Latest Science


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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Parent education, not income, influences obesity in kids

But US study finds widening gap in obesity between high and low income girls Parental educational levels are more important than income when it comes to childhood obesity risks, new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show. Results from the latest tranche of the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), covering the years 2011 to 2014, show that in households headed by a college graduate, 9.6 per cent […] See more

Published 3 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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Orangutan numbers facing an apocalypse in Borneo

Borneo is one of the last refuges for wild orangutans, but numbers have dropped by around half since 1999 Orangutans are a close relative of humans, but are endangered in the wild due to our own actions. Now limited to the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, their numbers continue to decrease every year, and a new analysis has revealed just how sharp that decline is. Over a 16-year period, from 1999 to 2015, about half […] See more

Published 3 years ago. Author: Ben Lewis from Australia's Science Channel
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Fat is everything in the coldest place on Earth

Nature has dished up some pretty extreme milks over the course of evolution, but hooded seal milk is in a league of its own. While human breast milk contains a relatively modest amount of fat (between three and five per cent), hooded seal milk contains a whopping 60 per cent fat, making it the fattiest milk known to science. So why do seals need such extreme milk? That’s a question for Professor Mark Hindell from the University of Tasmania , whose […] See more

Published 3 years ago. Author: Australia's Science Channel Editors from University of Tasmania
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In a galactic tug of war, the Milky Way is not as disadvantaged as we thought

Australian researchers have found that the Andromeda galaxy is roughly the same size as our own Milky Way – which could change everything when it comes to the death of our galaxy. Astronomers have discovered that our nearest big neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy, is roughly the same size as the Milky Way. It had been thought that Andromeda was two to three times the size of the Milky Way, and that our own galaxy would […] See more

Published 3 years ago. Author: ICRAR Outreach from The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
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Murray-Darling plan on the brink - but what do the experts think?

Changes to the Murray-Darling basin plan proposed by the Federal Government have just been blocked by the Senate, throwing the entire plan into jeopardy. The changes would have seen less water returned to ecosystems in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, with the former state joined by Victoria in threats to withdraw from the plan. Labor and the Greens have joined forces to block the plan, but have seen strong opposition from the National […] See more

Published 3 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel

The Check Up - bodies, tongues, and mosquitos

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. Looking inward If you’re not feeling well, it’s super common to google your symptoms and play Internet Doctor. This has positive and negative consequences, but I have to think that more information about health and the human body is ultimately a good thing. This article will introduce you to a […] See more

Published 3 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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Scientists take a step closer to poo transplant pills

The success of faecal transplant therapy is determined in large part by similarities between donor and recipient microbial gut populations, research has found. Despite the rapidly increasing popularity of faecal transplants for treating a range of diseases, a study led by Harvard geneticist Christopher Smillie is the first to identify the mechanisms by which the process works. Faecal transplant pretty much involves what the term suggests. Poo from a healthy person is transferred in to […] See more

Published 3 years ago. Author: Andrew Masterson from Australia's Science Channel
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Evidence for refining Alzheimer's treatment after first ever disease reversal in mice

Current drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, BACE1 inhibitors, could be far more effective thanks to new findings from mice experiments. BACE1 enzyme target The drugs target an enzyme called BACE1, which forms a build-up of beta-amyloid peptide in the brain – one of the earliest events in Alzheimer’s disease. By gradually depleting BACE1 in the brains of mice with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers completely reversed the formation of amyloid plaques. This improved the mice’s cognitive […] See more

Published 3 years ago. Author: Casey Harrigan from Australia's Science Channel
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