Latest Science


Research raises more questions about e-cigarettes

From toxic ingredients to encouraging young adults to smoke – e-cigarettes are no silver bullet. Three separate research papers have been published this week raising questions about the health claims of e-cigarettes. Seen by some as the silver bullet to the problems of tobacco cigarettes, the new papers reveal toxic ingredients in vaping liquids, being receptive to e-cigarette ads increasing the chance of smoking tobacco in the next 12 months, and raised questions that need […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Chinese space station Tiangong-1 headed to Earth this weekend

Seven experts respond to the Easter re-entry of doomed space station. Just over two years after China’s space station Tiangong-1 finished its mission, it is predicted to finally crash back on Earth sometime this weekend in a spectacular fireball. Observers – both academic and amateur – will be keeping an eye on its re-entry. Many factors such as the effect of the Earth’s atmosphere can influence the falling spacecraft so scientists are unsure as to […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Kelly Wong from Australia's Science Channel
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Generating power from light and shadow

The gentle undulations of leaves in a breeze has long been a source of poetic inspiration, but soon it could also be a source of electric power. Critics of renewables often point out that the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, researchers have now developed a system that exploits those very changes to generate power. As proof of concept, researchers from Linköping University in Sweden show that electricity can be generated by […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel

Australian astronomers witness death throes of a cocooned star

An international team of astronomers has seen the death throes of a star cocooned inside a dense shell of gas and dust, which ended in a violent explosion unlike a typical supernova. “We’ve discovered yet another way that stars die and distribute material back into space,” said , including Dr. Brad Tucker from The Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. When the massive amount of energy from the blast slammed into the shell, most […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Nailing the risk of skin cancer from UV lamps in manicures

Your manicures may be increasing your risk of skin cancer, experts suggest using sunscreen before your trip to the salon. UV lamps are often used in manicures, particularly gel manicures. Sometimes LED lamps are used instead. However, they all emit UV radiation. In particular, they emit UVA rays, which is linked to skin damage, premature skin ageing and skin cancer. For many, gel polish is irresistible with its high shine and longer-lasting results. But there […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Kelly Wong from Australia's Science Channel
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Sunscreen designed to keep Great Barrier Reef cool

Polymers inspired by Australian banknotes might save the reef from bleaching. A calcium-carbonate film just one molecule thick is showing promise as an ingenious way to protect coral from the dangers of excessive exposure to sunlight. The film, some 50,000 times thinner than a human hair, has been developed through an unlikely collaboration between the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the inventor of Australia’s polymer banknotes, and the US jewellery company, Tiffany & Co. The polymer […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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Why are whales so big?

Land animals that take to the water evolve quickly and converge at a similar size. Whales, elephant seals and other giants of the sea are big because they have to be, but their environment actually stops them really letting themselves go, a new study has found. Stanford University researchers say that aquatic mammal size is restrained at the bottom end by the need to retain heat and at the top end by difficulties getting enough […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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When loneliness can lead to heart disease

New study suggests other risk factors loom larger. Research has highlighted links between loneliness and social isolation, and death from heart disease or stroke but a new observational study suggests this is only an independent risk factor for people with pre-existing heart conditions. Other known risk factors still largely explain links observed between loneliness/social isolation and first time heart disease/stroke, the researchers say. Their work drew on data from nearly 480,000 people aged 40 to […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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Children with autism less likely to be fully vaccinated

New study suggests many parents still have concerns around vaccines and autism. Children with autism and their younger siblings are significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated than the general population, according to a US study. Senior author Dr Nicola Klein, director of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center, said the analysis revealed “large disparities in vaccination rates between children with and without autism spectrum disorders, as well as between their siblings, across all age […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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Up to 90% of people with hepatitis B don't know they have it

Hep B still poorly diagnosed and not well treated. Nearly 300 million people have hepatitis B virus (HBV) but 90 per cent are undiagnosed and just 5 percent of eligible patients are getting treatment. And this is not just a problem for the developing world. Research from the Polaris Observatory at the Center for Disease Analysis Foundation in the US suggests that two-thirds of those with HBV in the US and 80 per cent in […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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How to make a good impression – it's not what you say, it's how you say it

When first impressions count, find out how to nail saying hello in French French researchers have cracked the code of how different tones change the meanings of different words, and in the process created a computer program they’re calling the Ministry of Silly Speech. Language is an incredibly complex thing. Not only do we listen to the words being said, but also how they’re being said. A minor change in pitch and tone can completely […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Vegan diets could improve global food security

A study from the US has found that plant-based vegan diets have lower food loss rates than animal-based diets. Regardless of your dietary choices, global food security is one of the pressing issues of our near future as our world’s populations continue to grow. Animal diets tend to be more resource-intensive with food production consumes more gram, calorie, or gram protein compared with food production from plant sources. Food loss in conventional food practices can […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Kelly Wong from Australia's Science Channel

Australian science confronts its #MeTooPhD moment

Allegations of sexual harassment against Terry Speed, one of Australia’s most decorated scientists, has shone a spotlight on a problem that is rife within the scientific community. Women scientists have told the ABC that sexual harassment and other inappropriate behaviour is a big part of why more women don’t make it to the upper echelons of the scientific community in Australia. “I have been pushed out of a position because of negative circumstances within my […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Bill Condie
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Orange snow covers Russia and eastern Europe

Orange-tinted snow has transformed parts of eastern Europe, in an unusual natural phenomenon. Sand and dust from Sahara desert storms in north Africa were picked up and carried across continents in the atmosphere to Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova and other eastern European counties. The sand mixed with snow and rain which brought the sand back down to Earth in the form of orange snow blanketed towns over the weekend. NASA satellite imagery captured the […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Kelly Wong from Australia's Science Channel
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Space pic of the week: Soyuz headed for launch

The Soyuz rocket is rolled out by train to the Baikonur Cosmodrome launchpad Security personnel keep watch as the Soyuz rocket passes on its way to the launch pad, Monday, March 19, 2018 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The rocket launched on Wednesday 21 March, carrying Expedition 55 crew members Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel of NASA and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos. After two days of Earth orbit, they are scheduled to rendezvous with […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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On This Day: Gemini III, the first dual-crewed US spacecraft

On this day, Virgil “Gus” Grissom and John Young completed three orbits of Earth during Gemini III. Take a look back at how it was reported in the news at the time. On 23 March 1965 two astronauts, Grissom and Young, completed three orbits of Earth in the Gemini III spacecraft Molly Brown. After launching from Cape Canaveral, the spacecraft splashed down nearly 5 hours later north of The Bahamas. After realising they had landed […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Brewing hopped beer without hops

Beer without hops? It’s possible, thanks to a new engineered yeast that gives all the flavour – sans hops. Hops give beer the zesty and bitter flavour that is part of the reason it’s so delicious. But hops aren’t easy to grow, they require a lot of water, and are really expensive. So a team of scientists from the University of California Berkeley have tried to work out a way they can make beer without […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Scientists have woolly theories about curly hair

A New Zealand group may have cracked the mystery of what causes curly hair by looking at the curliest of all – sheep. This may sound like the start of an Australian joke, but New Zealand scientists have turned to sheep to try to discover why some people have naturally curly hair. And it’s a fair enough reason. Human hair is too coarse to study easily at the cellular level but fine Merino wool isn’t: […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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A small cut in calories provides health benefits

Annoying news for the lean, mean and healthy; it’s still a good idea to watch those calories. New research from the US suggests that cutting caloric intake by 15 per cent for two years can slow ageing and protect against age-related disease such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as cancer, diabetes and others. Known as CALERIE (Comprehensive Assessment of the Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy), this was the first randomised controlled […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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LGBT students more likely to ditch science

Science has turned the microscope on itself, examining whether LGBT students are likely to stick with STEM. A new study has found that a student’s sexual orientation affects their likelihood to continue studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Data collected from 4162 students at 78 US colleges shows that those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer are 8 per cent less likely than heterosexual students to persist in […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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Putting the finger on drug users

New research finds even non-drug users have illicit substances on their skin. Never taken illicit drugs in your life? That’s very responsible of you, but there’s a good chance there’s some on your fingertips right now. Research coming out of the University of Surrey in the UK found that 13%, or more than one-in-10, of non-drug-users taking part in a fingerprinting test had either cocaine or heroin on their skin. And while that sort of […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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Meet SoFi the robot fish

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created the next generation of marine monitoring equipment – lifelike swimming robots. Smaller and more agile than old equipment, this soft fish (SoFi) robot can get closer to reefs and encounter swarms of fish while capturing information using its onboard camera. It’s kind of a mobile observatory for monitoring and observing underwater species. The research has been published in Science Robotics Related   Snake skin inspires slithering […] See more

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

Melt-resistant ice cream could be on its way

Banana plants could be the secret to tastier, less melty ice creams Colombian scientists think they may have cracked the problem of melting ice cream using an unlikely source – fibre from banana plants. We’re big fans of ice cream at Australia’s Science Channel, but the one thing we hate is how quickly it melts on a hot Australian summer day. Running down our hands, or making a pool in the bottom of the bowl […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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The rising problem of doping in eSports

Professional gamers taking stimulants are heading for a “concussion-like health crisis” Esports – competitions involving video-gaming – are these days every bit as popular as traditional physical pastimes. At the elite level, there is very big money to be made and, just as in pro-pursuits such as cycling, swimming and running, the lure of riches and fame are leading competitors to seek advantage through drug use. In an editorial in the Journal of Paediatrics and […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel

Americans learn how to coffee, finally

America has bad coffee, so thankfully a scientist is on the case to help them brew better. There is no doubt Australia is the best coffee country in the world. We love the stuff, we take it seriously, and it’s notoriously hard for international brands to break into the market. We’re loyal to our baristas – with names like Kyan and Philip and Kiara and Fiefy becoming our morning heroes. In other countries, cafes and coffee […] See more

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