Latest Science


Semi-identical twins identified in pregnancy for first time

In a world first, Australian researchers detected semi-identical twins during pregnancy using genetic testing. Young Queensland twins, a boy and a girl, have been identified as only the second set of semi-identical twins in the world – and the first to be identified by doctors during pregnancy. The twins, who are identical on their mother’s side but share only part of their father’s DNA, are the first case of semi-identical, or sesquizygotic, twins identified in […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
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Evolution's 'Big Bang' was over faster than expected

Evolution’s ‘Big Bang’ – the Cambrian Explosion – saw a massive burst of evolution of species. But it really was a bang, finishing much quicker than expected. Animal life’s evolutionary ‘Big Bang’ ended much sooner than previously thought, a new study has found. An international team of scientists led by Professor John Paterson at University of New England says the Cambrian explosion of life was over surprisingly quickly – possibly in the brief span of […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
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Rediscovered: the biggest bee in the world

The biggest bee in the world is an absolute unit. Seen only twice in 170 years it has been rediscovered in a termites’ nest. The largest bee species in the world, unseen since 1981 and feared extinct, has been found and photographed by a team of researchers from Australia, Canada and the US. Wallace’s bee (Megachile pluto), native to Indonesia, has been recorded by scientists only three times in history. The first time was by […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Cosmos Magazine
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Australian house designs are terrible in the summer heat

Most house designs in Australia are substandard at staying cool in the summer heat, shows a new analysis, and big improvements need to be made. Australians left with soaring energy bills in the wake of a scorching summer are about to face another harsh reality: the vast majority of the nation’s houses do not meet the current minimum energy performance requirements. New research from the University of South Australia shows that most of Australia’s 10 […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: UniSA Newsroom from University of South Australia

Engineering the Square Kilometre Array

The world’s biggest ever astronomy project, the Square Kilometre Array has created some unique engineering challenges – needing monumental solutions. The largest, most powerful telescope ever conceived – the Square Kilometre Array, is going to have over a hundred thousand radiotelescopes spread across Australia and South Africa. Its purpose – to look further out into the universe, and further back in time, than any telescope before. It is, quite simply, the biggest astronomy project ever […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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The Australian Space Agency has merch, and we want it all

Space merchandise? You know you want it! The Australian Space Agency has launched their own range of merchandise. Because why would you want to wear NASA gear when you can be repping our own space agency? Fresh from inking deals overseas, promoting Australian interests, bringing our local industry together more efficiently, and working out a roadmap so our country can take advantage of space technology, they’ve now turned fashion designers. Available exclusively through the Questacon […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Blockchain to frame art forgers

Australian researchers are at the forefront of adapting blockchain to authenticate valuable artworks. Sometimes an art forgery is so sophisticated, it fools even the experts. For example, in 2011, Sotheby’s brokered a deal for a darkly coloured gentleman’s portrait said to be by 17th century painter Frans Hals the Elder. The buyer paid roughly AU$15 million (US$10.9 million). In 2016, amid a string of similar scandals, this work was discovered to be made partially of […] See more

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

Federal Government releases independent fish deaths report

Experts say a Federal Government-released report into New South Wales fish deaths has failed to consider the effects of climate change. They were the grim scenes that shocked Australia and made headlines across the world: three separate fish kills taking place in rapid succession in western NSW, resulting in the deaths of millions of fish. The Federal Government last night released an independent interim assessment, which suggests continued hot conditions, combined with a lack of […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Olivia Henry from Australian Science Media Centre
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What HAL 9000 teaches us about home artificial intelligence

Just like HAL from the film 2001, your artificial intelligence voice assistant isn’t working for you, even if it feels like it is. Of all the fictional artificial intelligence virtual assistants we know from pop culture, few stand up to the original and perhaps most famous: the HAL 9000 from the 1968 Stanley Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey. We should probably be thankful for that. After all, Alexa may shut your lights off, but she […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Nathalie Collins from Edith Cowan University

This is where your e-waste recycling ends up

Recycling your e-waste might be the right thing to do, but a lot ends up in India in appalling conditions. Electronic waste is recycled in appalling conditions in India. The world produces 50 million tonnes of electronic and electrical waste (e-waste) per year, according to a recent UN report, but only 20% is formally recycled. Much of the rest ends up in landfill, or is recycled informally in developing nations. India generates more than two […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Miles Park from University of New South Wales

Tasmanian devil cancer probably won't lead to their extinction

While cancer might be devastating Tasmanian devils, a new study has found the contagious tumours are unlikely to cause their extinction. A provocative study of Tasmanian devils has revealed that a transmissible cancer that has devastated devil populations in recent years is unlikely to cause extinction of the iconic species. New research led by Dr Konstans Wells from Swansea University has revealed that it is more likely that the disease will fade out or that […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: University of Tasmania Newsroom from University of Tasmania
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Pursuit of perfection will slow down the energy transition

An imperfect but practical mix of renewable and conventional power sources is essential if the world is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in a timely manner, says Australia’s Chief Scientist. The cliffs of Cape Grim tower over the breaking waves at the north-western tip of Tasmania. Perched above is a research station that collects samples of the most pristine air in the world, carried by the prevailing westerlies thousands of kilometres across the Indian Ocean. […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Alan Finkel from Cosmos Magazine
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Queensland road trip set to test AI on real Aussie roads

A Queensland road trip will put AI to the test and teach it how to deal with some uniquely Australian road conditions. A team engineers and researchers will take an artificial intelligence system on a road trip around south-east Queensland to ensure the autonomous cars of the future will be smart enough to handle Australian road conditions. Professor Michael Milford will lead a team of researchers from the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision in a […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: QUT Newsroom from Queensland University of Technology

Women ignoring cancer-alcohol risk: study

Middle-aged women may be concerned about the effect of alcohol on their weight and lifestyle, but not their cancer risk, shows new research. Middle-aged women in Australia aren’t getting the message about the proven link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, a Flinders University researcher says. At a time when more women aged between 45 and 64 years are drinking, cancer rates in their age bracket also are increasing, the study finds. “There is a […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
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Building better robots that can get a grip

Scientists are helping robots hold and pass objects more naturally by studying how humans do the seemingly simple but subtle task. Scientists have analysed over 5,000 one-handed human grasps and handovers of objects in an attempt to help robots grasp objects better. While grasping an object, such as a cup or ball, may sound like a simple skill, most robots are currently unable to reliably perform the action. By analysing people, the researchers mapped out […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Queensland University of Technology

How to train your detection dog

Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast are training detection dogs, but probably not for the reasons you think. They’re using specially trained dogs in conservation projects, using their incredible sense of smell to find and track animals in the wild including owls and koalas. Using the dogs to track animals lets conservation scientists to survey populations and identify ways to protect them. Zorro is one of the dogs undergoing training and has been […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Janelle Kirkland from University of the Sunshine Coast
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Giant dinosaur trackway discovered in Queensland

A giant set of dinosaur tracks made 95 million years ago have been found in Queensland, with footprints from 3 completely different types of dinosaurs – sauropods, ornithopods and theropods. A well-preserved dinosaur trackway, travelled by three different types of dinosaurs, has been discovered in Winton in central west Queensland. Swinburne palaeontologist Dr Stephen Poropat is leading the research team for the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum in Winton, where the footprints are being taken […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Swinburne University of Technology Newsroom from Swinburne University of Technology
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Australian Academy of Science turns 65

65 years ago, 23 distinguished Australian scientists founded the Australian Academy of Science. Today, the Academy serves as an impartial voice providing scientific consensus and advice to the government and public on issues that impact Australia and the world. Related The Grandfather of computers WRESAT: When Australia beat the world to space Sir Mark Oliphant warned the British of US atomic secrecy plans See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Australian Academy of Science Newsroom from The Australian Academy of Science
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Childhood gastro could increase risk of coeliac disease

Having an enterovirus infection as a child may be linked with developing the autoimmune disease. A group of common intestinal viruses may be a trigger for coeliac disease in children who have a genetic predisposition for the disease, according to new research published in the BMJ The study included 220 children with genes that make them more susceptible to becoming a coeliac and, of these, 25 went on to develop the disease during the 15 […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
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Home reno’s could lead to ‘third wave’ of asbestos disease

Home DIY-ers are putting themselves at risk of mesothelioma, says a lung expert, urging people to educate before they renovate. Bashing through a wall or refreshing your kitchen or bathroom could be putting home renovation DIY-ers at risk of asbestos-related diseases, warns a lung disease expert. With the popularity of home renovation TV shows and high housing prices, young families, including children, are on the front line of the next generation of asbestos-related disease, dubbed […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Flinders University
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Why are Australians still using Facebook?

Some Australian Facebook users are more worried about over-sharing by friends than the privacy and security of their personal information. This week marks 15 years since Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg first set up the platform with his college roommate Eduardo Saverin. Since then, Facebook has grown into a giant global enterprise. The platform now has more than 2.32 billion monthly users and ranks fifth in terms of market value among the world’s top internet companies. […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Deborah Lupton from University of New South Wales
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Gender and cultural bias exists against teachers at university level

The biases experienced by some teachers vary according to their sex, background and faculty, according to a UNSW study of university student attitudes. Students are more likely to rate male university teachers higher than their female counterparts in some areas of STEM and Business, according to Australia’s largest review of student experience surveys. The study, published in PLOS ONE, examined almost 525,000 individual student experience surveys from the University of New South Wales students from […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
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Say ‘no’ to the golden glow: Using social media to stop unhealthy tanning

Social media can be used for good, influencing young women regarding the risks of tanning. There’s no such thing as a healthy tan. Yet despite the known risks of skin cancer, summer always sees thousands of sun lovers heading to the beach in the search of that perfect golden glow and challenging the ‘tanned ideal’ is an uphill battle. Now, researchers from the University of South Australia are showing how social media work for good, […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: UniSA Newsroom from University of South Australia
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Australia failing to close the gap on injuries to Indigenous children, study finds

Aboriginal children are almost twice as likely as non-Aboriginal children to suffer unintentional injury – and the situation hasn’t improved for more than 15 years, a new study shows. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are almost twice as likely to be hospitalised for unintentional injuries such as falls, burns and poisoning than non-Aboriginal children, a new study shows. The analysis also reveals that there has been no overall improvement in injury rates since 2003 and that the gap […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
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How bright is your office? Researchers want to know

QUT researchers are interested in light and glare in offices – and they want to find out about yours. If you work in an office building in Australia, particularly one rated ‘green’ for its energy efficiency, QUT researchers want your help. Led by principal researcher Dr Veronica Garcia Hansen from QUT’s Creative Industries Faculty School of Design Office, the researchers are surveying office workers about their workplace lighting as part of an Australia Research Council project, […] See more

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