Neighbourhood watch: what are the other countries in our region doing about carbon? | Cosmos Weekly Taster

This article on South East Asian carbon policy first appeared in Cosmos Weekly on 15 October 2021. For more stories like this, subscribe to Cosmos Weekly. While the Australian government continues to wrangle with their internal divisions over whether or not to set a target of net zero emissions target for 2050, our nation neighbours to … Continue reading Neighbourhood watch: what are the other countries in our region doing about carbon? | Cosmos Weekly Taster

COVID Frontline: A breakthrough infection and a lockdown lifts

As detailed in the previous instalment, after a couple of days I considered myself the textbook case of a fully vaccinated individual that has caught COVID but has pretty mild symptoms. I was starting to wonder if this was going to be a one-entry COVID diary. However, by day four it got a bit more … Continue reading COVID Frontline: A breakthrough infection and a lockdown lifts

The Kessler syndrome

In Neal Stephenson’s 2015 novel Seveneves, he imagines that the Earth’s moon breaking into seven pieces. This being a work of science fiction, the event of course has dire consequences for everyone on the planet. But if the idea of a cloud of space debris left over from the shattering of the Moon seems fanciful, … Continue reading The Kessler syndrome

Good news about screen time and kids’ health?

By Brendon Hyndman, Charles Sturt University A newly published study in the journal PLoS ONE suggests spending time on screens is unlikely to be directly harmful to young children. The US study attracted global attention, as screen time has been commonly blamed for disrupting the healthy habits of our youth. Headlines announced “Screens are not … Continue reading Good news about screen time and kids’ health?

Who’s killing physics? | Cosmos Weekly Taster

This article on the future of physics first appeared in Cosmos Weekly on 15 October 2021. For more stories like this, subscribe to Cosmos Weekly. On a recent visit to my mum’s place, I searched through my old stuff for something my children might like. One book that caught my eyes was (the German edition of) … Continue reading Who’s killing physics? | Cosmos Weekly Taster

Nature is for everyone

The outdoors has something for everyone, but is nature accessible to all? This panel explores the diverse value of nature, some of the barriers South Australians experience in accessing it, and showcases programs that are working to make it easier for everyone to connect to nature. Cosmos presents this recording from South Australia’s Nature Festival … Continue reading Nature is for everyone

COVID Frontline: What’s it like to get a Moderna booster?

On 17 September, CNN published an online story with the heading: “Moderna’s vaccine is the most effective, but Pfizer and J&J also protect well, CDC-led study says.” That news suited me just fine – I received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine in January, and took the second shot in February. Two days earlier, … Continue reading COVID Frontline: What’s it like to get a Moderna booster?

What is COP26 and why does the fate of Earth depend on it?

By Wesley Morgan, Griffith University In just over two weeks, more than 100 world leaders will gather in the Scottish industrial city of Glasgow for United Nations climate change negotiations known as COP26. Their task, no less, is to decide the fate of our planet. This characterisation may sound dramatic. After all, UN climate talks … Continue reading What is COP26 and why does the fate of Earth depend on it?

COVID Frontline: Getting COVID in a lockdown city

So on Tuesday I got a text: Your COVID test is POSITIVE. That’s how I became only the second person I know well who’s caught COVID; for an Australian, that’s probably not too unusual. But let’s roll back a bit. I live between Adelaide and Melbourne; my partner Nicola moved to Victoria to take up … Continue reading COVID Frontline: Getting COVID in a lockdown city

Bernardino Ramazzini is on the job

Looking for a career in healthcare? Occupational medicine, with its focus on treating work-related injuries and illnesses, is “the medical specialty ranked among the highest in satisfaction and lowest in professional burnout”, claims the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It might come as a surprise to learn that the “scientific foundation to modern … Continue reading Bernardino Ramazzini is on the job

Deciphering the Philosophers’ Stone: how we cracked a 400-year-old alchemical cipher

Richard Bean, The University of Queensland; Megan Piorko, Georgia State University, and Sarah Lang, University of Graz What secret alchemical knowledge could be so important it required sophisticated encryption? The setting was Amsterdam, 2019. A conference organised by the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry had just concluded at the Embassy of the … Continue reading Deciphering the Philosophers’ Stone: how we cracked a 400-year-old alchemical cipher

Why are viruses considered non-living?

Viruses: living or non-living? Viruses are responsible for some of the world’s most dangerous and deadly diseases, including influenza, ebola, rabies, smallpox and COVID-19. Despite their potential to kill, these potent pathogens are in fact considered to be non-living, as alive as the screen that you are reading this article on. How is this possible? … Continue reading Why are viruses considered non-living?