Science News

'It's either aliens or a swarm of comets': scientists baffled by bizarre star

Marcus Strom   A star that some think might be home to high-tech aliens has scientists asking 'WTF?'.

Latest science news

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket debris found off the coast of England

The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket shortly before exploding.

1:05 AM   Debris from a US rocket, most likely the doomed SpaceX Falcon 9, has been recovered near the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of south-west England.

Tasmanian devils escape disease, to be killed by cars

Road-killed.  Another Tasmanian devil lost to vehicles.

Andrew Darby 3:37 PM   Up to eight captive-bred Tasmanian devils released as part of a re-wilding program have been killed on the island's roads.

Your high school yearbook photo says a lot more than you think

From 'prunes' to 'cheese': Lip curvature was used to measure the intensity of smiles.

Inga Ting 2:10 PM   The smiles we turn on for the camera today are roughly 10 times more "intense" than the smiles photographed 100 years ago.


Reef a great barrier against underwater landslides and tsunamis

The research team study the first underwater images from their mission off Ribbon Reef .

Peter Spinks   Australia's Great Barrier Reef is doing Queensland a great service because of its ability to absorb some of the potential wave energy released by tsunamis.

'Holy Grail of rocketry' achieved

Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin, inspects New Shepard’s West Texas launch facility before the rocket’s maiden voyage.

Dominic Gates   Amazon boss and space pioneer Jeff Bezos has scored an historic technical achievement.

Buzz Aldrin: JFK originally aimed for Mars, not the moon

Buzz Aldrin in one of history's most iconic photographs.

Cameron Atfield   President John F Kennedy's famous moon speech could well have been a Mars speech had he not been talked down from his lofty ambitions, Buzz Aldrin revealed in Brisbane on Wednesday.

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Ant engineers build bridges for tomorrow's robots

Ants use their bodies to bridge two table tops.

Peter Spinks   Army ants are so good at balancing the cost-benefit trade-off of building living bridges that scientists can learn from their collective intelligence.

Turnbull's climate commitment to be undermined by more CSIRO cuts

All at sea: further cuts loom for CSIRO's key climate research division.

Peter Hannam   Some of Australia's leading climate research programs are under threat even as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull prepares to address world leaders at next week's global climate summit in Paris.


Who is Lucy the Australopithecus? Google Doodle celebrates early human ancestor

SOURCE :Viktor Deak/California Academy of Sciences

An illustration of the human ancestor Australopithecus afarensis using stone tools, in an undated handout. A team working in Ethiopia said cut marks on the fossilized bone showed that human ancestors used stone tools and ate meat at least 800,000 years earlier than previously established. (Viktor Deak/California Academy of Sciences via The New York Times) -- MAGS OUT/NO SALES; FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY WITH STORY SLUGGED LUCY-TOOLS BY JOHN NOBLE WILFORD. ALL OTHER USE PROHIBITED. -- (Newscom TagID: nytphotos339633)     [Photo via Newscom] , LUCY TOOLS

Keegan Thomson   On November 24, 1974, archaeologists working in Ethiopia discovered an ancient skeleton that would turn out to be a massive part of the puzzle of how humans evolved from apes.


Scientists create malaria-blocking Mosquito strain

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes.

Will Dunham   Scientists hope new mozzies will breed with others in the wild and produce offspring that cannot spread the disease

DNA of Europe's first farmers reveals surprises

Prehistoric people underwent evolutionary changes as they adopted farming as a way of life.

Joel Achenbach   Ancient genomes tell a tale of people evolving as they took up agriculture.

Luch/Olymp rogue Russian satellite symbolises new worries about space peace

A detail of the Luch-Olymp (called 2014-58A on map) near Intelsat 901.

Chris Zappone   Russia has launched a military satellite that just won't stay still, causing some concern for other satellite operators.


The day Mars gets its own ring

Phobos, the largest of Mars' moons, photographed from a distance of 6800 kilometres. The Stickney impact crater dominates one hemisphere of the moon.

Peter Spinks   In millions of years from now, the Red Planet will be surrounded by a thin but clearly discernible ring, probably less than 100 kilometres across.

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Rare stick insect to go international to save its species

A vibrant green juvenile Lord Howe Island stick insect.

Bridie Smith   Hundreds of precious Lord Howe Island stick insect eggs will be sent overseas as part of a captive breeding program for the critically endangered Australian insect - which until 2001 was thought extinct.

Food of love as men overeat to impress opposite sex

Men eat more pizza when dining with a woman.

Helena Horton   In a woman’s presence, men eat 93 per cent more pizza than when they are on their own or with male friends.

Uterus transplants may soon help some infertile women in the US become pregnant

Uterine transplants are a new frontier in assisted pregnancy.

Denise Grady   Uterine transplantation is a new frontier.

Bacon, sausage sales hit by cancer report

Have you been scared off bacon? Photo: Jamila Toderas

Lexi Finnigan   Sales of bacon and sausage have plummeted following the World Health Organisation's report linking processed meat to cancer, new figures show.

Will devices destroy the world?

A new computer isn't just for Christmas – some of it is for eternity.

Drew Turney   The electronics boom causes massive environmental and social damage. Drew Turney looks at the dark side of the device -- and how slime might yet save the day.

Scientists use taxidermy decoys to catch rare native cranes

Ecologist Inka Veltheim waits in a hide for the notoriously shy brolgas to land.

Bridie Smith   "They just happened to have two dead brolgas in their freezer that had died of natural causes so they were kind enough to provide them."


Dramatic birth pangs of planet captured on film

An artist's impression of the planetary system in the making.

Peter Spinks   Dramatic birth pangs of planet captured on film

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Science is Golden

Listen to our podcast series about science and scientists.

Scientists find echoes of Big Bang

An experiment at the South Pole leads to what is potentially one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the past two decades.

The secret to running repairs

Scientists think the Mexican walking fish may hold the key to regeneration in humans.

Alive as a dodo

Bringing animals back from extinction is no longer science fiction. But the question is, should we do it?


Navy reveals Antarctic secrets

Australian Navy hydrographers on their boat the Wyatt Earp map the seafloor off Casey Station in Antarctica.

Cycling out of intensive care

World leading research is under way to rehabilitate ICU patients - some unconscious - with horizontal exercise bikes. Producer - Tom McKendrick

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