Latest Science


Why drone hacking could be bad news for the military

Drones are a fundamental part of military defence, but are they a security threat to their own operators? Why This Matters: Drone hacking is a life-threatening issue. Unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly called drones, are now a fundamental part of defence force capability, from intelligence gathering to unmanned engagement in military operations. But what happens if our own technology is turned against us? Between 2015 and 2022, the global commercial drone market is expected to grow from A$5.95 […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Mohiuddin Ahmed from Edith Cowan University

How do scientists know evolution is real?

The idea of evolution – that species change and evolve over time – is the foundation of biology. But how do scientists actually know it’s real? Why This Matters: It’s one of the central theories of science, yet also one that some people find controversial. In science, we look at the evidence and try to find the theory that best explains it. And that’s what happened when it came to figuring out evolution. We can […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Jenny Graves from La Trobe University
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Incredible modular microfactory turns plastic recycling on its head

A microfactory that transforms recyclables into useful plastic products has opened in Sydney, with a design that is endlessly customisable – and cheap to build. Why This Matters: These microfactories might just be the answer to our waste crisis. In 2018 China stopped buying our recycling. Then, in July of this year, Indonesia started turning it back by the container load. With our recycling waste back on our shores, our nation was hurled head-first into an […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from University of New South Wales

Do you know where your online data is?

Worth more than oil and gold, our online data is taken freely and willingly. But can we go offline when the world is switched on? Why This Matters: It’s practically impossible to stop someone collecting your data. With our personal data constantly gathered and analysed, it’s the grim reality that the internet knows you better than you know yourself. As technology follows our patterns, in turn, it can predict our behaviour. “To understand someone, it’s […] See more

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

Extinction Rebellion to test little-known defence

With climate inaction protests across Australia this week, a unique “emergency” defence could be used if protesters are arrested. Why This Matters: Political climate inaction needs to be overcome. Led by international environmental group Extinction Rebellion, climate inaction protests are planned across Australia this week. Major cities are expected to be interupted with flash mobs, sit ins and marches to block traffic. Extinction Rebellion says that peaceful civil disobedience is an important social and political […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: QUT Newsroom from Queensland University of Technology
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Death by BBQ - is meat really killing us?

A series of new reviews reveals that meat might not be all that bad for us, but other experts aren’t completely convinced. Why This Matters: Recommendations need to be backed by evidence, but the interpretation of the evidence can cause issues. Aussies everywhere love a good BBQ, but should we be worried about eating all that meat? Perhaps not, according to a new series of reviews which have found that there are very few health […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
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The engineer using nanotechnology to mend broken hearts

Hossein Tavassoli is working to mend broken hearts using an incredible nanotech breakthrough – and he wants to tell the world. Why This Matters: Discoveries in the lab aren’t useful if you can’t communicate them. When Hossein Tavassoli first told his mother that he was researching heart disease, she responded with “But, you’re an engineer…” She was right, of course – Hossein’s undergraduate degree was in material engineering – but at the time, he found […] See more

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

A new 'iron dragon' pterosaur

A newly described species suggests that Aussie pterosaurs might have lived longer than we thought. Why This Matters: Australia’s prehistoric history continues to evolve and take flight. The pterosaurs – the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved the ability to fly – are a powerful and frequent symbol of the age of dinosaurs. Pterosaurs have been discovered on every continent but the fossil record is remarkably small. Pterosaur bones are thin and hollow and their remains […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Ian Conellan from Swinburne University of Technology
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Measles: what you need to know

Measles are back and outbreaks are happening across the globe. Here’s everything you need to know about the highly contagious disease. Why This Matters: Australia eliminated measles in 2014, but now its back… When was the last time you heard of someone sick with diphtheria? Or polio? Mumps? Chances are, if you’ve grown up in a part of the world where vaccination is commonplace, you’ve probably forgotten or never known what it’s like to have […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Australian Academy of Science Newsroom from The Australian Academy of Science
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How measles impacts your immune system

Measles isn’t a mild disease, it can be fatal. While some symptoms are visible, there are invisible effects that can leave you vulnerable to other serious infections. Why This Matters: The measles virus itself is not the only thing to worry about if you get infected. For people who grew up prior to 1966, getting measles during childhood was so commonplace, it may have seemed like a mild disease: everywhere, children were getting sick, but […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Australian Academy of Science Newsroom from The Australian Academy of Science
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Who is most at risk of measles

It’s not just an unvaccinated person who poses a risk, many people might be under-vaccinated and not realise it. Why This Matters: Some people, like pregnant women, can’t be vaccinated, and even you could be under-vaccinated without realising. It may seem easy to only blame the anti-vaccination movement for the recent rise in measles outbreaks in developed countries. While vaccine resistance may be an important contributor to the problem, it’s important to realise that it’s […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Australian Academy of Science Newsroom from The Australian Academy of Science
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10 Australian space innovations you need to know about

From beaming power to lunar rovers to asteroid prospecting, there’s plenty of Aussie space innovations to get excited about. Why This Matters: We should be excited about what these space innovations means for Australian industries. With the recent announcement of Australian joining NASA’s Artemis program to the Moon and Mars, there’s $150 million on the table for Aussie space innovations that will help get us to space. That money will be spent here, and not just […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Lisa Stojanovski from Australia's Science Channel
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Restoring blue carbon ecosystems could be good for climate and economy

We’ve got an opportunity to significantly lower our greenhouse gas emissions by protecting blue carbon ecosystems. Why This Matters: Getting more carbon from the atmosphere into blue carbon stores is going to be an important part of limiting climate change. Researchers have quantified the amount of greenhouse gasses absorbed and emitted by Australian marine ecosystems, also known as blue carbon. The world-first research by Edith Cowan University found that seagrass, mangrove and salt marshes absorb […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: ECU Newsroom from Edith Cowan University
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Building the national medical countermeasures program

Dr Felicia Pradera, Defence Science and Technology’s program manager for medical countermeasures development, is on secondment to DMTC (formerly known as the Defence Materials Technology Centre) where she is working to grow the national medical countermeasures (MCM) program. Over the past few years, antimicrobial resistance has become an area of growing concern for our health security, and Pradera says discussions about whether Australia is adequately prepared for a future pandemic should be a key issue […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Defence Science and Technology Group

The Andromeda galaxy's cannibalistic past

Scientists reveal that Andromeda – which will one day collide with the Milky Way – has a history of destroying its neighbours. Why This Matters: This is a galactic collision that even The Guardians of the Galaxy can’t save us from. In a cosmic detective story of interstellar proportions, astronomers sifting through faint signatures in the halo of stars surrounding the Andromeda galaxy are unearthing a 10-billion-year history of galactic cannibalism. Andromeda is the closest large […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Richard Lovett from Australia's Science Channel
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Earliest life found in ancient Aussie rocks

The famous stromatolites in Pilbara have finally given up their secret – revealing traces of the earliest life form on Earth. Why This Matters: These rocks could help reveal how life on Earth started, as well as how to find life on Mars. Australian scientists have unearthed traces of the oldest life form ever found in 3.5 billion-year-old rocks in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. In a major advance in the field, the University […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Mark Bruer from Cosmos Magazine
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The secret to the Holy Grail of hot chips

Hot chips are life, so a scientist has worked out how to perfect them. Why This Matters: There’s nothing worse than soggy chips. Perfectly golden, crunchy on the outside but fluffy pearly white in the centre, the perfect hot chip is a thing of undeniable beauty. The Belgians and Dutch know a thing or two about chips, but we do pretty well too – except for pubs that put the schnitty on top of chips. […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Deakin Newsroom from Deakin University
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Shark nets don't necessarily make Aussie beaches safer

Shark nets, drumlines and culls are a costly, ineffective way of protecting beach goers from sharks – let’s try being smart. Why This Matters: We need to keep beach-goers safe, but we also have to protect threatened and endangered species. Most of the 24 million annual visitors to Queensland don’t notice the series of seemingly innocuous yellow buoys at many popular beaches. Beneath the waves lies a series of baited drumlines and mesh nets that […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: George Roff from The University of Queensland
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Tassie devils hold the clue for cancer's game of hide-and-seek

By looking at how cancer cells in Tassie devils hide, researchers might be able to force human cancer cells out of hiding. Why This Matters: Inspiration in the battle against cancer comes from all sorts of places. Scientists have uncovered how the face-eating cancer threatening to wipe out the iconic Tasmanian devil evades detection by the immune system. The groundbreaking research, led by Marian Burr from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, has also […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Paul Biegler from Cosmos Magazine
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Galaxy surrounded by a surprising calm bubble of gas

Astronomers studying the outskirts of a distant galaxy have discovered that the galaxy sits in a serene ocean of gas. Why This Matters: In a weird universe, this is an area of quiet calm. A massive galaxy, which is about four billion light-years from Earth, is surrounded by a halo of gas that is much less dense and less magnetised than expected. Previously, halos of gas surrounding galaxies were thought to be turbulent and stormy. […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: ICRAR Outreach from The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
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Aussie coasts are at risk if we don't limit climate change

Sea levels are continuing to rise with some of the impacts coming hard and fast, and our coastal communities are on the front line. Why This Matters: Without further action, our coastal communities are at risk. Sea levels could rise by as much as one metre by the end of the century if we do nothing to combat climate change, according to the lastest IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Lyndal Byford from Australian Science Media Centre
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Biophilia: the concept of nature in design

By using biophilia and adding nature into our urban landscape designs, we could do wonders for our physical and mental health. Why This Matters: Your indoor plant obsession is just the beginning. Sometimes all it takes for us to feel a little bit better is to step outside and get some fresh air. Numerous studies have shown that stepping out into nature can relax and refresh us, as well as having positive impacts on our […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: from Deakin University
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Adding nature to our grand designs

Incorporating nature into our urban landscapes is more than just adding a few pot plants. Why This Matters: Getting back to nature doesn’t necessarily mean getting out of town – and that could improve health and wellbeing. With all the hype over boosting the well-being of city workers and dwellers, it’s common to see splashes of greenery throughout our urban environment. But is adding a few pot-plants to the office really going to make a […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Sophia Taplin from Deakin University
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NSW decriminalises abortion

It took a marathon debate and weeks of protest, but a bill to decriminalise abortion in NSW has finally been passed. Why This Matters:  Giving women control over their own bodies affects everyone. Abortion has been decriminalised in NSW after the controversial Abortion Law Reform Act 2019 passed its final hurdle of the lower house this morning. Overnight, the bill was passed by the upper house – 26 votes to 14 – following 40 hours […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Amelia Nichele from Australia's Science Channel
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Australia's know-how makes it a perfect $150m partner for NASA

From solar sail-powered spacecraft, to laser communications, to asteroid detection systems, there is no shortage of Australian expertise to help NASA explore the Moon and Mars. Why This Matters: Australia’s investment in NASA will benefit Australian businesses. In the wake of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s meeting with US President Donald Trump, the Australian government announced on Sunday a commitment of A$150million “into our local businesses and new technologies that will support NASA on its inspirational […] See more

Published 2 months ago. Author: Andrew Dempster from University of New South Wales
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