Category: Science & Technology

Stocking up to prepare for a crisis isn’t ‘panic buying’. It’s actually a pretty rational choice

There's no need to raid the supermarket today, but gathering supplies is a reasonable response to the prospect of disaster

/ February 26, 2020

Stone tools show humans in India survived the cataclysmic Toba eruption 74,000 years ago

An archaeological site in India sheds new light on how ancient humans dispersed from Africa across the world.

/ February 25, 2020

First recorded ‘marsquakes’ reveal the red planet’s rumbling guts

NASA's InSight lander has recorded the first evidence of earthquake-like tremors on Mars. The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the geological processes at play on another world.

/ February 24, 2020

More than 70% of the Universe is made of ‘dark energy’, the mysterious stuff even stranger than dark matter

Today on the podcast, we explore what we know about dark energy, believed to be responsible for the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe.

/ February 23, 2020

Brain temperature is difficult to measure. Here’s how a new infrared technique can help

A new tool for seeing hotspots in the brain could help doctors detect neurological disorders.

/ February 20, 2020

Revealed: the protein ‘spike’ that lets the 2019-nCoV coronavirus pierce and invade human cells

US researchers have revealed the molecular 'key' that allows the 2019-nCoV virus to gain access to our cells. And they found it is many times more tenacious than the previous SARS virus.

/ February 20, 2020

I made bushfire maps from satellite data, and found a glaring gap in Australia’s preparedness

A scientist whose Kangaroo Island home was threatened by the summer's bushfires says there is a 'knowledge gap' between satellite data and useful maps that can protect communities.

/ February 19, 2020

Can new Snapchat features help troubled teens?

Social media platforms are increasingly offering mental health support tools to users. The jury is still out on whether it will do any good

/ February 19, 2020

65,000-year-old plant remains show the earliest Australians spent plenty of time cooking

Charred plant remains from one of the oldest archaeological sites reveal that the first Australians ate a varied - and sometimes labour-intensive - diet.

/ February 17, 2020

Critical minerals are vital for renewable energy. We must learn to mine them responsibly

Wind turbines and solar farms need a lot of raw materials. Australia can supply some, but we need to do it sustainably.

/ February 16, 2020

Collective trauma is real, and could hamper Australian communities’ bushfire recovery

Most of us are familiar with the concept of psychological trauma. But what is collective trauma, and how can we tackle it in the wake of the bushfire crisis?

/ February 13, 2020

High-tech shortages loom as coronavirus shutdowns hit manufacturers

Quarantines and shutdowns in China will have far-reaching effects due to the country's key position in global supply chains

/ February 13, 2020

Chief Scientist: we need to transform our world into a sustainable ‘electric planet’

I want you to imagine a highway exclusively devoted to delivering the world’s energy. Each lane is restricted to trucks that carry one of the world’s seven large-scale sources of primary energy: coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, solar and...

/ February 12, 2020

Small world: atom-scale materials are the next tech frontier

Could graphene - shown here as an illustration of its molecular structure - come to define the next phase of the information revolution? Rost9/ShutterstockEvery age in the history of human civilisation has a signature material, from the Stone Age, to...

/ February 11, 2020

Curious Kids: is the sky blue on other planets?

Atmospheres can be all different colours, depending on what's in them.

/ February 10, 2020

‘Death by a thousand cuts’: women of colour in science face a subtly hostile work environment

Tonkid / ShutterstockIt’s hard for women to succeed in science. Our research shows it’s even harder for women of colour. We interviewed women of colour working in scientific and technical organisations across Australia about their experiences. As well as direct...

/ February 10, 2020

Tinder’s new safety features won’t prevent all types of abuse

Dating app Tinder has come under increasing scrutiny over harassment facilitated by the platform. But its new safety measures, while undoubtedly an improvement, are unlikely to prevent abuse.

/ February 10, 2020

I walked 1,200km in the outback to track huge lizards. Here’s why

Sophie Cross, Author providedIn 2017 and 2018 I walked the equivalent of 28 marathons in the scorching Western Australian outback. Why, you ask? To assess how some of Australia’s largest lizard species interact with restored mines. As part of my...

/ February 7, 2020

Expedition reveals the violent birth of Earth’s hidden continent Zealandia, forged in a ring of fire

IODP, Author providedThree years ago, the identification of Zealandia as a continent made global headlines. Now, newly published results from our scientific drilling expedition reveal the largely submerged Zealandia continent, which stretches across five million square kilometres beneath the southwest...

/ February 6, 2020

Genetic secrets of almost 2,700 cancers unveiled by landmark international project

David A. Litman/ShutterstockScientists have revealed the detailed genetic makeup of thousands of cancer samples, yielding new insights into the genes that drive the many and varied forms of the disease. The results, published in a landmark collection of research papers...

/ February 5, 2020