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Nicky Phillips

Nicky Phillips is Science Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Scientists sequence genome of 45,000-year-old man

Nicky Phillips He lived about 45,000 years ago and died on the banks of a river in Siberia and now scientists have decoded his DNA to narrow the time when humans and Neanderthals first got a little bit frisky.

Ancient fish were first to have sex - but sideways

Fish.

Nicky Phillips Scientists have thrown off the covers and revealed the origins of sex, discovering that it wasn't always performed like we do it today.

Cats will dine until their delicacy is rare: University of Sydney research

Nicky Phillips Some cat owners may have noticed their kitty has particular tastes when it comes to the half-eaten presents left on the doorstep.

How do we engage young people in science?

MIley Cyrus and science.

Nicky Phillips Science suffers from an image problem and Miley Cyrus may be the perfect solution.

Think of outback as one huge landscape, says top ecologist John Woinarski

The invasive cane toad.

Nicky Phillips The Australian outback should be classified and protected as one continuous landscape rather than individual components, says a leading Australian ecologist.

Tony Abbott's science experiment yet to pass acid test

Bridie Smith and Nicky Phillips At a dinner in Canberra last October, Prime Minister Tony Abbott urged the country's already wary scientific community to judge his government by its performance, not by its titles.

Indonesian cave paintings some of earliest human art, Australian-led study finds

Researchers, including Maxime Aubert, have analysed several drawings from seven different Indonesian caves and discovered they were painted much earlier than first thought.

Nicky Phillips Cave paintings on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi were created at least 40,000 years ago, making them some of the earliest known cave art in the world, say a team of Australian and Indonesia...

Student exit from maths and science to go under microscope

Nicky Phillips and Amy McNeilage Between early school life and that final dash to freedom something happens to many children that turns them off science and maths.

Nobel prize highlights the importance of basic research

British-American researcher John O'Keefe (left), Norwegian neuroscientist Edvard Moser (right) and his wife May-Britt Moser (centre)  just after winning the 2014 Nobel Medicine Prize.

Nicky Phillips At a time when scientists around the world are under increasing pressure to do research that quickly translates into a treatment, cure or invention, this year's Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology...

20-year decline in year 12 science and maths participation, study finds

Students

Nicky Phillips Governments, industry and the education sector should be "alarmed" by the growing numbers of students abandoning science and mathematics in their final years of high school, say the authors of a...

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Science

Biologists in a stew over Paleo diet

'Kangaroo Fillet Salad' at the Paleo Cafe in Bondi Junction.

Nicky Phillips Proponents swear by the paleo diet, but are they actually eating like our Paleolithic ancestors?

Sci-Tech

Ghosts of mother's sexual past show up in fly offspring, study shows

Fly offspring can resemble their mothers' previous partner.

Nicky Phillips What if that sexual partner you'd rather forget remained forever a part of your life?

Skeleton of man from ancient group of humans found in South Africa

Vanessa Hayes collecting DNA from Kalahari locals in Namibia to compare with the DNA of St Helena's skeletons.

Nicky Phillips The skeleton of a man who lived more than 2300 years ago and foraged food from the ocean off southern Africa belonged to an ancient group of modern humans now presumed extinct, an Australian-led...

Australian Government investment in science reaches 30-year low

Australia's investment in research and development is below the OECD average.

Inga Ting and Nicky Phillips The Australian government's investment in research and development has dropped to its lowest level in 30 years, an analysis of government figures shows.

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Monkey populations will suffer as climate change alters their food

Colobus monkeys

Nicky Phillips If you consider the consequences of global warming, it's always the major impacts that receive the most attention - glaciers melting, sea levels rising, more frequent and more intense bush fires,...

Two visitors in a week: Mars is space's new tourism hot spot

An artist's impression of the Indian Mars orbiter, known as MOM, which went into orbit on September 24.

Nicky Phillips The airspace around Mars just got a little more crowded.

C02 emissions from burning fossil fuels surge to highest level in human history

One of the Three Sisters joins in the climate change debate.

Nicky Phillips and Lisa Cox Global greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement production surged to a record-breaking 36 billion tonnes of CO2 last year, pushing emissions to their highest level in human...

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Ageing of Australia's scientists creating a void in nation's future research workforce

Funding discrimination: Professor Alan Trouson warns Australia faces a catastrophe if we neglect our young scientists.

Nicky Phillips The pioneering Australian IVF and stem cell scientist Alan Trounson has warned of a "catastrophic event" in Australian science unless more is done to support early career scientists and prevent them...

The looming crisis in our nation's laboratories

Neuropsychologist Kate Hoy says it's not good enough to be excellent any more when it comes to competing for science funding.

Nicky Phillips Young scientists are being forced out of the grants system.