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Fossil molecules in rocks obtained from mining operations have unlocked dramatic secrets of immense fluctuations in climate and sea level in prehistoric times.

The method charts climate changes through history and paints a new picture of the Earth’s vegetation cover.  It is used by the petroleum industry to identify likely drilling sites for oil wells. [click to continue…]

A new geological study in the Antarctic has shown that the coldest continent split in two about 30 million years ago, and solved a long-standing mystery among geoscientists.

Geoscientists try to understand the evolution of the land masses which form countries and continents in today’s world, by reconstructing the movements of tectonic plates. [click to continue…]

Robots that look and behave like humans are proving too complicated and expensive to use in industry, and are being replaced by devices called ‘modular manipulators’.

The manipulator is made up of modules, with each module performing one simple task, like putting a bolt in place or twisting it, or bringing two components together.  The modules are then linked together so they can perform a series of tasks, like assembling a mobile phone. [click to continue…]

The accuracy of Australia’s defence surveillance radar is being improved through the use of a new low cost technique that uses meteor showers.

Meteor showers naturally occur in the earth’s atmosphere on a continuous basis, day and night, as space rocks hit the circle of atmosphere protecting the earth’s surface. [click to continue…]

With salinity fears escalating across Australia, researchers have developed an innovative method that uses microwave energy from NASA’s aircraft and Space Shuttle system to accurately map dryland salinity.

Mr. David Bruce with colleagues from the University of South Australia and CSIRO have developed a way to use pulses of microwave energy to measure soil moisture. Mr Bruce presented his findings today (5 May) at ScienceNOW! in Melbourne. [click to continue…]

Tasmanian researchers have found that krill, the small ocean crustaceans important for feeding the rest of the ocean’s animals, are able to protect themselves from the harmful ultra-violet light in the sun’s rays through a combination of diet and exercise. [click to continue…]

Scientists have developed a new environmentally-friendly way of killing boneseed, a weed listed among Australia’s top twenty “Weeds of National Significance”.

The new methods combines controlled fires, herbicides and revegetation, and replace the old ‘hit or miss’ method that threatened to wipe out rare and endangered plant species as it killed the boneseed. [click to continue…]

Queensland researchers have discovered new genes that are important in producing the ‘slime’ that protects the human colon from cancer-causing agents.

Currently about one in 23 Australians are likely to develop colorectal cancer, a disease that attacks the lining of the colon and rectum at the end of the human digestive system. [click to continue…]

In a world-first study, researchers have identified the best way to fix shoulders damaged when elite athletes or active people rupture the ligaments.

Researchers at the Prince of Wales Hospital Orthopaedic Research Laboratories in Sydney have also found that textbook descriptions of the way ligaments attach to the bones in shoulders is wrong for at least thirty percent of people. [click to continue…]

As we breathe, lung movements could be killing the very cells we need for gas exchange. Flinders University researcher Dr Yasmin Edwards and her colleagues have discovered that macrophages, best known for their role in scavenging dead cells, may actually prevent living cells from dying by producing a protective gas. [click to continue…]

Chris Wright has discovered enough water to fill our planet’s oceans a million times.

Unfortunately the water is in a stellar nursery in the Orion constellation about 1500 light years away.

Wright, an astronomer at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, has used an orbital telescope to explore regions of the universe/galaxy where stars are born. [click to continue…]

The incidence of hamstring injuries may be sharply reduced if footballers  adopt a new exercise regime worked out by a young Melbourne physiologist.

Camilla Brockett, a graduate student from the Department of Physiology at Monash University, said her breakthrough is based on a new understanding of “eccentric” exercise, that is, exercises where the contracting muscle is stretched. [click to continue…]

A  Melbourne scientist has discovered the gene that causes de Morsier syndrome, a severe disorder in which babies are born with underdeveloped brains, eyes and pituitary glands.  

Dr. Paul Thomas from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute has shown that children with this syndrome have a critical change in the Hesx1 gene which causes a malfunction during brain formation.  [click to continue…]

Researchers in Monash University’s Australian Crustal Research Centre have made a discovery that could have important implications for pinpointing where to look for large deposits of metal.

While the Earth’s crust had previously been thought to be the source of most metals, these new findings suggest that they in fact originate much deeper, in the mantle. [click to continue…]

New research is showing that the brain of schizophrenia sufferers changes during the onset of the illness not only just before or during birth as was previously thought.

Researchers from the Mental Health Research Institute (MHRI), the University of Melbourne, and the Mental Health Service for Youth and Kids (MHSKY) believe that these findings could lead to the development of treatments that could prevent or reverse these brain changes. [click to continue…]