Latest Science


Fighting fierce against deadly fungal infections

Deadly fungal infections are on the rise, but researchers are fighting back, with an Australian team leading the charge. Why This Matters: This is definitely not fun with fungi. We typically associate fungi with mundane conditions like athlete’s foot. But some species can invade our bloodstream, kill immune cells and cause organ failure. Despite the global rise of fungal infections, Monash University researcher Professor Ana Traven says they remain “underestimated”. “People don’t tend to think about […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: David McAlpine from Australia's Science Channel
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Acoustic observatory will record a galaxy of sounds from our remote wildlife

Sound recorders being rolled out across the country will build a ‘Google maps for sound’ of our most remote wildlife. Why This Matters: Eavesdropping on animals to find out what they’re really up to will help conservation. You won’t see stars at the Australian Acoustic Observatory but you will “see” a galaxy of sounds from across the country. Hundreds of solar-powered sensors are being installed across remote parts of Australia to record a unique ‘soundscape’ […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: QUT Newsroom from Queensland University of Technology
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Why scientists work in the oil and gas industry

A range of scientists from marine biologists to environmental scientists work in oil and gas. Here’s why. Why This Matters: By working from the inside, they can make a meaningful contribution to the industry. This article is sponsored by Bright-r. The field of environmental science and the oil and gas industry might seem like two very different worlds with competing interests. And yet in recent years, we have seen many of the world’s largest oil and […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Australia's Science Channel Editors from Australia's Science Channel
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Alan Finkel - Australia's hydrogen future has arrived

With the natural resources and relationship with importers, Australia is well placed to profit from a hydrogen future, writes Australia’s Chief Scientist. Why This Matters: Australia’s Chief Scientist is pushing for us to take the lead in hydrogen’s future. In 1874, science fiction author Jules Verne set out a prescient vision that has inspired governments and entrepreneurs in the 145 years since. In his book The Mysterious Island, Verne wrote of a world where “water will […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Alan Finkel from Australia's Science Channel

Scientists discover why mantis shrimps' brains don't explode

Mantis shrimp eyes collect a staggering amount of information, feeding into a tiny brain – leaving scientists wondering how they process it all. Why This Matters: Size doesn’t matter. The mantis shrimp may be one of the most surprising creatures on Earth. Tucked away under beneath the heads of the colourful coral dwellers are two devastating weapons – barbed arms which they can unfurl at phenomenal speeds. In fact, they can punch so hard and fast […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: University of Queensland Newsroom from The University of Queensland
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Wolfe Creek Crater is way younger than we thought

Researchers reveal that the Wolfe Creek Crater – the second largest crater on Earth – may be 180,000 years younger than we thought. Why This Matters: Rewriting the history of Australia one impact at a time. Situated on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert is the second largest crater on Earth in which meteorite fragments have been found, the Wolfe Creek Crater. Perhaps best known for its appearance in the two Wolf Creek films […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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9 in 10 Aussie teens don't get enough exercise

Experts weigh in on the “highly concerning” finding that Aussie teens are among the most sedentary in the world. Why This Matters: This should act as a wake up call. Young Aussies may end up battling the bulge. They’re among the most sedentary teens in the world, according to an Australian-co-authored study published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. The research looked at the physical activity of children aged between 11 and 17 from 146 […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Joseph Milton from Australian Science Media Centre
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Don't just blame echo chambers. Conspiracy theorists seek each other out

Who keeps Atlantis off the maps? Who keeps the Martians under wraps? We do, we do 🎶 Why This Matters: Believing in conspiracy theories can be destructive personally and for society. Why do people believe conspiracy theories? Is it because of who they are, what they’ve encountered, or a combination of both? The answer is important. Belief in conspiracy theories helps fuel climate change denial, anti-vaccination stances, racism, and distrust of the media and science. In a paper […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Colin Klein from Australian National University
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Climate change will make firestorms more likely in southeastern Australia

Human-induced climate change has already resulted in more dangerous bushfire weather, and it’s going to get worse. Why This Matters: This is our future. If we don’t do something about climate change it’s only going to get worse. Temperatures across many regions of Australia are set to exceed 40℃ this week, including heatwaves forecast throughout parts of eastern Australia, raising the spectre of more devastating bushfires. We have already heard warnings this fire season of […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Giovanni Di Virgilio from University of New South Wales
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iScream, you scream, we all scream at a terrifying giggling dessert

In a world of numbers and nutrients, sometimes we forget that food can be fun. Scientists have created a burping, giggling ice cream cone to remind us to enjoy food. Why This Matters: Oh god I don’t know. I just know I won’t sleep tonight. The summer scorchers are on their way and what better way to cool down then a delicious serving of ice cream. You scoop your favourite flavour (chocolate obvs) into the […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: RMIT University from RMIT University

Astronomers spot the brightest light in the universe from a colossal explosion

“A typical burst releases as much energy in a few seconds as the Sun will in its entire 10-billion-year lifetime.” Why This Matters: Astronomers are on the verge of understanding the most epic explosions in the universe. A violent explosion in a distant galaxy has broken the record for the brightest source of high-energy light in the universe. The light was emitted by a gamma ray burst, a brief but powerful cosmic explosion in a […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Australia's Science Channel Editors from The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
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Incredible image of galactic centre reveals a supernova likely seen by Indigenous Australians

The explosive death of a star discovered within a stunning image of the centre of the galaxy could have been visible to Indigenous Australian stargazers less than 9,000 years ago. Why This Matters: Astronomers are looking back in time to see the history of the galaxy. A radio telescope in the Western Australian outback has captured a spectacular new view of the centre of the galaxy in which we live, the Milky Way. The image […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Australia's Science Channel Editors from The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
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If Googling your symptoms makes you sick with worry, there's help

We’re all guilty of Googling our health symptoms, but sometimes it can do more harm than good. Why This Matters: Have you ever Googled your flu symptoms only to find out you have months left to live? It’s a busy day at the office and your left eye has been twitching uncontrollably. So, out of curiosity and irritation you Google it. Various benign causes — stress, exhaustion, too much caffeine — put your mind at ease […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Jill Newby from University of New South Wales
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Bushfire smoke is choking the east coast and it's more dangerous than a dust storm

Even hundreds of kilometres away, people are feeling the life-threatening effects of bushfires. Why This Matters: Sydney and surrounding areas are choking on some of the worst quality air in the world. As large parts of Queensland and New South Wales continue to burn, a hazardous, thick haze of smoke has settled over Sydney. The bushfire smoke is thick enough to give the city the unwanted title of the worst air in the world. On […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Australia's Science Channel Editors from Queensland University of Technology
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Nemo's cousins have a special way of finding him

The ability to see ultraviolet light creates a secret channel for clownfish to communicate – giving them an advantage over other species. Why This Matters: Keep your friends close and your anemones closer. Clownfish, made famous by the movie Finding Nemo, may have their own secret way of finding friends and anenomes. They can see ultraviolet (UV) light and are good at discerning different colours, according to a team of scientists from the University of Queensland and […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Natalie Parletta from Cosmos Magazine
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Lessons from an astronaut: "We have to teach students how to fail"

An astronaut is challenging students and teachers to change education to embrace failure – and enhance success. Why This Matters: We’re beating the fun out of learning. Charles Camarda was involved in NASA’s return from one of their biggest failures – the loss of the Columbia space shuttle. As an astronaut and engineer, he saw how failure happened. Camarda then helped find a solution, and then flew on the first NASA mission to space after […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: from Australia's Science Channel
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SCINEMA 2020 opens with new Indigenous filmmaking award

SCINEMA 2020 is kicking off, and they want your science film. Plus a new category will celebrate the voices and stories of Indigenous and First Nations people. Why This Matters: The largest science film festival in the southern hemisphere is cranking it up another notch. The largest science film festival in the southern hemisphere, SCINEMA International Film Festival, has officially opened entries for 2020. And this year they’ve established an award for the best Indigenous […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: from Australia's Science Channel

"We are now in uncharted territory" - Experts respond to bushfire crisis

While politicians point their fingers, the experts weigh in on the role climate change has played in the bushfires. Why This Matters: Listen to the experts, not the people who shout the loudest. Bushfires have ravaged more than one million hectares across NSW and QLD, and the finger-pointing over who – or what – is to blame for the scale of these tragic disasters has begun. Politicians have blamed everything from arson to ‘greenies’ and […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Olivia Henry from Australian Science Media Centre
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What is a ‘mass extinction’ and are we in one now?

Research indicates we’re headed for a sixth mass extinction – fuelled by human activities. Why This Matters: The damage that humans are doing will take millions of years of natural processes to reverse. For more than 3.5 billion years, living organisms have thrived, multiplied and diversified to occupy every ecosystem on Earth. The flip side to this explosion of new species is that species extinctions have also always been part of the evolutionary life cycle. […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Frédérik Saltré from Flinders University
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Climate warnings from the distant past

By studying sea levels from the last inter-glacial period, scientists have revealed what may happen on our current temperature trajectory. Why This Matters: Clock’s ticking. Sea levels rose 10 metres above present levels during Earth’s last warm period 125,000 years ago, according to new research that offers a glimpse of what may happen under our current climate change trajectory. Our paper, published in Nature Communications, shows that melting ice from Antarctica was the main driver of […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Fiona Hibbert from Australian National University
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Bad medicine: it’s not us, it’s the other lot, they say. So who do we believe?

Professional societies of doctors, surgeons or physiotherapists are more likely to criticise healthcare provided by others, research shows. Why This Matters: Even professional societies aren’t immune to finger-pointing. Patients might not be getting the best advice about which treatments do or don’t work, according to a new study. We found professional societies are more likely to call out other health professionals for providing low-value treatments rather than look in their own backyard. Our study in BMC Health […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Ian Harris from University of New South Wales
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Milky Way's supermassive black hole flings star across the galaxy

A star has been yeeted by the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy like a drunk ejected by a club bouncer. Why This Matters:  We’re watching a star that originally lived in the very centre of the Milky Way on its way to depart the galaxy. A star travelling through the Milky Way at more than six million km/h has been discovered by a team of international astronomers. They predict that the […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: ANU Newsroom from Australian National University
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Diversity in STEM boosts Australia

If we want to maximise Australia’s potential in STEM, we need to make sure we’re including the best people available. Why This Matters: Let’s get back to being the clever country. Australia is a wonderfully diverse country, and yet women and people from other cultures face barriers in Australia’s STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) workforce. 30 of Australia’s top researchers and STEMM identities come together to tell their stories of why it’s important […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: from Australia's Science Channel
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How technology is changing the future of cancer treatment in Australia

The future of cancer treatment in Australia is being revolutionised as technology allows new possibilities – including the intersection of particle physics and gaming. Why This Matters: Welcome to the future of medicine. Medical Physicist Sean Geoghegan talks about the future of cancer treatment in Australia, where technology is improving patient results. As technology improves, medical physics is changing with it to revolutionise how we treat cancer. This includes taking inspiration from gaming an the […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: from Australia's Science Channel
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Firestorms and flaming tornadoes: how bushfires create their own ferocious weather systems

Intense bushfires can create their own weather systems, making the conditions on the ground even more deadly. Why This Matters: One of the many factors that make bushfires so deadly. As the east coast bushfire crisis unfolds, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Rural Fire Service operational officer Brett Taylor have each warned residents bushfires can create their own weather systems. This is not just a figure of speech or a general warning about the unpredictability […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Rachel Badlan from University of New South Wales
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