Book review: The Demon in the Machine

From the Sydney Morning Herald, 23 February 2019: What is life? Questions don’t come much bigger than that. It’s asked regularly by biologists, philosophers, lawyers, law-makers, astrobiologists and, occasionally, wide-eyed children. It’s not so often asked by physicists, which makes Paul Davies’ new book The Demon In The Machine that much more fascinating. Not only Continue reading Book review: The Demon in the Machine

Meet 3 awesome women in STEMM

From Victorian Women’s Trust blog, 11 February, 2019: For so long, the stereotypical image of a scientist was some old white bloke with zany hair wearing a lab coat. While some dark corners of media and advertising still occasionally fall back on this prehistoric caricature, thankfully now life no longer imitates art. Science, technology, engineering, Continue reading Meet 3 awesome women in STEMM

How Indian biotech is driving innovation

From Nature, 12 December 2018: Anu Acharya was in her twenties when the human genome was first mapped in its entirety. In 2000, the young Indian entrepreneur was just breaking into the biotechnology arena with her first start-up — the genomics and bioinformatics company Ocimum Biosolutions in Hyderabad. She saw the Human Genome Project’s achievements Continue reading How Indian biotech is driving innovation

From German trains to South Korean buses, hydrogen fuel is back in the picture

From Ensia magazine, 8 November 2018: Jorgo Chatzimarkakis was refueling his hydrogen fuel-cell car at one of the 50-plus refueling stations scattered around Germany when a Tesla driver, who was recharging his own car, approached. The man was excited to see a hydrogen-powered car in action, and was brimming with questions. Chatzimarkakis, who is secretary Continue reading From German trains to South Korean buses, hydrogen fuel is back in the picture

Australia plans ‘national-interest’ test for research grants

From Nature, 31 October 2018: Australia’s government is set to introduce a ‘national-interest test’ for research projects seeking grant funding from next year. The policy will require that researchers outline how their project will advance the country’s interests, said education minister Dan Tehan in a statement released on 31 October. “The value of specific projects Continue reading Australia plans ‘national-interest’ test for research grants

Australian academics fear political interference following vetoed projects

From Nature, 30 October 2018: Australian universities and researchers have condemned the actions of a government minister who vetoed projects that had been selected for funding by expert panels. Academics say that the government’s interference has undermined the integrity of the peer-review system and could damage the country’s reputation as a desirable place to do Continue reading Australian academics fear political interference following vetoed projects

Japanese rover lands on ancient asteroid for 16 hour-mission

From Nature, 4 October 2018: A third rover has touched down on the surface of asteroid Ryugu, marking a hat-trick of successful landings for the Japanese Hayabusa2 space mission. Earlier today, the shoe-box-sized Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) separated from the Hayabusa2 probe, which had moved temporarily to 51 metres from the asteroid’s surface. The Continue reading Japanese rover lands on ancient asteroid for 16 hour-mission

Australian fur-seal pups in decline for first time in three decades

From Nature News, 5 September 2018: Numbers of Australian fur-seal (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) pups have declined for the first time in more than three decades, according to a study published on 5 September. Researchers compared the latest count, collected in 2013-14, with an overall trend in the population since monitoring began in 1986. Pup numbers Continue reading Australian fur-seal pups in decline for first time in three decades

The six best places to stargaze in Australia

From National Geographic Travel, 26 June 2018: Want to explore the wonders of the universe without the light-years of travel and gravity sickness? Welcome to the exciting world of astro-tourism, where terrestrial astronomers and their telescopes take you on a journey to the stars. Australia’s clear skies and vast tracts of uninhabited land make it Continue reading The six best places to stargaze in Australia