20, 2017
  • The mysteries of human evolution

    Forensic science techniques used to learn about the past.

    People are fascinated by the use of forensic science to solve crimes. Any science can be forensic when used in the cr...

    February 16, 2017
  • How the insights of the Large Hadron Collider are being made open to everyone

    CERN’s ambitious plan to make all its research in particle physics available to everyone, with a ...

    If you visit the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) exhibition, now at the Queensland Museum, you’ll see the recreation of a...

    February 15, 2017
  • Why do the ecosystems we depend on collapse?

    Fisheries and forestry – highly susceptible to collapse.

    People collapse, buildings collapse, economies collapse and even entire human civilizations collapse. Collapse is als...

    February 9, 2017
  • The tragic story of Soviet genetics

    How did geneticist Nikolai Vavilov end up starving to death?

    A few years ago, one of us (Ian) was lucky enough to be invited to visit the N.I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry...

    February 9, 2017
  • Why do wombats do cube-shaped poo?

    How exactly is cubic poo produced?

    Poo comes in many different sizes, from the microscopic poo of the smallest invertebrates, to the largest poo of the ...

    February 8, 2017
  • The frog tongue is a high-speed adhesive

    The versatile frog tongue can grab wet surfaces with ease.

    How does one get stuck studying frog tongues? Our study into the sticky, slimy world of frogs all began with a humoro...

    February 7, 2017
  • Why time seems to go by faster as we age

    Perceived time moves more quickly for older people.

    When we were children, the summer holidays seemed to last forever, and the wait between Christmases felt like an eter...

    February 5, 2017
  • Africa’s toxic lakes are paradise for flamingos

    Flamingo species have evolved to live in the most extreme wetlands.

    The world’s most seemingly-toxic lakes are under threat. And they are also home to one of our most familiar birds: th...

    February 5, 2017
  • Explainer: why the human voice is so versatile

    Our ability to process the sounds into meaningful language.

    Macaques and baboons – two distantly related primates – are able to produce a similar range of voice-like sounds to h...

    February 2, 2017
  • A new twist on fusion power

    In a world struggling to kick its addiction to fossil fuels and feed its growing appetite for ene...

    In a world struggling to kick its addiction to fossil fuels and feed its growing appetite for energy, there’s one tec...

    January 30, 2017
  • Giant atoms could help unveil ‘dark matter’

    A new way to probe dark matter that may just prove successful.

    The universe is an astonishingly secretive place. Mysterious substances known as dark matter and dark energy account ...

    January 29, 2017
  • Six cosmic catastrophes that could wipe out life on Earth

    The following cosmic disasters are just a few ways humanity could be severely endangered or even ...

    If you ask yourself what the biggest threat to human existence is you’d probably think of nuclear war, global warming...

    January 26, 2017
  • How the brain helps the body fight bacteria

    The brain may control the way our body responds to the threat of bacterial infections.

    The brain may not only control our thoughts and basic physical functions. Recent studies indicate that it also contro...

    January 25, 2017
  • The best (and worst) ways to beat mosquito bites

    How can you build a mosquito-free zone?

    First one, then another. Bite! Slap! Bite! Before you know it, mosquitoes are descending from the skies to disrupt yo...

    January 24, 2017
  • Jersey coast was a magnet for Neanderthals

    Evidence for visits including stone tools and animal bone.

    We all occupy a world in which particular places remain important to individuals and societies for thousands of years...

    January 23, 2017
  • Why whales squeak like a mouse?

    We expect large mammals to have low voices.

    Have you ever met a really tall man who has a high-pitched voice? Did it seem odd? We intuitively expect large mamma...

    January 22, 2017
  • What dogs see when they watch TV

    What is going on in your pooch’s head when looking at a screen?

    Dog owners often notice their pets watching televisions, computer screens and tablets. But what is going on in their ...

    January 19, 2017
  • How we can make super-fast hyperloop travel a reality

    Hyperloop developments have sparked much excitement, but some are sceptical they can work in the ...

    Across Europe and parts of Asia, travellers can enjoy some of the fastest rail services in the world. From Málaga to ...

    January 17, 2017
  • Explainer: we can learn a lot from the changing night sky

    How stars move across the sky is more complicated than you may first imagine. And the motion of t...

    You cannot feel or hear the world turning. It does not rumble through space. But you can see it turn with your own ey...

    January 16, 2017
  • Would you eat a 3-D printed pizza?

    While 3-D printers have mainly been in the news for their ability to manufacture inedible goods, ...

    Could you imagine serving a 3-D printed turkey for Christmas lunch? Or munching on a 3-D printed pizza for an afterno...

    January 15, 2017
  • Look up! Your guide to some of the best meteor showers for 2017

    After a disappointing 2016, when most of the annual major meteor showers were washed out by moon...

    Of the big three, the Quadrantids in January and Geminids in December are both visible in dark, moonless skies. Sadly...

    January 12, 2017
  • Why are most people right handed?

    The answer may be in the mouth of our ancestors.

    Roughly 90% of humans are right-handed and this is one of the traits that separates us from most other primates who d...

    January 11, 2017
  • Will we ever bring frozen corpses back to life?

    Nature has shown us that it is possible to cryopreserve animals.

    A teenager who tragically died of cancer recently has become the latest among a tiny but growing number of people to ...

    January 8, 2017
  • Got high cholesterol? Here are five eating tips

    When it comes to managing high cholesterol, confusion reigns.

    High fat, low fat, no carb, more carb: when it comes to getting information on eating to manage high blood cholestero...

    January 5, 2017
  • Which sports are best for health and long life?

    How types of physical activity affect health.

    Millions of people around the world, including nearly 60% of Americans, Australians and Europeans, participate in spo...

    January 4, 2017
  • The future of electronics is light

    If we could use light, made up of photons, instead of electricity, we could make transistors even...

    For the past four decades, the electronics industry has been driven by what is called “Moore’s Law,” which is not a l...

    January 3, 2017
  • Fusion energy: a time of transition and potential

    Fusion could provide a green, safe, unlimited source of energy.

    For centuries, humans have dreamed of harnessing the power of the sun to energize our lives here on Earth. But we wan...

    January 2, 2017
  • Despite the hype, batteries aren’t the cheapest way to store energy on the grid

    Are batteries the solution for getting more renewable energy into electricity grids and reducing ...

    Storage is the word of the moment in the energy industry. Since Tesla unveiled its Powerwall, politicians, commentato...

    January 1, 2017
  • Nitrogen pollution: the forgotten element of climate change

    While carbon pollution gets all the headlines for its role in climate change, nitrogen pollution ...

    While carbon pollution gets all the headlines for its role in climate change, nitrogen pollution is arguably a more c...

    December 29, 2016
  • Circadian rhythms and the microbiome

    The composition and activity of the microbiota exhibits rhythmicity.

    We’ve known that bacteria live in our intestines as far back as the 1680s, when Leeuwenhoek first looked through his ...

    December 28, 2016
  • Earth’s sixth great extinction event

    Our planet might soon see a sixth massive extinction.

    Life has existed on Earth for roughly 3.7 billion years. During that time we know of five mass extinction events — dr...

    December 27, 2016
  • Seaweed could hold the key to cutting methane emissions from cow burps

    About 11 years ago, a Canadian farmer discovered that cattle in a paddock by the sea were more pr...

    When Canadian farmer Joe Dorgan noticed about 11 years ago that cattle in a paddock by the sea were more productive t...

    December 26, 2016
  • How to involve more women in engineering

    Many make choices that steer away from professions in STEM.

    As millions of students of all ages return to school this fall, they are making important choices that have a strong ...

    December 25, 2016
  • Turning diamonds’ defects into long-term 3-D data storage

    How can we store large amounts of data in a way that’s secure for a long time and can be reused o...

    With the amount of data storage required for our daily lives growing and growing, and currently available technology ...

    December 22, 2016
  • Who lives longest: meat eaters or vegetarians?

    When it comes to longevity, meat consumption is often put under the microscope.

    Our ability to live a long life is influenced by a combination of our genes and our environment. In studies that invo...

    December 21, 2016
  • What is the dark web and how does it work?

    It can be hard to fully understand how the dark web works and what it looks like.

    We often hear about the dark web being linked to terrorist plots, drug deals, knife sales and child pornography, but ...

    December 20, 2016
  • What is the unusual Rapunzel syndrome?

    An extremely rare medical condition.

    In the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, the trapped Rapunzel lets down her long hair through a tower window so a prince can...

    December 19, 2016
  • Moving toward computing at the speed of thought

    A newly immersive world not only is open to more people to experience; it also allows almost anyo...

    The first computers cost millions of dollars and were locked inside rooms equipped with special electrical circuits a...

    December 18, 2016
  • Creatures that defy what we know about plants

    Some organisms whose nature is more mystifying.

    You might have played the game called “animal, vegetable, mineral”. One player thinks of an object or organism and th...

    December 13, 2016
  • Improve maths and science teaching

    Australia has significantly low maths and science scores.

    As a school student, I awaited the arrival of the end-of-year report with a bracing mix of hope and fear. Now, as Au...

    December 6, 2016
  • Data breaches a thing of the past

    China’s quantum satellite has the ability to send info securely.

    China recently launched a satellite into orbit with a unique feature: it has the ability to send information securely...

    December 5, 2016
  • Whose word to respect in debate on science?

    The acquisition of experimentally verifiable evidence.

    The motto of the Royal Society, Britain’s and perhaps the world’s oldest scientific society, is “nullius in verba” wh...

    November 30, 2016
  • Paying a heavy price for loving the Neanderthals

    Engaged in amorous congress with the evolutionary cousins.

    One of the biggest surprises about our evolution revealed over just the last decade is the extent to which our ancest...

    November 27, 2016
  • Why all the super buzz about the supermoon?

    The question we need to ask ourselves is – does the supermoon look any more magnificent than othe...

    A beautiful full moon will grace our skies on Monday 14 November this year. Full moons always rise around sunset, so ...

    November 10, 2016
  • Engineers take hadron collider to new levels

    Qualified engineers lead the construction of these behemoths.

    The Large Hadron Collider at CERN is the world’s largest particle accelerator, and experiments like this have reached...

    November 1, 2016
  • Why is mood so important?

    What role does the brain play in shaping our mood?

    The brain is key to our existence, but there’s a long way to go before neuroscience can truly capture its staggering ...

    October 31, 2016
  • What’s the link between hay fever and asthma?

    At least half of all people with hay fever also have asthma.

    Spring is a favourite time of year for many – as the earth rejuvenates, lawns become green and trees blossom. But for...

    October 30, 2016
  • Has auto-translation software finally stopped being so useless?

    Translating text from one language into another is a simple proposition but a fiendishly complica...

    If you’ve ever put a phrase into an online translator and then laughed at the garbled results, your fun might be comi...

    October 23, 2016
  • The big picture of the universe reveals the family tree of galaxies

    A new photo album made from hundreds of images of more than 70,000 galaxies represents one of the...

    A new photo album made from hundreds of images of more than 70,000 galaxies represents one of the most detailed galax...

    October 19, 2016
  • Resilient Great Barrier Reef

    Overfishing, pollution or climate change, contributes to decline.

    Healthy microbes make for a healthy coral reef. And if that microbiological community is disrupted by overfishing, po...

    October 18, 2016
  • Mellow yellow?

    The mood and cognitive effects of curcumin from turmeric.

    Curcumin is the component of turmeric (Curcuma longa) that gives the spice its bright yellow colour. It is one of mor...

    October 17, 2016
  • Superbugs evolve in waste water

    Antimicrobial resistance threatens modern medicine.

    We are heading into a post-antibiotic era, where common infections could once again be deadly. A phenomenon known as ...

    October 16, 2016
  • What makes our personalities so unique?

    Psychologists have long debated how to characterise personality.

    Personality is a broad term describing how people habitually relate to the world and their inner self. After the deve...

    October 12, 2016
  • What’s happening when our joints crack?

    Will we get arthritis like our parents used to tell us?

    We’ve all had the experience of standing up and hearing a loud pop in our back or hip, or trying to tiptoe through th...

    October 5, 2016
  • The future of brain and machine is intertwined, and it’s already here

    Technology is beginning to promise ways of remaking neurological connections, but is it our ingen...

    Imagine a condition that leaves you fully conscious, but unable to move or communicate, as some victims of severe str...

    October 4, 2016
  • Does burnt food give you cancer?

    Should you actually think twice about eating it?

    If you’re offered a plate of blackened barbecue food this summer, you might think twice about eating it. It’s commonl...

    September 5, 2016
  • RIP E.T. – alien life on most exoplanets dies young

    The violence and instability of the early formation and evolution of rocky planets suggests that ...

    {%recommended 597%}Astronomers have found a plethora of planets around nearby stars. And it appears that Earth-sized ...

    August 31, 2016
  • Why humpback whales protect other species

    Humpbacks wield their pectoral flippers like swords.

    A group of killer whales is on the hunt. They work together to submerge and drown a whale calf. But then more whales ...

    August 29, 2016
  • The maths behind ‘impossible’ patterns

    Patterns & crystals are periodic and have related symmetries.

    Remember the graph paper you used at school, the kind that’s covered with tiny squares? It’s the perfect illustration...

    August 28, 2016
  • Evolution’s weirdest creatures

    Evolution helps every species carve out its own niche.

    Evolution helps every species carve out its own niche within our planet’s huge range of diverse and adverse habitats....

    August 17, 2016
  • Do kids grow out of childhood asthma?

    When a child is diagnosed with asthma, many questions arise.

    When a child is diagnosed with asthma, parents usually have a number of questions. How serious is asthma? Will the ch...

    August 16, 2016
  • Land carbon storage swelled in the Little Ice Age, which bodes ill for the future

    When temperatures dipped between 1500 and 1750, the world’s landscapes responded by storing more ...

    The dip in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels during the Little Ice Age wasn’t caused by New World pioneers cutting a ...

    August 15, 2016
  • Explainer: the A, B, C, D and E of hepatitis

    Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E are very different viruses.

    Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. While we usually think of hepatitis A to E viruses, anything that causes i...

    August 14, 2016
  • Optimal pee and poo colour for your health

    Food, medications and illnesses can all play a part.

    Out of the blue I passed bright red pee. I freaked, thinking it was a sign of terminal disease. Then I remembered the...

    August 10, 2016
  • The hidden face in Degas’s Portrait

    X-rays reveal a clear picture of a woman’s face in portrait.

    Edgar Degas’s painting Portrait of a woman is an enigmatic piece. When it was first acquired by the National Gallery ...

    August 9, 2016
  • From Neptune’s blue hue to Jupiter’s red spot: are the colours of the planets real?

    Many images of planets have been manipulated. So have we seen their true colours? Not always, it ...

    These days, we’re used to seeing pictures of planets sent back by spacecraft. Some pictures look colourful, others le...

    August 8, 2016
  • What causes asthma?

    Air pollution exposure in early life leads to increased risk.

    Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition with no known cure. It impacts people of all ages through episodic constric...

    August 2, 2016
  • Can the world’s biggest factory ever be fully green?

    Tesla is taking bold steps to make its production as eco-friendly as possible – but it’s not as s...

    Like Henry Ford before him, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk is taking a new approach to car making. Where Ford focuse...

    August 2, 2016
  • 10 facts about chicken and eggs

    There are a lot of questions about chicken production.

    When I am asked by friends what I do for living, I tend to raise eyebrows because my job is somewhat odd to many city...

    August 1, 2016
  • Did sex drive mammal evolution?

    How one species can become two.

    How new species are created is at the very core of the theory of evolution. The reigning theory is that physically se...

    August 1, 2016
  • Science behind Hillary Clinton’s problems

    Research suggests, Clinton’s carefulness harms her.

    Large swaths of the American public want Donald J. Trump to be their president – maybe even a majority, according to ...

    July 31, 2016
  • The global impact of air conditioning: big and getting bigger

    Global temperatures are poised for another record-breaking year. As incomes rise around the world...

    With a heat wave pushing the heat index well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) through much of the U.S., most...

    July 31, 2016
  • Health Check: how much salt is OK to eat?

    So how much is too much?

    Australian guidelines recommend limiting salt intake to six grams a day or less. The World Health Organisation advise...

    July 28, 2016
  • Do women’s periods really sync together?

    What does the science say?

    It is a popular belief that women who live together synchronise their menstrual cycles, and that it’s mediated by the...

    July 28, 2016
  • A guide to the nanotechnology used in the average home

    The application of nanotechnology in some areas, such as batteries, microelectronics and sunscree...

    As a researcher of nanomaterials, I am often asked: “When are we finally going to start seeing nanotechnology product...

    July 27, 2016
  • Nightmares and night terrors in kids

    When do they stop being normal?

    Two of the most common causes of night waking in children are night terrors and nightmares. Parents often get them co...

    July 27, 2016
  • Ancient Deep Skull

    Still holds big surprises 60 years after it was unearthed.

    Thousands of years ago, the ancestors of modern humans left Africa to embark on a journey that would eventually take ...

    July 26, 2016
  • Do we have a choice about eating meat?

    There are many factors that play a role in our food selections.

    The internet abounds with ‘expert advice’ on what we should or shouldn’t eat. High carb or low carb diets? Grains or ...

    July 26, 2016
  • What’s driving the universe expansion?

    Galaxies moving away from each other faster than expected.

    There is something strange happening in the local universe, with galaxies moving away from each other faster than exp...

    July 25, 2016
  • Kitchen Science: beyond the sweetness of sugar

    Some fascinating and highly practical uses of sugar.

    We all know the nutritional “evils” of sugar as a potential cause of obesity, chronic disease and death, through to b...

    July 25, 2016
  • Explainer: what dust from the Sahara does to you and the planet

    Dust-laden wind has implications on soil fertility, radio communication, visibility at airports a...

    At this time of year in Europe, you may have noticed something in the air. Dust-laden winds blowing from the Sahara d...

    July 25, 2016
  • What is the common cold?

    Lack of good research looking into this infection.

    The “common cold” is common. Most of us will have at least one or two per year. Children get sick more often and very...

    July 24, 2016
  • The five most addictive substances on Earth

    The question is simple, but the answer depends on who you ask.

    What are the most addictive drugs? This question seems simple, but the answer depends on whom you ask. From the point...

    July 22, 2016
  • Why do some galaxies stop making new stars?

    Many elliptical galaxies have stopped forming new stars – What stops them is one of the biggest q...

    Galaxies are star-making machines, churning out new stars fuelled by cold gas collapsing under the force of gravity. ...

    July 21, 2016
  • Moving exoskeletons from sci-fi into medical rehabilitation and therapy

    Exoskeletons are enhancing human strength, assisting disabled people and even provide rehabilitat...

    Chances are, you’ve seen a person using a powered exoskeleton – what you might think of as a sort of bionic suit – bu...

    July 21, 2016
  • Which fruits are healthier?

    The question is when is the best stage to eat?

    Most of us know eating fruit daily is a great way to try to stay healthy, with the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating...

    July 20, 2016
  • Beyond Asimov: how to plan for ethical robots

    As robots become integrated into society more widely, we need to be sure they’ll behave well amon...

    In 1942, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov attempted to lay out a philosophical and moral framework for ensuring ro...

    July 18, 2016
  • Pterosaurs should have been too big to fly?

    The pterosaurs had wingspans up to 10 and 11 metres.

    Imagine an animal the size of a small airplane flying above your head. This is what you might have seen 70m years ago...

    July 13, 2016
  • Forget Iron Man: skintight suits are the future of robotic exoskeletons

    Today’s exoskeletons are mostly clumsy, heavy devices but new technology could make them much eas...

    Children with a rare neurological disease were recently given the chance to walk for the first time thanks to a new r...

    July 12, 2016
  • Getting to sleep in space is hard – and not exactly restful for the mind and body

    What effects does microgravity in space have on sleeping humans?

    We’ve learned a lot about the effects on the human body of going into space by studying astronauts such as British as...

    July 12, 2016
  • The top six dinosaur myths

    Over time our ideas about dinosaurs have changed radically.

    When the first dinosaur bone was described in 1676, it was thought to come from an elephant or perhaps a giant. Over ...

    July 12, 2016
  • Challenging dogs for title of ‘man’s best friend’

    Dogs are not the only animal humans have domesticated.

    Since the evolution of dogs from wolves tens of thousands of years ago, they have been selectively bred for various r...

    July 11, 2016
  • Sex and other myths about weight loss

    They can prevent people from reaching their weight loss goals.

    The estimated annual health care costs related to obesity are over $210 billion, or nearly 21 percent of annual medic...

    July 8, 2016
  • Could dragons on Westeros fly?

    Aeronautical engineering and maths say they could.

    Like many people, I have recently become fascinated the lives and loves of the ruling classes of the people of Wester...

    July 7, 2016
  • What a Moroccan crater reveals about a rare double whammy from the skies

    Morocco, and particularly its southern desert, is scattered with treasure that came from the skie...

    Morocco, and particularly its southern desert, is scattered with treasure that came from the skies: meteorites. These...

    July 6, 2016
  • Meet the biohackers letting technology get under their skin

    Some see the human body as a source of frustration with considerable limitations compared to the ...

    For some people, the human body isn’t a temple. Instead they see it as a source of frustration thanks to the consider...

    July 6, 2016
  • No increase in brain cancer from mobile use

    No rise in rates of brain cancer since we using mobile phones.

    Earlier this year, Australia saw a whirlwind tour from the electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones alarmist Devr...

    July 5, 2016
  • America’s “founding physician”

    Ability to draw conclusions from scattered evidence.

    When Benjamin Franklin deferred to Thomas Jefferson in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, he did so for...

    July 5, 2016
  • Does a planet need plate tectonics to develop life?

    Plate tectonics may be a phase in the evolution of planets.

    Plate tectonics may be a phase in the evolution of planets that has implications for the habitability of exoplanets, ...

    July 3, 2016
  • Graphene isn’t the only Lego in the toy box

    Materials used like Lego to build the electronics of the future.

    You may have heard of graphene, a sheet of pure carbon, one atom thick, that’s all the rage in materials-science circ...

    July 1, 2016
  • Is our Milky Way galaxy a zombie, already dead and we don’t know it?

    Can a galaxy have a classical spiral structure and also be already dead? Kevin Schawinski explores .

    Like a zombie, the Milky Way galaxy may already be dead but it still keeps going. Our galactic neighbor Andromeda alm...

    July 1, 2016
  • The key for future space exploration

    The Deep Space Atomic Clock at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab.

    We all intuitively understand the basics of time. Every day we count its passage and use it to schedule our lives. W...

    June 30, 2016
  • How do food manufacturers pick those dates on their product packaging – and what do they mean?

    Plenty of discarded food is still safe to eat. So what are the “use-by” and “best before” dates o...

    WIKIPEDIANo one wants to serve spoiled food to their families. Conversely, consumers don’t want to throw food away un...

    June 29, 2016
  • Antimatter changed physics

    When a memory is created, so is an “antimemory”?

    One of the most intriguing physics discoveries of the last century was the existence of antimatter, material that exi...

    June 29, 2016
  • Virtual reality tech may make ‘going shopping’ in real life a thing of the past

    The mix of the real and online worlds are helpful precursors for what may be the “next big thing”...

    Pestoverde, CC BY-SAHigh street shops are well-established online these days and provide new opportunities for intera...

    June 28, 2016
  • Four new elements named

    Four new names for the elements 113, 115, 117 and 118.

    The seventh row of the periodic table is complete, resplendent with four new names for the elements 113, 115, 117 and...

    June 14, 2016
  • Ancient asteroid impacts yield evidence for the nature of the early Earth

    The early Earth may have been shaped by asteroid bombardment.

    The nature of the early Earth’s crust prior to about 4 billion years ago – about half a billion years following forma...

    June 14, 2016
  • Your questions answered on artificial intelligence

    Artificial intelligence and robotics have enjoyed a resurgence of interest, and there is renewed ...

    You submitted your questions about artificial intelligence and robotics, and we put them – and some of our own – to T...

    May 23, 2016
  • Everything you eat is made of chemicals

    The first in a Kitchen Science series from The Conversation.

    We are routinely warned by earnest websites, advertisments and well-meaning popular articles about nasty “chemicals” ...

    May 1, 2016

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