Author: Amalyah Hart

Truss lifts ban on fracking, and will prop up fossil fuel companies in energy crisis

Leaders in the EU and the UK have announced markedly different plans to manage the escalating energy crisis, as August power-prices in Europe soar to an all-time high and Putin vows to shutter the Nord Stream 1 pipeline until sanctions are lifted. The newly-minted UK prime minister Liz Truss declined to follow the EU lead […]

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Field robotics solves problems we can’t even imagine yet – but to capitalise, it needs a more diverse data set

Australia, a country with vast tracts of agricultural land, escalating natural hazards and a booming resources industry, is a world-leader in field robotics.

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Food waste is a problem. Is getting rid of “use-bys” and “best befores” a solution?

UK supermarkets are scrapping date labels on hundreds of products to tackle food waste: could it happen here? And is it microbiologically safe?

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Are Earth’s major climate cycles changing? And if so, what will that mean for local weather?

Stand by for the global weather report.

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Huh? Science Explained: What is the James Webb Space Telescope, and what’s it looking for?
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Huh? Science Explained: How do scientists know how old the Earth is?
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Cosmos Briefing Science Daily Podcast: Post-coital spider adventures
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Cosmos Briefing Science Daily podcast: Finally a male contraceptive?
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The bother with biogas

The “clean” energy that needs to clean up its act.

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Climate versus cost: what does the UK’s energy crisis tell us about the economics of net-zero in an energy-scarce world?

Soaring power prices have fermented opposition to net-zero targets, so can lower energy bills and climate mitigation be compatible?

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Antibiotic resistance: an arms race going on millions of years

How can we fight antibiotic resistance by decoding its evolutionary history?

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How do scientists know how old the Earth is?

How can we be so specific about an event so far in the past?

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How Australia’s land can drink up carbon

The IPCC report released this week signals hope, but it comes with a fair few ‘ifs’. One of them is about the success of carbon drawdown.

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IPCC AR6: where are we now, nearly a decade on?

IPCC sixth assessment report on mitigation: The bad news? We’re polluting more than ever. The good news, though, is mitigation strategies are more possible than ever.

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Budget 2022: here’s what you need to know

Critical science-funding opportunities have been ignored, say the experts.

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The chilly origins of Australia’s egg-laying mammals

New research sheds light on the origin story of our mysterious monotremes.

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What’s going down at the Great Barrier Reef?

A massive bleaching event – the first during a La Niña climate cycle– has alarmed scientists, meanwhile new research suggests a potential conservation avenue.

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The carbon offsets conundrum

As a whistle-blower exposes flaws in Australia’s carbon offsetting schemes it’s worth asking the question: can offsetting be done right?

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Male contraceptive effective in mice

A non-hormonal contraceptive shows promise in mouse trials – is there hope for humans?

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One ORC to rule them all (for now)

Clearest image yet of a mysterious new space object.

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Shoot for the Moon: Artemis I arrives at its launch pad

In the first of many small steps, the first Moon-bound Artemis spacecraft is out on the launch pad for a series of tests.

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Critical and rare: the minerals Australia can supply to the world

Our national leaders have signalled the importance of mining and refining critical minerals in Australia. What are these resources, and what’s at stake?

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Why do some priority groups have the worst access to COVID vaccines?

A “business as usual” approach failed to deliver vaccines to many that needed them most.

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The species that go extinct before we even know they exist

Our precious biodiversity is disappearing before we can even put a name to it.

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Will Australia play host to Jurassic Park?

It’s a multi-million-dollar project, and the best chance yet to bring the Tasmanian tiger back from the abyss. Could de-extinction become a reality? And should it?

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How much protein has been removed from the oceans in the last 50 years?

How can we go about quantifying the amount of protein removed from our oceans? And what does it tell us about our reliance on seafood, and the possibility of sustainable fishing into the future?

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One step closer to hydrogen-fuelled planes

Airbus to test zero-emissions aircraft, but how does it work?

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When is a new species not a new species?

What’s in a name? When it comes to conservation priorities, potentially a plant’s very survival.

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The wild ways of La Niña

As storms batters the east coast, is this what our future looks like?

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How prepared is Australia for its next big earthquake?

As well as providing vital insights into the risks from future earthquakes, Australia’s most sophisticated seismic network, run by Melbourne University, may also have a role to play in climate change mitigation.  Read the full article in The Saturday Paper here.

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Cosmos Briefing’s Science Daily podcast: de-extincting the Tasmanian Tiger
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Interview with Zara Margolis, ABC North West Queensland

I chat with Zara about the week’s science news.

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Cosmos Briefing podcast: the week in science 10.02.22

I join Cosmos journalists Lauren Fuge and Ellen Phiddian to talk about the week in science.

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Cosmos Briefing podcast: the week in science 03.02.22

I join Cosmos journalists Lauren Fuge and Matilda Handsley-Davis to talk about the week in science.

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Cosmos Briefing Podcast: the week in science 27.01.22

I join Cosmos journalists Ellen Phiddian and Jamie Priest to talk about the week in science.

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Double-edged sword: when helpful genes begin to hinder

Genetic risk variant for severe COVID-19 actually protects against HIV.

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Promising new data on COVID pill

But how does it work, and how soon can we use it?

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Clean, green, mean: what’s Australia’s hydrogen future?

The colour of hydrogen is a source of heated discussion and debate, but hydrogen’s rainbow is anything but clear cut.

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*Record scratch*: maybe there actually IS liquid water on Mars?

There is, there isn’t, there is, there isn’t… what’s the deal with liquid water on the red planet?

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The longest ever lightning strike

This new world record was no flash in a pan.

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How do scientists know how old the Earth is?

How can we be so specific about an event so far in the past?

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Son of Omicron?

More like cousin of Omicron, it seems. But how worried do we need to be?

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How did an 8000-year-old community deal with climate change?

Russian cemetery provides a glimpse into a society’s response to a mini-Ice Age.

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Mysterious object unlike anything astronomers have seen before

What to make of a newly discovered pulsing radiation source?

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Quantum future: computing in silicon hits 99% accuracy

Breakthrough Australian research is a major advance in quantum computing.

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The earliest unequivocally modern human remains in Africa

There may be earlier remains of modern humans – but science is certain about these ones.

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I’ve just had COVID – do I need to delay my booster shot?

Immunity can vary between individuals. But the sooner you can boost, the better.

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The Australian scientists greening ammonia for a sustainable future

New technology shows the promise of an energy revolution.

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Did life arise on hydrogen energy?

New theory on the origins of life is a gas.

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The AI making waves in complex mathematics

Researchers are starting to use AI to develop and test abstract mathematical theorems – with surprisingly creative results.

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Crafty coastal species are colonising plastics – with potentially devastating results

Persistent human-made debris is providing pelagic habitat for some coastal species. What happens if they make landfall someplace new?

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Ancient footprints re-analysed as early bipedal hominin

It appears our early ancestors were more diverse than we thought, and co-existed with each other.

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New laws to prevent space wars?

UN passes proposal to discuss new space laws as countries flex their cosmic muscles.

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How plants survive in the Atacama

Researchers identify key genes that help hardy shrubs adapt to the Atacama desert.

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Declining rainfall threatens vulnerable stream species in WA’s south-west

Species dying out as waterways trickle to a stop in the jarrah forests.

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Tracing human origins by foot

Six-million-year-old Cretan footprints challenge beliefs about human evolution

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Declining rainfall threatens vulnerable stream species in WA’s south-west

Species dying out as waterways trickle to a stop in the jarrah forests.

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Undiagnosed endometriosis compromises fertility treatment

There’s more evidence – if any were needed – to underline the importance of correct diagnosis for endometriosis.

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Human evolution: a last archaic hominin stronghold in India

New research reveals some of the last practitioners of an archaic human culture.

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Nuclear power in Australia: is it a good idea?

The AUKUS submarine deal has re-ignited debate around nuclear power. What are the pros and cons?

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Decoding the secrets of a forgotten human history during the Pleistocene

Dogged archaeologists continue to make discoveries that extend knowledge of early human history in this part of the world.

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A new window into the peopling of Polynesia

Population genetics and machine learning draw timelines on Pacific Island migrations.

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Can human bodies really be cryogenically frozen?

With Australia’s first cryogenics facility set to open this year, will human cryopreservation ever be a reality?

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Native logging to end in Western Australia

The state will phase out native forest logging by 2024 – so is this decision backed by science?

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Interview with ABC Tropical North: satellites

An interview with Meecham Philpott of ABC Tropical North about Space-X, satellites and the legality of putting things into orbit.

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The fight for the Martuwarra

Competing interests are vying for the resources of WA’s magnificent Martuwarra (Fitzroy) River system, while Traditional Owners sound the alarm.

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Fossil found in Brazilian police raid is best preserved of its kind

Illegal trade bust reveals a remarkable specimen of a ground-dwelling pterosaur.

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First ancient human DNA from the gateway between Asia and Australia

Genomic clues from the grave of an ancient ‘princess’ reveal a vanished people.

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Afghanistan’s unreachable US$1 trillion mineral bounty

A green-future wealth that could stabilise Afghanistan for decades lies trapped by the country’s past.

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CFC ban slowed global warming

New research shows just how much the 1987 Montreal Protocol has protected the planet.

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Breakthrough in quantum computing

A new way to manipulate spin qubits – and hasten the arrival of the quantum computer.

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Here today, gone tomorrow: the IPCC’s new report predicts the sea-level rise flooding our backyard

It’s certain that rising sea levels are due to anthropogenic climate change, but the effects are not felt equally. Low-lying communities across Australia and the Pacific are already gasping for air – if action isn’t taken, some islands – and entire nations – could slip beneath the waves.

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The journey of a 17,000-year-old woolly mammoth

The mammoth covered enough of Alaska’s ranging wilds to circle the Earth twice over – in only 28 years

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Australians still believe in science

3M State of Science Index shows Aussies have deep trust in science and scientists

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A 3,500-year-old epic text begins its journey home

A looted relic is finally returned to its rightful place, but the problem is enormous.

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Middle-Eastern genomes fill historical gaps

137 full genomes from eight Middle-Eastern populations reveals links to agriculture

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COVID concerns drive supplement use

Sales of complementary medicines have been driven up by COVID fears, but Immune-boosting claims for them are doing more harm than good.

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Earth orbital space: who’s in charge?

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has said that his Starlink satellite-based internet will be able to connect anyone, anywhere – except the polar regions – by August of this year. Musk’s floating head made the extraordinary promise via video call at the 2021 Mobile World Congress (an annual mobile communications trade show) in early July. Starlink, a […]

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Does nature have rights?

Ahead of World Environment Day, Amalyah Hart explores legal ‘rights of nature’.

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The Arctic’s ‘Last Ice Area’ is melting quickly

Rapid and drastic melting last summer of the area predicted to be the Arctic’s final refuge of ice has been pinned to unusual meteorological conditions and climate change, with scientists suggesting the ‘Last Ice Area’ (LIA) is more vulnerable than previously thought. The LIA is a region north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island in the […]

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Did Betelgeuse supernova? Or was it just a dusty fart?

Between November 2019 and March 2020, the star Betelgeuse – the second closest red supergiant to Earth, and a star that’s slowly pulsing towards the end of its lifespan – dimmed visibly, sparking global speculation about the cause. For many in the astronomical community, it was thought at first that Betelgeuse might be about to supernova – […]

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Novavax announces high efficacy in phase 3 trials

American biotech company Novavax announced yesterday that their COVID-19 vaccine PREVENT-19 demonstrated 90% overall efficacy in its phase 3 trial, and provides 100% protection against moderate and severe disease. The phase 3 trial showed PREVENT-19 had high efficacy (90.3%) against newer variants of concern and variants of interest (VOC and VOI respectively). This means that PREVENT-19 may […]

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Solar and wind cheapest energy source in Australia

Solar and wind are the cheapest sources of new electricity generation in Australia, and renewables are outcompeting fossil fuels for cost efficiency across the board, according to a new report from CSIRO. The latest report confirms findings from previous years that renewables are not just good for the planet, they’re good for the nation’s coffers […]

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eDNA latest tool in fight against invasive species

The New Zealand mud snail is a small but hardy creature that can reproduce at epic rates. Dispersed across the globe on the waves of globalisation, populations of this tiny aquatic mollusc are crowding out native species in riverbeds around the world. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Iowa, US, have deployed […]

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How does AI think?

Sometimes AI makes its own rules to solve puzzles. For Cosmos Magazine.

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95% of cell lines used in clinical research of European descent

Scientists say pre-clinical cellular research needs to be diversified. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Ethicists call for ‘soft’ mandatory vaccine policy for healthcare workers

Experts argue that health workers who choose not to get vaccinated should have their jobs modified. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Oldest human burial in Africa unearthed

Discovery sheds light on the evolution of modern human behaviour. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Successful Paris Agreement could halve ice loss by 2100

Two new papers assess the impact of melting land ice on sea level rise. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Interstellar space probe to boldly go even further

NASA scientists to unveil planning for an interstellar space probe at the EGU General Assembly. For Cosmos Magazine.

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First entanglement-based quantum network

Dutch researchers build the basis for the internet of the future. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Anatomical secrets of ‘ridiculously long’ pterosaur necks

Scientists discover unique anatomical quirk that enabled giant, flying pterosaurs to support their long necks. For Cosmos Magazine.

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What is radiometric dating?

Dive headfirst into the weird world of dating by radioactive decay. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Monkeydactyl: the new pterosaur with the oldest opposable thumbs

Newly discovered flying pterosaur found to have the oldest truly opposable thumbs. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Year of the quiet ocean

An international team aims to monitor the impact of 2020’s ‘quiet’ oceans on marine life. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Bone tools from the Kimberley among oldest in Australia

A new study of bone artefacts found in the Kimberley region reveals the secrets of their deep antiquity and diverse use. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Poorer children “failed by system”

Study reveals the extent of poverty as a barrier to education in low and middle income countries. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Marine species flee the equator

Warming waters are triggering a mass exodus of marine creatures from the tropics. For Cosmos Magazine.

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The staggering cost of biological invasion

New study reveals that invasive species have cost US$1.28 trillion globally over the past 50 years. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Papua New Guinea COVID-19 update

The COVID crisis in PNG worsens as a new strain is identified and 8,000 vaccines are delivered. For Cosmos Magazine.

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