Cry-olin: musical instruments convey human emotion by mimicking speech

Singers can convey a lot of emotion in the tone of their voices: a trembling sound might denote sadness, and a voice can also “smile”. But new research shows that non-vocal instruments can also use these tricks to convey emotion. Described in a paper published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, a team … Continue reading Cry-olin: musical instruments convey human emotion by mimicking speech

How making a film exploring Indigenous stories of the night sky enriched my perspective as a scientist

By Steven Tingay Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what it all means? You are not alone. Billions of people before you have done the same. Looking at the stars to make sense of the universe, and our lives on Earth, extends back many tens of thousands of years, across … Continue reading How making a film exploring Indigenous stories of the night sky enriched my perspective as a scientist

Rethinking eating disorders from the inside out

Eating disorders – the leading psychiatric cause of death in Australia – are not being adequately treated by the current healthcare system, according to a new National Eating Disorder Strategy launched today. In fact, while at least one million Aussies are living with an eating disorder, only about 200,000 are receiving evidence-based treatment, according to … Continue reading Rethinking eating disorders from the inside out

Insights into the evolution of homosexuality

How has homosexuality survived evolution? Genes associated with same-sex relationships may potentially have multiple functions that benefit heterosexuals, according to research from the University of Queensland. “A long-standing mystery is why same-sex sexual behaviour, which is known to be influenced by genes, has survived evolution,” says Brendan Zietsch, who led the study. “This is mysterious … Continue reading Insights into the evolution of homosexuality

Cosmos Pi-ku 2021 competition

Only occasionally does a journalist get to write a ‘gosh, sorry’ story and have a genuinely reasonable hope of getting away with it. This is that time. It’s a moment in history. And thus… We launched the Cosmos Pi-ku 2021 competition on 14 March – International Day of Mathematics according to UNESCO – and also Pi Day … Continue reading Cosmos Pi-ku 2021 competition

Pill testing not a drug use driver

New research from Edith Cowan University (ECU) has found that access to pill testing would not give people an incentive to use drugs. The research, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, surveyed 247 attendees at a West Australian music festival. A significant majority – 212 – of those surveyed had previously taken ecstasy. Attendees … Continue reading Pill testing not a drug use driver

Why are reports of sexual assault delayed?

Reporting sexual assault is a very sensitive and nuanced matter, and identifying at-risk groups may illuminate areas in which rape and sexual assault policy needs to improve. Drawing on a large database of publicly available criminal reports from two US cities, a team led by Konstantin Klemmer of the University of Warwick, UK, and New … Continue reading Why are reports of sexual assault delayed?

Raising the dead

Research into spiritualism – a belief system based on the idea that human souls endure beyond death and communicate with the living through a medium or psychic – probably seems slightly at odds with one’s picture of contemporary science. But there’s growing interest in it worldwide. In Britain, several organisations support, train and offer the … Continue reading Raising the dead

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Big, BIG night sky map An international research collaboration has just released a map of more than 690 million celestial objects, including stars, galaxies and quasars, as part of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). Over eight years, telescopes in Australia and Chile scanned nearly an eighth of the night sky and looked back in time … Continue reading You may have missed…