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Nicky Phillips

Nicky Phillips is Science Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.

To help battle 'small penis anxiety', study determines 'normal' range for size

measuring tape

Nicky Phillips Forget all the images you've seen in adult films and the 'lifelike' drawings scrawled on public bathrooms, there is now a scientific guide as to what constitutes an average penis size - and hopefully...

Australian researcher's map of pancreatic cancer will refine treatment

Biankin and Grimmond's research on pancreatic cancer will improve future patients' treatment.

Nicky Phillips Tumours are a lot like earthquakes. No two are the same, and just as quakes occur mostly along fault lines, scientists have discovered that tumours also have unstable regions hidden inside their...

New pre-conception test checks potential parents for 145 genetic disorders

Julie Cini, spinal muscular atrophy disease carrier whose twin daughter died of the disease at one year old.

Nicky Phillips and Amy Corderoy Julie Cini had never heard of spinal muscular atrophy before her daughter Montanna was born, limp and floppy from the mostly fatal muscle wasting disease.

Sci-tech

Oxytocin blocks effects of alcohol in rats, study shows

University of Sydney researcher Michael Bowen has looked at the impact that oxytocin has on regions of the brain affected by alcohol.

Nicky Phillips Love is supposed to conquer all. One day it may save you from those embarrassing antics after a few too many alcoholic drinks.

Where do ants go to the toilet?

The coloured patches in these plaster ant nests are ant

Nicky Phillips If you've ever wondered what ants do when nature calls - wonder no more.

Australians invent fibre optic catheter that provides detailed map of colon

Stick it up here: Phil Dinning and John Arkwright fool around with fibre optic catheters they invented.

Nicky Phillips Ask any Australian to name a few homegrown inventions and the list usually includes Wi-Fi, the Hills hoist, Aeroguard and the black box.

Sydney doctors pioneer procedure that gives baby boy new immune system

Nicky Phillips Kini Tawalo was born without a working immune system. This life-threatening condition meant his little body had none of the specialised cells that act like soldiers and fight off infections.

Aboriginal stories of sea level rise preserved for thousands of years

Clans have explicit mechanisms for teaching oral histories, says Dr Nick Reid.

Nicky Phillips Long before Botany Bay became Sydney's main cargo seaport the iconic cove was a wetland used by the first Australians.

Australian scientists may have solved the mystery of bee colony collapse

Scientists observe bee societies: An Australian native bee visits a flower. They have not been affected by colony collapse disorder.

Nicky Phillips It's the bee version of a mystery thriller. Hives full of healthy honey bees suddenly empty. Inside, beekeepers the world over would find abandoned young and a queen but no worker bee corpses.

Meet the $2 billion broadband woman: Fast internet heading to the bush as NBN Co announces satellite ground stations complete

Satellite architect Julia Dickinson, head of NBN Co, says the launch of its broadband satellites will be

Nicky Phillips The head of NBN Co's satellite project says it will launch at least one of its highly anticipated broadband satellites this year now that the construction of NBN Co's 10 satellite ground stations is...

Fences could halt cane toad invasion of arid Australia, study

Fences give scientists the jump: Researchers tracked cane toads and found they cannot survive more than three days without water.

Nicky Phillips They’re used to keep out dingoes, wild dogs and feral cats. Now scientists say fences could stop cane toads invading large parts of arid Australia.

Forget the genome, Australian scientists crack the 'methylome' for an aggressive type of breast cancer

Scientific breakthrough: Susan Clark from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and her team have for first the first time translated the methylome of breast cancer, finding distinct patterns associated with different types of breast cancer.

Nicky Phillips A team of Australian scientists have invented a method to decipher a layer of information that garnishes genes, called methyl groups, which may explain the unknown cause of many cancers.

Astronomers spy ancient star circled by five Earth-like planets

An artist's impression of a new star with five Earth-sized planets which has been discovered by astronomers.

Nicky Phillips An ancient sun-like star being circled by five Earth-sized planets has been discovered by an international team of astronomers.

Climate change may cause havoc for little penguins

An adult little penguin sits on eggs inside a nestbox on Montague Island.

Nicky Phillips Gemma Carroll✓ holds an infant little penguin in one hand as she prepares to weigh it.

New flower discovered in Blue Mountains smells like rotting fish

Nicky Phillips Not all flowers smell like roses, but a new plant discovered in the Blue Mountain's sprouts blooms that smell like rotting fish.

Australian researcher discovers promising treatment for depression

Nicky Phillips David* has lived with depression on and off since he was 19. At times over the past 15 years it has arrived without warning, whereas other episodes have been triggered by a stressful event.

Praying mantis use their big, bright butts to attract mate

Praying mantis eating a fly. Photo: Robin Powell

Nicky Phillips Male praying mantids like big, bright butts, say Australian scientists.

Tracking crocodile movements could reduce attacks on humans, researchers say

New research has found estuarine crocodiles, which most people know as saltwater crocodiles, were relatively inactive between January and August, remaining in backwaters.

Nicky Phillips Scientists can predict when and how crocodiles move through river systems at different times of the year, saying this information should be used to educate the public on how to behave around...

Humans have been handy for longer than previously thought, says study

The evolution of man

Nicky Phillips Women like a man who's good with his hands and most people appreciate a firm handshake.

New X-ray technique reveals snippets of ancient scrolls charred by Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius, a still-active volcano, overlooks the Temple of Jupiter in Pompeii.

Nicky Phillips The biggest Mount Vesuvius breakthrough since the plaster casts of Pompeii is unfurling.