Latest Science

Liking death metal doesn’t make you a violent person

Liking death metal or other aggressive music doesn’t desensitise you to other violent media. Listening to the music of a band called Bloodbath – described as “a Swedish death metal supergroup” – is not, it must be said, an exercise recommended for people of delicate disposition who rather like the songs of Celine Dion. However, 48 men and women with no particular love of razoring guitars, thundering drums and screamed lyrics from albums with titles […] See more

Published 17 hours ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Cosmos Magazine
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The next biometric security system could be your heart

The future of biometric security might not be eyes or fingerprints, but your own heart. Car keys and house keys could be made redundant by our own heartbeats, according to a cyber-security expert from Edith Cowan University. Dr Guanglou Zheng from ECU’s Security Research Institute is investigating how electrocardiogram (ECG) signals can be used to secure medical devices, unlock phones and even protect the smart homes and smart cars of the future. Like fingerprints, ECG […] See more

Published 21 hours ago. Author: ECU Newsroom from Edith Cowan University

Renewable energy for industry is no sweat with new system

Scientists have developed a new system that makes using renewable energy for industry more viable. Heavy industry’s dependence on natural gas could be greatly reduced after new research that combined renewable energy and low-cost thermal storage to deliver heat for high-temperature industrial processes. Using renewable energy for industry which require high-temperatures has previously been thought of as a stumbling point for reducing emissions. Research indicates around 20 per cent of global fossil fuel emissions are […] See more

Published 2 days ago. Author: UniSA Newsroom from University of South Australia
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Four ways sleep deprivation affects your brain and your body

Struggling with sleep deprivation? Here’s four ways not getting enough sleep knocks you about, and eight tips for getting a better nights rest. Along with diet and exercise, sleep is one of the three key pillars of health. But while we often discuss food and physical fitness, sleep gets far less focus. After all, a little tiredness didn’t hurt anybody, right? Wrong! Inadequate sleep affects an estimated 7.4 million Australian adults, costing our economy over […] See more

Published 2 days ago. Author: Prerna Varma from RMIT University
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Coal-fired power stations ‘disrupt rainfall patterns’

Coal-fired power stations release more ultrafine particles than road traffic – and that can be dangerous for human health and change rainfall patterns. Modern coal-fired power stations produce more ultrafine dust particles than road traffic and can even modify and redistribute rainfall patterns, a new 15-year international study shows. The study indicates filtration systems on modern coal-fired power stations are the biggest source of ultrafine particles and can have considerable impacts on climate in several […] See more

Published 3 days ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
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Should we use AI in law courts?

A legal expert has suggested artificial intelligence should be used to assist sentencing in courts. A Melbourne law expert says it’s time to look at machine learning to identify bias in criminal sentencing. Criminal sentencing could be fairer with the help of machine learning, according to Professor Dan Hunter, from Swinburne University’s Law School. Hunter observed that sentencing generates a vast store of data, and the process is expensive for individuals and the system, making […] See more

Published 3 days ago. Author: Swinburne University of Technology Newsroom from Swinburne University of Technology

Scientists worldwide call for a ban on heritable human gene editing

International scientific community propose moratorium on heritable gene editing after recent controversies. Scientists and ethicists from seven countries have called for a global moratorium on gene editing in humans that would be passed on through the generations. The statement in Nature follows Chinese scientist He Jiankui’s reported use of gene editing to produce an HIV-resistant baby last year – a move that spurred widespread condemnation from the scientific community. University of Wollongong and University of Melbourne […] See more

Published 6 days ago. Author: Olivia Henry from Australian Science Media Centre
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The terror of climate change is transforming young people’s identity

The stark reality of the future is driving their fight against climate change. Today, at least 50 rallies planned across Australia are expected to draw thousands of students who are walking out of school to protest climate change inaction. These Australian students join children from over 82 countries who are striking to highlight systemic failure to address climate change. But the strikes represent more than frustration and resistance. They are evidence of an even bigger process […] See more

Published 6 days ago. Author: Blanche Verlie from RMIT University

Thank Earth’s magnetic field for water that gives you life

Finding water and life on exoplanets might be bound by the strength of their magnetic field. A study by scientists at ANU on the magnetic fields of planets has found that most planets discovered in other solar systems are unlikely to be as hospitable to life as Earth. Plants and animals would not survive without water on Earth. The sheer strength of Earth’s magnetic field helps to maintain liquid water on our blue planet’s surface, thereby […] See more

Published 7 days ago. Author: ANU Newsroom from Australian National University
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Newly found Aussie dinosaur confirms diversity in ancient rift valley

The space between Australia and Antarctica was once rich with herbivorous life. The discovery of a previously unknown species of small herbivorous dinosaur in the south-eastern corner of Australia confirms that life thrived in a vast rift valley that once existed between the continent and Antarctica, palaeontologists say. The dinosaur, identified from five fossilised jaw bones, would have been about the size of a wallaby, or a Labrador. The bones were unearthed from a site […] See more

Published 1 week ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Cosmos Magazine
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Koala-spotting drones a flying success

Queensland-developed drones that detect koalas in trees have proven their worth, spotting the furry creatures more reliably than people on the ground. QUT researchers have developed an innovative method for detecting koala populations using drones and infrared imaging that is more reliable and less invasive than traditional animal population monitoring techniques. In the study, published in Nature journal Scientific Reports, the researchers detail the technique that involves an algorithm for locating the koalas using drones […] See more

Published 1 week ago. Author: QUT Newsroom from Queensland University of Technology

Massive meteorite craters found in Western Australia and Central America

Two studies have identified massive meteorite craters near Perth, and in Central America. Researchers have discovered two previously unknown massive meteorite craters on Earth, the most recent estimated to have been produced by an impact only 800,000 years ago. The craters – one in Western Australia and the other in Nicaragua – are revealed in a pair of papers published in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science. In one sense, the Australian meteorite crater, in […] See more

Published 1 week ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Cosmos Magazine
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Shared driverless cars could reduce traffic by 80%

A future of shared driverless cars could reduce the number of vehicles on the roads by 80%, says a transport expert. Shared driverless cars could make roads safer, transport cheaper, and reduce vehicle numbers dramatically, according to a transport expert. Work by Professor Hussein Dia from the Swinburne University Smart Cities Research Institute has suggested that more than 80% of cars could come off the road if fleets of shared, self-driving, electric vehicles become reality. Dia […] See more

Published 1 week ago. Author: Swinburne University of Technology Newsroom from Swinburne University of Technology

Latest safety study the nail in the coffin for autism vaccine myth

The dangerous vaccine myth has been debunked, yet again, by a massive study of Danish children, providing reassurance to parents that the MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism. Australian scientists hope that a Danish study released this week will finally put the myth of a link between MMR vaccines an autism to bed. The study, which looked at all Danish kids born between 1999 and 2010; more than half a million in total, found no increase […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
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The dingo is a true-blue, native Australian species

The much demonised dingo has an identity crisis, but the evidence shows it is clearly a native species of its own, say researchers. Of all Australia’s wildlife, one stands out as having an identity crisis: the dingo. But our recent article in the journal Zootaxa argues that dingoes should be regarded as a bona fide species on multiple fronts. This isn’t just an issue of semantics. How someone refers to dingoes may reflect their values […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Bradley Smith from Australia's Science Channel
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Receiving a login code via SMS and email isn’t secure. Here’s what to use instead

Multi-factor authentication for cybersecurity might not be as safe as you think. Here’s how to keep yourself safer. When it comes to personal cybersecurity, you might think you’re doing alright. Maybe you’ve got multi-factor authentication setup on your phone so that you have to enter a code sent to you by SMS before you can login to your email or bank account from a new device. What you might not realise is that new scams […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Mike Johnstone from Edith Cowan University

Archaeologists find world’s oldest tattoo kit

Archaeologists have found a 2,700 year old tattooing kit in a cupboard. And amazingly, some of it made of human bones. Researchers have uncovered the world’s oldest known tattooist’s kit – and among the most startling conclusions is that two of the four tattooing tools found are made from human bone. The intricate, multi-toothed tattooing tools were found on Tongatapu Island – Tonga’s main island. Radiocarbon dating found them to be around 2,700 years old, […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: ANU Newsroom from Australian National University
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Food fraud fills stomachs but empties wallets

Claims of superfood health benefits don’t always match the evidence and are emptying people’s wallets and confusing food choices, says a nutritionist, who says to stick to the basics.  Sensationalised ‘superfoods’ for whatever ails you – biscuits to increase breastmilk supply, fermented drinks to give good gut bacteria, mood-changing protein balls – are expensive but no better than the tried and true five core food groups, says QUT dietitian Dr Helen Vidgen. Dr Vidgen […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: QUT Newsroom from Queensland University of Technology
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Balloon plastic waste in oceans the biggest risk to seabirds

Soft plastic waste in oceans massively increases the chances of death for a seabird, research shows.   Balloons and other soft plastic waste in oceans are 32 times more likely to kill seabirds than hard plastic waste, Australian research shows. A study of 1733 seabirds from 51 species found that while balloons and other soft plastics accounted for only 5% of plastics ingested, they were responsible for more than 40% of mortalities. And one in […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Nick Carne from Cosmos Magazine
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Nicotine by itself may harm your unborn baby

Nicotine by itself may harm embryos, even without the toxins from burning tobacco, shows a lab-based study. Nicotine itself may be damaging to embryos, even without the toxins generated by burning tobacco, according to US research. The scientists exposed embryoid bodies – ‘simulated’ embryos composed of groups of stem cells that give rise to the brain, heart, liver, blood vessels, muscles and other organs – to a growth fluid dosed with nicotine for three weeks. […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Joseph Milton from Australian Science Media Centre
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Scientists turn carbon dioxide into coal at room temperature

Could coal ironically be the answer to carbon capture and storage? Researchers have used liquid metals to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) back into solid coal with technology they say has the potential to revolutionise carbon capture and storage and provide a new way for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The international team led by RMIT University developed a liquid-metal electrocatalyst that transforms gaseous carbon dioxide directly into carbon-containing solids at room temperature. The catalyst, […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Nick Carne from Cosmos Magazine

No red flags yet for 5G health risks

The rollout of 5G mobile phone networks has raised questions about the effect on our health. Swinburne researchers are racing to ensure that the technology’s impact on our bodies is understood. Much to the excitement of Australians, solid plans to roll out fast 5G mobile communication technology were announced in 2018. Behind the scenes, studies modelling the absorption patterns of 5G electromagnetic energy in human tissue authored by Professor Andrew Wood’s team at Swinburne University […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Swinburne University of Technology Newsroom from Swinburne University of Technology

Coding drops quantum computing error rate by order of magnitude

Australian breakthrough brings workable quantum computers a big step closer. Errors in quantum computing have limited the potential of the emerging technology. Now, however, researchers at University of Sydney have demonstrated a new code to catch these bugs. The promised power of quantum computing lies in the fundamental nature of quantum systems that exist as a mix, or superposition, of all possible states. A traditional computer processes a series of “bits” that can be either 1 or […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Alan Duffy from Cosmos Magazine

Rabbits, fungus top Australian invasive species pest list

Four out of five native species threatened by feral invasive species, research finds. Fungi don’t have a reputation as marauding invaders, but they are a serious threat in Australia. New research ranking the top 10 pest or invasive species in the country has just been released, and coming in at number two is a plant disease called rot root fungus, also known as phytophthora. The list ranks introduced animal and plant pests according to how […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Nick Carne from Cosmos Magazine
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This lizard evolved to lay eggs, twice

Evolution has repeated itself for a South American lizard that gained the ability to lay eggs on two separate occasions. Researchers have made a remarkable discovery about a group of lizards, finding that they evolved to lay eggs on two separate occasions. This unique history has in turn allowed then to thrive in extreme conditions on one of the world’s highest mountain ranges. The Liolaemus lizards – found mainly around South America’s Andes Mountains – […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: ANU Newsroom from Australian National University
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