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

Mosquitoes are more likely to bite you if they also bite your parents

Scientists are trying to understand why mosquitoes bite people more than others.

Nicky Phillips   If mosquitoes love the taste of your blood, new research has found you can probably thank your parents for that.

This new translucent frog looks just like Kermit

A newly discovered glassfrog looks a lot like Kermit the Frog.

Nicky Phillips   Kermit the Frog is alive and living in the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica.

Sci-tech

Japan eyes 2018 moon landing

In this artist rendering released by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the space explorer named SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) lands on the moon.

Elaine Kurtenbach   Japan's space agency is considering an unmanned mission to the moon by 2018 or early 2019, part of an effort to beef up aerospace technology and keep pace with China and other emerging powers.

Record-smashing atomic clock is the most accurate ever

JILA's strontium lattice atomic clock performs better than ever because scientists literally "take the temperature" of the atoms' environment.

Rachel Feltman   Clock is now so stable that it could theoretically "tick" for 15 billion years without gaining or losing a second.

Does 4D printing mark the end of the IKEA flatpack?

Professor Marc in het Panhuis holds a 4D printed valve that can change shape.

Nicky Phillips   Researchers, including Australians, are experimenting with 4D printing to make objects that can change shape and function over time.

175-year-old shipwrecked champagne much like bubbly today, study finds

Champagne expert Richard Juhlin samples champagne from one of the 168 bottles salvaged from a shipwreck.

Eryn Brown   Tests show it takes more than a shipwreck to spoil a good drop.

Health Check: why does women’s hair thin out?

Hair loss should be treated as quickly as possible, as prevention medications are most effective if used in the early stages of loss.

Rodney Sinclair   Balding in men is so common it doesn't raise an eyebrow. But when a woman starts to lose hair, it can be extremely distressing. Will she end up bald, too?

Happy birthday, Hubble! Here are some of the cosmic wonders it has revealed over 25 years

This is a mosaic image, one of the largest ever taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the Crab Nebula, a six-light-year-wide expanding remnant of a star's supernova explosion. Japanese and Chinese astronomers recorded this violent event nearly 1,000 years ago in 1054, as did, almost certainly, Native Americans.  The orange filaments are the tattered remains of the star and consist mostly of hydrogen. The rapidly spinning neutron star embedded in the center of the nebula is the dynamo powering the nebula's eerie interior bluish glow. The blue light comes from electrons whirling at nearly the speed of light around magnetic field lines from the neutron star. The  neutron star, like a lighthouse, ejects twin beams of radiation that appear to pulse 30 times a second due to the neutron star's rotation. A neutron star is the crushed ultra-dense core of the exploded star.  The Crab Nebula derived its name from its appearance in a drawing made by Irish astronomer Lord Rosse in 1844, using a 36-inch telescope. When viewed by Hubble, as well as by large ground-based telescopes such as the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, the Crab Nebula takes on a more detailed appearance that yields clues into the spectacular demise of a star, 6,500 light-years away. The newly composed image was assembled from 24 individual Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 exposures taken in October 1999, January 2000, and December 2000. The colors in the image indicate the different elements that were expelled during the explosion. Blue in the filaments in the outer part of the nebula represents neutral oxygen, green is  singly-ionized sulfur, and red indicates doubly-ionized oxygen.

Happy birthday Hubble! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's lift-off from Earth on April 24, here are some of the cosmic wonders it has captured over its lifetime.

Primary pupils are more likely to try e-cigarettes – but there is no evidence it’s a gateway to smoking

E-cigarette

Adam Fletcher and Graham Moore   Research has also found few young people switch from tobacco to e-cigarettes to try to stop smoking.

No, you don’t have to finish all your antibiotics

Antibiotics

Lyn Gilbert   Is it essential to finish a course of antibiotics? Not always and sometimes it could be harmful.

The most surprising thing about Hawking

Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in <i>The Theory of Everything</i>.

Nicky Phillips   Most people don't realise the brilliant physicist has children, says his daughter Lucy.

How to get men to give more to charity? Make it a competition

Competition: Men donate more if they see other men have been generous donors.

Nicky Phillips   Males donate more money to charity if they see other males have donated large amounts. And they'll also be more generous if the person asking for money is an attractive woman. (Surprise, surprise).

Sci-tech

Scientists' quest for de-extinction

The gastric brooding frog giving birth through its mouth.

Jorge Branco   One week every year researchers chase the stuff of science fiction dreams.

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25 years of the Hubble space telescope

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field is an image of a small area of space in the constellation Fornax, created using Hubble space telescope data from 2003 and 2004. By collecting faint light over many hours of observation, it revealed thousands of galaxies, both nearby and very distant, making it the deepest image of the universe ever taken at that time.

Perry Vlahos   After a rocky start, in the past 25 years Hubble has given us unprecedented access to the universe’s secrets.

What really happens when you crack your knuckles

Researchers have used MRI to see what happens when a knuckle cracks.

Nicky Phillips   In what might be one of the most obscure scientific discoveries of 2015, researchers have identified once and for all what happens when you crack your knuckles.

Earth ate a Mercury-like body early in its history, study finds

The earth's electromagnetic field, visible in an aurora borealis, may have been created when Earth gobbled up another planet.

Amina Khan   A Mercury-like body smashed into a young Earth and gave our planet's core the radioactive elements necessary to generate a magnetic field, two Oxford geochemists say.

Dwarf planet Ceres gets weirder as Dawn sends back more data

Two mysterious bright spots on dwarf planet Ceres

It was first classified as a planet, then an asteroid and then a "dwarf planet" with some traits of a moon - the more scientists learn about Ceres, the weirder it becomes.

Explainer: what is cognitive behaviour therapy?

Cognitive behaviour therapy: training your brain.

Peter McEvoy   Cognitive behaviour therapy, or CBT, has been found to help a variety of emotional problems.

Health Check: are my memory lapses normal or could this be Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer's disease.

Serge Gauthier   There are easy steps we all can take to improve our memories.

Corpses into compost: a new environmentally conscious burial movement

Soon corpses could be pushing up more than daisies.

Catrin Einhorn   Cremation creates greenhouse gases. So there is a startling next step in the natural burial movement.

Features

Scientists find echoes of Big Bang

In the beginning, the universe got very big very fast, transforming itself in a fraction of an instant from something almost infinitesimally small to something imponderably vast, a cosmos so huge that no one will ever be able to see it all.

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.