Music preferences reveal your inner thoughts

From ABC Science, 23 July 2015: Jeff Buckley or Rage Against The Machine? Your music preferences reveal a lot about how you think. There is a clear link between people’s cognitive styles and the type and depth of emotion they prefer in music, say researchers. Their work, published today in PLOS ONE, shows people who Continue reading Music preferences reveal your inner thoughts

Human screams target brain’s fear centre

From ABC News in Science, 17 July 2015: Does the sound of a human scream make your hair stand on end? Now scientists say they can explain why. They’ve found the sound of human screaming is acoustically designed to plug directly into your brain’s fear and alarm circuit. A study, published today in Current Biology Continue reading Human screams target brain’s fear centre

Secret sex life of koalas revealed

From ABC Science, 9 July 2015: Tracking technology has finally lifted the lid off the secretive love life of Australia’s favourite marsupial, the koala. Researchers have discovered that while males rarely interact with other males during the mating season, females seem to become a lot more sociable with each other. In a paper published today Continue reading Secret sex life of koalas revealed

Birds more likely to reject costly cuckoo eggs

From ABC News in Science, 8 July 2015: The greater the cost of a raising a cuckoo chick, the more likely a host bird is to kick cuckoo eggs out of the nest before they hatch, Australian researchers have found. Brood parasitism — the practice of laying eggs in another species’ nest and leaving them Continue reading Birds more likely to reject costly cuckoo eggs

Climate science is in the clouds

From Monash Magazine, February 2015: Look at any landscape painting and there is a good chance that clouds will have a prominent presence. But the dazzling diversity of shapes and hues that captures the imaginations of artists is also what makes clouds so perplexing for meteorologists and climatologists. Clouds are still one of the least Continue reading Climate science is in the clouds

Fossil jaw found in Ethiopia a missing link in the human evolution puzzle

From ABC News in Science, 5 March 2015: The discovery of a 2.8-million-year-old partial jawbone in Africa could rewrite the history of human evolution. An international team of researchers found the lower jawbone, complete with teeth, at the Ledi-Geraru site in the Ethiopian Rift Valley, and published the finding in a report today in the Continue reading Fossil jaw found in Ethiopia a missing link in the human evolution puzzle

Ideal lash length follows one-third rule

From ABC Science, 25 February 2015: Long lashes may make your eyes stand out, but researchers have discovered the ideal lash length that protects your eyes from dust and damage. The study, published today in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface , found that eyelashes of a length around one-third the width of the Continue reading Ideal lash length follows one-third rule

Language proves we’re all optimists at heart

From ABC News in Science, 10 February 2015: A study of the most frequently used words across 10 different languages proves that we do always look on the bright side of life. Researchers from the Hedonometer Project, which aims to measure the real-time happiness of populations, used native speakers to rate their emotional response to Continue reading Language proves we’re all optimists at heart

Vultures survive toxic diet with bacterial help

From ABC News in Science, 26 November 2014: Vultures manage to survive exposure to a host of nasty bacteria by keeping their own team of gut bacteria that outcompete even the most deadly pathogens, new research shows. The study of the gut microbiome of New World vultures, published today in Nature Communication, reveals a remarkably Continue reading Vultures survive toxic diet with bacterial help

Bearded dragon’s colour matches body clock

From ABC News in Science, 30 October 2014: The charismatic Australian bearded dragon changes colour in sync with its circadian rhythm, researchers have found. The study, published today in PLoS ONE , shows that the dragon continues to change from dark colours during the early part of the day, to light at night, even when Continue reading Bearded dragon’s colour matches body clock