Latest Science


White sharks hang with their buddies

Researchers have discovered that sharks pick their buddies and stick with them for years. Why This Matters: “I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine” – Bruce from Finding Nemo. Apex marine predators choose who they hang with and even form communities, new research reveals. The Southern Shark Ecology Group at Flinders University and collaborators say white sharks appear to form communities. Although normally solitary predators, white sharks gather in large numbers at […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
Topics -

New drone tech can tell the living from the dead in disaster zones

An improved drone system can separate the living from the dead by detecting tiny chest movements. Why This Matters: Saving survivors and keeping rescuers safe. Autonomous drone cameras have been trialled for several years to detect signs of life in disaster zones. Now, in a world first study, researchers from Adelaide and Iraq have taken this a step further. Using a new technique to monitor vital signs remotely, engineers from the University of South Australia […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: UniSA Newsroom from University of South Australia

Adelaide is the meth capital of the world in new study

Adelaide’s wastewater has revealed world-topping levels of meth – but those levels are dropping. Why This Matters: Honestly, there are better things to do in Adelaide than meth. Adelaide has topped the world for methamphetamine use, according to a worldwide study of wastewater. The seven-year project monitored illicit drug use in 120 cities across 37 countries, via wastewater samples. In total, the samples covered 60 million people, making it the largest wastewater-based study undertaken in […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

Carbon pumping: going in for the krill

Krill are more than just whale food and it’s important we understand them. Why This Matters: We need to give these little critters a license to krill. About 380 million tonnes of Antarctic krill calls the Southern Ocean home and play a vital role in carbon storage and nutrient distribution – but we don’t know nearly enough about it, according to a new scientific paper. Despite the species’ huge biomass and its importance in the planet’s […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Mark Bruer from Cosmos Magazine
Topics -

It's possible to take a break from science and make a comeback

Pursuing science after a career break is no easy task, especially for women. Why This Matters: Amanda is just one example of the inspiring women in STEM. For women, a career in science is hard – recognition for their contributions to research has come a long way. However, there are still major gaps in women’s success in gaining research funding, and advancing in their careers. In particular, STEM professionals that take maternity leave often feel it […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Kelly Wong from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

The alcohol industry is trying to convince us drinking is safer than it actually is

With the looming threat of stricter guidelines, the alcohol industry is arguing about the health benefits of alcohol. Why This Matters:  Taking a page from big tobacco, the alcohol industry is doing what it can to keep the booze on our shelves and the money in their pockets. Over recent weeks, the alcohol industry has been drumming up media discussion around Australia’s new drinking guidelines. Australia’s guidelines on alcohol consumption are under ongoing review by […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Peter Miller from Deakin University
Topics -

A monster galaxy found lurking in the shadows

Astronomers have discovered the footprints of a hidden monster galaxy 12.5 billion years in the past. Why This Matters: Like a Yeti, this massive monster was hiding in the shadows. There could be more out there. Astronomers have accidentally discovered the footprints of a monster galaxy in the early Universe that has never been seen before. Like a cosmic Yeti, these galaxies have been regarded by the scientific community as folklore, given the lack of […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Swinburne University of Technology Newsroom from Swinburne University of Technology
Topics -

Indigenous Australians’ vaccination rates are extremely low

Despite increased efforts, vaccination rates among Indigenous Australians are still low, and even declining in some areas. Why This Matters: Indigenous Australians are missing out on protection from influenza and pneumococcal infections. We need urgent action to reverse declining targeted flu and pneumococcal vaccination rates among adult Indigenous Australians, according to a new study. The study by UNSW– published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health – found that adult Indigenous Australians’ vaccination […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
Topics -

Should we eat ready-made meals?

They’re known for their convenience, but are ready-made meals really that good for us? Why This Matters: With our fast-paced lifestyles, it’s important to eat the right food. It’s official: reports confirm Australians are progressively spending more time behind desks, in cars, on public transport and sitting in front of the TV. These habits are a consequence of our modern, fast-paced lives and are causing substantial shifts in consumer eating preferences. Long gone are the days […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Caitlin Hall from The University of Queensland
Topics -

Government fish kill plan launch followed by new mass die-off

Experts say the Federal Government’s fish kill plan may be too little too late. Why This Matters: Without action we’re going to see more fish die-offs. Last Monday, Federal Water Minister David Littleproud announced the release of the Native Fish Emergency Response Plan 2019-20, just as a new mass die-off was reported in Menindee in New South Wales. The plan is the Government’s response to last summer’s mass fish die-offs, when footage of millions of dead […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Joseph Milton from Australian Science Media Centre
Topics -

'I Snapchat and drive!' - confessions of young drivers

Young drivers are still using Snapchat behind the wheel, despite warnings and knowledge of deterrents. Why This Matters: The message still isn’t getting through to some young drivers. Snapchat has emerged as a surprise threat to young drivers, with a new study showing one in six young drivers surveyed had used Snapchat behind the wheel. Verity Truelove, from QUT’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety-Queensland (CARRS-Q), surveyed 503 Queensland drivers aged 17 to 25 about […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: QUT Newsroom from Queensland University of Technology

We have to get on board the transport revolution

There is a transport revolution coming, and we risk falling behind other countries if we don’t make smart decisions now. Why This Matters: Cleaner, safer and more efficient transport is there for the taking. With Australia’s geographic isolation and long distances between large urban centres, the transport sector will be one area that is both significantly disrupted and revolutionised by technological transformation. Failure to be prepared will risk a decline in many aspects of our […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Australia's Science Channel Editors from Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

Pain relief may be found in the mud

It’s early days, but a chemical found in a fungus growing in mud near a boat ramp could be the inglorious source of a pain killer as potent as morphine. Why This Matters: Mud morphine may medicate maladies. A sample of estuarine mud taken 16 years ago has yielded a potential new class of painkiller as potent as opioids, but without their disadvantages. Researchers from The University of Queensland and University of Sydney have filed […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: University of Queensland Newsroom from The University of Queensland
Topics -

Almost half of regular ecstasy users are testing their pills

The latest National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre report is out, revealing the habits of illicit drug users nationally. Why This Matters: By tracking illicit drug use, we can see problems before they become critical. More than four in 10 people who regularly use ecstasy and one in 10 people who regularly inject drugs have ever tested their drugs, mostly by using personal testing kits. The Drug Trends program at the National Drug and Alcohol Research […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
Topics -

We're not ready for a looming cyber-emergency

We haven’t been able to keep up with advancing technologies, and the cyber-threat they pose to our security. Why This Matters: We need to ensure that the technology we depend on stays on our side. Australia’s social scientists and the intelligence agencies have a new joint role in protecting the country, but may need a more tech-savvy workforce to get there. There are historical precedents for this kind of cooperation. In September 1939, just as war broke out […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Greg Austin from University of New South Wales

Here are the winners from The Prime Minister's Prizes for Science

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognise pioneering researchers and scientists for their impressive contributions to STEM. Why This Matters: Australian innovators are doing some pretty incredible things. The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are Australia’s most prestigious science awards. Seven prizes are awarded for outstanding achievements in scientific research, and research-based innovation, and excellence in science, maths or technology teaching. This year’s awards night celebrated 20 years of the PM’s Prizes, and not only celebrated […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel

The Prime Minister's Prizes for Science recognise inspiring teachers

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognises outstanding teachers for their efforts in inspiring students with STEM. Why This Matters: Teachers are inspiring our next generation of scientists and researchers. The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognise two outstanding science teachers who have made a significant contribution to science education. The awards recognise the teacher’s passion for making science as fascinating and relevant to students as possible. Also: Here’s the winners from The Prime Minister’s Prizes […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel

Can we make conservation contagious?

Ensuring that conservation efforts spread globally is critical in the fight to save species and ecosystems. Why This Matters: If conservation initiatives spread globally, the more impact they can make. Conservation initiatives often spread like disease, a fact which can help scientists and policymakers design programs more likely to be taken up. The study, including University of Queensland researchers, modelled how conservation initiatives are adopted until they reach “scale” – a level where they can have […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: University of Queensland Newsroom from The University of Queensland
Topics -

Technology is the answer, but what is the question?

Technology is transforming our lives, and will revolutionise our cities. This is how. MInD Lab at Deakin University is bringing intelligence into design, bringing technology into our cities of the future. Imagine a city that can respond to its human inhabitants – helping our comfort, performance, and wellbeing. That is the aim of a smart city – but bringing together that technology is a challenge. Tuba Kocaturk and her team are working to achieve exactly […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: from Deakin University

Tuba Kocaturk - Designing the smart cities of the future

Tuba Kocaturk is at the forefront of bringing technology and architecture together in the smart cities of the future. Why this matters: The future is going to need a whole new breed of architect. With the buzz around Smart Cities, Tuba Kocaturk’s MInD Lab at Deakin University investigates the ways that technologies can actually be used to make smart cities work. Deeper: Technology is the answer, what is the question? Living the philosophy of “real […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: from Deakin University

Honeybees can learn larger numbers - with a little bit of punishment

Research reveals that honeybees learn better when there’s both a reward and a punishment. Why This Matters: Like most living things, learning ability comes down to the right way of teaching. Bees are pretty good at maths – as far as insects go, at least. We already know, for example, that they can count up to four and even understand the concept of zero. But in a new study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Adrian Dyer from RMIT University
Topics -

Wastewater reveals the lifestyles of different suburbs

A new study of wastewater suggests that education and occupation plays a role in diet and drug consumption. Why This Matters: Different socioeconomic groups have different behaviours, and need to be treated differently. The consumption of caffeine, citrus, vitamin B and dietary fibre is higher in communities with higher socioeconomic status, according to new research from The University of Queensland. The study, led by Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences (QAEHS) researchers, used analysis of […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: University of Queensland Newsroom from The University of Queensland
Topics -

Is science still missing from society?

We need to bridge the gap between science and business, and bring meaningful science communication to the mainstream audience. Why This Matters: Science isn’t useful if you can’t tell people about it. A significant gap exists between the business and science communities in Australia, according to Peter Yates, who has just been awarded the prestigious Australian Academy of Science Medal for his public work promoting science. Peter first noticed that science was missing from key […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
Topics -

Meth houses stay contaminated for years

New research has found current methods of sampling don’t clearly indicate the extent of drug contamination inside houses. Why This Matters: Drug contamination in houses poses a serious threat to health. The Breaking Bad movie El Camino story line focusing on drug production is more relevant than ever- with a new study revealing methamphetamine contamination in houses is a public health problem around the world. Flinders University researchers – Jackie Wright, Stewart Walker and  Kirstin Ross – analysed […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
Topics -

Richard is a toxic pollution fighting hero

Richard Fuller is fighting to reduce toxic pollution around the world, improving the lives of millions of people. Why This Matters: Toxic pollution is disastrous to our health – we need people like Richard on the front line. Richard Fuller is a man on a mission to reduce pollution right around the world. Originally from Australia, Richard is an engineer, entrepreneur and environmentalist now based in New York running Pure Earth. His organisation has cleaned up […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel