Science + Technology — Research and News

Education Minister Christopher Pyne at today’s press conference in Canberrra. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Pyne backflips on research infrastructure funding cut

Education Minister Christopher Pyne has backed down on his threat to defund NCRIS if the Senate failed to pass the government's university deregulation bill.
Education minister Christopher Pyne has maintained that the higher education reforms must be passed in order for science infrastructure funding to be released. AAP/Lukas Coch

Science infrastructure funding is being held hostage by government

Leading scientists warn that research facilities may close and jobs will be lost if the government doesn't free up promised science funding.
Get your telescopes ready for a rare close encounter with an asteroid this Australia Day. Flickr/Ryan Wick

Giant asteroid makes its closest pass of Earth on Australia Day

Clear skies this Australia Day could give observers a rare look at a giant asteroid flying past Earth at 56,000kmh. The asteroid…
What can the CES tell us about the future of technology? Intel Free Press

Smaller is smarter at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

An app that can unlock your front door with a digital key and the latest wearable sex tech OhMiBod are just some of the next…
The future of the Parkes radio telescope in doubt in a climate of cutbacks. Flickr/Steve Dorman

2014, the year that was: Science + Technology

It’s been a year of incredible feats in science and technology but also a year of uncertainty too as the Australian government’s…
Genomic data sets the record straight on where bird species sit on the avian family tree. photoholic1/Flickr

Bird tree of life shows ‘explosive evolution’: studies

Today’s land birds, from ducks to eagles, shared a common ancestor after dinosaurs went extinct – just one finding from bird…
Well, maybe it’s not quite this electrifying, but the prototype is pretty cool. Florian F. (Flowtography)/Flickr

Flat battery? New prototype turns waste heat into electricity

Picture a device that can produce electricity using nothing but the ambient heat around it. Thanks to research published…
Intuitive processes may underlie decisions of those who help others while risking their own lives. AAresTT/Shutterstock

‘Extreme altruists’ motivated by gut instinct: study

If you noticed a person in grave danger would you act first and think later in order to save them? New research suggests…
The curious want to know more and can remember more. Flickr/Wagner T Cassimiro Aranha

Curiosity changes the brain to boost memory and learning

The more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to remember not only information about that topic, but also other…
Humans transport microbes around their environment. Argonne National Laboratory

Your microbiome is shared with your family … including your pets

Microbial communities vary greatly between different households but are similar among members of the same household – including…
Your instinct not to trust some people is an evolutionary response to keep you safe. Flood G./Flickr

Trust is unconsciously determined, thanks to the amygdala: study

The part of the brain responsible for the fight-or-flight response also plays a key role in unconsciously processing a face’s…
Layers of cool: a thin layer of glass added to solar cells could help them work better for longer. Minoru Karamatsu/Flickr

More efficient, durable solar cells are possible thanks to glass

Self-cooling, longer lasting and more efficient solar cells are within reach simply by adding a thin layer of glass. A paper…
Smarter chimpanzees owe much of their extra intelligence to genes. Gemma Stiles/Flickr

Chimpanzee intelligence has a genetic basis

Not all chimpanzees are created equal. Not only are some more intelligent than others, but about half of this variation is…
Mapping out Antarctica’s volcanic past will help us predict future climate change. Rita Willaert/Flickr

Volcanic history of the Antarctic helps with future climate models

An international study of ice cores has helped researchers pave the way for a better understanding of how Antarctica’s volcanoes…
Our phones don’t just take calls anymore – they also take our microorganisms. John Watson/Flickr

Your mobile phone carries your microbiome

Mobile phones have become such an important part of our daily lives that they’ve started adopting our microorganisms, according…
This half-million year old skull is helping answer controversial archaeological questions. Javier Trueba/Madrid Scientific Films

Chew on this: Neanderthal jaws evolved before brains

Ancient remains have confirmed that the face and jaw evolved before the rest of the skull in Neanderthals and early human…
Koalas have embraced tree trunks as a handy cooling mechanism during summer. Ross Huggett/Flickr

Tree-hugging koalas beat the summer heat

Keeping cool during summer can be difficult, but new research published in Biology Letters shows that koalas cope with high…