LATEST ARTICLES

The future of farming is here

The future of farming is here

Tiny sensors that stick to crop leaves and transmit health data. Robot buggies that trundle up and down orchard rows. Hyperspectral scanners to assess tree health. Smartphone-operated virtual cattle fences. Gene manipulation to transform crops so they’re a different colour or last longer, or bear fruit in a more convenient way.

Fossil fat reveals planet’s first known animal

Fossil fat reveals planet’s first known animal

In a breakthrough discovery, scientists from the Australian National University have found molecules of animal fat in a fossil more than 558 million years old, making the “Dickinsonia” the world’s first ­confirmed animal.

Whaling on the high seas

Whaling on the high seas

At the right time every season, Australians gather at whale-watching points along the east and west coasts, or take to the water in boats and canoes in the hopes of seeing the giants of the deep, mostly humpback whales, making their way up and down the coast, travelling to and from their breeding grounds.

Falun Gong, Griffith Uni’s Fraser at odds over organs

Falun Gong, Griffith Uni’s Fraser at odds over organs

A spiritual leader’s criticism of a Griffith University academic in a parliamentary hearing was one of the few public skirmishes in a hard-fought battle behind the scenes, now set to culminate in an official misconduct hearing at the university next month.

Mosquito fighters in slap-down test

Mosquito fighters in slap-down test

A new battle in the world’s mosquito wars is being fought around Innisfail in far north Queensland, where an international research team released three million male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This species can transmit a range of potentially lethal diseases including dengue, yellow fever and Zika, which can cause birth defects.

Doing whatever it takes to rehabilitate the Great Barrier Reef

Doing whatever it takes to rehabilitate the Great Barrier Reef

How about saving the Great Barrier Reef with a one-molecule-thick layer of natural calcium carbonate that floats on the sea surface and reduces the damaging heat of the sun on corals? Maybe the answer is cloud-brightening — spraying microscopic droplets of seawater into the atmosphere to form clouds and provide more shade for the heat-battered …read more

Who drew Marree Man?

Who drew Marree Man?

Somebody familiar with the tiny red-dirt town of Marree is good at keeping a giant secret. Marree, population 150, sits at the junction of the Oodnadatta and Birdsville tracks in the remote upper north of South Australia, east of one of Australia’s great mysteries: the “Marree Man”, a 4.2km-long reproduction of a giant Aboriginal figure …read more

Stephen Hawking departs, leaves a big black hole

Stephen Hawking departs, leaves a big black hole

Stephen Hawking has left a big black hole in the hearts of millions: people who admired his enormous intellect, his wicked sense of humour, and his extraordinary courage in battling a debilitating medical condition that left him slumped in a wheelchair and communicating via a machine.

Medicinal cannabis can’t come quickly enough for some

Medicinal cannabis can’t come quickly enough for some

Nicole Cowles has been dosing her daughter with cannabis for years. Before she began, Alice, now nearly 12, often had dozens of seizures a day. The so-called “hippie drug” has made all the difference for one little girl.

No Front Line: Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan; Seventh Circle

No Front Line: Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan; Seventh Circle

Landlocked and mountainous, with an extreme climate veering between the numbing cold of snow and ice and blistering desert heat, the insular nation of Afghanistan has never been successfully occupied. The British were routed, twice; the Russians were given the push after years of bloody insurrection. And now the post-September 11 alliance, dominated by the …read more