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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

An artist's impression of Hallucigenia sparsa (Danielle Dufault) 
Copied from:  http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2015/06/25/4261794.htm

Hallucigenia gets a mouth

An artist’s impression of Hallucigenia sparsa (Danielle Dufault sourced from: www.abc.net.au) Hallucigenia is a very strange creature that lived more than 500 million years ago. It was given its name because it looked like the product of a hallucination. Its fossils from the Burgess Shale in Canada were first described by Walcott as a worm. […]

Malayan tiger populations are critically low (Image: WWF)

Tiger Day 2015: the need for radical conservation is dire

Malayan tiger populations are critically low (Image: WWF) 29th July, is officially Global Tiger Day. It is a sad day, when one reflects on the decline of tiger populations across the globe. But it is a day of hope, with the World Wildlife Fund’s goal to double wild tiger populations by 2022. This is good […]

Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 (Image: www.biography.com)

Our abuse of antibiotics has gone too far – too far to turn back?

Sir Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 (Image: www.biography.com) Prior to antibiotics, injuries as simple as a scratch or bump could have been enough to kill. Today, we are spared from this. But not for too much longer. We have taken our use of antibiotics too far. Antibiotics are prescribed on a daily basis. They are […]

An artist's impression of Kepler 452b, Earth-twin, the new planet.
www.nature.com

Planets and more planets, exciting times ahead!

An artist’s impression of Kepler 452b, Earth-twin, the new planet.(www.nature.com) Last week, the news about Pluto was everywhere, including Sciengist. Pluto is now officially the largest object in the fringe of our solar system. When I was at school, we were taught that Pluto was our 9th planet. As an adolescent it always baffled me […]

Inescapable Chronic Pain
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National Pain Week

Inescapable Chronic Pain(Image: http://www.abc.net.au) This week in Australia was National Pain Week. One strategy for chronic pain sufferers is distraction. Research into pain indicates the mitigating effects of distractions such as, mental imagery, listening to preferred music, and a task involving the spatial discrimination of brush stimuli on the skin. However, the only distraction which […]

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July 18, 2015: Pluto, protein, pandas and powerful treatments

Reading fiction: it’s your social obligation Sciengist What an exciting week it has been. We have received exciting new information and images of Pluto, as well as a newly discovered volcano cluster off the Sydney coast. The results of several ground-breaking research projects were released this week, as was the much anticipated second novel by […]

Power of common antioxidants in red wine and berries unlocked in ground-breaking cancer research

The power of common antioxidants now unlocked

The powerful compounds in berries, dark chocolate and red wine have been unlocked by research © Sciengist   Berries contain antioxidants that naturally protect our heart. The same antioxidants can be found in grapes, red wine, dark chocolate and leafy greens. Although the compounds are important and beneficial in a healthy diet, researchers have now […]

Champagne is well known for its characteristic bubbles  Sciengist

July 11, 2015: Human health, wine and weather

So far on Sciengist we have discussed several aspects of human health, in particular heart disease and the importance of our microbiome. We have navigated the science behind a cosmetic wonder-balm, and talked about genitals, moths and weather. We also thought it was quite fitting to cover white wine, red wine and especially sparkling wine, considering we […]

Saturniid moth caterpillar, Switzerland (Image: Marco Fischer)

Eye-opening moths!

Saturniid moth caterpillar, Switzerland (Image: Marco Fischer) This image, by photographer Marco Fischer, caught our eye on social media last week. You would have to agree, it doesn’t look like the average caterpillar you might see ravaging your veggie garden. The photo depicts an incredibly ornate caterpillar: the larval form of a moth from the […]

Riesling was harvested in February for the first time

The climate of riesling changes

Riesling was harvested in February for the first time    (Image: www.azureazure.com)   It would appear even winegrowers and makers are now firmly on the climate change bandwagon. Australian winegrowers have harvested riesling in February of this year, for the very first time. Research shows wine grape harvests have been moving forward by 0.8 days per […]

Champagne is well known for its characteristic bubbles  Sciengist

Home-made sparkling wine? No, thank you

  Champagne is well known for its characteristic bubbles  Sciengist I love a good glass of bubbly. Rarely though, is the golden, carbonated liquid in my glass genuine Champagne. Sodastream claims their product can “turn tap water into sparkling water in seconds”. I personally know this to be true. But I highly doubt it can […]