Latest Science


Brain scans plus artificial intelligence can predict language ability in child cochlear implant recipients

For children born with significant hearing loss, cochlear implants can be an incredibly effective treatment to help them develop listening and language ability, and a new machine learning algorithm based on brain scans can now predict exactly how well. Knowing precisely how dramatically an implant will improve language development had been out of reach. Research shows that early cochlear implantation is crucial, yet in some cases children still don’t keep up with the milestones of […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

Rats off the hook for the Black Death

Humans themselves may have been the vehicle that spread the disease. Rats, or more specifically the fleas carried by them, have been blamed for the Black Death – an outbreak of plague that swept through Europe and was responsible for the deaths of one third of the population within the space of five years between 1347-1353. But new research suggests that it was the fleas and lice that made themselves at home on people, not […] See more

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

How science explains professional cyclists’ superhuman performance

Few sports rely so heavily on an exact balance between physiology, psychology and nutrition as cycling, making scientists some of the most critical members of the team. He hit the lower slopes of the venerable Mont Ventoux, pushing hard. Tom Simpson, one of Britain’s most successful cyclists, had been battling illness for three days but was still determined to push for a good result at the 1967 Tour de France – and Ventoux is the […] See more

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

NASA discovers giant ice deposits just under the Martian surface

Imagine a wall of ice 30 stories high, rising above barren dessicated red soils. This is no Game of Thrones tale but rather what you would see today on Mars according to the latest research published in Nature. Satellites images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed scarps up to six kilometres long with sharp edges that in places glow brightly at wavelengths of light associated with ice. These edges extend 100m in height, suggesting […] See more

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

Not just the oceans, freshwater acidification is happening too

If ocean acidification is “climate change’s equally evil twin” then freshwater acidification is the forgotten black sheep of the family. As CO2 levels increase in the atmosphere, dissolved CO2 in water bodies increases, reducing the pH.  Ocean acidification has been well documented to cause all sorts of issues, from the collapse of zooplankton, a primary source of food for many marine systems, to damaging fish eyesight, or messing with the minds of everything from fish to snails, […] See more

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

Pregnancy and paracetamol – researchers flag developmental concerns

Pregnant women may need to take less paracetamol, according to two recent findings that suggest adverse outcomes in both language development and fertility of babies. Daughters and language delay Research from the USA using data from Sweden shows a link between use of this common painkiller and language development delay in girls at 30 months old. The study looked at data from 754 women who were between eight and 13 weeks pregnant when they entered […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

NASA takes us on a virtual journey to the centre of the galaxy with 360° views

Scientists, using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, have developed a new visualisation of what it would be like to travel to the centre of the Milky Way. Viewers are put in the location of the supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*, which lies at the heart of our galaxy, about 26,000 light years from the Earth. From there they can control their exploration of the volatile environment that surrounds them. The visualisation has […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Australia's Science Channel Editors
Topics -

Why do they need more refrigeration mechanics in Antarctica?

If it’s minus 30°C outside, why do they need refrigeration mechanics in Antarctica? “Yeah, it’s a bit of a funny one,” says Wayne Donaldson, current refrigeration mechanic and electrician based at Casey research station in Antarctica. “People always say isn’t it cold enough? But different things need to be kept at different temperatures for different reasons. Although Antarctica is cold, the temperature can fluctuate quite a bit.” At Casey station, managed by the Australian Antarctic […] See more

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

Waging war takes its toll on wildlife

Between 1946 and 2010 conflicts occurred in 71% of protected African areas. Over the past 70 years, humans have been continuously at war in some of the world’s most important biodiverse regions. Despite the widespread presence of human conflicts in these regions, until now we haven’t had good data on how this affects wildlife populations. Previous research has shown that individual conflicts can have both positive and negative effects. Wars can relax pressure on wildlife […] See more

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

The Check Up - raw water, hot sauce, and robot strength

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. Raw water for cooked people Let’s kick off 2018 with the story people have loved to hate – the raw water craze currently underway in the United States. Be careful you don’t roll your eyes too hard, you might hurt your neck. Basically, people with more money than sense are […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

Is this the source of mysterious galactic radio bursts?

An international team of astronomers, including a researcher from Western Australia, have used two of the world’s largest radio telescopes to step towards solving one of the great mysteries in astronomy – the potential source of strange, short, intense bursts of radiation called fast radio bursts. They found that these fast radio bursts begin life in astonishingly extreme and unusual environment, with the discovery suggesting that the strange source is in close proximity to a […] See more

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

2017 was the third hottest year on record in Australia

It was wet in the west, hot in the east, and warm all over. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) released its Annual Climate Statement today, showing 2017 was the third hottest year on record for Australia. Temperatures across the country continued the trend of warming, with the national average temperature over 12 months of 22.75 °C, 0.95 °C higher than the 1961-1990 average. Feeling the heat “Despite the lack of an El Niño – which is […] See more

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

Anaesthetics do more than just put you to sleep

There’s no getting around it – we need anaesthetics to perform surgery. And while they are generally a safe risk in expert hands, we don’t really understand how they work. The latest research from the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland sheds new light on how general anaesthetics affect the brain – and it turns out there’s a lot more to it than just putting you to sleep. “We looked at the effects […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

The blackest bird feathers rival Vantablack

Birds of paradise are amongst nature’s greatest animals. During mating they choreograph incredibly intricate dances to attract their mate – usually involving displays of their plumage to show off complex designs and bright colours. Now, scientists have found a special advantage some species have for making their plumage seem extra colourful and vibrant – their black feathers have unusual structures that make them so black they rival anything humans have ever created. In many species […] See more

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

New slow release HIV treatment – the pill box you can swallow

Once an automatic death sentence, HIV is now a far more manageable disease. But its management depends on strict adherence to a dosing schedule of a cocktail of virus-fighting drugs – and only about 30 per cent of patients follow through on taking them. But a new solution could change all that, require just a weekly dose of a capsule that acts like a mini pill box, slowly releasing the various drugs in the right […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

Researchers grow first fully functioning human muscle from stem cells

Researchers have developed the first successful method for growing functional human muscles from stem cells, opening up a world of possibilities for the research and treatment of rare muscular diseases. Move aside Dwayne Johnson, there is a new muscle-man in town. His name is Nenad Borsac, and together with a team of researchers, he has developed a way of growing far more muscle than The Rock could ever hope for. They began with human skin […] See more

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

Even in extremely dire conditions, women outlive men

A study of crises of different types across the ages show that women are the life expectancy champions. The same is true for other animals where females routinely live longer than males. The highest mortality ever registered in recorded human history took place when returned American slaves returned to Africa in the 19th century. Between 1820 and 1843, freed slaves from America were encouraged to return to Africa. Many of those that undertook this dangerous and […] See more

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

Warmer climates are turning green sea turtles female

Male green sea turtles have all but vanished from the northern Great Barrier Reef with a new study finding that more than 99 per cent of the 200,000 turtles living there are female. Researchers say global warming is the culprit. Sea turtles’ sex is determined by the incubation temperature of the eggs with warmer temperatures skewing towards females. The trend is a clear threat to the future of the species. Understanding the gender balance of […] See more

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

Swallowable sensors reveal mysteries of human gut health

Findings from the first human trials of a breakthrough gas-sensing swallowable capsule could revolutionise the way that gut disorders and diseases are prevented and diagnosed. The trials by researchers at RMIT University have uncovered mechanisms in the human body that have never been seen before, including a potentially new immune system. The new technology and discoveries offer a game-changer for the one-in-five people worldwide who will suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder in their lifetime. They […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: RMIT University from RMIT University
Topics -

Regular ibuprofen use can impact reproductive health in men

Men might want to rethink how often they reach for ibuprofen, with the latest research showing that it can negatively affect their reproductive health. A small study of 31 otherwise healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35 showed that taking the equivalent of three tablets of Nurofen every day for six weeks is enough to cause a problem. By administering certain doses of ibuprofen and then blood testing for levels of the drug […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

El Niño lets Antarctic ice shelves grow taller, even as they lose weight

A study published today is the first report using satellite measurements to gauge ice sheet thickness during ENSO variations. El Niño and La Niña are the two phases of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and understanding how Antarctic ice shelves respond to ENSO variability is useful to understand how global climate changes might affect ice shelves around Antarctica. “There have been some idealised studies using models, and even some indirect observations off the ice […] See more

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

Exercise is the anti-ageing 'cure' for the heart

But you will have to commit to getting active four to five times a week. Sitting around all the time is bad for your heart – it makes the muscle shrink and stiffen as you age. “When the muscle stiffens, you get high pressure and the heart chamber doesn’t fill as well with blood,” says Benjamin D. Levine, founder and director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine. “In its most severe form, blood can […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
Topics -

How Felix fell faster than a speeding bullet

Sometimes time flies past incredibly quickly – it’s been five years since Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner skydived from the edge of space. During his record breaking jump he not only completed the highest skydive ever attempted, but also broke the sound barrier on his way down. It’s taken until now for scientists to catch up to him and analyse the aerodynamics of his jump, and they have found a pretty amazing result – Baumgartner, with […] See more

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

To the stars and beyond – reasons to look up in 2018

There’s a lot happening in space this year, so here are 13 reasons (and times!) to look up in 2018. There’s everything from rocket launches to NASA missions to meteor showers — you don’t want to miss these astronomical events. SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch (with that payload) January – The future of reusable rockets and potentially SpaceX itself rides on the success of upgrading from the Falcon 9 to the Falcon Heavy (effectively three Falcon […] See more

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

Space junk - how it got there and what we're going to do with it

On 17 March 1958, Vanguard became the first solar-powered satellite to be launched into space. It was also destined, once its mission ended, to become the first of a less salubrious class of orbiting object – space junk. From nothing in 1958, to more than 100 million pieces of human-made space junk that orbits the Earth today. It includes dead satellites, rocket parts, fuel tanks, paint flecks, nose cones, collision debris and more. The amount […] See more

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