Science News

Living in lava tubes: cities in the moon

Tim Biggs   Study suggests large empty pockets beneath the moon's crust could offer shelter from the deadly low temperatures and radiation of the surface while being stable enough to house buildings.

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Latest science news

Researchers find switch that may tame aggressive breast cancers

Angelina Jolie carries the BRCA1 mutation. Women with this have a higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

Nicky Phillips 2:15 AM   Australian researchers have made a significant discovery that may lead to a new form of aggressive breast cancer treatment.

Astronomers witness supermassive black hole eat its own galaxy's star-forming gas

Artist's impression: Red gas pours out of a galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its core.

Nicky Phillips   The three little pigs were rightly outraged when the wolf blew down their houses, but that's nothing compared to the havoc some supermassive black holes wreak on their host galaxies.

NASA's Curiosity Rover finds nitrogen on Mars, an element needed to sustain life

Scientists do not expect Curiosity to find aliens on Mars, but do hope to find signs of the key elements to life are present.

Discovery adds to evidence the Red Planet could once have sustained life.

Sci-tech

Stephen Hawking to deliver Aussie talk

Professor Stephen Hawking will speak to an Australian audience at the Opera House in April.

Nicky Phillips   The world's most recognisable living scientist will address an audience at the Sydney Opera House in April.

Sci-tech

How an Aussie building's unique design inspired a scientific breakthrough

ANU researcher Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko was inspired by the
surface of the Nishi building to create a new type of material to enable
scientists to put a perfect bend in light.

Clare Colley   Dr Miroshnichenko's quest to put a perfect bend in light could lead to improved computer chips.

Science contributes $145b to GDP: report

Science in action

Nicky Phillips and Gareth Hutchens   The significant contribution of science to Australia's economy has been measured for the first time in a landmark report that warns economic growth could fall dramatically without strong commitment to the sector.

Sci-tech

Large Hadron Collider will seek to disprove Big Bang

The newly revamped Large Hadron Collider.

Sarah Knapton   The detection of miniature black holes by the Large Hadron Collider could prove the existence of parallel universes and show that the Big Bang did not happen, scientists believe.

Ancient Rome as we've never seen it

A LiDAR image shows the outline of structures of the two smaller forts, (A) Grociana piccola and (B) Montedoro.

Nicky Phillips   A new technique has turned archaeology on its head, unearthing the oldest known ancient Roman fort without a sod being turned.

World’s largest asteroid impact zone found in central Australia, scientist says

ANU's Andrew Glikson said the two zones together "would form a 400-kilometre structure which is the biggest we know of anywhere in the world."

Terrence McCoy   'It could have caused a large mass extinction event at that time, but we still don't know the age of this asteroid impact,' says ANU's Andrew Glikson.

Robots to replace almost half of jobs over next 20 years: expert

Forty-seven per cent of jobs in the US will be overtaken by computers in the next decade or two, according to research.

Jorge Branco   Robots and computer programs could almost wipeout human workers in jobs from cooks to truck drivers, a visiting researcher has warned.

Health Check: why some people have sex for science

Having sex for science puts intimacy on record.

Jane Ussher   Who volunteers to have sex in a laboratory? I was struck by this question when reading about an experimental study of ideal sexual positions for men with back pain. For the purpose of the research, couples were filmed using motion capture and infra-red technology while they had sex.

Alzheimer's drug shows promise in trial

Trials of a drug to slow the effects of Alzheimer's disease are showing promise.

ANDREW POLLACK   An experimental drug for Alzheimer's disease sharply slowed the decline in mental function in a small clinical trial, researchers reported on Friday.

Biologists seek ban on method of editing the human genome

Researchers have discovered a way to make permanent, inheritable changes to human DNA possible.

Nicholas Wade   A group of leading biologists has called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of a new genome-editing technique that would alter human DNA in a way that can be inherited.

As breast milk becomes an industry, worries vie with hopes

The commodification of breast milk is causing concern among doctors.

Andrew Pollack   The therapeutic value of breast milk is now widely accepted, but this recognition has led, perhaps inevitably, to commodification.

Virtual reality research to help neck pain: Queensland researchers

Virtual reality technology could be used to improve neck movement, according to Queensland researchers.

Piloting a plane with a sore neck might sound dangerous, but Queensland researchers reckon it could actually help with rehabilitation.

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'Supertide' draws thousands to French site

An aerial view as a high tide submerges a narrow causeway leading to the Mont Saint-Michel, on France's northern coast, Saturday, March 21, 2015. A supertide has turned France?s famed Mont Saint-Michel into an island and then retreated out of sight, delighting thousands of visitors who came to see the rare phenomenon. The so-called ?tide of the century? actually happens every 18 years (AP Photo) FRANCE OUT

France mountain turns into island as effects of solar eclipse are felt across the South American mainland, the northern coast of Australia and the Bristol Channel in Britain.

Queensland blast 'like 650 million A-bombs'

Atomic explosion

Cameron Atfield   Crater in in outback Queensland hints at massive explosion.

Solar eclipse darkens Europe, thrills witnesses

The total eclipse of the sun would have been visible only in the Faroe Islands and the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean. However, clouds obscured it in the Faroe Islands.

Dan Bilefsky and Melissa Eddy   Power firms in Germany, where about 6 per cent of energy is solar, had feared the sudden loss and return of sunlight would jolt the grid.

Sci-tech

Meet the 'Carolina butcher', the giant crocodile that walked on its hind legs

An artist's impression of Carnufex carolensis, a newly-discovered crocodilian ancestor.

Rachel Feltman   At 2.7 metres long, with blade-like teeth and walking on its hind legs, Carnufex carolinensis - which translates as "Carolina butcher" - roamed North America 230 million years ago.

Features

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?

Videos

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

Furry Facts

Why onions make you cry

Ever wonder why chopping onions is such a tear jerking event?

Vaccines

Needles aren't a whole lot of fun, but why is immunisation so important? Cartoonist John Shakespeare and Science Editor Nicky Phillips explain.

El Nino and La Nina

Have you ever found it hard to understand why Australia's swings between drought and floods?

Tornadoes

They're some of the most destructive forces on the planet, but what's the difference between a tornado and a cyclone?

Sinkholes

What is a sinkhole? What causes them? Furry Facts explains.