Latest Science


Survey reveals invasive sea urchin populations have boomed in Tasmania

An invasive sea-urchin has increased in population around Tasmania from a single animal to 20 million in just 40 years. Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) surveys of invasive long-spined sea urchins on reefs along Tasmania’s east coast have revealed the size of increases in the urchin population and the barren areas they create by overgrazing kelp beds. Led by principal investigator Dr Scott Ling, researchers conducted SCUBA and towed-underwater-video surveys spanning 156 sites […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: University of Tasmania Newsroom from University of Tasmania
Topics -

Delving inside the brains of competitive gamers

QUT researchers need the help of competitive gamers to find out what separates the best from the rest. What makes some esports gamers good enough to compete in global teams in front of thousands of people and earn millions of dollars, while others compete from computers at home with their mates from school? QUT esports researcher Michael Trotter is delving into the minds of competitive gamers to gain insights that he hopes will help shape training […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: QUT Newsroom from Queensland University of Technology
Topics -

The top 10 science stories of 2018

2018 was another big year for science yarns, from outrage at the creation of the world’s first genetically modified babies and dire warnings from the world’s top climate science organisation, to a successful Mars mission and a huge setback for driverless cars. We bade a fond farewell to celebrated cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking We said goodbye to one of the world’s best-known scientists in March, when British cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking died at the age […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Joseph Milton from Australian Science Media Centre
Topics -

Foul bouquets: scientists discover why some wine stinks

Spoilt wine is a great way to ruin a dinner party, and the quest is on to understand what happens. Commerce from the worldwide wine market was valued at about $300 billion in 2017 and is expected to generate global revenue of more than $400 billion by 2024, according to market research reports. Clearly, anything that interferes with the successful production and marketing of wine presents an obstacle to be removed. On one level, making […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Jeff Glorfeld from Cosmos Magazine
Topics -

Sex with robots: is it healthy to be intimate with artificial intelligence?

Relationships with machines can never be a substitute for human contact, says an English expert. Sex robots are not just coming, they are already here. In a world where we are more connected yet lonelier than ever before, what does this mean for sex, and what does it mean for relationships? Artificial intelligence (AI) shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for human companionship, said Professor Kathleen Richardson, Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots at […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
Topics -

Look up tonight for two stunning astronomical sights

A close pass from a comet coupled with a meteor shower are set to delight stargazers. Stargazers are in for a treat on Friday 14 December with two spectacular sights in Australian skies: a green, fuzzy comet, and a Geminid meteor shower across the sky. Comet 46P/Wirtanen – The Christmas Comet To see Comet 46P/Wirtanen stargazers will only need a pair of binoculars, and it may even be visible to the naked eye away from […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

Revealed at last: Australia’s fearsome marsupial lion

Thylacoleo carnifex had a huge jaw, sharp teeth, retractable claws – and feet like a possum. New fossil finds have enabled the first reconstruction of a complete skeleton of the extinct ‘marsupial lion’, Thylacoleo carnifex. The bones – which include the first full-length tail and collar-bones not previously known to exist – have opened a window into how the prehistoric beast’s bizarre features made it a deadly predator, according to a report on the discoveries published in the open […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Dyani Lewis from Cosmos Magazine
Topics -

Project to make ground-based telescopes ‘three times sharper than Hubble’

An Australian-led design project will develop a system that promises to revolutionise ground-based optical astronomy. Astronomers are set to get a wider, sharper and more sensitive view of the universe than ever before thanks to an Australian-led project to upgrade one of the world’s most powerful ground-based telescopes. The project, called MAVIS, will design a $32-million adaptive optics system to be installed on one of the eight-metre telescopes which make up the European Southern Observatory’s […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

Australian Space Agency to establish HQ in Adelaide

The national agency has announced it will be headquartered at a new high-technology development in Adelaide. The Australian Space Agency, led by Megan Clark, will establish its national headquarters in the Adelaide CBD. The HQ, which will open mid-2019 and initially house 20 people, will become the centre for Australia’s burgeoning space industry. South Australia beat bids from several states including Victoria and Western Australia to become the agency’s home. However, the national agency will […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

Recycle your old mobile phone to save gorilla populations

Failing to recycle your old mobile phone could be affecting gorilla populations in the D.R. Congo, shows new research. Are you among the 400 million people around the world who have relegated an old mobile phone to the top drawer in the past year? Do you realise your reluctance to recycle that discarded phone could be linked to the dramatic decline of gorilla populations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? The link between hoarding […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: UniSA Newsroom from University of South Australia
Topics -

The food poisoning find that ‘could save lives’

Research finds how a common cause of food poisoning attacks cells in our body to cause illness, and that could open up a whole new way of preventing it. Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have made a discovery that has the potential to save lives when treating bacterial infections, especially serious food poisoning. Food poisoning is estimated to affect 4.1 million Australians each year and Bacillus cereus – one of the most common […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: ANU Newsroom from Australian National University
Topics -

Australian ears critical as Voyager 2 leaves the solar system

As the probe reaches interstellar space, Parkes and the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex are the only facilities on Earth capable of listening in. Australia’s giant 64-metre Parkes telescope was able to pick up the faint signals from Voyager 2 as it left the heliosphere – the region of space reached by solar wind – and travelled into Interstellar space this week. Even after four decades – it was launched in 1977 – the plucky […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Alan Duffy from Cosmos Magazine
Topics -

Researchers develop formula to predict traffic gridlock

The transition from heavy traffic to complete gridlock follows the same quantifiable pattern in cities around the world, a study from UNSW and University of California Berkeley has found. Transport authorities will be able to better predict when traffic congestion threatens to become gridlocked and take steps to intervene, following research involving UNSW’s Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation (rCITI). In a paper published in PNAS journal by UNSW’s Dr Meead Saberi in collaboration with […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales

‘Sweet spots’ the key to habitat restoration success

Habitat restoration needs strategic planning to be successful, but only some projects are being planned properly. Habitat restoration projects around the world need to be placed more strategically to be successful, researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast have found. Marine ecologist Dr Ben Gilby led a study that found only about 12 per cent of global habitat restoration projects have been planned to ensure maximum benefits for animals, despite the millions of dollars […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Janelle Kirkland from University of the Sunshine Coast
Topics -

Student-built solar car sets new efficiency world record

The UNSW Sunswift solar car team completes an epic record-breaking cross-continental drive. The UNSW Sunswift solar car team cruised into the record books Friday, arriving at Sydney’s McMahon’s Point having driven from Perth to set a Guinness World Record for the lowest energy consumption while driving across Australia in an electric car. Despite a number of setbacks over the past year, including a rear suspension failure during the 2017 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and a battery fire […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales

Microplastics found in every turtle tested in international study

Every turtle tested from Queensland, and the Atlantic and Mediterranean contained microplastics. Yet more research has highlighted the escalating environmental threat posed by microplastics. British scientists working with researchers from James Cook University and the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, found small synthetic fibres in the guts of every one of the 102 sea turtles they studied: more than 800 particles in all, and they only looked at a part of each gut. The […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Nick Carne from Cosmos Magazine
Topics -

Paris is burning! Carbon emissions on the rise

Global carbon emissions have risen again in 2018, prompting experts to sound the alarm. Global carbon emissions have risen 2.7 per cent in 2018 driven largely by contributions from China, India and the US, according to the Australian led Global Carbon Project. There were only 19 countries, including the UK whose emissions are decreasing despite a growth in GDP. For the US, the 2.5 per cent increase in emissions reverses a 10-year decreasing emissions trend. Dr […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
Topics -

Breast screening vastly reduces risk of cancer death

Regular screening for breast cancer reduces the risk of death thanks to earlier detection, shows new study. Women who undertake regular breast screening checks have a 60 per cent lower risk of dying from breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis, new research shows. A study of 50,000 women by a team of international researchers, including UniSA cancer epidemiologist Dr Kerri Beckmann, provides conclusive evidence that women whose breast cancer is diagnosed because of regular […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: UniSA Newsroom from University of South Australia
Topics -

Endangered parrots forced into unnatural sexual behaviour

Predation is turning once-monogamous birds into promiscuous partners. A chronic shortage of females is causing a social system breakdown in a critically endangered Australian parrot, forcing a monogamous species to engage in extra-pair matings, and driving down survival rates of nestlings. Sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) are small gliding possums whose natural range is the forests of eastern Australia. The gliders were introduced to the southern island of Tasmania in the 1880s. Although named for their […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Tanya Loos from Cosmos Magazine
Topics -

Australia is not prepared for climate change health impacts, says expert

From heatwaves to storms and mosquito-borne diseases, a new report reveals Australia is ill-prepared for the effects of climate change. A new report in the Medical Journal of Australia has revealed that Australia is not ready for the health impacts of impending climate change. Despite decades of warning from scientists, Australia remains woefully underprepared to deal with hotter, more frequent and longer heatwaves, catastrophic bushfires, severe storms and intense prolonged droughts, and higher risk of […] See more

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

Astronomers witnesses first moments of a star's death in finest detail

Astronomers using the Kepler space telescope have caught the best view of the very beginning of a supernova. An international research team including The Australian National University (ANU) has used the Kepler space telescope in coordination with ground-based telescopes to witness the first moments of a star dying in unprecedented detail. The astronomers witnessed the star dying a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, as part of a project that aims to […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: ANU Newsroom from Australian National University
Topics -

Disturbing Australian attitudes towards violence against women uncovered

A national survey of 17,500 people found disturbing attitudes are still prevalent amongst Australians. A major study involving UNSW has found that a concerning number of Australians still hold outdated and harmful views about gender equality and violence against women. The National Community Attitudes towards Violence against Women Survey (NCAS), led by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and released today, demonstrates that while Australians’ attitudes towards violence against women and gender equality […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
Topics -

Farmers start field trial for carbon capture with fungi

The first field trials using fungi to reduce carbon in the atmosphere are underway in New South Wales. As carbon dioxide emissions increase in our atmosphere, scientists around the world are looking at solutions such as carbon sequestration. This process captures carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere for long-term storage. A group of Australian farmers are working with scientists to harness the power of fungi in soils. In the dry conditions of the Australian […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Kelly Wong from Australia's Science Channel

Gravitational waves: biggest black hole merger ever detected revealed

LIGO data adds four more grav-wave events to the record. Billions of light years away, two black holes have collided to create a larger one – the biggest black hole merger yet detected. It has a mass more than 80 times that of the sun. The resulting energy injected into the fabric of spacetime was also record breaking, with five sun’s worth of mass released in the form gravitational waves as the two holes spiralled […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Alan Duffy from Cosmos Magazine
Topics -

Australian maths students being taught by out-of-field teachers

Less than one in four Australian Year 7 to 10 students have a qualified maths teacher every year according to new data released by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI). Co-authored by AMSI Director, Professor Geoff Prince and AMSI Schools Outreach Manager, Michael O’Connor, Crunching the Numbers of Out-of-Field Teaching reveals 76 per cent of students will be taught by an out-of-field teacher at least once and 35 per cent of students twice in the first […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Claire Embregts from Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute
Topics -