Latest Science


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 2 months ago. Author: Nick Carne from Cosmos Magazine
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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 3 months ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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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 3 months ago. Author: ANU Newsroom from Australian National University
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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 3 months ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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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 3 months ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
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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 3 months ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
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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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months ago. Author: Ian Conellan from Cosmos Magazine
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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 3 months 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 3 months ago. Author: Jeremy Simmonds from The University of Queensland
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Citizen science project turns whale watchers into published scientists

20 years of citizen science records have revealed the recovery of humpback whales in Australian waters. Why This Matters: Sometimes the public indulging their passions can help science, and vice versa. Every year Australian shores attract both locals and tourists from around the world for the chance to catch a glimpse of a humpback whale on their annual migration route to warmer waters. The opportunity to spot one of the most majestic animals in existence […] See more

Published 3 months ago. Author: Vanessa Pirotta from Australia's Science Channel
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Whales and dolphins found in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Whales and dolphins have been spotted in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and it’s likely they’re getting tangled in a huge amount of plastic. Why This Matters: As the garbage patch grows, so does it’s threat to wildlife. Scientific research doesn’t usually mean being strapped in a harness by the open paratroop doors of a Vietnam-war-era Hercules plane. But that’s the situation I found myself in several years ago, the result of which has just been […] See more

Published 3 months ago. Author: Chandra Salgado Kent from Edith Cowan University
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The birthplace of modern humans might be in Botswana

Australian scientists have scoured human DNA to discover modern human’s hometown, and constructed the story of our spread from Africa. Why This Matters: You’ve always got a link to your hometown. The question is where is ours? A vast inland oasis in present-day northern Botswana was the hometown of all modern humans, according to a genetic analysis of modern-day Africans. Hundreds of thousands of years ago modern humans began spreading throughout and beyond Africa, but […] See more

Published 3 months ago. Author: Dyani Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Freshwater hidden under the sea could be a saviour supply

Under the sea, under the sea, darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter  🎶 Why This Matters: Freshwater under the sea could provide a way to avoid another Cape Town scenario. Researchers are working to locate and investigate vital freshwater reservoirs that exist under the sea. These freshwater reserves could be vital in combatting escalating global water supply issues. Researcher, Adrian Werner from Flinders University, says scientists have long been fascinated by freshwater under the […] See more

Published 3 months ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
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Food texture is like a culinary choose your own adventure

Crunch, chew, suck, or squish? Food texture might play a big role in our dietary choices, and researchers want to find out more. Why This Matters: This might be why you don’t like oysters (or love them). Do you prefer a chewy caramel to a soft marshmallow? Or a crunchy nut to melting chocolate? Researchers from Deakin University are working to shed more light on how food texture can influence our diets, and how healthier […] See more

Published 3 months ago. Author: Deakin Newsroom from Deakin University
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Experts weigh in on study suggesting high salt may cause dementia

In mice a high salt diet might lead to dementia, but experts suggest the results might not translate to humans. Why This Matters: We know lots of salt is bad for us, but these findings may need to be taken with a grain of salt. Eating too much salt might lead to conditions such as dementia, according to a mouse study published in Nature earlier this week. International researchers fed mice a diet 8-16 times […] See more

Published 3 months ago. Author: Olivia Henry from Australian Science Media Centre
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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 3 months ago. Author: News Desk from Flinders University
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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 3 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 3 months ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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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 3 months ago. Author: Mark Bruer from Cosmos Magazine
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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 3 months ago. Author: Kelly Wong from Australia's Science Channel
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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 3 months ago. Author: Peter Miller from Deakin University
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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 3 months ago. Author: Swinburne University of Technology Newsroom from Swinburne University of Technology
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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 3 months ago. Author: UNSW Newsroom from University of New South Wales
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