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Herpes helps to control carp

European Carp are the rabbits of the inland waterways of the Murray-Darling Basin. These feral pests breed prolifically, ruin the quality of the water with silt from their digging into stream beds and out compete most native fish species. And, to date, there’s been very little that can be done ... Continue Reading »

RiAus and the Australia Day Awards for 2016

It is with great pleasure that RiAus congratulates Bragg Members and friends of RiAus who received awards in the 2016 Australia Day Awards List. The Honourable Michael David Rann Mr Rann has been made a Companion of the Order of Australia. ”For eminent service to the Parliament and the community of South Australia, particularly ... Continue Reading »

Last day for Chief Scientist of Australia

After almost five years, Professor Ian Chubb will end his role as Australia's Chief Scientist. On Tuesday, he released his statement about the importance of science to the nation’s future which can be viewed here. He speaks positively about the future and encourages scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians to work hard and do ... Continue Reading »

Do we suffer in silence?

Can sounds you can't hear make you sick? Some people claim to have suffered headaches, migraine, nausea, fatigue, dizziness and an uncomfortable feeling of ‘pressure in the ears’, all of which they attribute to inaudible 'ultrasound'. Ultrasound is ultra-high frequency sound above the range of human hearing but little is ... Continue Reading »

How Safe is that Wrap?

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today released the results of a survey on packaging chemicals in food. This study looked at chemicals found in materials frequently used in food packaging that might migrate into food. More than half of the 30 chemicals in the study could not be detected in ... Continue Reading »

Springing into Renewable Energy

Spring is a time for growing, refreshing, and…cleaning. With warmer temperatures, flowers, plants and trees will blossom, grow and form new leaves, and shed their winter coats. Spring is also an opportune time to talk about renewable energy, something that humans can invest in to make sure our planet continues ... Continue Reading »

Dinosaurs shake their tail feathers

An international team of palaeontologists have revealed a surprising explanation for groups of 100 million year old scratch marks in sandstone at four different sites in Colorado: it looks like close cousins of T. rex were performing mating display or 'dances' that involved 'nest scraping' behaviour, much like we see ... Continue Reading »

Turn up the heat, dial down the power 

European research suggests that by the middle of this century the ability of electricity plants to generate power will be greatly reduced because of more frequent droughts and heatwaves. The energy generating capability for a large proportion of hydro and thermoelectric power plants will be reduced because of changes in ... Continue Reading »

The physics behind cricket

With summer upon us, our minds automatically turn to the game that defines an Aussie summer – cricket. Whether it is watching the Boxing Day test match, going to an ODI or just enjoying a friendly game of backyard cricket, it’s a game that has always brought friends and family ... Continue Reading »

Book Review: The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

I love reading the memoirs of scientists. They’re always full of terrific stories- funny, exciting, and occasionally hauntingly sad. More than that, they’re a wonderful way to learn about the way science is done. They add a human element to scientific facts. The Periodic Table, written by Holocaust survivor and chemist ... Continue Reading »

Star Wars: The Science Awakens

Confession time: I was a little late to the Star Wars party - I grew up in a Star Trek household, and the prequels didn’t exactly motivate me to dive deep into the Star Wars universe, even though I trusted the originals would be right up my ally. But the ... Continue Reading »

The Big Climate Deal

In the lead up to the COP21 discussions we’ve been following explorer Tim Jarvis on his 25zero expedition aimed at raising international awareness of the effects of climate change. There are 25 peaks at the equator (0° latitude) with glaciers on them which will disappear in 25 years ... Continue Reading »

Innovating Australia

For too long Australia has been lamenting the dilemma that it has faced since the rise of science here in the late 1800s: we produce some of the brightest minds in the world who in-turn make monumental discoveries and advancements but very few of these are transformed into economic production ... Continue Reading »

What’s the deal with COP21?

What is this acronym that people keep throwing around? What is COP21 and why is it so significant? To get a better understanding, lets go back in time a little while and check out its origins. If we travel all the way back to 1979, we find ourselves at the ... Continue Reading »

Australia’s newest dinosaur: Kunbarrasaurus

Imagine being mistakenly identified for 25 years. That's precisely what has happened to the newly identified Kunbarrasaurus (koon-ba-rah-sore-rus) who was discovered in 1989, near Richmond in north-western Queensland. Previously identified as Minmi, another ankylosaur species found in Queensland, it wasn't until recently that scientists were able to study the fossils in-depth, literally, by using ... Continue Reading »

The NISA breakdown and what you need to know

Watch our innovation statement breakdown here. There was an announcement today from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that put science and innovation at the forefront of our nation’s agenda. To put it simply, the government are hoping to alter the way that we approach innovation within Australia. They’re doing this by ... Continue Reading »

Where do greenhouse gases come from?

Now that we understand the Science Behind Climate Change, we can look at which greenhouse gases (GHGs) we are concerned about, and where they are coming from. When we talk about the extent that a certain substance is impacting on the amount of energy within the atmosphere, we use ... Continue Reading »

Sir William Henry Bragg

It seemed like a straight forward, simple and appropriate idea. It was three years ago and we were unveiling a bust of William Lawrence Bragg on North Terrace to commemorate 100 years since the announcement of Bragg’s Law, the foundation of the science of x-ray crystallography. That “straight forward, simple and ... Continue Reading »

The science behind climate change

Climate change is said to be the biggest issue facing the world at the moment - but what is climate change, what is causing it, and what can we do about it? Well, with COP21 kicking off in Paris how about we turn up the heat on climate change! To start ... Continue Reading »

Top 3 men’s health tips – Movember

Look out for the men (and anyone and everyone) in your life and share these tips with them. We recently asked the two 2015 Movember Clinician Scientist Award recipients that were awarded up to $450,000 each for prostate cancer research for their top 3 men’s health tips. Dr Kate Mahon: My top 3 ... Continue Reading »

Movember research gets hairy

You may have heard of Movember – an annual initiative to raise awareness for men’s health by growing a moustache. Whilst it means that for a month the little upper lip tickler will have food caught in it and questionable germs, it’s all for a good cause. One of the main ... Continue Reading »

In a bind with vitamin B

Vitamins are essential to our survival, but our bodies don’t make their own. A recent research breakthrough into the immune system showed traces of Vitamin B2 were the clue to unlocking a secret about how our immune system works. Professors Jamie Rossjohn (Monash University) and James McCluskey (The University of Melbourne) ... Continue Reading »

Driverless Futures

It’s not without a dose of déjà vu that last week I sat through two days of the first International Conference on Driverless Cars held in Adelaide. As we all sat breathlessly contemplating a future that cannot be too far away, I was continually taken back to a childhood steeped ... Continue Reading »

The Innovation Celebration

I, for one, am often banging on about how little recognition our scientists get, particularly in comparison to sports stars, celebrities and actors. The fact is we have world-class scientists in Australia conducting world-class science and they make a greater contribution to the health and happiness of all Australians than ... Continue Reading »

First Day of Uni

I just submitted my PhD thesis (!) so naturally I have been reflecting on my first year of university, when it was all ahead of me. That first day, or first year, is an experience that I will never have again, truly once in a lifetime. My overall university experience ... Continue Reading »

Making Mars Habitable

I was first introduced to the concept of terraforming – the process of altering a planet’s surface, atmosphere and temperature to make it habitable for humans – in the 2008 video game Spore. In the simulation game, you start off with a single-celled organism and help it evolve into a ... Continue Reading »

Anxiety – The Original Early Warning Signal

Anxiety today is seen as a mental health condition, one that is at the least inconvenient, at the most a debilitating state that can affect many aspects of your life. But this isn’t how it started. Anxiety is an evolutionary advantage, an activation of the bodies fight or flight response to ... Continue Reading »

Behind Every Door is a New Opportunity

How did winning the prize impact your teaching? Being awarded the PM Science Prize for Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching has impacted my teaching in a positive way. Having a range of opportunities to meet scientists has allowed my classroom to be extended, providing my students with more real-world experiences, connections ... Continue Reading »

Science is Our Best Hope

The Prime Minister’s Prize for Science Teaching in Secondary Schools represents the highest achievement for a Science teacher in Australia, and recognises the importance of high school teaching in the promotion of science literacy and careers. It has been an honour to receive this award and accept it on behalf ... Continue Reading »

Connecting Maths with Biology

Winning the PM’s Science Prize was a great honour for me, a source of deep satisfaction for me and other people who do my sort of research, and an opportunity for the media to connect mathematics and statistics with biology. Receiving a science prize late in life is a strange thing. ... Continue Reading »

The Future of Ecology

Musings on the future of ecology and the impact of winning a science prize In many fields of science, progress is virtually impossible without cutting edge technology. However, in my part of ecology, it is still possible to make paradigm changing discoveries with a tape measure, a notebook and a pencil ... Continue Reading »

Bringing Science to the Students

Since winning the Prime Ministers’ Science Prize for Excellence in Primary teaching last year, my life has been filled with unbelievable excitement; dealing with mud-slides, riding on the wings of a plane, weathering fierce sand-storms, combatting the warming of the world’s oceans, dodging speeding objects and visiting one of the ... Continue Reading »

Just Give Me the Truth

It irks me when people talk about ‘truth’ in science. Science isn’t about truth and you can’t prove a hypothesis to be true, you can only show that it is wrong (if it is wrong). This is the logic that scientific knowledge is built on. Understanding anything in science is ... Continue Reading »

The Different Diets of the World

Many countries around the world are battling increasing obesity rates and related health issues, both in adults and children. It is interesting to note that these health issues, though present, were far less widespread in the generation of our grandparents. So it only seems appropriate to look back on some ... Continue Reading »

The Beginnings of Palaeontology

Palaeontology – a word that makes me think of dinosaurs and epic scenery. In reality though, palaeontology is based in facts and science that are much more exciting and interesting than anything my imagination can come up with. What is Palaeontology? Palaeontology is actually the study of life on Earth through time ... Continue Reading »

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