To see the world in a grain of salt

What’s the size of a grain of salt, and could diagnose disease from inside your body? A microscopic camera, of course. It’s long been thought that microscopic cameras could revolutionise diagnostic capability in medicine, enabling doctors to spot problems inside the human body, or even to augment sensing by super-small robots. But while scientists have … Continue reading To see the world in a grain of salt

Is Australia ready for the digital world?

Australia needs to focus on digital technology research, according to a new report by the Australian academies of Science (AAS) and Technology and Engineering (ATSE). The summary, published on the AAS’s website, urges policymakers to recognise the significance of digital technologies – including AI, quantum computing, cybersecurity, blockchain and 5G. While the use of all … Continue reading Is Australia ready for the digital world?

Tree-D modelling: Scanning the savanna with 3D imaging

How do you measure the quantity of carbon in strangely shaped trees? With a little bit of Tree-D modelling! For National Science Week, we are celebrating a pioneering researcher who is employing a clever remote-sensing technology to help us learn more about tree carbon capture. Linda Luck, a PhD candidate at Charles Darwin University, is … Continue reading Tree-D modelling: Scanning the savanna with 3D imaging

Otto Rohwedder and the greatest thing

How does one describe greatness and its many orders of magnitude? We can say something is simply great, or add a definitive-article time factor and say it is the greatest. Or we can include a comparison such as, American Simone Biles is the greatest gymnast since Romania’s Nadia Comaneci. If we want to be less … Continue reading Otto Rohwedder and the greatest thing

Newton in the pilot’s seat

It takes a lot of thought and a lot of work to land a rover on Mars. It’s not as if you’re on Earth, where you can check things out, take a few samples and make necessary measurements directly. To get a lander like Perseverance down, scientists and engineers must take into account such things … Continue reading Newton in the pilot’s seat

What drones can tell us about penguins

How do you keep a close and regular eye on 300,000 nesting pairs of Adélie penguins spread over two square kilometres of ice? Send in the drones, of course. But not without a plan. It helps to have an algorithm that can partition the space, assign destination points to each drone and figure out how … Continue reading What drones can tell us about penguins

Electric cars are better for the environment

A global analysis has verified that electric cars and heat pumps generate less greenhouse gas over their life cycle than their archaic petrol and fossil boiler counterparts, which together account for a quarter of the world’s emissions. Considering several different climate policy scenarios over the next three decades, European researchers report in the journal Nature that electric vehicles and … Continue reading Electric cars are better for the environment