Category: Daily

How do viruses mutate and jump species? And why are ‘spillovers’ becoming more common?

A four-year-old female Malayan tiger has tested positive for COVID-19, with six other tigers and lions showing symptoms. It's the first known case of a 'wild' animal catching the disease.

/ April 6, 2020

‘Zoombombers’ want to troll your online meetings. Here’s how to stop them

'Zoombombing' trolls have started to infiltrate virtual meetings - bombarding unsuspecting victims with racist and sexist speech and in some cases, pornographic imagery.

/ April 3, 2020

This lizard lays eggs and gives live birth. We think it’s undergoing a major evolutionary transition

The three-toed skink can give birth to live young and lay eggs in the same pregnancy. What can this little critter teach us about the evolution of live birth?

/ April 2, 2020

How to boost your internet speed when everyone is working from home

Your mobile internet bandwidth is shared with others in your area. That's why many people trying to access the iternet at the same time results in slower speeds.

/ April 2, 2020

Baby steps: this ancient skull is helping us trace the path that led to modern childhood

Our findings reveal the slowing down of brain development in our ape-like ancestors began more than three million years ago.

/ April 1, 2020

Meet ‘Sara’, ‘Sharon’ and ‘Mel’: why people spreading coronavirus anxiety on Twitter might actually be bots

According to Bot Sentinel, #coronavirus and #COVID19 are among the top hashtags being used by Twitter bot accounts.

/ April 1, 2020

Antibody tests: to get a grip on coronavirus, we need to know who’s already had it

A test that detects antibodies against the coronavirus behind COVID-19 would reveal those people who have already encountered the virus - and therefore who might be ok to resume normal life.

/ March 31, 2020

The government’s coronavirus mobile app is a solid effort, but it could do even better

The app is promising as a go-to resource for COVID-19 information. But as the crisis unfolds, these extra features could make it a more effective tool.

/ March 30, 2020

Tracking your location and targeted texts: how sharing your data could help in New Zealand’s level 4 lockdown

Automated text messages if your phone detects you're a long way from home, or discounted home internet, are just a few possible technology solutions to make New Zealanders "stay home to save lives".

/ March 27, 2020

MyGov’s ill-timed meltdown could have been avoided with ‘elastic computing’

The MyGov website ground to a halt this week as thousands of people tried to access welfare support. As a result, long queues popped up at Centrelink offices across the country.

/ March 27, 2020

Privacy vs pandemic: government tracking of mobile phones could be a potent weapon against COVID-19

Our mobile phone's location data could be a valuable tool to help track and trace the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The government has the legal power to do it, given what's at stake.

/ March 27, 2020

Coronavirus might cause loss of smell, or anosmia. But it probably won’t be permanent

Infections like coronavirus can kill the nerves that let you smell, but they'll usually grow back within weeks.

/ March 25, 2020

‘Like a key to a lock’: how seeing the molecular machinery of the coronavirus will help scientists design a treatment

If the coronavirus is a lock, a drug to defeat it is a key that needs to fit just right.

/ March 25, 2020

‘Click for urgent coronavirus update’: how working from home may be exposing us to cybercrime

Instead of going after large corporate networks, which often have multiple defenses, cybercriminals can now simply target people's home networks.

/ March 24, 2020

Nice to meet you, now back off! How to socially distance without seeming rude

Don't want to shake hands, but don't want to cause offence? Just smile, have a short sentence ready in advance, and make sure the other person knows you care about their feelings.

/ March 23, 2020

Psychology can explain why coronavirus drives us to panic buy. It also provides tips on how to stop

Apart from their functional purpose, products can also impact how we feel, both about ourselves and our situation.

/ March 20, 2020

When fish gave us the finger: this ancient four-limbed fish reveals the origins of the human hand

The arrangement of bones in our specimen's fins are the same as those of 'fingers' in tetrapods. The only difference is the digits are locked within the fin, and not free moving.

/ March 18, 2020

Telcos are picking up where the NBN is failing. Here’s what it means for you

Telstra and Optus have already made arrangements to support customers with extra, free data during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what is the NBN doing?

/ March 18, 2020

The coronavirus looks less deadly than first reported, but it’s definitely not ‘just a flu’

There is no evidence that the coronavirus has evolved into a deadlier strain. It is almost certainly less lethal than initially reported, but that might mean there are more cases than we realised.

/ March 17, 2020