Latest Science


Restoring blue carbon ecosystems could be good for climate and economy

We’ve got an opportunity to significantly lower our greenhouse gas emissions by protecting blue carbon ecosystems. Why This Matters: Getting more carbon from the atmosphere into blue carbon stores is going to be an important part of limiting climate change. Researchers have quantified the amount of greenhouse gasses absorbed and emitted by Australian marine ecosystems, also known as blue carbon. The world-first research by Edith Cowan University found that seagrass, mangrove and salt marshes absorb […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: ECU Newsroom from Edith Cowan University
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Building the national medical countermeasures program

Dr Felicia Pradera, Defence Science and Technology’s program manager for medical countermeasures development, is on secondment to DMTC (formerly known as the Defence Materials Technology Centre) where she is working to grow the national medical countermeasures (MCM) program. Over the past few years, antimicrobial resistance has become an area of growing concern for our health security, and Pradera says discussions about whether Australia is adequately prepared for a future pandemic should be a key issue […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Defence Science and Technology Group

The Andromeda galaxy's cannibalistic past

Scientists reveal that Andromeda – which will one day collide with the Milky Way – has a history of destroying its neighbours. Why This Matters: This is a galactic collision that even The Guardians of the Galaxy can’t save us from. In a cosmic detective story of interstellar proportions, astronomers sifting through faint signatures in the halo of stars surrounding the Andromeda galaxy are unearthing a 10-billion-year history of galactic cannibalism. Andromeda is the closest large […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Richard Lovett from Australia's Science Channel
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Earliest life found in ancient Aussie rocks

The famous stromatolites in Pilbara have finally given up their secret – revealing traces of the earliest life form on Earth. Why This Matters: These rocks could help reveal how life on Earth started, as well as how to find life on Mars. Australian scientists have unearthed traces of the oldest life form ever found in 3.5 billion-year-old rocks in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. In a major advance in the field, the University […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Mark Bruer from Cosmos Magazine
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The secret to the Holy Grail of hot chips

Hot chips are life, so a scientist has worked out how to perfect them. Why This Matters: There’s nothing worse than soggy chips. Perfectly golden, crunchy on the outside but fluffy pearly white in the centre, the perfect hot chip is a thing of undeniable beauty. The Belgians and Dutch know a thing or two about chips, but we do pretty well too – except for pubs that put the schnitty on top of chips. […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Deakin Newsroom from Deakin University
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Shark nets don't necessarily make Aussie beaches safer

Shark nets, drumlines and culls are a costly, ineffective way of protecting beach goers from sharks – let’s try being smart. Why This Matters: We need to keep beach-goers safe, but we also have to protect threatened and endangered species. Most of the 24 million annual visitors to Queensland don’t notice the series of seemingly innocuous yellow buoys at many popular beaches. Beneath the waves lies a series of baited drumlines and mesh nets that […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: George Roff from The University of Queensland
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Tassie devils hold the clue for cancer's game of hide-and-seek

By looking at how cancer cells in Tassie devils hide, researchers might be able to force human cancer cells out of hiding. Why This Matters: Inspiration in the battle against cancer comes from all sorts of places. Scientists have uncovered how the face-eating cancer threatening to wipe out the iconic Tasmanian devil evades detection by the immune system. The groundbreaking research, led by Marian Burr from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, has also […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Paul Biegler from Cosmos Magazine
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Galaxy surrounded by a surprising calm bubble of gas

Astronomers studying the outskirts of a distant galaxy have discovered that the galaxy sits in a serene ocean of gas. Why This Matters: In a weird universe, this is an area of quiet calm. A massive galaxy, which is about four billion light-years from Earth, is surrounded by a halo of gas that is much less dense and less magnetised than expected. Previously, halos of gas surrounding galaxies were thought to be turbulent and stormy. […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: ICRAR Outreach from The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
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Aussie coasts are at risk if we don't limit climate change

Sea levels are continuing to rise with some of the impacts coming hard and fast, and our coastal communities are on the front line. Why This Matters: Without further action, our coastal communities are at risk. Sea levels could rise by as much as one metre by the end of the century if we do nothing to combat climate change, according to the lastest IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
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Biophilia: the concept of nature in design

By using biophilia and adding nature into our urban landscape designs, we could do wonders for our physical and mental health. Why This Matters: Your indoor plant obsession is just the beginning. Sometimes all it takes for us to feel a little bit better is to step outside and get some fresh air. Numerous studies have shown that stepping out into nature can relax and refresh us, as well as having positive impacts on our […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: from Deakin University
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Adding nature to our grand designs

Incorporating nature into our urban landscapes is more than just adding a few pot plants. Why This Matters: Getting back to nature doesn’t necessarily mean getting out of town – and that could improve health and wellbeing. With all the hype over boosting the well-being of city workers and dwellers, it’s common to see splashes of greenery throughout our urban environment. But is adding a few pot-plants to the office really going to make a […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Sophia Taplin from Deakin University
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NSW decriminalises abortion

It took a marathon debate and weeks of protest, but a bill to decriminalise abortion in NSW has finally been passed. Why This Matters:  Giving women control over their own bodies affects everyone. Abortion has been decriminalised in NSW after the controversial Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 passed its final hurdle of the lower house this morning. Overnight, the bill was passed by the upper house – 26 votes to 14 – following 40 hours […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel
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Australia's know-how makes it a perfect $150m partner for NASA

From solar sail-powered spacecraft, to laser communications, to asteroid detection systems, there is no shortage of Australian expertise to help NASA explore the Moon and Mars. Why This Matters: Australia’s investment in NASA will benefit Australian businesses. In the wake of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s meeting with US President Donald Trump, the Australian government announced on Sunday a commitment of A$150million “into our local businesses and new technologies that will support NASA on its inspirational […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Andrew Dempster from University of New South Wales
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An immune boost from our ancient ancestors

An Aussie study has found that our ancient ancestors, the Denisovans, passed along a gene variant that heightens our immune response. Why This Matters: Previous research on ancient dna has proven useful for our health today. Australian researchers have discovered a gene variant that sheds new light on how human immunity was fine-tuned through history. Findings from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Flinders University and other scientists show modern humans acquired a gene variant […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
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How Craig turned his engineering job into economic modelling

From engineering to economic modelling, a career in STEM can lead to a range of different opportunities. Why This Matters: Learning from those who work in the field can pave a way forward for those aspiring to work in STEM. Craig Fleming went from stacking bags of cement and digging drains on an on-shore oil rig to running the rig within a couple of years. But after a couple of career changes Craig is now […] See more

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

A safe way to clean up oil spills

Aussie researchers have developed a new, low-cost foam to safely and quickly clean up oil spills. Why This Matters: As hard as we try, oil isn’t going anywhere, which means we need to find ways to ensure the environment is protected. There have been more than 700 oil spills worldwide in the past 20 years polluting oceans and coastlines as well as endangering marine ecology and other wildlife. The cleaning up of these oil spills […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: QUT Newsroom from Queensland University of Technology
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Bringing Japan's breakthrough cancer technology to Australia

For more than 20 years Japan has used a revolutionary technology to treat cancer.  Now, Australian physicists and doctors are joining forces to bring it here. Why This Matters: A cancer treatment revolution has been overlooked for decades. Particle Therapy is a breakthrough technology that destroys cancer cells with minimal side effects. However, although its been used in Japan and other countries around the world for over 20 years, it’s never been used in Australia. […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: from Australia's Science Channel
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Rising temperatures are a big risk to our health

It’s getting hotter, and those rising temperatures are potentially deadly. Why This Matters: With summer scorchers ahead, we need to look at how they’ll affect our health. Global warming is accelerating, driven by the continuing rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Australia’s climate has warmed by just over 1°C since 1910, with global temperatures on course for a 3-5°C rise this century. Australia is ahead of the global temperature curve. Our average daily temperature is 21.8°C – […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Liz Hanna from Australian National University
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Cavitation and correlation down under

Defence Science and Technology will be showcasing its support of Australian Defence’s maritime activities at the PACIFIC 2019 international maritime exposition. PACIFIC 2019 is being held in Sydney from Tuesday 8 to Thursday 10 October 2019, and DST’s presence will be aligned with the five focus areas outlined in DST’s Maritime Domain S&T Strategic Plan. Those focus areas are: Decision Superiority, Mission Survivability, Joint and Combined Operations, Creating and Shaping the Future Force, and Seaworthy […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Defence Science and Technology Group

Australia partners with NASA: here's what you need to know

Australia has signed a new partnership with NASA in support of future space missions. Why This Matters: Travel to Mars is on the horizon, and Australia will be on board. Over the weekend Prime Minister Scott Morrison launched a new partnership between the Australian Space Agency and NASA on future space cooperation. The announcement was made during a ceremony at NASA Headquarters in Washington which saw the Head of the Australian Space Agency Megan Clark, sign […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel
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Is WiFi messing with your body clock?

A Czech study claims that electromagnetic fields – like those used for WiFi – interfere with cockroaches’ body clocks. Other experts are skeptical. Why This Matters: With most of us using these technologies daily, it’s important to get the facts right. A Czech study published this week has claimed exposing German cockroaches to electromagnetic fields, such as those used for WiFi, TV and radio, messed up the insects’ natural rhythms. The researchers says the roaches’ […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Joseph Milton from Australian Science Media Centre
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Columbia: NASA blew it

NASA’s return to space after the Columbia disaster was “ugly” and fraught with internal arguments and mistrust, says Charles Camarda – a NASA astronaut who flew on the mission. Why This Matters: There is a right way to bounce back from disaster, without creating another. After 907 days of silence, NASA’s first crewed space mission following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster roared into the Florida sky on 26 July 2005. Onboard was Mission Specialist Charles […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: from Australia's Science Channel
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Gut bacteria can negatively influence our blood sugar levels

Our understanding of gut bacteria keeps expanding, it might negatively influence our blood sugar levels too. Why This Matters: Happy gut bacteria, happy body. Millions of people around the world experience serious blood sugar problems which can cause diabetes. Now, a world first study is revealing how gut bacteria impact the normally feel good hormone serotonin to negatively influence blood sugar levels. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, is nicknamed the ‘happy hormone’ and is normally […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
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The unexpected beauty of how bubbles freeze

Under the right conditions, soap bubbles freeze in a way that turns them, temporarily, into tiny, beautiful snow-domes. Why This Matters: If we can work out how to freeze soap bubbles, what else could we freeze? It turns out that under the right conditions, soap bubbles freeze into beautiful little snow domes. This revelation was discovered by researchers led by biomechanical engineer Jonathan Boreyko from Virginia Tech in the US as they probed the physics […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: from Australia's Science Channel

Less than half of trans people experience respectful health care

An Australian-first survey reveals gaps in policy and practice in sexual health services for trans and gender diverse people. Why This Matters: In order to maintain our quality of healthcare, our health services need to be inclusive of everyone. There is an urgent need to prioritise health resources and services to support the sexual health and wellbeing of transgender (‘trans’) and gender diverse people. A new report from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney, found that […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
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