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The Easter Bilby – Five Fun, Chocolatey Facts

Easter always makes me think of Bilbies. Growing up, we used to receive the chocolate Easter Bilby, not the Easter Bunny. And why not? They are adorable, fascinating… and most of all. They are Australian! But it was a recent research trip to central Australia that really drove home how ... Continue Reading »

You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog

If you like this, then you should tune into Weird Science on FiveAA on April 2nd 2015 at 2:30pm and every second Thursday after that to hear Ben discuss weird science! I’m breaking with the Taylor Swift theme for this week as I couldn’t find any lyrics from her ... Continue Reading »

Lights Off! It’s Earth Hour

Have you got your diary handy? A calendar? Your phone? If you do could you write an important reminder for the 28th March: Earth Hour 8:30 pm. You also might want to make a sub note: buy some candles. Earth Hour is a movement that began in Sydney back in ... Continue Reading »

Chuckles, Chortles and Giggles

Chuckles, chortles, giggles - we are all familiar with the experience of laughter. It is an involuntary physical response to happiness and humour, with the ability to cross cultural and language barriers. Laughter is one of the first ways that we learn to interact with the world, with babies developing ... Continue Reading »

The Beauty in Nature

We live in a world where science and technology is everywhere; from the smart phone in your hand to the fuel efficient, automatic parking, city braking hybrid car that can practically drive itself. However, rarely does one stop to consider the beauty of the natural world and the science contained ... Continue Reading »

Be Careful What You Eat

If you like this, then you should tune into ABC radio every second Thursday to hear Paul discuss science (and whatever else he's interested in). What is it with fad diets and quack remedies? While both have been around for as long as people want a quick fix for ... Continue Reading »

World Meteorological Day

Celebrated on March the 23rd each year, World Meteorological Day is in honour of the creation of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) (formerly the International Meteorological Organisation). The purpose of the organisation is to improve our knowledge of climatic influences – including weather and hydrological events. The organisation ... Continue Reading »

The Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is part of a project run by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research or CERN. It is the world’s largest particle collider and was built between 1998 and 2008. The LHC is 100 meters underground at the border of Switzerland and France and ... Continue Reading »

World Down Syndrome Day

The blueprint for a human, the DNA is packaged in a specialised way. These packages are called chromosomes. Human beings have 46 chromosomes in every single cell, containing all of the information needed for cell growth and function. Down syndrome occurs when there is an extra copy of chromosome number ... Continue Reading »

Brittany Wenger: A Young Scientist

Entries to the Google Science Fair are now open! It was in 1915, that a 25-year-old Australian-born physicist named William Bragg Jnr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the field of x-ray crystallography. At the time, he was the youngest scientist ever to receive the honour. Flash ... Continue Reading »

The Problems Facing Australian Shorebirds

If you like this, then you should come visit the Flyway Shorebird Exhibition in the Future Space Gallery! Australia is a very important place for shorebirds – over five million migrate from our shores each year to undertake the journey to their Arctic breeding grounds. During October to May ... Continue Reading »

The Superheroes of the Animal Kingdom

Time and time again it seems that even our most astonishing ideas and inventions are no match for Mother Nature. The natural world seems to evolve and perfect the weirdest ideas that humans could possibly imagine. Early explorers used compasses to navigate the seas; birds have been using the Earth’s ... Continue Reading »

Bad News, I’m Afraid

I've never met a stage that I would not gladly strut. Performing is my thing, when that performance is based around discussing the ideas of science. But there is something disheartening walking on stage knowing that all you have to deliver is bad news. And so it was at Womad last ... Continue Reading »

The Year of the Gibbon

When we think of monkeys, we will generally picture a long armed primate, swinging through the trees. They’re gorgeous, and a little alien looking, but they’re monkeys. Actually, they’re gibbons. Gibbons are the group of primates that live in the tropical forests of Asia, and we ... Continue Reading »

My Favourite Women of Science

Tell me who your favourite women of science are in the comments below and look out for the follow up blog on YOUR favourite women of science! In honour of International Women’s Day today (March the 8th), I wanted to look at the top ten women whom have inspired me to ... Continue Reading »

Shorebird Migrations

If you like this, then you should come visit the Flyway Shorebird Exhibition in the Future Space Gallery! What are shorebirds? Shorebirds or wading birds are birds that are usually found on the edges of coastal areas or freshwater wetlands and in the intertidal zones of bays and estuaries ... Continue Reading »

The First Woman in Space: Valentina Tereshkova

Usually when people think of astronauts we think of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. We might even think of the Space Race that began in 1955 and the USSR’s launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957. What we might not realise, and what certainly wasn’t a part of my school education, ... Continue Reading »

The Many Dimensions of 3 Dimensional Printing

If you like this, then you should check out our 3D Printing STEM Pack! Think 3D printing and many people will think of printing small models that someone has designed using a CAD program or gizmos that people have designed and customized. While there is a huge market for ... Continue Reading »

The Life and Times of an Early Career Researcher

Early career researchers (ECRs) tackle some of society’s biggest challenges – from cancer, to global warming to particle physics at the tera-scale. ECRs represent a highly trained and diverse workforce in the early stages of their scientific careers who will go on to become future scientific leaders not only within ... Continue Reading »

A Brief History of Puns: An Evening with Flacco and the Two Pauls

Last week saw another fabulous event behind the doors of The Science Exchange. For long-time fans of Flacco, What's funny about science? A brief history of timing was as strange, eloquent and entertaining as could be hoped for. For fans of science, there were more science references and painful puns ... Continue Reading »

Losing Weight

Today I officially became unobese. For most of my adult life I’ve been fighting the onset of extra flab, a battle I’ve consistently come second in. A few years ago my Body Mass Index slipped over the uninspiring figure of 30; I had moved from ‘overweight’ to ‘obese’. Now I’ve ... Continue Reading »

Food Fads And The Fear Of Fat

Food fads, crash diets and other tricks that claim to promote health and reduce fat come and go, and have been around for a long time. In the 1920’s, there was even ‘obesity soap’ that promised to burn fat in the shower (although since it’s no longer available, I guess ... Continue Reading »

Australia’s First Kidney Transplant

Saturday 21 February 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the first successful kidney transplant in Australia – a breakthrough made in the University of Adelaide’s Department of Surgery at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 21 February 1965 (B. Tait, 2012, p.63). This Australian first ... Continue Reading »

Entertaining My Brain at the RiAus Fringe

I don’t normally attend many Fringe shows. Mostly because I don’t have much money (the life of a Uni student), and partly because no one ever wants to go with me. But last night I decided to do Fringe at RiAus. And you know what? I’m so glad ... Continue Reading »

Experience Something New – Baby, Do You Speak Code?

“Experience Something New” is the encompassing theme for this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival. A variety of events make up the festival’s program featuring mindboggling performances, music, theatre, art and a variety of workshops for adults and children alike. The events aim of encouraging people to, “to take a risk, see ... Continue Reading »

Jump Into The Year of the Leap Second

If you like this, then you should tune into Weird Science on FiveAA every second Thursday at 2:30pm to hear Ben discuss weird science! If you’re anything like me you might feel like there’s just not enough time to get everything done in your life. But I’ve got some ... Continue Reading »

Who Was Rosalind Franklin?

Watson and Crick, the famed discoverers of DNA’s double helix structure; one of the most celebrated discoveries of the 20th century. But, did you know of Rosalind Franklin, the third discoverer of DNA’s structure? The eldest daughter of a wealthy Jewish family, Franklin was strong willed and brilliant. She applied a year ... Continue Reading »

Revisiting the Jab

Well it seemed like an innocent enough request but from the get-go I knew I was in for a hiding. It was a relatively quiet Friday afternoon here at RiAus when Bradley, our General Manager, came into my office with an unusual request. He had a reporter from the Sunday Mail ... Continue Reading »

Seven Sustainable Transport Options

We have come a long way since Henry Ford’s Model T. The personal automobile is now ubiquitous and refined. It is also, however, polluting and unsustainable in its current form. Transport is necessary and important but also has a massive environmental impact, increases consumption and creates waste. We can’t do without ... Continue Reading »

One Hump or Two

Camel milk touted as latest superfood What does it take for a food to become a ‘superfood’? They certainly aren’t caped crusaders soaring through the skies and saving babies from burning buildings. The claims of what superfoods do, however, can be just as flamboyant. Take camel milk, ... Continue Reading »

Elite Athletes: Mind Over Matter

“Shut up legs and do what I tell you!” – Jens Voigt With all of the media coverage of the Tour Down Under this year, I thought it would be a great time to ask; what makes an elite athlete? Is it pure natural and physical ability, or ... Continue Reading »

The Greatest Fossils of 2014

As a palaeontologist, it warms the cockles of my heart to reflect on the significant fossils that came to light over the last year. And there are a lot of them, too many to consider here, but there are more complete lists elsewhere if you are sensibly obsessed ... Continue Reading »

The Good, the Bad and the Umami- The story of MSG

If we switched from salt to MSG thousands of lives a year could be saved In 1908 Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda (きくなえ いけだ) just happened to wonder what gave the Japanese soup Dashi (だし) its wonderful flavour. After a little research he found the substance he was ... Continue Reading »

Sampson Flat Fires

I grew up in a tiny place between Williamstown, Lyndoch and Gawler. Right next to Humbug Scrub. My partner is originally from Birdwood and almost all of our friends live there, in Kersbrook, Gumeracha or Lobethal. We spend almost our entire weekend driving through the hills and visiting random places. ... Continue Reading »

Hydrographic Surveyor Certification

Hydrographic surveyors work in fields or disciplines as diverse as nautical charting, port, harbour and coastal zone management, geophysical survey, off-shore construction, military rapid survey and inland waterways. Each discipline requires its own special set of skills and knowledge unique to the type of hydrographic survey work being undertaken. It is ... Continue Reading »

Who was Nikola Tesla?

I’m looking at a picture of Nikola Tesla. Not the expected 30’s black and white elegance; nor really Tesla in the flesh. Rather; his death mask. It’s a yellowed coppery bust on an ugly plinth. Deposited layers of metal, one after another on a plaster substrate. I can see every line and ... Continue Reading »

A Sparkling Canvas – Crystallography in the art world

“I love crystals, the beauty of their forms and formation; liquids, dormant, distilling, sloshing! The fumes, the odours – good or bad, the rainbow of colours; the gleaming vessels of every size, shape and purpose.” – Robert Burns Woodward If you think crystallography is boring, or confined to the world of ... Continue Reading »

Revisiting the future – 2014

At the beginning of this year I pulled together a list of predictions from psychics that were supposed to foretell momentous events in science during 2014. These predictions were collected from this article with the promise of a review at the end of the year – ... Continue Reading »

Light is life

Photonics is the study of light, that which illuminates our world and that which is hidden from our eyes such as the x-rays, ultraviolet and infrared light. “Photos” is the Greek word for light and its study is as old as human progress. However, it is not until 1960 that ... Continue Reading »

How To Make A Round Earth Flat

This blog is the second in the series ‘Contours, Coordinates and Cartography’ – A blog series about measuring the shape of the earth and how the results are used to create maps. Read the first instalment in the series on Geodesy here, upcoming blogs will look at GPS ... Continue Reading »

Finding Life in Antarctica

Earlier this year scientists from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a United States government agency, have made an amazing discovery whilst testing a new camera-equipped robot to explore under the ice in Antarctica. Their test run unexpectedly revealed a new species of sea anemone which actually ... Continue Reading »

Why we need bees

The best thing about my job is honey. It always smells like honey, I get stung, sure, but the honey definitely makes up for it. Also, bees of all kinds are adorable. The honey bee is arguably the most famous of bees, likely because of the honey, but also because ... Continue Reading »
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