Latest Science


Honeybees get the concept of symbols as numbers

We know that bees can understand zero and do basic math. But now a new study shows they may be able to connect symbols to numbers. Honeybees continue to impress in the intellectual stakes. Not only can they understand zero and do basic maths, it appears they may be capable of connecting symbols to numbers. The same team of Australian and French researchers that discovered the zero trick has now trained honeybees to match a character to […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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Here's what needs to happen to fix the NDIS

The NDIS has done a lot right, but there are also major concerns and issues. Here’s what needs to be done to get it back on track. In one of his first official public remarks since being re-elected, Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged that addressing failures in the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS) would be a priority for the new government. Stuart Robert has assumed the role of minister for the NDIS and will be […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Helen Dickinson from University of New South Wales
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Aussie man's chest literally bursts into flames during surgery

A conference has heard of a case where a flash fire broke out in a man’s chest cavity, in the middle of an emergency heart surgery. Infections or perforations are not uncommon complications that arise from surgery. A flash fire in the chest cavity on the other hand? That might be a little more than a complication. The idea seems well outside the realm of possibility. But for one patient it was a reality, when […] See more

Published 2 weeks ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel
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Laos is scattered with jars of the dead

‘Death jars’ have been found strewn across a remote forest in Laos, leaving archaeologists puzzled how the stone jars got there and who was using them. Archaeologists have discovered 15 new sites in Laos containing more than one hundred 1000-year-old massive stone jars, possibly used for the dead. The jars of Laos are one of archaeology’s enduring mysteries. Experts believe they were related to disposal of the dead, but nothing is known about the jars’ […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: ANU Newsroom from Australian National University
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How to argue better about the environment (or anything else)

Learn how to argue better with this approach from a social psychologist, two ecologists and a cartoonist. From climate change to armed conflict, our world is struggling with urgent global issues. But disagreements about how to solve them can spiral out of control. The only way to resolve intractable conflicts is to overcome desire to talk to allies more often than opponents. Here, a social psychologist, two ecologists and a cartoonist explain the toolbox of […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Darren Fisher from Swinburne University of Technology
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Corals can't adjust to acidic oceans

A year-long study has confirmed that corals and coralline algae are under threat from acidic and warming waters caused by climate change. Coralline algae are the architects of coral reefs. The organism connects the reef together and acts as a foundation for an array of marine life. The coralline algae also acts as a breeding ground for these species. However, new research led by scientists from the University of Western Australia, has found that corals […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel
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Australians urged to vaccinate against killer lung infection

One-in-10 Australians aged over 65 years hospitalised with pneumonia will die from the lung infection. This year’s ‘flu season is shaping up to one of the most deadly in years. More than 44,000 cases of the ‘flu have already been confirmed, triple the number of cases at the same time last year. This has caused doctors to urge people to vaccinate against pneumococcal pneumonia, the killer lung infection that can work in tandem with ‘flu. […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel
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We're okay with phone blockers in cars, as long as we can still talk

Drivers would be willing to use blocker apps, but only if they can still do hands-free calls and listen to Bluetooth music. Almost 70 per cent of drivers would install an app designed to block texting and browsing, as long as they could still use Bluetooth functions. In an attempt to combat distracted driving, researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) surveyed 712 drivers for a national study into voluntary apps that restrict certain […] See more

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

There are more fishing vessels, but fewer fish

The world’s fishing industry is expanding faster than fish stocks can support. A new analysis of global fishing data has found the world’s fishing fleet doubled in size over the 65-years to 2015, but, for the amount of effort the catch fell more than 80 per cent. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study, by researchers from the University of Tasmania and CSIRO, found the global fishing fleet grew […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: University of Tasmania Newsroom from University of Tasmania
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Eight science films that will change how you see the world

Eight of the best science films in the world hit the big screen for SCINEMA International Science Film Festival – and they’ll change everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world. Science and storytelling meld into an emotional rollercoaster at SCINEMA, the southern hemisphere’s largest science film festival. From near impossible medical achievements to the complicated love lives of one-in-a-million snails, audiences are taken through the highs and lows of science and what […] See more

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

We're getting better at predicting volcanic eruptions

The speed that seismic waves travel through a volcano could hint at an impending eruption. Scientists have developed a new method to predict when volcanoes will erupt, analysing data from the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. The research, led by Gerrit Olivier from the University of Tasmania,  found that changes in vibrations travelling through the volcano can be a sign that the volcano is on the verge of erupting. An insight into the […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: University of Tasmania Newsroom from University of Tasmania
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'Micro-submarines' could zoom through the body to deliver medicine

Micro-submarines powered by nano-motors could soon been propelling their way through our bodies and delivering drugs to diseased organs. A science fiction staple may actually become reality thanks to Australian researchers. They’ve developed tiny, self-propelled ‘micro-submarines’ that can deliver medicine to specific parts of the body, possibly including cancers. However it’s not exactly Fantastic Voyage – more like fantastic nano-engineering. In a paper published in the journal Materials Today, engineers from the University of New […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales

Giant Antarctic glacier may be melting more in winter than summer

Winter measurements by Australian scientists have revealed a new picture of the melting Antarctic Totten Glacier. Until now, most measurements in Antarctica were made during summer, leaving winter conditions, when the sea freezes over with ice, largely unknown. But scientists from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania, and the CSIRO, supported by a team of organisations, developed a novel mission that allowed year-round measurements to be collected near […] See more

Published 3 weeks ago. Author: University of Tasmania Newsroom from University of Tasmania
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Sleuth scientists trace rogue CFC emissions back to China

Australian and British scientists have cracked the case of a strange increase in an ozone-depleting chemical that has been banned for decades. A mysterious rise in the emissions of an ozone layer-destroying chemical, trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), has been traced back to Eastern Mainland China, according to a paper published in Nature. Atmospheric CFC levels have been on the decline since the mid-1990s, when they were phased out as part of the Montreal Protocol Agreement. Since then, […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Olivia Henry from Australian Science Media Centre
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Silicon could make quantum computing a reality

Silicon, key to traditional computer chips, could also be essential in quantum computing. Three breakthrough papers published in just the past year have confirmed that silicon is neck-and-neck with competing technology for quantum computing, including those under active research by corporate giants Google, Microsoft and IBM. Creating the quantum entangled pairs that form the qubits, the heart of quantum computation, has thus far required the use of complex, exotic materials and structures, such as from […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Alan Duffy from Cosmos Magazine

Happy Hunger Games, bilbies!

A Hunger Games-style experiment has shown that pitting them against predators can actually help endangered species, like the bilby, survive in the wild. Imagine The Hunger Games, but instead of being trapped in a dome with killer kids and lethal wasps, you’re locked in with a bunch of feral cats. For the greater bilby, it’s probably one of the worst situations to find themselves in, but research has shown that this exposure can actually help […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
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A new single vaccination could help combat killer diseases

New Australian research suggests that a single vaccination could overcome limitations of global influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. Just one vaccination could now be used to combat deadly respiratory diseases such as influenza and pneumococcal infections. Scientists from the University of Adelaide’s Research Centre for Infectious Diseases, say combining the new class of vaccines they are developing will overcome the limitations of current influenza and pneumococcal vaccines used around the world. New vaccine induces cross-protective immunity.  […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: University of Adelaide Newsroom from The University of Adelaide
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Australian astronomers transmit car sounds into space, because why not?

Astronomers have encoded the sound of a Lexus V8 and beamed it into space, for reasons? In the world of marketing stunts, the sky is the limit. But apparently that wasn’t enough for Lexus, who have partnered with astronomers from Swinburne University to broadcast engine sounds into the cosmos. Yes it’s ridiculous and nuts, but if you had access to a massive telescope, you probably would too. The Centre for Astronomy and Supercomputing encoded the […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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The effects of concussion can linger for months after

Sufferers of post-concussion symptoms can have worse brain function for months after the initial injury. For many, concussion injury resolves quickly. For some people however, post-concussion symptoms can continue well into the future. A study by La Trobe University, released in Neuroscience journal, looked into the effects that persistent post-concussion symptoms (PCS) felt by 10 per cent of concussion sufferers after a knock to the head. The results found that significant levels of fatigue and […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: La Trobe Newsroom from La Trobe University
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Having an STI could benefit male animals

New research has found that having an STI isn’t bad news for male animals and could actually benefit them in reproduction. New Australian research has found that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can act to benefit male animal reproductive success when the evolutionary interests of males and females don’t align. Megan Head from The Australian National University (ANU) says that the sexual interests of male and female animals are almost never the same. “For males, it’s […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: ANU Newsroom from Australian National University
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SCINEMA puts the science in cinema

Australia’s biggest science film festival hits cinemas nationwide from 28 May – 13 June. The SCINEMA International Science Film Festival is set to bring science to cinemas around Australia this May and June. The largest science film festival in the southern hemisphere, SCINEMA showcases the best science feature, short, documentary, animated and experimental films from filmmakers around the world. With over 89,000 people around the country attending SCINEMA screenings last year, 2019 is poised to […] See more

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

From 3D printing to bioplastic, seaweed just keeps on giving

Green seaweed native to Australia could be used for everything from treatments for wounds to natural plastics, say scientists who are delving into the slimy super-plant. Throughout history, cultures around the globe have enjoyed the merits of seaweed. However it’s only been in more modern times that these plants’ diverse ecological properties have captured scientists’ attention. Algae expert-turned-entrepreneur Dr. Pia Winberg is one such scientist, exploring the qualities of a unique, endemic species of green […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Natalie Parletta from Australia's Science Channel

Plastic waste has trashed one of Australia's most remote islands

One of Australia’s most remote paradise island chains, and home to our best beach, has been covered with 400 million pieces of waste. We already know we’re messing up the environment, and it’s getting worse – now some of our most remote and pristine islands are covered in plastic waste. Over 400 million pieces of plastic have washed up on the shores of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI), which are home to Australia’s best beach. […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from University of Tasmania
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Plastic pollution isn’t just harming fish, it’s also affecting our oxygen

A new study has found that the only bacteria in the ocean that help us breathe is susceptible to plastic pollution. Ten per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from Prochlorococcus, a type of bacteria in the ocean. However, new research has shown that this tiny bacteria is impaired by chemicals from common plastic products. The study, which was published in Communications Biology, exposed two different strains of the bacteria, to chemicals leached from […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel
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From accident to inspiration - Robot Academy lets anyone build robots

More than 120,000 students from 175 countries have learnt how to build robots through the QUT Robot Academy – an idea triggered by accident. Inspiration often strikes at the most unexpected of times. For Queensland University of Technology robotics professor Peter Corke, a 2012 accident was that moment. A serious bicycle crash left him unable to leave his home. But that didn’t stop him from teaching his robotics engineering students. With no one available to […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Queensland University of Technology