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Nicky Phillips

Nicky Phillips is Science Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Business Council calls for urgent education overhaul


Heath Gilmore, Nicky Phillips An urgent intervention is needed in Australia’s education and training system as early as kindergarten to protect future prosperity, one of the nation’s leading business figures warns.

Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt fires broadside at Australia's research strategy

Professor Brian Schimdt.

Nicky Phillips Nobel prize-winning astrophysicist Brian Schmidt says major issues in Australia’s research sector are being obscured by the mammoth assessment task researchers are required to undertake every...

Curiosity cat-killing drugs to protect native species

Proponents say curiosity can reduce feral cat numbers by 80 per cent.

Tom Arup and Nicky Phillips A lethal bait called "curiosity" designed to kill feral cats will be the initial focus of a new national commissioner to save threatened species.

Dementia patient Christine Bryden's quest to improve care for Australians with the disease

Christine Bryden was diagnosed with early onset dementia when she was 46.

Nicky Phillips Christine Bryden recently mastered Twitter. Last week she learned how to upload a video on Facebook. Next, she plans to teach herself how to tag people in photos.

Fruit, veggies delay onset of multiple chronic diseases, study reveals


Nicky Phillips An apple a day may keep you-know-who away, but a healthy intake of fruit will also keep your first chronic disease away too.

Funding under the microscope

Funding under the microscope

Nicky Phillips 'The best part is we never need to specify exactly how it will work,'' says a prime ministerial staffer during an episode of ABC TV satire The Hollowmen.

Our science suffers from a national delusion

Ian Chubb

Nicky Phillips The country's chief scientist rolled out a sports analogy to make his point recently.

Scientists say smallpox virus shouldn't be destroyed

A vial of the smallpox vaccine held by the US military in case of future outbreaks.

Nicky Phillips This month the World Health Organisation will decide if the last remaining stocks of the virus that causes smallpox should be destroyed.

Children suffer DNA damage from stress


Nicky Phillips Children who grow up in poverty or an unstable family show early signs of genetic ageing that may make them more vulnerable to certain diseases, a study has found.

Search for MH370: Suspected debris lies above undersea volcanoes

HMAS Success

Nicky Phillips The cluster of suspected debris from Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has been sighted above a giant undersea chain of volcanoes whose complex terrain has barely been charted, an Australian marine...

Detection of MH370 debris required a 'human eyeball operation'


Nicky Phillips, Ben Grubb, Heath Aston Satellite images of the suspected debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 would have needed a ''well trained pair of eyes'' to spot the object in the grainy images, says a satellite expert.

Life at Antarctica's Casey station

Nicky Phillips Getting to the edge of the earth has never been easier, but isolation remains a challenge.

Navy maps Antarctic seafloor

Lieutenant Peter Warning of the Royal Australian Navy

Nicky Phillips Navy surveyors have used sonar to create a highly detailed 3D map of the seafloor along parts of the Antarctic coastline, including areas that have not been charted before.

Antarctic field trip a factor in ship becoming trapped in sea ice on Christmas Eve

Akademik Shokalskiy.

Colin Cosier, Nicky Phillips A four-hour delay on a passenger field trip in Antarctica may have contributed to the Akademik Shokalskiy becoming trapped in sea ice on Christmas Eve.

Passengers from ship trapped in ice safe on Aurora Australis


Nicky Phillips Marty Benavente knows sea ice. He knows it is safe to walk on when it is 40 centimetres thick and safe to drive a skidoo on when it is about 60 centimetres deep.

Antarctic rescue mission goes awry


Nicky Phillips Fearing it would become entrapped by deadly sea ice, the crew of the Aurora Australis have abandoned their rescue mission of the Akademik Shokalskiy in Antarctica.

Rescue of iced-in ship could cost owners a packet

Akademik Shokalskiy

Nicky Phillips A third vessel has began a rescue attempt five days after the tourist ship became trapped.

Third vessel heads to rescue passengers on Akademik Shokalskiy, trapped in Antarctic ice

MV Akademik Shokalskiy.

Anne Davies, Nicky Phillips The operators of a ship stricken in the Southern Ocean are facing a multimillion-dollar expense bill, as a third vessel began a rescue attempt five days after the tourist ship became trapped in sea...

Beware, there's something in the Sydney air


Nicky Phillips On a summer's day in Sydney, the air in the inner city can be cleaner than taking a breath in suburban Richmond, Campbelltown or parts of the lower Blue Mountains.

Antarctic tourist ship trapped by sea ice

Science editor Nicky Phillips climbs aboard the Aurora Australia icebreaker after leaving Casey station. Christmas Day brought the unwanted gift of having to leave Antarctica early.

Nicky Phillips, Colin Cosier Tourists on an Antarctic-bound cruise liner will spend Christmas awaiting rescue after the ship became wedged in thick sheets of sea ice.