Guest Work

Spacing of letters, not shape of letters, slightly increases reading speed of those with dyslexia

Guest Work Jun 23, 2016

By Eva Marinus and Kevin Wheldall In 2008, a new font designed called “Dyslexie” was labelled “a breakthrough” by the media for reportedly being about to help increase the reading speed of those with dyslexia. It received media attention worldwide. Publishers even announced they were going to publish books in the font. This is despite … Read More

Fair play at the Olympics: testosterone and female athletes

Guest Work Jun 21, 2016

By Peter Sonksen, University of Southampton and Daryl Adair, University of Technology Sydney There are performance differences between the sexes in elite sport. It has long been assumed that contrasting levels of testosterone in men and women can largely account for that gap, but new scientific studies are bringing that into question. Read More

The problem with reinforced concrete

Guest Work Jun 20, 2016

By Guy Keulemans, UNSW Australia By itself, concrete is a very durable construction material. The magnificent Pantheon in Rome, the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome, is in excellent condition after nearly 1,900 years. And yet many concrete structures from last century – bridges, highways and buildings – are crumbling. Many concrete structures built this century will be … Read More

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UFOs, climate change and missing airliners: how to separate fact from fiction

Guest Work Jun 20, 2016

By Michael J. I. Brown, Monash University If you’ve been on social media then perhaps you’ve seen the “Ancient Aliens” meme; a wild-haired alien aficionado Giorgio A. Tsoukalos attributing all manner of things to aliens. Giorgio A. Tsoukalos is a well known speculator about alien visitation to Earth. History Channel Attributing the pyramids to aliens is … Read More

Personalised medicine has obvious benefits but has anyone thought about the issues?

Guest Work Jun 17, 2016

By Nola Ries, University of Newcastle and Dianne Nicol, University of Tasmania US Vice President Joe Biden recently launched The Genomic Data Commons, an open-access database that contains genomic and clinical data of 12,000 patients. The aim is to allow researchers to better understand cancer’s development, which will help tailor treatments to individuals’ particular cancers. Read More

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Second detection heralds the era of gravitational wave astronomy

Guest Work Jun 16, 2016

By Paul Lasky, Monash University Earlier this year, a team of over 1,000 scientists from across the globe announced the first discovery of gravitational waves and the first ever observation of colliding black holes. That same team has now published a second gravitational-wave observation from another cataclysmic black hole death spiral, detected on Boxing Day, December … Read More

Four new elements named – here’s how the periodic table evolved

Guest Work Jun 15, 2016

By Mark Lorch, University of Hull The seventh row of the periodic table is complete, resplendent with four new names for the elements 113, 115, 117 and 118. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (the organisation charged with naming the elements) has suggested these should be called nihonium (Nh); moscovium (Mc); tennessine (Ts) and oganesson … Read More

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Anti-CRISPR ‘Get out of jail free’ card uncovered

Guest Work Jun 14, 2016

By Dr Heather Hendrickson, Senior Lecturer, Massey University The microbial world is an invisible war zone where tiny combatants – bacteria, viruses, molds and amoebae – are fiercely competing for resources. In this microbial melee there are no pulled punches and anything goes. The viruses that attack bacterial cells are called bacteriophages and there are estimated to be ~10 of … Read More

How citizen scientists discovered a giant cluster of galaxies

Guest Work Jun 14, 2016

By Ray Norris, Western Sydney University It used to be that you had to have years of training before you could participate in cutting-edge science. But that has changed, with the power of the internet enabling thousands of ordinary people to contribute to one of humanity’s most exciting endeavours from the comfort of their homes. It was … Read More

Computers may be evolving but are they intelligent?

Guest Work Jun 13, 2016

By Leon Sterling, Swinburne University of Technology The term “artificial intelligence” (AI) was first used back in 1956 to describe the title of a workshop of scientists at Dartmouth, an Ivy League college in the United States. At that pioneering workshop, attendees discussed how computers would soon perform all human activities requiring intelligence, including playing chess … Read More

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