Latest Science


Can modified gluten fix your damaged hair?

Wheat could hold the key to achieving shinier, more manageable hair. It may not sound too sexy in one of those ubiquitous TV shampoo commercial, but Chinese researchers  say modifying the natural glutens allows them to interact more effectively with dirt and oils in the hair, helps shampoos foam better, and could deal with the dreaded curse of split ends. And they have found a way to make the appropriate modification. By weight, human hair […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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Antibiotic resistant organisms flourish in hospital pipes

Why we shouldn’t panic about the superbugs in hospitals’ plumbing. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health in the USA went looking for bacterial plasmids (antibiotic resistance-providing DNA rings) that would indicate resistance to a type of ‘last-resort’ antibiotics called carbapenems. While the majority of samples they collected from hospital pipes and sewers did contain carbapenem-resistant organisms, areas which staff and patients could access (including “high-touch” areas such as taps, doors, computers, and countertops) only […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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Mass grave linked to Viking Great Army

A mass grave uncovered in the English East Midlands in the 1980s may indeed be as significant as archaeologists had first thought and hoped. During the initial excavations at Repton, in Derbyshire, everything pointed to the grave’s association with the Viking Great Army, but initial radiocarbon dating suggested otherwise. It revealed a mix of bones of different ages. However, new dating carried out by a team from the University of Bristol’s Department of Anthropology and […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne
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Ozone continues to deplete

The ozone layer that shields us from damaging UV radiation is not recovering at lower latitudes, even though the hole over the Antarctic is healing, and scientists don’t really know why. The Montreal Protocol in 1987 was one of those rare times in human history where we saw a problem and came together to implement a global solution.  The problem was CFCs from aerosols and refrigerants that were chewing through atmospheric ozone.  The Montreal Protocol […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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Everything you need to know about the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch

Watch the most anticipated space launch of 2018. UPDATE: THE LAUNCH HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR 7:45AM AEDT, WEDNESDAY 7 FEBRUARY. It’s the most anticipated launch of 2018 – today’s the day when SpaceX test launch their brand new Falcon Heavy rocket. You can watch the launch above, with the launch window opening at 5:30am AEDT, Wednesday 7 February. What is it? The Falcon Heavy could be a game-changer from SpaceX. It is essentially 3 of […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Blue dye is the secret sauce in curing malaria

Adding just one ingredient to antimalarial drugs not only cures the patient in two days, but stops them from spreading the parasites to other people. A recent study has shown that the crucial addition for antimalarial drugs is a dye called methylene blue, which is commonly used in laboratories to tell the difference between dead and living cells. It’s safe for human use, and the only side effect is it turns your urine blue – […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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Cancer risk increase in older people may be linked to an ageing immune system 

Do genetic mutations alone account for the rapid rise in cancer incidence with age? Most anti-cancer efforts across the world focus on genetic mutations as the cause, but age-related increases in cancer risk may actually be linked to the immune system, according to a new study. For decades it has been known that mutations arising as a result of genetic predisposition or lifestyle and environmental factors cause cancer and that the chance of developing most […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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Endangered black-footed wallabies face 'genetic bottleneck' threat

Genetic monitoring allows conservationists to prevent in-breeding of warru. Black-footed rock wallabies, or warru, once roamed widely through central Australia, but their numbers have dropped across much of their natural range, and many local populations have completely disappeared. In South Australia, their distribution has declined a whopping 93 per cent, leaving them with only ~250 remaining wallabies across three sites in the far north-west on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Captive breeding plan to […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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Researchers reveal a little more of the TRAPPIST-1 story

New studies give glimpse of exoplanets which remarkably resemble Mercury, Venus, our Earth, its Moon and Mars. Barely a year after NASA grabbed our attention by announcing it had discovered no less than seven potentially habitable Earth-sized worlds around a nearby star, we now have a better idea of exactly what they found. An international team has published the results of four studies that examined the properties of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, which many consider our […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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Western culture makes us narcissistic

A focus on individualism makes us self-absorbed but it also lowers our self-esteem, say scientists. If you listen to your parents, Facebook and Instagram are to blame, but German scientists says it might be Western culture itself which makes people narcissistic. And they have their country’s unique history as their guide. Thanks to the Cold War and the Berlin Wall, Germany is a unique place to study the differences between societies. In an ingenious approach to […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Curiosity captures the sweeping Martian landscape from Gale Crater

Mars rover looks back on a five-year journey of discovery. One panoramic image has captured the epic 18 kilometre journey from its 2012 landing site in Gale Crater up the slopes of Mount Sharp. NASA released the historic image that takes in the view from “Vera Rubin Ridge” on the north flank of Mount Sharp. The composite image was taken by Curiosity’s Mast Camera three months ago, shortly before northern Mars’ winter solstice, a season of […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Bill Condie from Australia's Science Channel
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Combat-related PTSD calmed by yoga therapy

For thousands of years, yoga has been used to calm both mind and body. Now, clinical yoga therapy has been found to alleviate the symptoms of chronic combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), potentially providing a treatment to deliver much-needed relief for the hundreds of military veterans in Australia suffering from the debilitating condition. In a dynamic industry partnership, the research from the  Repatriation General Hospital, the University of South Australia and Mindful Movement Physiotherapy, reveals across-the-board […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Annabel Mansfield from University of South Australia
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Heavy runners risk injury in lightweight running shoes

Minimalist or lightweight running shoes have been found to cause more harm than good for runners carrying extra weight. Runners with a body weight of more than 85 kilograms and training in lightweight running shoes were three times more likely to sustain an injury than when wearing conventional running shoes, new research shows. The study by University of South Australia’s Sansom Institute for Health Research assessed the experience of 61 trained runners over  26 weeks. “About two […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Annabel Mansfield from University of South Australia
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Ancient Indian tools suggest humans left Africa much earlier than we thought

>Evidence mounts that our early ancestors were on the move 385,000 years ago. Modern stone tools found in southern India are similar to the Middle Palaeolithic culture developed in Africa and Europe around the same time, suggesting our ancestors may have migrated out of Africa much earlier than we suspected. Indian and French researchers say these early humans were using the stone tools 385,000 years ago With skeletal remains in short supply, the evolution of hominids […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Bill Condie from Australia's Science Channel
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Pussycat, Pussycat where have you been? Cat Tracker study to reveal the covert lives of cats

Calling all cats. Science needs you! Just as the children’s nursery rhyme says, people have long wondered the whereabouts of their feline friends. Now, the covert lives of Australia’s cats are set to be exposed in the University of South Australia’s new national Cat Tracker study. The project team is seeking cats to participate in the study. Led by Discovery Circle Research Leader, UniSA’s Dr Philip Roetman, Cat Tracker will follow the day- and night-time […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Annabel Mansfield from University of South Australia
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China clears the way for quantum internet with satellite key distribution

China has completed an important milestone towards building a global quantum-encrypted communication network. A link from the quantum-enabled satellite Micius allowed scientists in China and Austria to exchange quantum encrypted data for images and a video stream. The breakthrough last month is the first step toward a secure “quantum internet”. The exchange proves that Micius is capable of providing intercontinental quantum-secured communications. A secret key was created between the two countries distributed from Micius through a […] See more

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

A day in the life of a polar bear struggling to feed itself

New research – and new pictures – have highlighted the dramatic impact on polar bears that climate change is having in the Arctic. Detailed monitoring of polar bears hunting for prey in the Beaufort Sea north of Canada and Alaska shows that many are unable to catch enough food to meet their energy needs. The study, led by wildlife biologist Anthony Pagano, also revealed that polar bears in the wild have higher metabolic rates than […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Nick Carne from Australia's Science Channel
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High tech electronics designed to self-destruct in the wrong hands

These devices may be the stuff of a secret agent’s dreams, but they could be useful in day-to-day life, too. It’s an innovation James Bond would be desperate to get his hands on. Scientists have created a device that can be vaporised, along with its data, should it fall into the wrong hands. The ability to self-destruct is the main functionality of a class of devices called transient electronics. The critical circuits of these small devices […] See more

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

The Check Up - pain treatment, fresh ears, and helpful parasites

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. Codeine? More like No-deine If you go to the pharmacy today, they won’t sell you codeine unless you’ve got a prescription. The painkiller was available in products combined with other over-the-counter pain relief like paracetamol and ibuprofen, but as it’s an opioid it affects the body far differently. Not to […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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Researchers flag possible blood test for Alzheimer’s disease

Breakthrough diagnostics could be a game-changer in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. An Australian-Japanese research team has used the protein, amyloid-β, which is already associated with Alzheimer’s disease, as a marker to develop a test that predicts people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease with an accuracy greater than 90 per cent. Amyloid-ß is a protein that is currently the best marker we have that correlates with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. These proteins build up and form […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Kelly Wong from Australia's Science Channel
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The 10 biggest challenges facing robotics

The robot revolution is coming, here’s what needs to be tackled first. Robotics will be one of the biggest changes to the way that we live and operate in the future, and it’s rapidly approaching. With the power to completely revolutionise science, medicine, manufacturing, exploration and our day to day lives, the next decade will be an incredibly exciting time to live through. However, there are a number of challenges we will need to overcome […] See more

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

Astro image of the week: glory out of the gloom

Take a look at the birth of new stars This dense cloud is a star-forming region called Lupus 3, where dazzlingly hot stars are born from collapsing masses of gas and dust. This image was created from images taken using the VLT Survey Telescope and the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope and is the most detailed image taken so far of this region. The Lupus 3 star forming region lies within the constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion), only 600 […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Baby fish fail to learn around noisy boats

Noise from motor boats can confuse fish and increase their risk of being eaten. An experiment to test whether boat noise has long-term effects on the way fish learn, suggests it could be a major – and life-threatening – distraction. Researchers trained baby damsel fish to recognise the smell of a predator fish, while they played normal reef sounds to half the fish, the other half were played reef and boat noise. The next day […] See more

Published 2 years ago. Author: Lisa Bailey from Australia's Science Channel
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Chinese scientists to test a laser so powerful it could rip apart empty space

Empty space might appear empty, but strike it with enough energy and you can ‘break’ the vacuum and create particles from nothing. The most powerful laser in the world, the Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser Facility (SULF), is planned to burst into life later this year when it attempts to reach a power level equivalent to 1,000 times the entire world’s electricity grid combined. But reaching such extraordinary power levels will not consume the world’s electricity […] See more

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

Orca taught to mimic human speech – and to blow a great raspberry

Listen as killer whale Wikie learns how to say, ‘hello’, ‘bye bye’, and something rude. Wikie is a 14-year old Orca, or killer whale, held in captivity in a French aquarium, and she has learned to blow a great raspberry. Listen to this without giggling, I dare you. Even more remarkably, Wikie was able to copy human sounds that she had never heard before or received any training on, surprisingly quickly, after hearing it only […] See more

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