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

Australia makes its mark in biotechnology

From Nature, 10 May 2018: In 1999, an Australian federal government briefing paper on biotechnology in the country concluded that the sector “hardly rates as an economic force” because of its small size and the financial challenges that it faced in getting products to market. Now, barely two decades later, Australia has ranked in the Continue reading Australia makes its mark in biotechnology

Making the unpalatable palatable

From A*STAR Research Highlights, August 25, 2017 (not bylined): Encapsulating the antioxidant quercetin in carnauba wax could mask its bitterness and enable its use in a wide range of food products, according to new research from Singapore. Quercetin is a type of plant pigment called a flavonoid, and is one of the most abundant antioxidants Continue reading Making the unpalatable palatable

Talking science on Triple J with Linda Marigliano and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

In celebration of International Women’s Day, I got to join Dr Karl and astrophysicist Professor Tara Murphy in the Triple J studio with Linda Marigliano, and talk science with Triple J callers. We had questions coming in on everything from whether burning hydrocarbons in fossil fuels add water to the hydrosphere to why some people Continue reading Talking science on Triple J with Linda Marigliano and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Milky Way’s fast-moving galactic hypervelocity stars may have come from another galaxy

From ABC Science, 5 July 2017 The fastest-moving stars in our galaxy may have been shot off the bow of a passing smaller galaxy. These so-called “galactic hypervelocity stars” are large and short-lived but travel up to 1,000 kilometres per second. Strangely, most of them appear to be in an unusual cluster in the northern Continue reading Milky Way’s fast-moving galactic hypervelocity stars may have come from another galaxy

DNA shows no trace of contact between ancient Easter Islanders and South America

From ABC Science, Friday 13 October 2017: Mystery and intrigue surrounds the life and times of people who created the famous Moai statues on Rapa Nui off the coast of Chile — and a new study suggests they were more isolated than previously thought. While it is widely accepted that the remote island, dubbed Easter Continue reading DNA shows no trace of contact between ancient Easter Islanders and South America

Australian trapdoor spider may be a seafaring castaway from Africa

From ABC News in Science, 3 August 2017: Trapdoor spiders are reluctant travellers, but millions of years ago one species appears to have made an epic journey from Africa across the vast Indian Ocean to call Australia home. The Australian trapdoor spider — Moggridgea rainbowi — which is found on Kangaroo Island is famously provincial, Continue reading Australian trapdoor spider may be a seafaring castaway from Africa

Molecule found in Titan’s atmosphere may form cell-like membranes

From ABC News in Science, 29 July 2017 A compound that may form cell wall-like structures has been detected in the dense atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. The discovery, reported today in Science Advances, was made using the highly sensitive Atacama Large Millimeter Array radio telescope in Chile. Saturn’s largest moon has long been considered Continue reading Molecule found in Titan’s atmosphere may form cell-like membranes