Latest Science


Where have all the wild horses gone?

There are no more ‘wild’ horses in the world. They haven’t turned over a new leaf – they just don’t exist. It has long been assumed that Przewalski’s horses, native to the Eurasian steppes, are the last wild horse species on Earth, but new research shows they may be feral and not actually wild. Instead, they are descended from the earliest-known instance of horse domestication by the Botai people of northern Kazakhstan some 5,500 years […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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Space pic of the week: A rose made of galaxies

The Hubble Space Telescope caught this incredible rose made of galaxies To celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope‘s deployment into space in 2011, astronomers pointed Hubble’s eye at an especially photogenic pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, has a disk that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational tidal pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Neanderthals were as artistic as modern humans

The oldest known cave paintings show that the Neanderthals were thinking creatively 20,000 years before humans arrived on the scene. Describing someone’s artistic endeavours as Neanderthal may not be quite the insult that it first appears. An international scientific team has found that Neanderthals were knocking out cave paintings in Spain 20,000 years before modern humans arrived in Europe, and that this involved such sophisticated behaviour as the choosing of a location, planning of light source […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel

Commercial fishing takes over more than half the world's oceans

A global study reveals data showing how more than half the world’s oceans are commercially fished. This is the first time a study has looked at such a large global scale. More than 70,000 industrial fishing vessels were tracked with automatic identification system (AIS) technology that records position, speed, and turning angles from January 2012 to December 2016. That culminated in 22 billion AIS messages to analyse. The results from the study by David Kroodsma and colleagues […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Kelly Wong from Australia's Science Channel
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Bats are host to many deadly viruses – so how come they don't get sick?

As mammals go, bats should be completely screwed up and dysfunctional. The fact that they aren’t, and have evolved to produce around 1,200 species throws up some particularly curly questions for scientists. There are three reasons why bats shouldn’t be as successful as they are. First off, they fly – which is weird for a mammal, but, more importantly, means that their cells are put under enormous stress and often leak fragments of DNA from their […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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Seeing the future of AI in diagnosis of eye diseases

Researchers in the US have built an artificial intelligence tool that can diagnose and suggest treatment for eye diseases with 95% accuracy. In the quest for faster, more accurate medical diagnoses, medical researchers and doctors are increasingly looking at artificial intelligence. The latest field to set their eyes on AI is ophthalmology, with the announcement of a new artificial intelligence-powered diagnosis tool for retinal diseases. The new program was not only able to diagnose macular […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Crime prevention expert urges a new approach to fix ‘close the gap’ failures

With Indigenous leaders calling for greater intervention to save at-risk families in the wake of the rape of a toddler, a leading criminologist is scathing of our attempts to improve the health and life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but says he has a plan to fix it using tried and tested prevention methods. Australia won’t succeed in “closing the gap” for Indigenous communities until it adds sound science to good intentions and […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel

When it comes to survival, having the right roots is critical

Big leaves and pretty flowers had nothing to do with it. The spread of plants around the globe was enabled by developments out of sight and underground. As the land-based plant kingdom commenced its gradual spread north and south from its tropical beginnings it did so by evolving ever thinner roots, according to a new study. A team led by Lars Hedin of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University analysed root […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson
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The Check Up - tackling doping, human-sheep hybrid, and autism blood test

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. Tackling doping before it starts There are a few more days of wintry Olympic goodness left, but that could mean a few more days of wintry badness! I’m talking about doping, and this article is a deep dive into why it happens, and how the next generation can be educated […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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New rotavirus vax targets newborns

Australian discovery closes a crucial age-gap during which existing vaccines left very young children unprotected. Rotavirus infection induces severe gastroenteritis and is responsible for about 37 per cent of childhood deaths caused by diarrhoea. It accounts for more that 200,000 deaths worldwide every year. The condition is caused by any one of eight species of double-stranded RNA virus clustered in a single genus of the family Reoviridae, although one, Rotavirus A, accounts for roughly 90 […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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Snake skin inspires slithering soft robots

US researchers have been inspired by snakes to develop a new type of robot movement In the Venn diagram of science, the overlap between robots and snakes is probably pretty small. Yet scientists have used the slithery stuff of nightmares as inspiration, creating flexible scaly skins that allow immobile soft robots to crawl. Combining inspiration from the reptiles and the ancient Japanese paper cutting art of kirigami, they came up with cost-effective textured skins capable […] See more

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

Amateur astronomer snaps a surprise supernova at its birth

Happy accidental discovery surprises researchers with what it reveals. Imagine your surprise when playing with your new camera-phone you see a bright dot in the edge of your test post to instagram. Now imagine the chances of that bright dot being one of the most destructive events in the known Universe. You may well be surprised. Amateur astronomer Victor Buso made that exact chance photograph as he tested his new camera on a 40-cm Newtonian […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Alan Duffy from Australia's Science Channel
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Red wine is good for your teeth

Recommendations for good oral hygiene may soon include drinking a daily glass of red wine, recent research suggests. Polyphenols, elements found in red wine and grape seeds, stop the bacteria that cause caries and plaque from sticking to teeth and gums, preventing them from taking up residence, a new study has found. The effect is increased if the polyphenols are combined with a bacterial species called Streptococcus dentisani, an oral probiotic. The research, published in […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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Paris climate agreement won't stop sea level rise – what the experts say

Even if all the countries signed up to the Paris Agreement meet their targets, sea levels are still going to rise between 0.7 and 1.2m by 2300, according to new modelling published today in Nature Communications. For every five-year delay in mitigation efforts, sea levels will rise 0.2m, emphasising the need for action in the coming decades, say the researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Related: Sea-level rise is accelerating What do the […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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First 3D models of Tasmanian Tiger joeys

First 3D scans show development of Tasmanian Tiger joeys. Tasmanian tigers got the name for their stripes but their scientific name, Thylacinus cynocephalus, translates to “dog-headed pouch-dog”. That reflects the animal’s remarkable similarity in appearance to canines despite diverging from them on the evolutionary tree more than 160 million years ago. Tasmanian Tigers, or thylacines, were the top marsupial predators across Australia until their extinction from the mainland around 3,000 years ago, and extinction due to […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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Low-fat or low-carb, it doesn’t matter to your genes

Scientists have found that low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets have about the same weight loss success rates. We ask the experts how to navigate conflicting diet data. 609 people between 18 and 50 years old, about equally represented by men and women, participated in the study. They had a portion of their genome sequenced, and their baseline insulin measured. The study: low-carb or low-fat? In the first eight weeks of the study, the participants drastically limited […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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Jellyfish crisps could revolutionise the food industry

Coating jellyfish in ethanol results in a tasty snack that could change Western palates. That’s the suggestion being made by a team of scientists led by Danish biotechnologist Mathias Clausen, which has discovered a new way to turn gelatinous jellyfish flesh into crunchy snack chips. About a dozen species of jellyfish have long had a welcome place on tables in Asia. They are not the most nutritious of foods, containing about five per cent protein […] See more

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

On This Day: John Glenn becomes the first US astronaut to orbit Earth

On this day, John Glenn became the first US astronaut to orbit Earth. Look back at how it was reported in the news at the time. On 20 February 1962, John Glenn became the first US astronaut to orbit Earth. Taking off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, he completed 3 orbits of Earth, travelling 121,000 kilometres aboard the spacecraft Friendship 7. After 4 hours and 55 minutes he splashed down in the North Atlantic Ocean. […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Researchers create fake news 'vaccine' to protect the public

Online game released today to ‘immunise’ against fake news. In a world where the internet is saturated with all sorts of stories, it can be hard to differentiate between what is real and what is fake. But researchers hope a new game they have developed for people to play the role of someone spreading fake news, will teach them and protect them against the influence of fake news in real life. The same researchers have […] See more

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

Farmers take tips from volcanoes to enhance soil

Grains of volcanic rock added to soil make it more fertile, protect crops from pests and diseases, and capture carbon dioxide. The technique is called ‘enhanced rock weathering,’ and it’s the focus of new research into potential effectiveness for food security and atmospheric carbon dioxide capture. “This study has transformed how we think about managing our croplands for climate, food and soil security,” lead author, Professor David Beerling, says. “It helps move the debate forward […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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Hybrid sheep-human embryos bring transplant hopes

Humans have taken another tiny step along the rocky road that may one day allow us to grow organs for medical transplant. US scientists announced at the weekend that they have produced hybrid sheep-human embryos by introducing human stem cells into sheep embryos. They were only a little bit human – around one in 10,000 cells – and were not allowed to develop past 28 days of age, but they were real and their existence […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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We just can't wait to meet those aliens

A US study suggests that people will react positively to news of extra-terrestrial life Scientists around the world are searching the universe for signs of life. There has been occasional encouragement with the discovery of several planets with conditions that could support life. But the question has always been – if we discover life with origins not on Earth, how will people react? Will it be excitement? Fear? Ambivalence? According to a new study by […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Your perfume may be a major cause of air pollution

Everyday items round the house could be just as much to blame for urban air pollution as cars. When you think of sources of urban air pollution, you probably think of transport, industries, or electricity generation. What you probably don’t think of is paint, perfume or cleaning products. Yet new analysis from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has surprisingly pointed the finger at exactly those – household volatile chemical products – as a […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Cancer vaccine from stem cells shows promise

Immune system trained to recognise and fight off cancer in mice. Many cancer cells behave a bit like stem cells, in that they both can grow free from the usual “off-switches” found in adult cells. In this study, carried out in mice, researchers took cells from samples of skin or blood.  The cells were then reprogrammed using four key genes that wind the cell development back to a stem cell like state called pluripotency.  These […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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Space pic of the week: ISS photobombs the Moon!

The International Space Station cheekily photobombs the moon. This incredible photograph caught the International Space Station as it crosses between Earth and the Moon at roughly five miles per second. It was captured on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, from Virginia, United States. Onboard the ISS is a crew of six – NASA astronauts Joe Acaba, Mark Vande Hei, and Scott Tingle; Russian Cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov, and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai. From tip […] See more

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