The great carbon capture and storage debate: can Santos make it work?

This article on Santos’ carbon capture and storage project first appeared in Cosmos Weekly on 22 October 2021. When Sylvia Little fried her eggs at her Adelaide home one November morning in 1969, she became Santos’s first customer for natural gas from Moomba, 800 kilometres north in the Strzelecki Desert. Today, in subterranean reservoirs depleted … Continue reading The great carbon capture and storage debate: can Santos make it work?

Killer asteroids and stargazing

Fred Watson’s been a fixture of Australian astronomy for decades, perhaps best known for his work promoting and explaining science and astronomy on television, radio and through publications. In addition to a long career at the Australian Astronomical Observatory and now as astronomer-at-large for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, he is the author … Continue reading Killer asteroids and stargazing

COVID Frontline: breakthrough infection ends with a whimper

When I first told my work colleagues of my COVID positive, our Editor-in-Chief thought one thing: diary! I duly penned my first instalment, where things were going so well I wondered if I’d have much to say, and my second instalment, when things took a slight turn for the worse. As I now wrap things … Continue reading COVID Frontline: breakthrough infection ends with a whimper

George Boole executes a search

George Boole was born on 2 November 1815 in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, in the East Midlands of England. He spent his career as professor of mathematics at Queen’s University in Cork, Ireland. Boole married Mary Everest, niece of Sir George Everest, the Welsh geographer who served as Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843. Renowned … Continue reading George Boole executes a search

Your unvaccinated friend is roughly 20 times more likely to give you COVID

By Christopher Baker, The University of Melbourne and Andrew Robinson, The University of Melbourne As lockdowns ease in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT, and people return to work and socialising, many of us will be mixing more with others, even though a section of the community is still unvaccinated. Many vaccinated people are … Continue reading Your unvaccinated friend is roughly 20 times more likely to give you COVID

Six spooky creatures to scare you this Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, so we’ve asked the staff here at Cosmos to nominate their favourite scary creatures to share with you. Irukandji jellyfish These tiny jellyfish, found in tropical waters including around northern Australia, carry a mean sting. Both the ‘bell’ (main body) and tentacles carry highly venomous stingers. Getting stung leads … Continue reading Six spooky creatures to scare you this Halloween

Jonas Salk wins the fight against polio

In the early 20th century, polio was, as the World Health Organisation’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative notes, one of the most feared diseases in industrialised countries, paralysing hundreds of thousands of children every year. However, soon after the introduction of effective vaccines in the 1950s and ’60s it “was brought under control and practically eliminated … Continue reading Jonas Salk wins the fight against polio

Explainer: what is viral load?

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced us to a raft of new terminology in the past two years, with important implications for the safety of our population. Now that the majority of Australians are fully vaccinated, it’s important to understand the concept of viral load. What is viral load? This term refers to the amount of … Continue reading Explainer: what is viral load?

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?