Science & Health
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BP, Chevron Charter CSIRO Climate Science Vessel To Look For Fossil Fuels

In a sad turn of events, CSIRO’s RV Investigator, a dedicated marine research vessel that winded up construction and testing earlier this year, will now spend a few months under the employ of BP and Chevron sniffing out black gold… while also studying the ocean and sea floor.

There Are Hints Of Sunbeams And Fog Buried In Pluto's Atmosphere

Earlier this month, New Horizons released a batch of absolutely breathtaking photos of Pluto at dusk, including the one above. In these images, particles in Pluto’s thin atmosphere are causing sunlight to scatter, revealing a complex, layered haze.

NASA Is Sending Bacteria To The Edge Of Space To See If They Can Hitchhike To Mars

Discovering life on another planet, only to contaminate that world with our own pesky microbes, is one of NASA’s nightmare scenarios. To find out whether single-celled Earthlings can hitchhike to Mars and survive on the Red Planet’s surface, NASA is going to see how they like it 36.57km up.

What Modern Achievement Would Most Impress A Time Traveller From The Roman Empire?

Strap the Roman visitor into the passenger seat of something like this. Start the engine. Explain to him that there’s a box full of a special sort of oil that’s burning in constant tiny explosions, making that thing in front that’s like three sword blades fastened together spin around 2700 times per minute.

Bats Eating With Nectar-Pumping Tongues Are Weirdly Cool

Most nectar-eating bats hover in front of flowers and lap like crazy to shovel high-calorie goodness down their throats. But when some species of South American leaf-nosed bats cosy up to a flower, they just stick their tongues in and leave them there. They’re eating, but their tongues don’t seem to be moving at all. It’s weird.

Ebola Chip Will Help Doctors Contain Future Outbreaks

In the highly unfortunate case you’re infected with Ebola, you really need to catch it ASAP so that you can quarantine yourself and get treated. That’s why scientists are now developing a portable ‘Ebola chip’ that optically analyses fluid samples and sniffs out nasty virus particles within minutes.

This 15-Tonne Magnet Is Now Ready To Study Mysterious Particles

Last year, a massive, 15.4-tonne, 15.85m wide electromagnet was successfully shipped from Long Island to Illinois. This week, it hit another milestone: It was successfully chilled to absolute zero temps after 10 years’ inactivity, proving it’s ready to solve a whole new decade’s physics mysteries.

Climate Change Killed Earth's Crocodilians And It Could Bring Them Back, Too

A diverse clan of fearsome crocodilians once roamed the entire planet. Today, only 23 species remain in a handful of locales worldwide. We’ve all heard tales of the giant asteroid that did in the dinosaurs, but the demise of the crocodilians was far less dramatic. The crocs were picked off quietly, as our planet cooled off and dried up over the course of millions of years.

Simple Collections Of Gold Nanoparticles Can Develop Computational Abilities

We’re used to thinking of silicon as being the go-to material in computer architecture. But now a team of scientists has shown that a random assembly of cold nanoparticles can evolve to perform computational tasks too.

Australia Has New Ministers For The NBN, Science And Innovation

In a cabinet reshuffle on Sunday afternoon, newly installed prime minister Malcolm Turnbull took the opportunity to drastically alter the existing line-up of government ministers, portfolios and personalities on his front bench. As a result, and partly due to Turnbull’s own interest and extensive history in the digital economy, Australia’s current parliament now has a greatly renewed focus on technology, the internet and innovation.

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