Latest Science


Government fish kill plan launch followed by new mass die-off

Experts say the Federal Government’s fish kill plan may be too little too late. Why This Matters: Without action we’re going to see more fish die-offs. Last Monday, Federal Water Minister David Littleproud announced the release of the Native Fish Emergency Response Plan 2019-20, just as a new mass die-off was reported in Menindee in New South Wales. The plan is the Government’s response to last summer’s mass fish die-offs, when footage of millions of dead […] See more

Published 21 hours ago. Author: Joseph Milton from Australian Science Media Centre
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'I Snapchat and drive!' - confessions of young drivers

Young drivers are still using Snapchat behind the wheel, despite warnings and knowledge of deterrents. Why This Matters: The message still isn’t getting through to some young drivers. Snapchat has emerged as a surprise threat to young drivers, with a new study showing one in six young drivers surveyed had used Snapchat behind the wheel. Verity Truelove, from QUT’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety-Queensland (CARRS-Q), surveyed 503 Queensland drivers aged 17 to 25 about […] See more

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

We have to get on board the transport revolution

There is a transport revolution coming, and we risk falling behind other countries if we don’t make smart decisions now. Why This Matters: Cleaner, safer and more efficient transport is there for the taking. With Australia’s geographic isolation and long distances between large urban centres, the transport sector will be one area that is both significantly disrupted and revolutionised by technological transformation. Failure to be prepared will risk a decline in many aspects of our […] See more

Published 4 days ago. Author: Australia's Science Channel Editors from Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Pain relief may be found in the mud

It’s early days, but a chemical found in a fungus growing in mud near a boat ramp could be the inglorious source of a pain killer as potent as morphine. Why This Matters: Mud morphine may medicate maladies. A sample of estuarine mud taken 16 years ago has yielded a potential new class of painkiller as potent as opioids, but without their disadvantages. Researchers from The University of Queensland and University of Sydney have filed […] See more

Published 4 days ago. Author: University of Queensland Newsroom from The University of Queensland
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Almost half of regular ecstasy users are testing their pills

The latest National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre report is out, revealing the habits of illicit drug users nationally. Why This Matters: By tracking illicit drug use, we can see problems before they become critical. More than four in 10 people who regularly use ecstasy and one in 10 people who regularly inject drugs have ever tested their drugs, mostly by using personal testing kits. The Drug Trends program at the National Drug and Alcohol Research […] See more

Published 5 days ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
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We're not ready for a looming cyber-emergency

We haven’t been able to keep up with advancing technologies, and the cyber-threat they pose to our security. Why This Matters: We need to ensure that the technology we depend on stays on our side. Australia’s social scientists and the intelligence agencies have a new joint role in protecting the country, but may need a more tech-savvy workforce to get there. There are historical precedents for this kind of cooperation. In September 1939, just as war broke out […] See more

Published 5 days ago. Author: Greg Austin from University of New South Wales

Here's the winners from The Prime Minister's Prizes for Science

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognise pioneering researchers and scientists for their impressive contributions to STEM. Why This Matters: Australian innovators are doing some pretty incredible things. The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are Australia’s most prestigious science awards. Seven prizes are awarded for outstanding achievements in scientific research, and research-based innovation, and excellence in science, maths or technology teaching. This year’s awards night celebrated 20 years of the PM’s Prizes, and not only celebrated […] See more

Published 6 days ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel

The Prime Minister's Prizes for Science recognise inspiring teachers

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognises outstanding teachers for their efforts in inspiring students with STEM. Why This Matters: Teachers are inspiring our next generation of scientists and researchers. The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognise two outstanding science teachers who have made a significant contribution to science education. The awards recognise the teacher’s passion for making science as fascinating and relevant to students as possible. Also: Here’s the winners from The Prime Minister’s Prizes […] See more

Published 6 days ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel

Can we make conservation contagious?

Ensuring that conservation efforts spread globally is critical in the fight to save species and ecosystems. Why This Matters: If conservation initiatives spread globally, the more impact they can make. Conservation initiatives often spread like disease, a fact which can help scientists and policymakers design programs more likely to be taken up. The study, including University of Queensland researchers, modelled how conservation initiatives are adopted until they reach “scale” – a level where they can have […] See more

Published 6 days ago. Author: University of Queensland Newsroom from The University of Queensland
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Technology is the answer, but what is the question?

Technology is transforming our lives, and will revolutionise our cities. This is how. MInD Lab at Deakin University is bringing intelligence into design, bringing technology into our cities of the future. Imagine a city that can respond to its human inhabitants – helping our comfort, performance, and wellbeing. That is the aim of a smart city – but bringing together that technology is a challenge. Tuba Kocaturk and her team are working to achieve exactly […] See more

Published 7 days ago. Author: from Australia's Science Channel

Tuba Kocaturk - Designing the smart cities of the future

Tuba Kocaturk is at the forefront of bringing technology and architecture together in the smart cities of the future. Why this matters: The future is going to need a whole new breed of architect. With the buzz around Smart Cities, Tuba Kocaturk’s MInD Lab at Deakin University investigates the ways that technologies can actually be used to make smart cities work. Deeper: Technology is the answer, what is the question? Living the philosophy of “real […] See more

Published 7 days ago. Author: from Deakin University

Honeybees can learn larger numbers - with a little bit of punishment

Research reveals that honeybees learn better when there’s both a reward and a punishment. Why This Matters: Like most living things, learning ability comes down to the right way of teaching. Bees are pretty good at maths – as far as insects go, at least. We already know, for example, that they can count up to four and even understand the concept of zero. But in a new study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, […] See more

Published 1 week ago. Author: Adrian Dyer from RMIT University
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Wastewater reveals the lifestyles of different suburbs

A new study of wastewater suggests that education and occupation plays a role in diet and drug consumption. Why This Matters: Different socioeconomic groups have different behaviours, and need to be treated differently. The consumption of caffeine, citrus, vitamin B and dietary fibre is higher in communities with higher socioeconomic status, according to new research from The University of Queensland. The study, led by Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) researchers, used analysis of […] See more

Published 1 week ago. Author: University of Queensland Newsroom from The University of Queensland
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Is science still missing from society?

We need to bridge the gap between science and business, and bring meaningful science communication to the mainstream audience. Why This Matters: Science isn’t useful if you can’t tell people about it. A significant gap exists between the business and science communities in Australia, according to Peter Yates, who has just been awarded the prestigious Australian Academy of Science Medal for his public work promoting science. Peter first noticed that science was missing from key […] See more

Published 1 week ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
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Meth houses stay contaminated for years

New research has found current methods of sampling don’t clearly indicate the extent of drug contamination inside houses. Why This Matters: Drug contamination in houses poses a serious threat to health. The Breaking Bad movie El Camino story line focusing on drug production is more relevant than ever- with a new study revealing methamphetamine contamination in houses is a public health problem around the world. Flinders University researchers – Jackie Wright, Stewart Walker and  Kirstin Ross – analysed […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
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Richard is a toxic pollution fighting hero

Richard Fuller is fighting to reduce toxic pollution around the world, improving the lives of millions of people. Why This Matters: Toxic pollution is disastrous to our health – we need people like Richard on the front line. Richard Fuller is a man on a mission to reduce pollution right around the world. Originally from Australia, Richard is an engineer, entrepreneur and environmentalist now based in New York running Pure Earth. His organisation has cleaned up […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Why drone hacking could be bad news for the military

Drones are a fundamental part of military defence, but are they a security threat to their own operators? Why This Matters: Drone hacking is a life-threatening issue. Unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly called drones, are now a fundamental part of defence force capability, from intelligence gathering to unmanned engagement in military operations. But what happens if our own technology is turned against us? Between 2015 and 2022, the global commercial drone market is expected to grow from A$5.95 […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Mohiuddin Ahmed from Edith Cowan University

How do scientists know evolution is real?

The idea of evolution – that species change and evolve over time – is the foundation of biology. But how do scientists actually know it’s real? Why This Matters: It’s one of the central theories of science, yet also one that some people find controversial. In science, we look at the evidence and try to find the theory that best explains it. And that’s what happened when it came to figuring out evolution. We can […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Jenny Graves from La Trobe University
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Incredible modular microfactory turns plastic recycling on its head

A microfactory that transforms recyclables into useful plastic products has opened in Sydney, with a design that is endlessly customisable – and cheap to build. Why This Matters: These microfactories might just be the answer to our waste crisis. In 2018 China stopped buying our recycling. Then, in July of this year, Indonesia started turning it back by the container load. With our recycling waste back on our shores, our nation was hurled head-first into an […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from University of New South Wales

Do you know where your online data is?

Worth more than oil and gold, our online data is taken freely and willingly. But can we go offline when the world is switched on? Why This Matters: It’s practically impossible to stop someone collecting your data. With our personal data constantly gathered and analysed, it’s the grim reality that the internet knows you better than you know yourself. As technology follows our patterns, in turn, it can predict our behaviour. “To understand someone, it’s […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales

Extinction Rebellion to test little-known defence

With climate inaction protests across Australia this week, a unique “emergency” defence could be used if protesters are arrested. Why This Matters: Political climate inaction needs to be overcome. Led by international environmental group Extinction Rebellion, climate inaction protests are planned across Australia this week. Major cities are expected to be interupted with flash mobs, sit ins and marches to block traffic. Extinction Rebellion says that peaceful civil disobedience is an important social and political […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: QUT Newsroom from Queensland University of Technology
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Death by BBQ - is meat really killing us?

A series of new reviews reveals that meat might not be all that bad for us, but other experts aren’t completely convinced. Why This Matters: Recommendations need to be backed by evidence, but the interpretation of the evidence can cause issues. Aussies everywhere love a good BBQ, but should we be worried about eating all that meat? Perhaps not, according to a new series of reviews which have found that there are very few health […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
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The engineer using nanotechnology to mend broken hearts

Hossein Tavassoli is working to mend broken hearts using an incredible nanotech breakthrough – and he wants to tell the world. Why This Matters: Discoveries in the lab aren’t useful if you can’t communicate them. When Hossein Tavassoli first told his mother that he was researching heart disease, she responded with “But, you’re an engineer…” She was right, of course – Hossein’s undergraduate degree was in material engineering – but at the time, he found […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales

A new 'iron dragon' pterosaur

A newly described species suggests that Aussie pterosaurs might have lived longer than we thought. Why This Matters: Australia’s prehistoric history continues to evolve and take flight. The pterosaurs – the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved the ability to fly – are a powerful and frequent symbol of the age of dinosaurs. Pterosaurs have been discovered on every continent but the fossil record is remarkably small. Pterosaur bones are thin and hollow and their remains […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Ian Conellan from Swinburne University of Technology
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Measles: what you need to know

Measles are back and outbreaks are happening across the globe. Here’s everything you need to know about the highly contagious disease. Why This Matters: Australia eliminated measles in 2014, but now its back… When was the last time you heard of someone sick with diphtheria? Or polio? Mumps? Chances are, if you’ve grown up in a part of the world where vaccination is commonplace, you’ve probably forgotten or never known what it’s like to have […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Australian Academy of Science Newsroom from The Australian Academy of Science
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