Small, diamond-based quantum computers could be in our hands within five years

Small, affordable, ‘plug-and-play’ quantum computing is one step closer. An Australian startup has won $13 million to make its diamond-based computing cores shine. Now it needs to grow. ANU research spinoff Quantum Brilliance has found a way to use synthetic diamonds to drive quantum calculations. Now it’s on a five-year quest to produce commercially viable … Continue reading Small, diamond-based quantum computers could be in our hands within five years

Gravitational waves from black holes swallowing neutron stars

Earlier this week, scientists announced an exciting discovery made with made with gravitational waves: the first confirmed detection of black holes swallowing neutron stars. Published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the study required input from scientists around the world, including Australians based at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav). Cosmos spoke … Continue reading Gravitational waves from black holes swallowing neutron stars

Skull data challenges domestication theory

Despite their varied genetic origins, domesticated animals have a lot of traits in common, and it’s not entirely clear why. But a study by Australian and Swiss researchers has added another piece to the domestication puzzle, challenging a theory that tries to account for overarching similarities between animals. “We see many different species that are … Continue reading Skull data challenges domestication theory

Fossils of extinct “giant cloud rats” found in the Philippines

Piecing together fossil remains of jaws and teeth in the Philippines, archaeologists have unearthed evidence of three new giant cloud rat species that lived in the treetops until just a few thousand years ago. Two of the species, which come from the Phloeomyini tribe, would have been around for about 60,000 years, they report in … Continue reading Fossils of extinct “giant cloud rats” found in the Philippines

Shield bugs trick to avoid predators

New research has revealed for the first time that shield bugs use a variety of colours throughout their lives to avoid predators. Shield bugs are often bright, colourful insects that use colours to warn of their distastefulness to predators. The paper, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that it is … Continue reading Shield bugs trick to avoid predators

Star flung across the galaxy

  A star travelling through the Milky Way at more than six million km/h has been discovered by a team of international astronomers. They predict that the star was flung from the centre of our galaxy by a supermassive black hole around five million years ago. The star will leave the Milky Way, never to … Continue reading Star flung across the galaxy

“Undervalued” breastfeeding

Researchers are warning that the ‘invisible’ work of caring for a baby is not considered by health or work polices or government statistics. According to Julie Smith from  The Australian National University (ANU), it takes mother 40-hours each week to care for a new-born baby, 18 hours of which are taken up by breastfeeding. However, the … Continue reading “Undervalued” breastfeeding

Eta Aquariid meteor shower lights up sky

Amateur astronomers across Australia will be treated to shooting stars over the next few days, as bits of rock and ice from Halley’s Comet burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. Astronomer Brad Tucker from The Australian National University said the streaking-light shows from the Eta Aquariid meteor shower would happen around 4am local time on each … Continue reading Eta Aquariid meteor shower lights up sky

Astronomers react to black hole images

In one of the biggest scientific announcements of recent times, an international collaboration of astronomers and astrophysicists revealed overnight the first ever image of a black hole. The image, resembling a bright donut, shows for the very first time the Event Horizon – the point at which no light can escape the gravitational pull of … Continue reading Astronomers react to black hole images

Climate change report shows the current reality

The World Meteorological Organisation’s State of the Global Climate report has been released and makes for grim reading. The 25th annual edition of the report describes in detail the shocking effect human actions are having on the climate, including record sea level rises, as well as exceptionally high land and ocean temperatures over the past … Continue reading Climate change report shows the current reality

A better way to manage the kangaroo population

Landholders need to turn professional in controlling kangaroo population numbers on their properties and regard the iconic Australian animals as assets rather than pests, suggests new research. The paper, led by George Wilson from the Australian National University and published in Australian Zoologist, argues millions of kangaroos died and were wasted in 2018 – without … Continue reading A better way to manage the kangaroo population

Australia sets the pace to renewables

Australia is streaking ahead of other countries when it comes to renewable energy, to the extent where we may reach our Paris carbon reduction commitments five years early, claims a new report. New analysis by the Australian National University has found Australia is installing renewables 4-5 times faster per capita than the EU, USA, Japan … Continue reading Australia sets the pace to renewables