Latest Science


Say goodnight to the inflight lightning strike

A new system may reduce the chance of your flight being struck. After months of work you’re finally on holidays, sitting in 32A, catching up on the latest Marvel film and wondering just how much training you’d need to do to match Chris Hemsworth’s physique. Suddenly there is a flash through the window next to you, and did you hear a thud or was it your seatmate’s jaw hitting the floor as the camera pans […] See more

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

Astronomers discover galaxies spin like clockwork

From the biggest to the smallest, galaxies all rotate at the same rate. Astronomers have discovered that all galaxies rotate once every billion years, no matter how big they are. The Earth spinning around on its axis once gives us the length of a day, and a complete orbit of the Earth around the Sun gives us a year. “It’s not Swiss watch precision,” said Professor Gerhardt Meurer from the UWA node of the International […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: ICRAR Outreach from The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
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There’s more to a raven’s call than meets the ear

Dinner invitations are far from a simple process for the common raven. Researchers have discovered that the distinctive “haa” calls used to alert others to food foraging sites provide clues about the age and sex of the caller, which in turn helps those in earshot decide whether or not to accept. The invitation may in large part be a request to provide safety in numbers at a site made potentially dangerous by the presence of […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Bill Condie from Australia's Science Channel
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Rivers clogged with micro-plastics – until the floods come

It’s not just the oceans that are being destroyed by our addiction to plastics. Sections of some rivers in the UK near urban areas can carry as much as 517,000 micro-plastic particles per square metre, researchers have found. While the issue of micro-plastics in the ocean has been well studied, their presence in fresh water sources has been largely overlooked. Now research led by geographer Rachel Hurley from the University of Manchester, UK, has found that […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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Top five examples of convergent evolution

When faced with a problem, natural selection will often produce similar solutions in unrelated animals. In the words of the best scientist who never actually existed…. Life finds a way. Whatever the problem nature throws up, natural selection will press to find a solution.  Often those solutions are remarkably similar, even in animals separated by millions of years of evolution. It’s why sharks and dolphins both evolved streamlined bodies and dorsal fins as common solutions […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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When cardiologists go away, heart attack victims fare better

Survival rates cast doubt on some medical interventions. People are significantly less likely to die from a heart attack if the local hospital cardiologist is away at a meeting at the time. That’s the counter-intuitive finding from research conducted by Anupam Jena of the Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. To reach his conclusion, Jena looked at the 30-day survival rates for heart attack patients who were treated without the […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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Space pic of the week: Jupiter's octagon of cyclones

Juno captured this incredible image over the north pole of Jupiter, showing gigantic cyclones locked in an almost perfect octagon This composite image, derived from data collected by the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument aboard NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter, shows the central cyclone at the planet’s north pole and the eight cyclones that encircle it. JIRAM collects data in infrared, and the colours in this composite represent radiant heat: the yellow (thinner) clouds […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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In Class with Tim Flannery

In Class with Tim Flannery – Friday 9 March 2018   Watch the recording of our livestream ‘In Class With…’ event with environmentalist, scientist, author and broadcaster Tim Flannery, as he stopped in during his appearances at the WOMADelaide festival to field questions from students around Australia in March 2018.  Tim Flannery is one of the world’s most prominent environmentalists. In 2007 he was named ‘Australian of the Year’, arguably Australia’s highest honour. He […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Shuj from Australia's Science Channel
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Fake news travels further and faster than the truth

Social media is the perfect tool for spreading false claims. Twitter is great for some things, but it’s also utterly terrible. One of the worst things (apart from the harassment, sexism, racism and trolling) is its ability to quickly and easily spread fake news and propaganda. Social media seems to be riddled with people spreading false statements. By ‘fake news’ we’re talking verified false or made-up claims, not the label that people use to describe […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Nanotech fertilisers set to shake up farming

Graphene may hold the key to improving plants’ uptake of nutrients. Nanotechnology may soon become an everyday part of agriculture, thanks to research carried out at the University of Adelaide. In a paper published in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces, a team led by Mike McLaughlin of the university’s Fertiliser Technology Research Centre report the use of graphene as a new and highly targeted delivery mechanism for plant nutrients. Graphene was first developed in […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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The Check-Up - snake oil, navigation, and cruise ships

The Check-Up is a weekly feature highlighting some of the best, most fascinating, most important, or simply unmissable health, medical, and human stories from around the web. Fountain of youth for sale Kicking off this week with the ‘Surely This Is A Joke’ category, old people are paying to have young people’s blood injected into them. Which would be bonkers enough if there was some science to back it up, but of course there isn’t. You may as […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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Juno reveals continent-sized cyclones on Jupiter

Juno has used the gravity of Jupiter to scan beneath its clouds, answering some long standing questions of its inner structure and revealing many more. One of the most iconic features of Jupiter is its bands of clouds circling the planet. Each a different colour and rotating in alternate directions, the winds can reach up to 100 metres per second. But what is happening underneath the clouds that we can’t see? NASA’s Juno spacecraft is […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Smaller cities are better for your skin

The bigger the city, the less skin microbiome diversity – and that means more diseases. Scientists collected microbiome samples from the cheeks of 231 healthy women between the ages of 25 and 35 living in three large cities (Kumning, Xi’an and Hohhot) and two megacities (Beijing and Guangzhou). The subjects couldn’t be taking prescribed skin disease medication, nor could they wear makeup or wash their face in the 24 hours before they gave their sample. […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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Even in the furthest corners of the ocean, shark numbers have plummeted

Just because somewhere is remote, does not mean it’s pristine. If we want to help save and preserve sharks, scientists need to be able to figure out how many of them there are. Marine scientists have lots of different ways of doing this, from diving surveys to remote underwater vehicles.  But when you estimate a current population, what number do you compare it to?  What are the baseline numbers of animals that existed in pristine […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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Protein cuts water loss in plants

Discovery of the mechanism to control pores in plant leaves could be a boon for dry country farmers. For plants, respiration comes at a cost. In order to draw carbon dioxide in and thus drive photosynthesis, pores in leaves have to open – allowing water contained inside them to evaporate. The trade-off is a critical one, especially for farmed crops. If respiration leads to too much water loss, the plants can weaken, hastening death in […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson
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How does norovirus spread through cruise ships?

New mathematical modelling suggests that the crew are to blame. You’re on a cruise ship with 2,000 people sailing through the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean.  There’s an all-you-can-eat self serve buffet. Conditions are perfect. If you’re a norovirus. A quick search of recent news can find case after case of gastro outbreaks on cruise ships.  There’s a current class action case being brought against a company in Australia that has had back to back […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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Gold-coated nanowires return sight to the vision-impaired

Chinese experiment brings hope to sufferers of degenerative eye diseases. Diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration are responsible for around 50 per cent of all cases of blindness in Australia. They lead to a constant degrading of vision, with every day getting slightly worse, the edges darkening and closing in until it’s like looking down a narrow pipe. However, a team of Chinese researchers have sparked hope of a treatment for degenerative eye […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Your immune system will try to fight your tattoo forever

Our bodies response to tattoos may hold the key to more effective removal. New research, which looked at skin and immune cells in mice, shows that there is a continuous turnover of a type of immune cell called macrophages. After tattoo ink is implanted in the skin, immune cells are attracted to the wound site. These macrophages start a cycle where they capture pigment, become trapped by the size of the pigment, then die and […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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The final frontier, Down Under

Australia already has a prime position in space, and a space agency will help us push the advantage, Alan Duffy explains. You check the weather forecast, looks like rain, better take the umbrella. Walking towards your destination you check your phone for directions, realising you need cash you stop by an ATM and then make your way to your friends to watch on TV the live stream of a match half a world away. An […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Alan Duffy from Australia's Science Channel

Looking up for our future in space

Australia’s presence in space can change the world – and it will certainly change Australia. The future is brighter than an orbiting Tesla if we play our cards right. But what is possible, what will the future hold? Let’s look at some of the areas Australia can focus and deliver massive benefits for not only us, but the entire world. Agriculture The farm might seem like an unlikely place to start for a glimpse into […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Alan Duffy
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The space jobs of the future

One of the big benefits to Australia getting a space agency will be a boom in the number of jobs in the space industry. But space is not just astronauts – there’ll be a range of opportunities opening up. If you want a job in the space industry, there is a lot more to it than being an astronaut. And globally, an industry worth US$400 billion generates a lot of employment for engineers, mathematicians, physicists, […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Bill Condie from Australia's Science Channel

Keeping satellites in the loop

Noby Leong finds out the story of a collection of satellite dishes in the heart of Adelaide’s suburbs. At the University of South Australia, a group of researchers are key players in staying in contact with the satellites far above Australia. From their centre, the Institute for Telecommunications Research run a satellite communication facility, developing new technology and working with a range of businesses. The team also conduct research to improve satellite signal transmission and […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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What the Australian space agency must do

There are many space agencies around the world – a club Australia is about to join. But the big question is – what will its business model look like? When people think of space agencies, most will think of the the big six – NASA, Russia’s Roscosmos, the European Space Agency ESA, China’s CNSA, the Indian Space Research Organisation ISRO, and the Japanese space agency JAXA. They all provide launch services, build satellites, and are […] See more

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

A young professional's view of space

One young space industry worker sees exciting times just round the corner. An Australian Space Agency can be expected to create a wealth of jobs in a burgeoning space industry from rocket engineering to law, robotics to communications. One person who is hoping to take advantage of these opportunities is Lisa Stojanovski. The space industry worker and self-described future spacewalker is excited by the opportunities a space agency would provide. “The global space industry is […] See more

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

Tackling climate change also means tackling global inequality

The biggest barriers to reaching the Paris climate goal of 1.5 °C are global inequality and uncontrolled energy demands, according to new modelling. In Paris the world agreed to limit warming to 1.5 °C.  What the world did not do, was figure out how exactly to get to that target. Joeri Rogelj from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Zurich used a suite of scenarios to figure out just how feasibility hitting […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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