Walking on a cold beach
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It seems we weren’t designed to be too comfortable: get cold and lose weight

Couch Potato(Image: http://cdn2-b.examiner.com)     According to Professor Gary Wittert of The University of Adelaide the trend for us to turn on the air conditioner when we feel cold or hot works against our body’s natural processes. Speaking on ABC Radio Adelaide’s 891, he said that this tendency could cause weight gain and he advised […]

Saturn devours his son by Goya
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The Cinderella Syndrome: waiting to be rescued or waiting to be killed?

Cinderella (Image: http://www.folkstory.com) Most people would think that the Cinderella Syndrome (or Effect) is an attitude in young women where they believe a handsome man will come and rescue them from their unhappy state and they will ‘live happily ever after’. Much as Cinderella was rescued by the handsome prince. However, there is a much more […]

Mosquitoes require the proteins in blood to produce viable eggs © Sciengist

Mosquitoes, You and Climate Change

Mosquitoes require the proteins in blood to produce viable eggs © Sciengist This article was originally published by RiAus on 4th September, 2015   Mosquitoes are undoubtedly some of the most annoying guests at Australian barbecues. They attend only to feed on your blood, not your food. Mosquitoes require the proteins in blood to produce […]

Red Wine

Alchemy: reflections on a National Science Week exhibition

A Big Red?     As an ordinary scientist, not well-versed in art theory or appreciation, I decided to visit the Alchemy art exhibition at Adelaide’s Science Exchange. The visit in itself was an experiment in that I intended to measure my own naive responses to works of art about which I knew nothing. What […]

Static Charge on Hair
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Hair-raising Electro-Physics

Static Charge on Hair(Image: http://top-img.com) Unlike a child’s hair reacting to a balloon, where each strand is repelled from the others by static electricity (i.e. not flowing in a current, but charged), an electric current can consist of any moving charged particles. Most commonly, these charged particles are are electrons. But any charge in motion constitutes […]

The Book Cover

What if we accepted invasive species as our own wildlife in Australia?

Rabbit Grief(Image: https://c2.staticflickr.com) What if we accepted rabbits, foxes and starlings as our own wildlife in Australia? In his book published this week, Fred Pearce poses a very interesting point of view: why not accept foreign biological invaders as part of the wildlife of our country and move on? For a long time, Fred Pearce […]

Does this wetland in Centennial Park, Sydney, have high biodiversity? Does it produce many mosquitoes? (Image: Jayne Hanford)

Does your stormwater breed mosquitoes?

Written by Jayne Hanford (@permiepedalers), PhD Candidate, The University of Sydney for the National Science Communication Challenge Does this wetland in Centennial Park, Sydney, have high biodiversity? Does it produce many mosquitoes? (Image: Jayne Hanford)   Urban wetlands can be useful for treating our stormwater and protecting urban wildlife. Why do some wetlands have lots of mosquitoes […]

What is really in a beard? (Image: theawesomedaily.com)

What’s in a Beard?

This article was originally published on the RiAus Blog on 18th August, 2015 Charles Darwin suggested beards evolved out of sexual selection (Image: Wikimedia)   A beard is more than a golden ticket into the Secret Men’s Society: granting guys the right to the Knowing Nod when passing their bearded comrades. The manliness projected by a […]

Light at night disrupts our internal clock, making it more difficult to sleep (Image: Anne Aulsebrook)

Goodnight, sleep…bright?

Written by Anne Aulsebrook (@AnneAulsebrook), PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne for the National Science Communication Challenge Light at night disrupts our internal clock, making it more difficult to sleep (Image: Anne Aulsebrook)     Bright lights, bigger cities. They are keeping us awake – and other creatures, too. Have you ever forgotten to turn on […]

Aristotle and Natural History

Ecology: The Cinderella science and its forgotten mantra

Stability/DiversityAristotle and Natural History Ernst Haeckel coined the term Ecology in the late 1800s. He derived the name from the Greek for house (οἶκος), but it was not the first time a holistic approach had been taken to the study of communities in situ. That distinction goes to Ancient Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates and […]

Budgerigars in the desert (Image: Jim Bendon flickr.com)

Beating the heat – the Australian way

Written by Shangzhe Xie, PhD Candidate, The University of Adelaide for the National Science Communication Challenge Budgerigars in the desert (Image: Jim Bendon flickr.com) Australian birds are under increasing threat from the effects of climate change. Extreme climate events like heat waves are putting bird populations at risk. As temperatures continue to rise with climate […]

The Australian lace-lid frog (Image: Victoria Graham)

The frog that wears lace

Written by Victoria Graham (@ToriGraham_Aust), Masters of Philosophy Student, James Cook University for the National Science Communication Challenge The Australian lace-lid frog (Image: Victoria Graham) Nature never fails to amaze us but have you ever heard of a frog that wears lace? The Australian lace-lid frog has a lower eyelid with an intricate lace-like pattern […]

Example of recovering forests and abandoned pastures in tropical Australia (Image: Ana Palma)

One tree at a time: putting forests back together

Written by Ana Palma, PhD Candidate, James Cook University for the National Science Communication Challenge Example of recovering forests and abandoned pastures in tropical Australia (Image: Ana Palma) Everything has a beginning, forests start with a tree. A single tree is beautiful, a hundred thousand trees are even better, and when we have millions of trees […]

Microscopy of diatom frustules (Image: microscopy-uk.org.uk)

Diatoms: tiny creatures telling us a big climate change story

Microscopy of diatom frustules (Image: microscopy-uk.org.uk)         Diatoms are micro-organisms, phytoplankton, a type of algae. Diatoms are important in our marine and freshwater environments. They produce energy through photosynthesis, providing almost a quarter of the oxygen we breath. In the Southern Ocean alone, they constitute almost 75% of total primary productivity. Diatoms […]

Are you feeling dizzy yet? © Sciengist

Vertigo: the leading cause of dizziness

Are you feeling dizzy yet? © Sciengist Vertigo is the leading cause of dizziness. People who suffer vertigo feel a sense of movement, even if they are sitting still. It can be incredibly uncomfortable and can result in nausea and vomiting. The symptoms are often made worse by actual movement of the head. Vertigo is […]

Distribution of Brown Adipose Tissue in an Infant
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Newborn human babies can’t shiver; that’s why they have Brown Fat.

Distribution of Brown Adipose Tissue in an Infant(Image: http://nursingcrib.com) Newborn human infants are very vulnerable to hypothermia for several reasons. They have higher ratio of body surface area to body volume. Their heads are proportionally larger. They have a small musculature. They cannot shiver. They are poorly insulated. They can’t move to warmer areas. And […]

Billions of dollars could be saved by developing targeted implementation strategies for the delivery of new Hepatitis C virus treatments (Image: Sofia Bartlett)

Targeting Hepatitis C: Treatment as Prevention

Written by Sofia Bartlett (@SofiaRB_88), PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales for the National Science Communication Challenge Billions of dollars could be saved by developing targeted implementation strategies for the delivery of new Hepatitis C virus treatments (Image: Sofia Bartlett) According to Pareto’s principle, or the 80-20 rule, it is thought 80% of infectious diseases are […]

FeaturedImage

Dr Google: friend or foe?

The Spudd Magazine I am an avid self-diagnoser. I regularly consult my good friend, Dr Google. Generally, I am not too far off the mark, despite the rolling of eyes I receive from my GP. I can understand how this might annoy healthcare practitioners. And I did actually have a good giggle while reading the […]

Icebergs are enigmatic, how much remains unseen below the surface? (Image: Benjamin Tscharke)

Tip of the “ice”berg – unconventional methods to monitor community use of harmful drugs

Written by Benjamin Tscharke, PhD Candidate, The University of South Australia for the National Science Communication Challenge Icebergs are enigmatic, how much remains unseen below the surface? (Image: Benjamin Tscharke) Drugs of abuse cause immeasureable economic and social costs to the community; which begs the question: how much is really out there? Drugs such as Ice […]

Getting Dirty with Carrots

The Kamikaze Chemistry of Carrots

Carotenaemia hand (left) compared with a normal hand (right)(Image: http://dermnetnz.org) Have you ever had carotonemia? Or know someone who has? Fear not, it is not fatal or contagious; it is usually just the result of eating too many carotenoids! As the name suggests, carotenoids are found in carrots and they have an orange colour. But why […]

Curbing our phosphorus addiction by crystallizing struvite from wastewater (Image: Max Burns)

Your pee is liquid gold! Entering the age of resource recovery

Written by Max Burns: PhD Candidate, James Cook University for the National Science Communication Challenge   Curbing our phosphorus addiction by crystallising struvite from wastewater (Image: Max Burns) Phosphate is a non renewable resource. It is essential for all agriculture. Your urine is full of it. By recovering this phosphate we could offset 20% of Australia’s agricultural […]

Mendeleev

The Perfect Idea: Making Sense of Matter

Dmitri Mendeleev(Image: http://dmitri-mendeleev.org)   Dmitri Mendeleev was a Russian chemist, inventor and teacher. He was, essentially, the father of the Periodic Table. The birth of the Periodic Table, however, involved a long, lengthy process of discovery. As is the nature of science, the Periodic Table was a process of building on, acquiring and organising knowledge. […]

Ocean Heartbreak
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Indigestion of the world’s oceans will lead to more than just heartburn

Ocean Heartbreak(Image: http://mobileadvertisingwatch.com) Our history of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is taking its toll on the marine environment. Our oceans take-up some of our excess CO2 leading to oceanic warming and acidification. The environmental ramifications of our actions from yesterday can take years to appear, and may continue for years thereafter. Scientists set out to […]

Man's best friend (Image: amazonaws.com)

August 8, 2015: Hair, melanoma, dogs and woodlice

In the countdown to the National Science Week, National Science Communication Challenge, some interesting research has been emerging from across the globe. Individual woodlice respond to and recover differently to Tonic Immobility, suggesting unique personalities A little ball of armour(Image: https://c2.staticflickr.com)   The woodlice, Porcellio scaber, has recently been studied by Dr Ivan Tuf. His […]

Natural African Hair
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If you live in a temperate climate, wouldn’t it be better to have your African hair back?

Electron Micrograph of a hair(Modified from: http://www.abc.net.au) Research groups from Brazil and USA have recently discovered a new layer in human hair. A layer of beta keratin between the cortex (inner) and cuticle (outer) layer of the hair shaft was discovered by Vesna Stanic and colleagues. They presented their findings at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the […]

DogMRI

Is a dog’s brain naturally wired for human companionship?

Man’s best friend (Image: amazonaws.com) Every man and his dog knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Everyone else is well aware that dogs are man’s best friend. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors were responsible for the domestication of wild wolf species. These wolves were the ancestors of our canine companions. Research published today in PeerJ […]

Inviting the sun into your genes
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New genetic markers for Melanoma discovered

Inviting the sun into your genes(Image: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com) Matthew Law and a number of colleagues compared the genomes of people with melanoma to those who were cancer free. Samples from more than 35,000 people revealed new genetic regions that are linked to the development of melanoma. Dr Anne Cust, an epidemiologist from the University of Sydney […]

Cumin seeds are part of many delicious dishes.
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August 1, 2015: Antibiotics, conservation, fossils and spice

This week we proudly announced that Sciengist will be hosting the National Science Communication Challenge for National Science Week 2015. Sciengist also explored health, in regards to antibiotics and the power the humble cumin seed may offer. Antibiotic resistance is leading us to a new era where their power may no longer save us Sir […]