Blog Archives

How we can each fight cybercrime with smarter habits

How we can each fight cybercrime with smarter habits

Hackers gain access to computers and networks by exploiting the weaknesses in our cyber behaviors. Many attacks use simple phishing schemes – the hacker sends an email that appears to come from a trusted source, encouraging the recipient to click a seemingly innocuous hyperlink or attachment. Clicking will launch malware and open backdoors that can […] … learn more→

Let there be light! Celebrating the theory of electromagnetism

Let there be light! Celebrating the theory of electromagnetism

It’s hard to imagine life without mobile phones, radio and television. Yet the discovery of the electromagnetic waves that underpin such technologies grew out of an abstract theory that’s 150 years old. Our knowledge of the existence of such waves is a direct result of James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism which was first published […] … learn more→

What makes one Earth-like planet more habitable than another?

What makes one Earth-like planet more habitable than another?

When it comes to finding the right kind of planet to target in the search for life elsewhere in the universe, the size of the planet matters. All planets are believed to form by a process of competitive cannibalism, in a disk of material around a nascent star. Small pieces of dust collide and grow, […] … learn more→

Can astronomy explain the biblical Star of Bethlehem?

Can astronomy explain the biblical Star of Bethlehem?

Bright stars top Christmas trees in Christian homes around much of the world. The faithful sing about the Star of Wonder that guided the wise men to a manger in the little town of Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. They’re commemorating the Star of Bethlehem described by the Evangelist Matthew in the New Testament. Is […] … learn more→

Facebook and Google have a moral duty to stop online abuse

Facebook and Google have a moral duty to stop online abuse

It’s the stuff of nightmares: your intimate images are leaked and posted online by somebody you thought you could trust. But in Australia, victims often have no real legal remedy for this kind of abuse. This is the key problem of regulating the internet. Often, speech we might consider abusive or offensive isn’t actually illegal. […] … learn more→

What is 4D printing?

What is 4D printing?

Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – is 30 years old this year. Today, it’s found not just in industry but in households, as the price of 3D printers has fallen below US$1,000. Knowing you can print almost anything, not just marks on paper, opens up unlimited opportunities for us to manufacture toys, household appliances […] … learn more→

The most influential scientist you may never have heard of

The most influential scientist you may never have heard of

Gaze at Alexander Von Humboldt’s 1814 self-portrait and you peer into the eyes of a man who sought to see and understand everything. By this point in his life, at age 45, Humboldt had tutored himself in every branch of science, spent more than five years on a 6,000 mile scientific trek through South America, […] … learn more→

Science and coal seam gas – a case of the tortoise and the hare?

Science and coal seam gas – a case of the tortoise and the hare?

One of the key questions about the coal seam gas (CSG) industry, which is now being developed at breakneck speed across Australia, is how much methane is released as “fugitive” emissions. Three weeks ago we published a paper containing the first detailed maps of atmospheric greenhouse gases in Queensland’s CSG heartland. Our study clearly exposes […] … learn more→

Grey seals in the dock over porpoise murder mystery

Grey seals in the dock over porpoise murder mystery

It’s one of the big mysteries in my career as a marine biologist. Something lurking in the seas off Britain has been chomping away at local porpoises and none of the usual suspects fit the bill. Now scientists have finally identified the cuddly culprit. I first became aware of the attacks on porpoises – beakless, […] … learn more→

Giant sunspot returns – and it’s bigger and badder than ever

Giant sunspot returns – and it’s bigger and badder than ever

The largest sunspot seen in 24 years is rotating back to face the Earth, and it looks to have grown even bigger. Last month, the solar active region known as AR12192 (also known as AR2192 to some of its friends) entertained the world with the sunspot clearly visible with the naked eye (with some appropriate […] … learn more→