Latest Science


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
Topics -

Driverless cars could lead to more traffic congestion

Commuter attitudes towards ride-sharing and car ownership are getting in the way of the transition to driverless cars. Why This Matters: Sharing is caring – and the key to cutting down traffic congestion. Driverless car could worsen traffic congestion in the coming decades according to new research. The research from the University of Adelaide indicates that this congestion could be partly because of drivers’ attitudes to the emerging technology and a lack of willingness to share […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: University of Adelaide Newsroom from The University of Adelaide

If now is not the time to talk about climate change, when is?

Opinion: This is the exact time to be talking about climate change. Why This Matters: Climate deniers need to get the hell out of the way. Over the past several days New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia have been devastated by bushfires. The ones in NSW and Queensland in particular are unprecedented in scale and ferocity. Sadly, they have already claimed lives and destroyed countless properties and communities. “The devastating bushfires in NSW and […] See more

Published 4 weeks ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

Drought and climate change were the kindling, and now the east coast is ablaze

“These unprecedented fires are an indication that a much-feared future under climate change may have arrived earlier than predicted.” Why This Matters: It’s nonsensical to dismiss the effects of climate change. Last week saw an unprecedented outbreak of large, intense fires stretching from the mid-north coast of New South Wales into central Queensland. The most tragic losses are concentrated in northern NSW, where 970,000 hectares have been burned, three people have died, and at least […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Rachael Helene Nolan from Western Sydney University
Topics -

Endometriosis sufferers are turning to cannabis

The pain of endometriosis has Australian women turning to cannabis, with a study finding it’s effective for more than just pain. Why This Matters: A lack of support for endometriosis patients is turning some to illicit approaches. One in eight Australian women with endometriosis are turning to cannabis in a bid to relieve their chronic pain. Researchers from NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University, and UNSW Sydney surveyed 484 women on how they self-manage […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

Oh, oh, oh! The clitoris gives pleasure, but does it also help women conceive?

New research suggests the clitoris is equally as important for reproduction as it is for sexual pleasure. But the evidence behind that claim is up for debate. Why This Matters: After centuries of religious and moral outrage, let’s think objectively about the clitoris. New research reported in the media says the clitoris plays an important role in fertility and reproduction, making it more than an organ that exists purely for sexual pleasure. But some media […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Michelle Moscova from University of New South Wales
Topics -

NSW Coroner's pill testing report agrees with research, common sense

The NSW Deputy Coroner has recommended a pill testing trial, the decriminalisation of personal drug use and no sniffer dogs at music festivals. Why This Matters: Current efforts to minimise drug harm are not working. Let’s try something that does. After an inquest into the deaths of six music festival-goers, the NSW  Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame has recommended a pill testing trial, big changes to the use of sniffer dogs at music festivals, and […] See more

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

Game on, Ping-Pong: VR sport improves real life performance

Strap on a headset – training in VR can really help your real-world sport skills. Why This Matters: Gaming has a huge range of benefits, don’t listen to the naysayers. Pulling on a headset and entering a virtual world might seem like a complete disconnect from the real world. But, new research has shown how sports skills we build in a computerised playground do translate into the real world. And while it’s been tested using […] See more

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

Bringing the real world into classrooms makes STEM more engaging

“Let’s design a waterproof shoe for a refugee child.” Why This Matters: Teaching endless equations won’t stop declining rates in STEM subjects. In a May 2019 speech, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, noted participation in science and maths was slipping in Australian schools. Specifically speaking about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), he said: “STEM education addresses real world problems and is useful to us and the wider community in many, many ways.” Finkel’s predecessor made similar assertions, […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Paula Mildenhall from Edith Cowan University
Topics -

Would you trade privacy for security?

With a law that would increase facial verification systems in Australia currently being drafted, the tracking and sharing of information about Australians could be closer than we realise. Why This Matters: You have an internationally guaranteed right to privacy, but could mass facial recognition surveillance put it at risk? Imagine a world where your every move is captured on camera – where your name is shamefully announced on billboards the minute you jaywalk, or your […] See more

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

How Adam Gilmour took the leap from business to space

From banking to space, Adam Gilmour is at the forefront of the Australian company working towards getting Australians into space. Why This Matters: Adam Gilmour is helping Australians reach for the stars, literally. A business career and space innovation might seem like worlds apart, but not for Adam Gilmour, CEO of Gilmour Space Technologies. After studying business at Univerisity, specialising in banking and finance, Adam worked in banking for over 20 years. While he might […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel

Sean Geoghegan - Meet a Medical Physicist

Meet Sean Geoghegan, a medical physicist at at the forefront of a revolution in Australian cancer care. Why This Matters: As particle therapy becomes more established in Australia, we’re going to need more medical physicists. Medical Physicists are going to play a huge role in Australian cancer care in the future. As the revolutionary Particle Therapy begins to be established in Australia, people like Sean and his knowledge of both physics and medicine will be […] See more

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

Huge-clawed predatory dinosaur discovered in Victoria

The discovery of the new species suggests that megaraptorid theropods roamed far and wide across Australia. Why This Matters: Ancient Australia continues to get even more deadly. Several megaraptorids theropod bones, including a 20 centimetre long hand claw, have been discovered in the Otway Coast of Victoria. The bones were found in the Eumeralla Formation, a geological deposit that is approximately 107 million years old. Fossils of theropods – the group of dinosaurs that includes such […] See more

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

Robots are rubbish at Jenga, but this one is getting a grip

A new project is training robots to think on the move, and it might be the key to making them grasp items more effectively. Why This Matters: A lot of robots are rubbish at everything except one specific task. We need to broaden their abilities. When we play games, like Jenga or Pick Up Sticks, we don’t sit still. Nor do we close our eyes, think and then blindly grasp at the objects in a […] See more

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

11,000 scientists declare a climate emergency

Thousands of scientists around the world have issued a stark warning to take serious action to curb climate change – and mapped out what needs to happen. Why This Matters: Time is running out. It’s time to listen and take action. More than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries have supported a new paper which declares a climate emergency, and has warned that “untold human suffering” is unavoidable without deep and lasting shifts in human activities […] See more

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

This is not how you use marijuana

A man has had an 18-year-old calcified balloon of marijuana removed from his nose, after an attempt to smuggle it past prison guards went very wrong. Why This Matters: If you stick something in your nose, make sure it comes out again. There’s lots of ways to use marijuana. And there’s lots of ways of sneaking stuff into prison. But an unnamed Australian man has taken entirely the wrong route for both, jamming a balloon […] See more

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

The government must declare a water emergency

Our leaders are not putting the national interest first when it comes to the water emergency, with expert Quentin Grafton laying blame at pollie’s poor decision making. Why This Matters: Our politicians often forget that people come before profits. Politicians using drought relief to assist farmers in need are ignoring effective and long-lasting solutions to Australia’s water emergency warns a leading expert from The Australian National University (ANU). While rains on Sunday and Monday fell on […] See more

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

Speaking to spacecraft from outback WA

Just a couple of hours north of Perth stands one of the ESA’s most important links to spacecraft exploring the solar system. Why This Matters: Australia already plays a vital role in exploring our solar system. As you head north along the Great Northern Highway from Perth you pass townships with names such as Bindoon and Wannamal. After a couple of hours New Norcia appears on the horizon, Australia’s only monastic town. Benedictine monks still […] See more

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

It’s not 'wild dog management' – we are just killing dingoes

Dingo or wild dog? A new study busts the misconception that pure dingoes are extinct in NSW – and finds several ‘dingo hotspots’ around the state. Why This Matters: NSW “wild dog” management might be getting it all wrong. Almost all wild dogs in NSW are dingoes or dingo-dominant hybrids, a study from UNSW Sydney and collaborators has found, challenging the widely held view that pure dingoes are virtually extinct in the state. The study, […] See more

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

Measles weakens your immune system for years

Measles is no harmless or mild infection. New research shows it can cause long-term harm to your immune system. Vaccinate. Why This Matters: Seriously? We still have to tell people to vaccinate? As Aussie cases of measles surge, it looks like the disease may be even more dangerous than we thought, with two new studies showing that catching measles can cripple your immune system for years. The first study, published in Science and led by […] See more

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

Michelle is bringing sustainable food to the world

Michelle Grant crosses science and social sciences to influence food sustainability programs around the world. Why This Matters: Technical solutions will not solve the challenges we face. Understanding human behaviour is just as important. Switzerland is a long way away from Australia, but Michelle Grant’s work on the global food system has taken her across the globe. She initially joined the World Food System Center at ETH Zurich in 2011, as the founding Executive Director. […] See more

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

The ACCC is suing Google over user tracking. Here's why it's a big deal

After years of collecting data on the dodgy, more governments are standing up to the tech giants. Why This Matters: Users are being deceived by design by the tech giants. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced it is suing Google for misleading consumers about its collection and use of personal location data. The case is the consumer watchdog’s first move against a major digital platform following the publication of the Digital Platforms […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Katharine Kemp from University of New South Wales

Darker bird eggs have their purpose

Scientists crack egg mystery, finding dark coloured bird eggs have an advantage in colder areas as they absorb more heat. Why This Matters: Sometimes the reason is straightforward. An egg’s ability to maintain temperature within strict limits is critical to the survival of a developing bird embryo, but the role that eggshell colour plays in maintaining thermal balance has been a long-standing question. Now, a study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution has found that […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Ian Conellan from Cosmos Magazine
Topics -

The technology preventing another Deepwater Horizon

Following the Deepwater Horizon environmental disaster in 2010, new innovative technology was developed to avoid a similar situation from happening again. Why This Matters: New technology could help prevent ecological disaster. This article is sponsored by Bright-r. On 20 April 2010, an explosion on board Deepwater Horizon, an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, started one of the most infamous environmental disasters of the 21st century. Eleven rig workers died and tens of thousands […] See more

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

Our native birds are quickly losing their homes

Most of our native birds are losing their homes due to land clearing, and it could be disastrous to native ecosystems. Why This Matters: The damage we’re doing could be irreversible. Across parts of Australia, vast areas of native vegetation have been cleared and replaced by our cities, farms and infrastructure. When native vegetation is removed, the habitat and resources that it provides for native wildlife are invariably lost. Our environmental laws and most conservation efforts tend to […] See more

Published 1 month ago. Author: Jeremy Simmonds from The University of Queensland
Topics -