Category: Science and Nature

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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
One step closer to hydrogen-fuelled planes

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
The wild ways of La Niña

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
Double-edged sword: when helpful genes begin to hinder

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Promising new data on COVID pill

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
*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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Amalyah Hart / 0
The longest ever lightning strike

This new world record was no flash in a pan.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
Son of Omicron?

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
Mysterious object unlike anything astronomers have seen before

What to make of a newly discovered pulsing radiation source?

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Quantum future: computing in silicon hits 99% accuracy

Breakthrough Australian research is a major advance in quantum computing.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
The Australian scientists greening ammonia for a sustainable future

New technology shows the promise of an energy revolution.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Did life arise on hydrogen energy?

New theory on the origins of life is a gas.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
New laws to prevent space wars?

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
How plants survive in the Atacama

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
Tracing human origins by foot

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
A new window into the peopling of Polynesia

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
CFC ban slowed global warming

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Breakthrough in quantum computing

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
Australians still believe in science

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
Middle-Eastern genomes fill historical gaps

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
Does nature have rights?

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

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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
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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Amalyah Hart / 0
2I/Borisov: Interstellar interloper

New comet is only the second ever interstellar visitor detected entering our solar system. For Cosmos Magazine.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Standing sentinel: The vanishing giants of the Central Highlands

In Victoria’s Central Highlands, ancient survivors of a lost world cling on against the odds. Economy and industry, fires and drought, loom as close threats. Amalyah Hart journeys deep into the forest, navigating the human stories that will shape it’s future.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Birdsong baffles babies

Researchers find that baby brains are bolstered by lemur and human voices – but not by birdsong. Full article in Cosmos online at: https://cosmosmagazine.com/animals/lemur-calls-help-babies-learn/

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Amalyah Hart / 0
How a baby T-Rex bites

Researchers use 3D modelling to examine the jaws of different-sized tyrannosaurs. Full article in Cosmos Magazine online at: https://cosmosmagazine.com/history/palaeontology/how-a-baby-t-rex-bites/

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Next-wave technology inspired by the ingenuity of nature

If you know where to look, there’s almost no technological or design problem that nature hasn’t solved already. Amalyah Hart dives headfirst into the world of bio-inspiration. Full text here: https://www.thecitizen.org.au/articles/next-wave-technology-inspired-by-the-miracles-of-nature This article originally published in Cosmos Magazine issue 90.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Seared into country and memory, lessons for a fiery future

This year’s La Nina has allowed some respite and healing after the devastation of Black Summer, but scientists warn that recognising the risks of more fires, more often, will be crucial to species survival. Originally published at: https://www.thecitizen.org.au/articles/seared-into-country-and-memory-lessons-for-a-fiery-future The lush folds of the Newnes Plateau swamps, a critical but endangered habitat in the Blue Mountains […]

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Amalyah Hart / 0
How Aboriginal health experts acted first and led the fight against the coronavirus

Enlisting local initiatives, networks and the lessons of the past, Aboriginal health services were quick off the mark when coronavirus came. Their success to date is powerful testimony to the importance of Indigenous leadership in narrowing the health gap, experts say.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Minding the gap: the dangers of deficit thinking

Global protests have prompted introspection in Australia about systemic racial issues, including the disparity in Indigenous health outcomes. However, Indigenous health experts say that viewing the problem through a narrow lens of “deficit” isn’t helping.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
A multi-layered epidemic: mental health in the time of coronavirus

Mental health professionals in Victoria are reporting soaring issues as the pandemic continues.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Overcoming Loneliness in Isolation & Lockdown

Canadian poet Rupi Kaur couldn’t have anticipated our present moment any more vividly than when she wrote, “the irony of loneliness is we all feel it at the same time.”
The social distancing measures put in place to protect us from COVID-19 have drastically reduced the circle of people we have regular access to, making many of us lonely or isolated.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
Understanding and Managing Fear

Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by a perceived threat of harm or suffering. Fear may be referred to by many different names; phobia, anxiety, social anxiety, panic, fight-or-flight and so on.

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Amalyah Hart / 0
How positive thinking can help you through a global pandemic – and help your immunity, too

The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged all of us into a new and frightening way of living. In an unprecedented global health crisis, it’s natural to be experiencing anxiety, depression, or other forms of mental distress like a lack of motivation.

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Amalyah Hart / 0