"In a stunning discovery, a team of archaeologists in Australia has found extensive remains of a sophisticated human community living 50,000 years ago. The remains were found in a rock shelter in the continent's arid southern interior. Packed with a range of tools, decorative pigments, and animal bones, the shelter is a wide, roomy space located in the Flinders Ranges, which are the ancestral lands of the Adnyamathanha. The find overturns previous hypotheses of how humans colonized Australia, and it also proves that they interacted with now-extinct megafauna that ranged across the continent."
The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old.
The Atlas of Living Australia contains information on all the known species (animals, plants and more) in Australia, aggregated from a wide range of data providers: museums, herbaria, community groups, government departments, individuals and universities. It contains more than 50 million occurrence records, based on specimens, field observations and surveys. These records are enriched by additional information including molecular data, photographs, maps, sound recordings and literature. Explore your area! [more inside]
Every year, Australia designates a week in August and spends that week actively celebrating and promoting science with events, activities, and general sciency-ness. Everybody has a great time doing hands-on experiments, looking at exhibitions, talking, laughing, viewing, inhaling, tasting science. This is known as the National Science WeekWhich is why in August of last year Signe Cane started her Common Year of daily science blogging, inspired to do so by Sarah Keenihan's 2012 (and still going) Science for Life daily science blogging project.
As a science writer and passionate nerd I would like every week to be science week.
You're Drinking the Wrong Kind of Milk: "The A1/A2 debate has raged for years in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe, but it is still virtually unheard of across the pond. That could soon change..." [more inside]
World's longest-running experiment captures elusive tar pitch drop fall on video after 84 years of waiting — though, sadly, too late for physicist and former pitch drop custodian Prof. John Mainstone, who passed away last year.
The depth of the problem - this WaPo infographic hints at the immense challenges that Australian and Chinese search teams will face in recovering the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 black box from its suspected location at the bottom of the Indian Ocean
A case currently before the International Court of Justice has Australia (supported by New Zealand) seeking to either stop the flagrant abuse of a loophole in the International Whaling Commission's rules by Japan, or a nasty cultural imperialist "moral crusade" attempt to suppress a sustainable, ancient tradition of killing whales with factory ships around Antarctica. You can watch Court arguments here.
Extinction got you down? Try de-extinction! Our species has played a role in the extinction of ... many other species. But now some scientists are proposing a radical turn of the tables: Bringing lost species back from the dead. How to Resurrect Lost Species. [more inside]
Sneezing in Slow Motion; somehow simultaneously more fascinating, terrifying, and disgusting than you'd imagine it'd be. [more inside]
The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation recently announced a two site approach, in Australia-NZ and Southern Africa, a move that was applauded by the Australian team. Once fully operational in 2024, SKA's one square kilometre collecting area should lead to major advances in astronomy. [more inside]
"Why the fuss? Well, Colin's a baby whale..." Oh no. They named the doomed little thing ('little' meaning about the size of a large car). Mal Holland's report from the Daily Telegraph gives a very illuminating rundown of the nervous breakdown that "Sydney's booming whale watching industry" is experiencing right now... [more inside]
Female koalas indulge in lesbian "sex sessions", rejecting male suitors and attempting to mate with each other, sometimes up to five at a time, according to researchers.
Extreme laziness may have a medical basis, say a group of Australian scientists, describing a new condition called motivational deficiency disorder (MoDeD). The condition may cost the Australian economy $1.7bn a year. Could the new drug Indolebant help sufferers leave their couches? Or is this just disease mongering?
Bush administration tries to silence NASA's chief climate expert James Hansen from granting interviews about global warming. Meanwhile, a new study by Australian researchers confirms that global sea levels are rising, and may make island nations like Tuvalu and the Maldives uninhabitable by the end of the century. [via RawStory]
While perusing a picture book, I came across an incredible picture (sorry, only thumbnail available online) of Lake Hillier, one of several "pink lakes" in Australia. The picture book claimed no one knew why (fourth item down) it was pink, but some research showed that it appears to be blooming algae, and the color varies with the season. Other strange things appear to be going on in there too...
Bionic Man? "Australian scientists say they have created a "thinking cap" that will stimulate creative powers. It is based on the idea that we all have the sorts of extraordinary abilities usually associated with savants."
The device is said to improve drawing skills within 15 minutes.
The device is said to improve drawing skills within 15 minutes.
Scientists in Australia have discovered a new gene. Called BRCA3, this genetic mutation causes up to 10% of the breast cancer cases which run within families. This breakthrough completes the search for the trilogy of gene mutations. The first two gene mutation markers were discovered in 1994 and 1995 respectively.
It's all over, boys, we're obsolete A team of Australian scientists has announced that they've found a way to fertilize human ova with somatic cells instead of sperm. No actual living babies have been produced yet, but they expect results within the year.
Ebola is for wimps! Some Australian scientists were trying to come up with a mouse contraceptive vaccine, for use in pest control. And they succeeded. Unfortunately, the virus they created works by killing mice before they can breed, and killing them very very well. Oh, and it's extremely vaccine-resistant: 100% death without vaccine, 50% with. And any kid with a Li'l Johnny Gene Engineering Kit could conceivably make a human version. Anyone got some smallpox virus laying around?