Science

It's Official: That Much-Hyped Big Bang Discovery Was Literally All Dust

There will be no Nobel prizes after all. Last March, scientists announced they had discovered our first direct evidence of the Big Bang, but that evidence has been slowly crumbling away. The results of a joint analysis released today make it official: It was all just cosmic dust.


Aussies Use CSIRO Supercomputer To Diagnose Sudden Death Heart Conditions

It’s scary to think that people die from undiagnosed, almost impossible-to-detect cardiac problems all the time. The sad part is that some of these can be treated, if correctly diagnosed in a timely fashion. Thanks to half-a-decade of hard work from a team at Sydney’s Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, and some help from a CSIRO supercomputer, we might be a step closer to understanding these mysterious afflictions.


Why Aren't There Any Human Doctors In Star Wars?

Though set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” it isn’t hard to see in the Star Wars films a vision of our own not so distant future. But Anthony Jones, a physician with a long background in health care technology development, sees the Star Wars vision of medicine’s future as sheer fantasy. Specifically, he is struck by the dearth of doctors – at least human ones. “In Star Wars,” he says, “there are no people practicing medicine. Caring for patients seems to have been taken over by machines.”


Beyond The Line Call: How Technology Is Changing Tennis

The evolution of professional tennis has always been linked to the changing technology of the day. For example, the decline of the wooden racket lead to the whole new power-based style of play we enjoy today. One of the more recent introductions to have significant impact is Hawk-Eye ball tracking.

It’s certainly transformed the way we watch and adjudicate tennis. But can we go further and utilise this truly awesome technology to improve the on-court performance of the competitions elite?


Another Australian Animal Slips Away To Extinction

Last July, the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, announced the appointment of Gregory Andrews as Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner. His mission: to help avert the extinction of a growing number of native plant and animal species.


Chimps And Gorillas Need An Ebola Vaccine Too 

There is a side to the Ebola crisis that, perhaps understandably, has received little media attention: the threat it poses to our nearest cousins, the great apes of Africa. At this moment in time Ebola is the single greatest threat to the survival of gorillas and chimpanzees.


No, This Isn't Scifi. It's An Actual Spaceplane, Getting Fuelled Up

The European Space Agency is about to launch its remote-controlled experimental spacecraft, IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle), on February 11, from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. What you see above is that craft being fuelled with hydrazine manoeuvring propellant.


The Engineering Challenges Facing NASA's Mars 'Helicopter'

We’ve put a rover on Mars, heck, we’ve got a few of them up there. What’s the next step, before the inevitable invasion by humans? A helicopter obviously! Well, more specifically, drones that can help the poor ground-shackled rovers get a better idea of what lies ahead in their travels.


There's Millions Of Dollars Worth Of Gold And Silver In Sewage  

There’s gold in them thar sewers — and silver and platinum and copper, too. A study by Arizona State University (ASU) researchers estimates there is $US13 million worth of precious elements in the sewage produced by a million-person city every year. Never think of sewage as stinky worthless waste again.


Morning Haze: Why It's Time To Stop Hitting The Snooze Button

It’s 6:30AM and after a long holiday break, your alarm clock is insistently telling you it’s time to get out of bed. For many people — me included — the automatic reaction is to hit the snooze button, often more than once.