Hand sanitisers boost BPA absorption from receipts

From ABC News in Science, 23 October 2014: People handling shopping receipts on a regular basis may want to avoid using hand sanitiser. New research suggests the combination can increase absorption of the hormone-mimicking chemical BPA. The study found that bisphenol A — or BPA — on shopping receipts printed on thermal paper was easily Continue reading Hand sanitisers boost BPA absorption from receipts

Blind cavefish ditches circadian rhythm to save energy

From ABC News in Science, 25 September 2014: The eyeless, cave-dwelling form of the Mexican tetra fish (Astyanax mexicanus) has surrendered its circadian rhythm for the sake of saving energy in its pitch-black habitat. The absence of a day/night cycle in the cave-dweller’s metabolism has resulted in a 27 per cent saving in energy use, Continue reading Blind cavefish ditches circadian rhythm to save energy

Campfire chat a chance for social bonding

From ABC News in Science, 23 September 2014: The evolution of fire may have had major social impacts, as well as transforming our diet, according to new research. Research among the Bushmen of the Kalahari has found sitting around a campfire at night enables conversations, storytelling, and social bonding that rarely happens during daylight. Study Continue reading Campfire chat a chance for social bonding

Lies and distrust a part of life at seven

From ABC News in Science, 2 September 2014: We are not born with the ability to lie and distrust, but appear to acquire these ‘skills’ at around seven years of age, researchers have found. The team of child psychologists and game theorists published their results today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Continue reading Lies and distrust a part of life at seven

Egyptian mummification began before the Pharaohs

From ABC News in Science, 14 August 2014: Prehistoric Egyptians practised mummification well before the time of the Pharaohs, suggests an analysis of resin-soaked linen. A team of Australian and British researchers investigated samples of wrappings taken from bodies found in the earliest known ancient Egyptian cemeteries — 4500 BC to 3350 BC — in Continue reading Egyptian mummification began before the Pharaohs

Canola genome paves the way for better crops

From ABC News in Science, 22 August 2014: The canola plant is set for an overhaul to boost its oil content, make it more disease-resistant, and help it adapt to climate change, thanks to the sequencing of its genome. An international team of scientists report the sequencing of the Brassica napus genome today in Science Continue reading Canola genome paves the way for better crops

Tropical fish threaten kelp and algae

From ABC News in Science, 9 July 2014: Plant-eating tropical fish species are causing serious damage to algae and kelp forests in sub-tropical and temperate regions around the world, an international team of experts warn. The findings come from a review published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, which suggests that climate Continue reading Tropical fish threaten kelp and algae

‘Jackpot expiry’ limits gambling losses

From ABC News in Science, 9 July 2014: Would you continue gambling on a poker machine if you knew there was no chance of winning the jackpot? Setting a ‘jackpot expiry’ time limit for a poker machine causes gamblers to walk away sooner, a new Australian study shows. The research, published in the Journal of Continue reading ‘Jackpot expiry’ limits gambling losses

Vulnerable dolphins keep to themselves

From ABC News in Science, 3 July 2014: Two dolphin species in north-western Australia are vulnerable to local extinction because they rarely mingle with their own kind outside their immediate location, a new study has found. The genetic analysis, published today in PLOS ONE, also identified one of the first cases of successful breeding between Continue reading Vulnerable dolphins keep to themselves

Neanderthals loved vegies with their meat

From ABC News in Science, 26 June 2014: The oldest known samples of Neanderthal faeces have revealed these early humans actually enjoyed some salad with their steak. The findings, published today in PLoS ONE, challenge the image of Neanderthals as unrepentant carnivores, and the theory that their high meat intake may have contributed to their Continue reading Neanderthals loved vegies with their meat