Science, Technology and Innovation

Making vaccines work in Timor-Leste: a small country with a big future

Tem 1a

It is seven o’clock in the morning, and as the cool night gives way to the heat of the day, a winding road stretches ahead of us towards the town of Gleno in Ermera province. On our way, we’re treated to unparalleled views of the jungle and the ocean. Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Timor-Leste is a very young country, which is still recovering from the… Making vaccines work in… Read More »

We’re under siege from a new breed of intellectual: The pseudo academic

Pseudo academic - IA

Iain Dooley shows us how to deal with the paranoid delusional ravings of pseudo academics, like the Alt-Right in America and Australia’s serial pest, Malcolm Roberts. Independent Australia Iain Dooley THE PHENOMENON has made its mark across a huge range of topics, aiming to convince us that climate change is fake, Muslims are amassing at our borders crying out for blood, and that Hillary Clinton and George Soros are funding teams of left wing protesters in the U.S. who just want to ... Read More »

Aliens Don’t Exist, But They Tell Us A Lot About Atheists

Alliens 1a

Lacking any evidence of an actual alien, Hollywood’s aliens speak more about the modern psyche fueling the imaginations of their designers. The Federalist By Peter Burfeind  In his movie “Expelled,” Ben Stein challenged Richard Dawkins about the remarkable phenomenon of life on planet earth: how … Aliens Don’t Exist… Read More »

Medicare logo case shows the urgent need to update Australia’s IP laws

Medicare 2b LLLLLL

The federal government has threatened Sydney man Mark Rogers with legal action over use of the Medicare logo on his “Save Medicare” website. The Conversation In response to publicity generated by a GetUp! petition, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he will look into the matter. But how are Australia’s trademark and copyright laws able to… Medicare logo case shows the urgent need to… Read More »

Drink and be merry: why alcohol makes us feel good, then doesn’t

Alcohol - The Guardian

With the festive season upon us, many of us will get through a lot of booze. But why do we consume it when it has undeniably negative effects? The Guardian Dean Burnett If someone offered you a glass of mild poison, you’d decline. If they said “drink this, it’ll make it harder to… Drink and be merry: why alcohol… Read More »

Is It Legal To Shoot Down Drones On Your Property?

Drones - Life Hackers

A company called DroneShield recently released an ‘anti-drone’ gun (pictured above) that is designed to interfere with a drone’s signal and force it to land. Life Hacker Spandas Lui For those who value their privacy and hate the idea of drones snooping on their property, this is an alluring proposition. But is it legal to shoot a drone down if it’s on… Is It Legal To Shoot Down… Read More »

EU in ‘Mexican standoff’ over independent checks on car emissions

Vert 2b

Leaked documents reveal EU pledge to carry out tests deleted from draft as governments come under pressure from carmakers The Guardian Arthur Neslen Plans for independent checks of how much pollution new cars emit are being killed off by EU member states, according to leaked documents seen by the… EU in ‘Mexican… Read More »

Pill-testing trial needs to happen in Canberra

Pill testing - ABC

It is a shame that the ACT government continues to reject calls for a pill-testing trial in the territory when doing so could save lives. The Canberra Times A focus on harm minimisation is noble and indeed educating people about the risk of drug taking is part of a successful strategy. But not promoting a scheme where tests will… Pill-testing trial needs to happen… Read More »

Humanity is cosmically special. Here’s how we know.

Fraum 2b

As we give thanks for our many obvious blessings, let’s reflect on a blessing that is less well known, a gift from modern astronomy: how we view ourselves. The Washington Post By Howard A. Smith There was a time, back when astronomy put Earth at the center of the… Humanity is cosmically… Read More »

It’s time to relax the rules on growing human embryos in the lab

Labs - New Scientist

Researchers can only study human embryos up to 14 days past fertilisation, but new techniques can go beyond that – a change in the law would benefit all of us New Scientist Sam Wong WHEN it comes to studying our earliest existence, how far are we willing to go? Growing human embryos in the lab beyond the seventh day after fertilisation – the moment when embryos normally implant in the wall of the uterus – has been a long-standing challenge ... Read More »

Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on ‘politicized science’

helmm 1a

Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding as the president-elect seeks to shift focus away from home in favor of deep space exploration Oliver Milman in New York Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a… Trump to scrap… Read More »

Humans arrived in Australian interior 49,000 years ago, archaeologists believe

Aeri 1a

Site yields artefacts including tools and a bone from huge wombat-like creature that indicate humans activity 10,000 years earlier than previously thought Nicola Davis Humans arrived in the arid interior of Australia 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, archaeologists working at a… Humans arrived in… Read More »

Italy’s earthquake affects us all – theirs is a cultural richness like no other

Vus 3c

The basilica of St Benedict in Norcia has been destroyed by Italy’s latest earthquake – and it is deeply sad to see such rich history trashed by nature Jonathan Jones Buildings are not people. It is an immense mercy that, so far as is currently known, there were no fatalities in the… Italy’s earthquake affects… Read More »

The secret of how life on Earth began

Aule 1a

Today life has conquered every square inch of Earth, but when the planet formed it was a dead rock. How did life get started? By Michael Marshall How did life begin? There can hardly be a bigger question. For… The secret of… Read More »

World’s largest marine protected area declared in Antarctica

Pengk 1a

Delegates from 24 countries and the European Union have agreed that the Ross Sea in Antarctica will become the world’s largest marine protected area (MPA). Some 1.57m sq km (600,000 sq miles) of the Southern Ocean will gain protection from commercial fishing for 35 years. Environmentalists have welcomed the… World’s largest marine… Read More »

Humans create carbon emissions which spawn Australia’s extreme weather – report

Tsem 2b

State of the Climate report from CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology says human activities have driven ‘significant changes’ to Australia’s climate Michael Slezak Carbon emissions from human activities have driven significant changes to the climate in Australia, including about 1C of warming and an… Humans create carbon… Read More »